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Are All Moving Companies Bonded and Insured?
A lot of homeowners are understandably nervous about moving. Having all their stuff piled into a van and driven away by strangers? Just a teensy bit nerve wracking, to say the least. And hey, we get it—it’s practically your whole life on the line! Most of these customers want to know what kind of protections we have in place to keep their belonging safe. They ask us: are you bonded? Are you insured? What happens if my stuff gets broken or lost?
The short answer: leave the worrying to us! Not only do we take care to transport your items as carefully as possible, we also have several protections in place to help you in the event of an accident.
The full answer? Well, that will take a little bit longer! Read on below to get the whole 411.
What Does It Mean When a Moving Company Is Bonded?
No, it doesn’t mean that 007 works on their team (although we could definitely find some use for that radio broom Q had in License to Kill). When a company is bonded, it means they’ve signed certain contracts to cover contractors and their work. There are all kinds of bonds: payment bonds, which moving companies sign to guarantee payment to contract workers, performance bonds, which mean the company will perform the work as stated on the contract, and so forth. In essence, these bonds don’t deal directly with you and your stuff, and they’re not a guarantee that you’ll be protected if something happens to your things. What it tells you when a company says they’re bonded is that they use contractors and they’re protecting them—but it still doesn’t mean all that much for your belongings, at least not directly.
Don’t confuse bonding as a measure of a company’s quality. Lots of great movers don’t use them at all. For instance, here at Blue Whale Moving, we don’t bond our work, because we don’t rely on contract labor to get the job done. All our movers are full-time employees of Blue Whale—professionally trained movers that we know and trust, not just someone we picked up off the street. Our staff knows moves, and understands how to transport even the most challenging items, which means your stuff will come through your relocation unscathed.
And Insured? What Does That Mean?
If a company tells you they’re insured, it does mean that they carry insurance—but it’s probably not for what you think it is. Movers aren’t allowed to sell customers insurance for their belongings. Instead, they provide other coverage that helps you get items replaced or repaired. It’s just technically not insurance.
So when a company talks about their insurance policy, what they’re actually telling you is that they have protections to cover their work and their workers, such as liability or workers compensation insurance. No big surprise there—nobody wants to shell out thousands of dollars to pay a big expense like a workers comp claim.
Okay, so what about your stuff? Like we talked about before, movers aren’t allowed to sell insurance. But that doesn’t mean you’re not protected. The The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (and United States Department of Transportation for interstate moves) requires all movers to pay, at a minimum, $0.60 per pound to replace damaged or unrepairable items, but there are a fews ins and outs to that policy. For instance, at Blue Whale, we pay the lowest option among the cost to repair the item, the cost to replace the item, or the $0.60 per pound rate. Many times, it costs a lot less to buff out a scratch or a small defect than it does to completely replace an item—and you get to keep your stuff, too!
But sometimes the standard rate just doesn’t cut it. We understand the feeling, so here at Blue Whale Moving, we offer optional additional valuation—for a small price—for any homeowner who wants it. That way, we’ve got your back no matter what level of protection you need. And that should give you something absolutely priceless: a little peace of mind.