Should You Purchase Moving Insurance?

When it comes time to move out of your house or apartment, there are many questions and concerns you may have. It is undoubtedly a stressful time filled with bumps and hurdles that can make the process frustrating, when really it should be a time of excitement for a fresh start, somewhere new. The idea of hiring a moving company to perform your move might seem like a no-brainer. No heavy lifting for you and the convenience of moving according to your schedule. However, one question may cross your mind in the process: What happens if some of my items become damaged during my move? We all try to prevent accidents and damage when moving ourselves and we expect the companies we hire to do the same. It must be taken into consideration that even when we do our best to minimize damage, it can still happen. You are then left with the ultimate dilemma: Where do you go from here? What is your next move?

This situation can be remedied by purchasing moving insurance before your move. Most people probably do not know that there is such a thing. They’ve heard of car insurance, health insurance, but moving insurance? It seems unneeded for an event so temporary, but there are valid reasons to insure your household goods.

Most moving companies will offer what is called valuation coverage, which is Federally regulated and a level of liability that the mover will assume on damage that is proven to be directly caused by them. It is important to know that valuation coverage is not insurance, and that moving companies are prohibited from selling you insurance. As much as moving companies would like to be able to make sure your household goods are covered, they are not allowed to offer you anything other than valuation coverage. Valuation coverage is the bare minimum the moving company will pay, and often ranges from $.30 to $.60 per pound per article, depending on the state. Additional moving insurance will include a premium that can cover the total value of your items, including in the event of item loss due to an “Act of God,” such as tornadoes, lighting strikes, as well as if there is a fire. The valuation coverage a moving company offers does not cover “Acts of God.”

When you are dealing with household goods that have value to you, doesn’t it seem logical that you would protect them from harm, should it occur? People tend to put off insurance purchases for the very reason of “It won’t happen to me!”Thinking they won’t get sick, won’t get into a car accident, that their apartment won’t catch on fire. Reality has shown time and time again that nature, the laws of physics, and human error do not discriminate. It is to your advantage to make sure your household items that you have worked hard to purchase are fully protected.

Premiums from these third party insurance companies vary widely, but a small search will show that there are options available for any budget and any size move. There are even premium plans that will help cover more expensive items, such as fine artwork or jewelry. It is important to read your policy carefully before purchasing it to see if it fits your type of move. For instance, some companies do not offer insurance if you are moving your household goods into storage. Some companies will require you to have a minimum policy value of $10,000. It is important to make sure you itemize everything and choose a policy that will cover everything you will be moving.

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Condominium Moving Can Be A Pain

If you recently purchased a condominium or just sold one, congratulations are in order. Most people who buy or sell a condo are so excited about their purchase or sale that they never give a second thought about moving. That is until moving day arrives and it turns from a dream into a nightmare.

You see condominiums are essentially a collective ownership of a building by many people. While it can be a highly efficient form of housing, it comes with the burden of rules and regulations established by a condominium declaration and a borad of directors.

Frequently, the rules and regulations govern how and when you may move in or out of the building. Unless the building is very modern and has numerous oversized freight elevators, moving is usually restricted to weekdays during normal business hours. The reason given is so that other residents are not deprived of normal elevator availability during peak rush hours and during the weekend. Noise control early in the morning or after dinner time is also a frequent concern.

Accordingly, elevators are usually in hot demand during the moving season and there is only so much availability to go around. Accordingly, you would do well to reserve an elevator date and time immediately upon completing the purchase or sale of your condo. Then get on the phone with your mover to make sure that she is available.

Lastly, the rules and regulations will likely require your mover to be insured for both public liability, property damage and workers compensation of at least one million dollars in the event there is damage to the building or a worker gets injured. Condominium management companies are very particular about seeing evuidence of the insurance coverages prior to the move and usually require a certificate of insurance several days in advance of the move. Make sure that you get the condominium buildings insurance requirements in writing and pass them along to your mover well in advance of the move as it can take several days to a week for the movers insurance company to issue and send your building a certificate of insurance.

Lastly, most condominium buildings require that movers pad the elevators and install carpet and floor protection in the lobby, elevators and hallways. If there is any damage that results from your move, the condominium association will hold you financially responsible. So communicate this requirement ot your mover early.

Once you have arranged for the elevator, the mover, a certificate of insurance and floor protection, you can relax and enjoy the move.

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When the founders of Chicago’s Low Cost Movers formed the company back in 2005, they knew that they wanted to provide unparralelled service to their customers at the lowest price possible. They envisioned using technology and a vast expertise in business fundamentals and analysis that would result in a significant price advantage over their competitors. That vision has become a reality with the Better Business Bureau awarding Low Cost Movers their presitgeous A+ rating.

The owners of Low Cost Movers recognize and appreciate the significance of the BBB awarding this rating, which is the highest rating given by the BBB to local businesses that meet or exceed its high standards for excellence.

Low Cost Movers is locally owned and operated, insured and fully licensed by the Illinois Commerce Commission. The company owns its own fleet of GPS equipped moving trucks and operates out of facilities in Chicago and Northbrook Illinois.

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Should Your Mover Be Background Checked ?

Without a criminal background check, the mover who you let into your home could be a convicted criminal. He could be a convicted sex offender or murderer.

Without a background check, you could be inviting a dangerous person into your home, where he could become familiar with you, your significant other, the number and type of locks on your doors, how your windows lock and how your security system operates. He will have looked over your personal belongings and picked out the stuff he is coming back for, at which time he will know your name, telephone number, address and what you look like. He may also have your work telephone number where he can likely determine where you work and your work schedule.

Many movers hire itinerant workers whom they know next to nothing about. Some hire day laborers and pay them cash at the end of each day. They know absolutely nothing about their “employee”, possibly not even his real name. The problem is serious and widespread. And if your home gets burglerized a month after you move in, how will you ever connect it to your movers? And even if you did connect the dots, how would you ever identify the movers “employee”?

So how do protect yourself from all this danger? One way is to use only licensed movers who routinely background check every single employee. As the customer, you have every right to ask your mover to certify that each of his employees are known to him and that he has ordered and received a professional criminal background check on each one.

Your mover should have a policy of obtaining professional background checks of every single one of its employees and requiring government issued identification to identify any applicants with criminal backgrounds. Your mover should refuse to hire anyone with a violent criminal background. Ask. If you are not satisfied with the answer you get, move on. Find another mover. By doing so you will stack the deck in your favor for your personal safety and that your valuables will stay where they belong.

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Low Cost Movers brings the truck, the trained crew and all the supplies you could need.

You, the customer, have the responsibility of providing us with a place to park the truck.

Picture these 2 very different scenarios. First, your moving truck arrives only to find no parking space big enough for the truck and must double park in the middle of the street or in an alley behind your building. Second, your moving truck arrives and slides right into a reserved parking space directly in front of your residence.

In the case where no parking space is available, our moving truck must drive around the block several times to see what options are available. Then, the truck is either parked far away from your residence resulting in a longer carry, and more time which you have to pay for, or the truck can double park in the street or alley. The crew will always ask you whether you want the truck double parked and the choice is yours, However, if the truck gets ticketed because of your request to double park, payment of the fine must be your responsibility.

If you have a reserved parking space directly in front of your residence, your move is more efficient, takes less time and costs you less.

The secret is to have Low Cost Movers take care of the paperwork, payment of the permit fees and satisfaction of Chicago insurance requirements.

A reserved parking area for our truck(s) must be obtained through the City of Chicago in advance of your scheduled move.

Low Cost Movers can obtain reserved parking permits for moves involving a Chicago address.
The permit must be ordered through our office at least 85 business hours before the move. The City of Chicago will then place ‘no parking’ signs at the address of the permit.

Your cost for a reserved parking permit is $75 per day for the first truck, plus an additional 25.00 per day for a second truck. These costs are never refundable. In addition to the permit cost, the City of Chicago may seek to collect lost revenue when the permitted area is within a paybox (meter) area. The exact charges will vary. In the ‘business district’, the cost can be as much as an additional $150 per day. Please contact a Low Cost Movers representative for details.

Alternatively, you and a friend can park two cars in legal spaces on the street in order to “save” a large parking spot for the truck and then move your cars when the truck arrives.

You can also apply for a reserved parking permit yourself.

To do so, visit and see who your alderman is and you can apply for a parking permit through them, usually at no charge.

You can also visit the following helpful websites where you can get additional information:

Call a Low Cost Movers booking specialist at 888.856.9267 for more information

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Wardrobe Boxes – The Best Value In Moving

Movers carry, sell and rent, many different types of containers and boxes. Each container and box is designed for a specific application. Today we will talk about wardrobe boxes.

Wardrobe boxes are typically about 4 feet tall and come in both 18″ and 24″ square formats with a steel bar across the top from which to hang clothes on hangers.

Although there are many uses for wardrobe boxes, the most common purpose is to hold the hanging clothes in a closet. Each 24″ wardrobe box holds the equivelent of about 2 feet of hanging clothes in a closet, plus the shoes typically on the floor of the closet.

Without a wardrobe box, the moving customer must go to the store and buy cardboard boxes, then remove and fold each hanging item, and then pack each item in a box. The process is reversed at the new location with the customer unpacking everything and re-hanging it on the closet rod at the new location

Now contrast that scenario to one in which the mover supplies the customer with wardrobe boxes. The customer sits back and relaxes knowing that they need not pack anything in their closet. Instead, the mover opens the closet door, scoops up 2 feet of hanging clothes and drops them into the wardrobe box, hanging each item on the steel bar at the top of the box. The mover next scoops up the customers shoes and places them in the bottom of the wardrobe box.

At the new location, the mover simply removes the hanging clothes and re-hangs them on the closet rod. Last, the mover turns the wardrobe box over, spilling the customers shoes onto the floor of the new closet.

No muss, no fuss, and no packing or unpacking by the customer.

We have also seen customers use wardrobe boxes to hang drapes and other delicate items they do not want to see get wrinkled.

It is such a no brainer and time saver that at Low Cost Movers, we give each customer 2 wardrobe box rentals free of charge.

Accordingly, of all the various containers and boxes supplied by your mover, the wardrobe box is absolutely the best value to the customer because it is so inexpensive and efficient.

So don’t forget to ask your mover to bring lots of wardrobe boxes on moving day. You’ll be glad you did.

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If your movers just finished unloading your entire life into your new home without leaving so much as a fingerprint on that antique armoire you got from aunt Mary, then yes, I’d have to say they deserve to be tipped. But how much? We’ve got our own ideas based on our experience dealing with thousands of moves.

Tipping a professional mover $20 – $80 is a pretty solid industry-standard but not necessarily a hard & fast rule.

Every move is different and movers perform at various levels of speed and safety. Some moves just take longer because of stairs, small doors and hallways, small or slow elevators or a long walk to the truck. If the movers finished 20 minutes faster than you expected and your goal was speed, each mover might deserve $30. On the other hand, if the move went longer than planned but your very favorite yin-yang coffee table made it to your new living room without a scratch, handing a $20 bill to each mover would be a great token of your appreciation. Keep in mind that these guys are usually putting in 10-12 hour days to hopefully get paid for only 5-8 hours actually moving.

On the other hand, if the movers you hire don’t leave you totally impressed by their service, DON’T feel obligated to give them a tip. By not tipping, you’ll actually help that crew to improve their service for future customers. Tipping movers that don’t deserve it only encourages bad moving companies to perpetuate the low-quality stigma the moving industry has earned over the last 30 years. Low Cost Movers fights tooth and nail to change the industry, but we need your help. Don’t tip under-performing movers.

Wait to tip your movers until they give you the final bill. You don’t want to hand $60 to 3 guys that barely deserve it only to then hear that your final total is $300 more than originally estimated. Unfortunately, last minute fees and surprise charges run rampant in the moving industry. Booking with Low Cost Movers saves our customers from last minute fees because we don’t have any (all pricing is set before the customer books). But if you didn’t happen to book your move through us, just make sure all charges are final before tipping.

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No one really likes to move in hot weather.  But, most of the time, it can’t be helped.  The best you can do is make sure that you keep your cool as you move into your new home.  Here are some tips from the professionals that will keep you cool and get the job done.

Twelve Things You Can Do:

Stay on top of the weather reports.  If you are planning to move in traditionally hot summer months, start looking at the weather forecast from a reliable source at least a week in advance. Come moving day, you should know what the temperature will be and have a plan.

Get an early start on moving day. From 1pm to 6pm is the hottest part of the day.  So getting an early start will mean that you can avoid working at the hottest time of the day.

Drink plenty of water – do not wait until you are thirsty. On a normal day, the average person will loose a gallon of water due to breathing, urinating and sweating.  So on a hot day – you will loose even more.

Avoid caffeinated drinks – caffeine is a diuretic.  It speeds up the rate of urination, which can leave you dehydrated.  So if you are to drink caffeine, drink it in the morning – but then lay off.

Keep your electrolytes up – Electrolytes are what your cells use to maintain electrical circuits across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses across themselves and to other cells – they are very important to your body and can break down with exertion and heat.  So keep some sports drinks on hand to replenish your electrolytes.

Keep snacks on hand – when you run on empty you begin to loose energy.  So keep small snacks on hand to keep your energy level up.  Moving in hot weather can drain your energy fast – you will need extra calories to meet the demand.

Wear sun screen – as little as twenty minutes of exposure to the sun can cause burns.

Wear loose fitting clothes – allow your body to breath and you’re your sweat evaporate.  Moving in hot weather will raise your core body temperature fast.  The more you sweat and get cooled off, the better.

Wear soft shoes with rubber soles. Moving day is no time to make a fashion statement.  Wear shoes that will be comfortable and protect your feet.

Keep the air conditioning & fans going – you will need a place for your body to cool off and regain some strength.  Keep your house as cool as possible as you clear it out.  Also, get the fans and the air conditioning going as soon as you get to the new place.

Make a cool space inside for kids, pets and seniors – Make sure that you are monitoring those that may be the most vulnerable to heat.  Many times, the signs of heat exhaustion appear after it is too late.  So take preventative measures to ensure your entire family is doing well in the heat.

Protect items that will be vulnerable to the sun: art, paintings, electronics – do not underestimate the damaging power of the sun.  The sun can melt oil paintings and warp electronics.  So keep them in the shade and make them the last things to load and the first to unload.

Pace yourself – make sure you give yourself some room to breathe and keep cool.  If you are going to last all day while moving in hot weather, you need to keep yourself at an even pace.

Moving in hot weather can be done – it just means being smart.


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Before your things are packed and loaded, please take some time to look over the items that your mover cannot put on his truck or in a container for legal, regulatory or safety reasons.

Explosive and Flammable Items

Movers cannot ship any type of explosive or flammable materials. The road can be bumpy, there may be an accident or the heat in the truck may cause the items to explode or catch on fire, injuring the driver and damaging the other items in the truck. The following items cannot lawfully be taken by your household goods mover:

Lamp oils
Aerosol cans
Charcoal/lighter fluid
Cleaning solvents
Loaded guns
Sterno fuel
Darkroom chemicals
Gas cans
Nail polish
Paint thinners

Poisonous or Hazardous Liquids

Poisonous or hazardous liquids that might leak cannot be moved by a household goods mover. If the liquid leaks, it can cause injury to the mover through skin contact or by breathing in the fumes. These items should be properly discarded prior to the move and new items purchased once you are at the new residence. You can also properly package and ship the items via a service trained in dealing with hazardous chemicals. The following items cannot lawfully be taken by your household goods mover:

Automobile wet cell batteries
Chemistry sets
Liquid bleach
Pool chemicals
Weed killer

Items Under Pressure

Items that are under pressure like fire extinguishers and scuba tanks cannot be moved by household goods movers despite the fact that the extinguishers are not a fire hazard. If the items are punctured during transit, it can cause a pressure explosion that can injure the driver or cause damage to the truck and the other shipped items.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (otherwise known as “OSHA”) protects the safety of workers and prohibits employers from exposing their workers to ultra hazardous or ultra dangerous working conditions. In addition, the Illinois Commerce Commission has regulations which forbid household goods movers from carrying many of the items on this list. While this list is not all inclusive, it does give homeowners guidance on the type of items that movers will refuse to load onto their truck for legal and safety reasons. For more information we recommend that you visit OSHA at http://OSHA.Gov and the Illinois Commerce Commission at

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Moving in Chicago during the winter months is not the best time of the year to move but it happens. Some people just don’t have a choice in the time of year their move occurs, so they have to deal with moving in inclement weather and cold temperatures. Sure, it would be nice if everyone could plan it so that their next move took place in comfortable weather and clear skies, but that’s just not the case. At Low Cost movers we have years of experience moving customers in all of the challenging weather conditions that the Windy City is noted for.

We’ve been through our fair share of wintery moving experiences, so we figured we’d share some tips with our customers that have helped us over the years as professional Chicago movers.

1.) Stay on top of the local weather forecast. That way, no matter what type of inclement weather conditions come your way, you should be ready for it. Can you imagine going to sleep at night thinking it was going to be 50 degrees and sunny the next day, only to wake up on moving day to find that there was a half foot of snow on the ground and it was a frigid 20 degrees? It could delay or postpone your move if you are not prepared for a little ice and/or snow and low temperatures. The best source of accurate weather forecasting in the Chicago area is The Weather Channel at Always check the forecast a few days before your move. At Low Cost Movers we check the weather forecast every day for the following week.

2.) Save winter items for last when packing. If the weather forecast calls for snow or there is ice on the roads, make sure you have snow-shovels, salt, windshield scrapers, and any snow/ice removal tools unpacked and ready. Imagine if you and your moving truck pulled up to your new home and the driveway hadn’t even been shoveled after it had snowed? You wouldn’t want to have to dig through all of your packed stuff in the truck to get to a snow-shovel or some salt, so keep them handy as the last things loaded onto the truck!

3.) Last but definitely not least, be cautious and take your time! This means driving, carrying boxes or furniture, or even walking. This is true in inclement weather even when you aren’t moving, but even more so when you are. Pay attention and take your time if you are driving to the new home as ice and snow make for terrible driving conditions. Allow for extra time as driving a loaded moving truck in ice and snow is especially dangerous and takes more time.

So if you are moving this winter, and plan to use a moving company, get a free moving estimate from Low Cost Movers. Not only are we the lowest cost solution for moving in the Chicago area, we do it 364 days a year in all kinds of weather.  Our rates start at just $65 per hour for two men and a truck.  You can reach Low Cost Movers toll free at 888.856.9267 or visit us on the web at www.LowCostMovers.Net

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