Are You Budgeting For These 3 Hidden Moving Costs?

Moving is a stressful life event for most people. There are several reasons for that, but one major reason that people find moving stressful is that it's expensive. Even before you consider the cost of hiring a moving company, you have to think about the costs of buying or renting a new home, paying new deposits on your utilities, and all the other costs associated with setting up house in a new location. If you're like most people, you live within a budget, and your moving budget may be pretty stretched by the time you get around to hiring a moving company. It can be a real setback if you're presented with a moving bill much higher than what you expected. Take a look at some of the lesser-known costs of moving so that you can ensure that you're staying within your budget.

Bulky Items, Long Carries, and Elevator Fees

Many people assume that when they hire movers, they'll be paying one price to have all of their items moved out of their home. But that's not necessarily true. Many moving companies charge extra for bulky items, which can include thing like pianos, motorcycles, pool tables, playground sets, or even heavy medical equipment, like a hospital bed.

What's more, access to your home can increase your costs. If the movers have to park a long distance from your door, or if you have a long, winding pathway from your door to the parking area that the movers will have to negotiate, you may be charged what's called a long carry fee – basically, compensation for the extra work your movers will have to do to safely get your items from the house to the truck. Elevator fees are similar – waiting for an elevator and bringing item down in amounts that will fit in an elevator will add time and work to the movers' job, so it will cost extra.

There isn't much that can be done to avoid these fees – you're probably not going to leave your piano behind just to avoid paying to move it, and if your building is far from any parking or requires elevator access, that's not something you can change. You can, however, budget for these fees if you know about them ahead of time. Ask for an on-site quote instead of getting one online or over the phone. That way, your moving company will know what bulky items or access issues you have, and they'll be able to give you an accurate quote.

Moving Insurance

You aren't required to buy moving insurance, but it's a good idea. Your moving company is required to provide something called released value coverage at no extra cost. This ensures that you'll get paid something if they break or damage your items, but it's a small amount. Released value coverage only covers $0.60 per pound per item, so if your movers damage a 50 pound item, you'll only get $30, even if the item was worth $1000. Adding extra moving insurance to protect your possessions is a smart decision, especially for a long-distance move.

To save money on your moving insurance, shop around. Your moving company may offer insurance, but you might also be able to get it from your homeowner's insurance company or another third-party insurance company. If you opt for insurance coverage from your moving company, keep in mind that they may require you to let their movers do the packing – many moving companies won't accept liability for boxes that you've packed. Packing service will be another extra cost.

Mover's Tips

A tip won't be listed on the bill you get from the moving company, and, of course, a tip is never required. They are appreciated, however. Movers are part of the service industry, and they're performing a difficult and heavy service for you.

The tipping rate for movers varies, but 5% is a good place to start – so $25-$40 on a $500-$750 move. If you have an accurate estimate from your moving company, it will be easier to calculate the tip ahead of time and work it into your budget.

You won't be able to control every cost associated with your move, but if you plan carefully, you can keep your costs down and avoid any unpleasant – and expensive – surprises.

Contact a company like Wheaton World Wide Moving for more information on the costs of moving.