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Fax: (713) 684-1600

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STORM SEASON
Important Note:

June through November our agency may become prohibited from binding coverage should a “Tropical Disturbance” enter the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean Sea.

In these cases we may be unable to bind new coverage quoted in open proposals until the storm leaves our area and our binding authority has been restored.

Please arrange your coverage protection early to avoid this type of delay. While we regret any inconvenience, the carriers impose these restrictions on all agencies.

Watch Out for Rip-offs When You Move

Moving is stressful! Whether you are moving across town or across the U.S., it’s a huge undertaking. You hire movers to help relieve stress, but it can actually cause problems. In fact complaints about moving companies have climbed by more than 25 percent in recent years.

For example, in 2014 there were more than 800,000 interstate moves. Of those, 3,600 resulted in complaints. So how do you avoid issues with movers and potential scams?

First off, watch out for low bids. One of the biggest complaints stem from movers that quote one price and then hold your items hostage, compelling you to pay a higher rate. Low quality movers will also give you a bid without inspecting your items. They will often say they’ll give you a final bid once your items are loaded on the truck. Avoid these!

Movers that leverage these tactics tend to be unlicensed and often advertise in classifieds or on Craigslist. A better resource is to check moving.org for more reputable movers. If you are looking for a better way to save, set your move dates carefully. Summer months are the busiest… and end of month moves tend to be more expensive than mid-month moves.

Second, look for clues that indicate you are likely dealing with a reputable company…

  • They’ll answer the phone with their actual company name. Less reputable movers will answer with “moving companies” because they are trying to avoid answering calls from dissatisfied clients.
  • Their website is modern and well branded. It also states their physical address that is tied to a real office. Less reputable movers will have a “virtual” office and their mailing address will be a P.O. Box.
  • They offer absolute clarity on their insurance coverage.Less reputable companies won’t.
  • They clearly show their licensing. Less reputable firms may not have licensing at all.

The key: Expert movers demonstrate clear professionalism throughout the process.

Third, protect yourself from ID theft. You would take extra care to protect expensive jewelry and family heirlooms, right? You also need to protect your personal records! Any paperwork that contains personal identifiable information should be secured to protect it. Important documents to protect include:

  • insurance documents,
  • stock certificates,
  • wills,
  • passports,
  • social security cards, and
  • birth certificates…

Fourth, read your contract carefully. If you don’t understand the terms, be sure they are explained to you. Keep copies of everything you authorize, particularly the “bill of lading”. (This recognizes the mover is in possession of your items… it also serves as your receipt.) Be particularly careful with moving insurance. Often times the standard insurance is minimal and won’t offer true “replacement-value” coverage. (Be sure to check with your insurance agent to see how your home owners policy may cover items that are lost or damaged during a move.)

By following these tips and leaning on your insurance agent for guidance, you’ll be well positioned to have a low-stress move.