Know Your Options

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles is working on a campaign to help educate consumers on the dangers of using unlicensed moving labor. Consumers have many choices when it comes to choosing a licensed mover or an unlicensed moving company. There are countless websites that offer listings, reviews, and ads for moving services. But if your mover isn’t licensed to conduct moves in Texas then you are risking a lot to save a few dollars.

You are trusting your mover with your home full of possessions, which may include family heirlooms and other items of personal and irreplaceable value. If your mover is unlicensed then you may not have any recourse in the case of loss or damage.

licensed moversIt is illegal for a household goods mover to operate without a license to conduct moves.

You can check that your mover is licensed in Texas by checking the TXDMV database. If the certificate status is listed as “Active” that means the mover is properly licensed and insured. If any other status shows next to their name, such as “Revoked” or “Inactive“, then your prospective mover has a problem with their licensing and insurance. If you can’t find a moving company in the database by name you should ask the mover to provide their TXDMV Registration Certificate number and check that information in the database (sometimes the legal name of the company is listed differently, but the number will be the same no matter what – if the number they provide shows any status other than “Active”, or you cannot find the number you were given then the mover is not licensed to perform moves).

A TXDMV certificate number allows a mover to legally perform intrastate moves within Texas only. If you are moving out of state then you should make sure your mover has a valid USDOT certificate for interstate moving using the FMCSA Safer Database. Because all licensed movers in TX must also maintain a valid USDOT certificate be sure to note whether their operation is listed as interstate or intrastate only on the Safer website.

Prices and services offered vary from mover to mover, so you should shop around before hiring a licensed mover to find the best deal that suits your needs.

  • Keep in mind that the lowest price may not be the best deal.
  • Be sure to take into account what is included in the price, such as disassembly/reassembly of furniture, disconnection/reconnection of appliances, wrapping of items, packing or materials, fuel, insurance, etc.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure you get everything in writing. Licensed movers are insured and will provide you with the proper documents for your move.
  • Read all documents before you sign your name to make sure you understand what you are getting for the price you are paying.

Even though most movers are legitimate and reputable, unwary consumers may fall prey to dishonest moving companies and could lose more than just what they paid to have their items moved. TXDMV wants you to “Move SMART by choosing a licensed mover. Move SAFE by hiring a licensed mover. Move TEXAS by only using a licensed mover.”

Elephant Moving and Storage is licensed, bonded and insured for your protection.

Our TXDMV certificate number (for intrastate moves) is 000613531B and our USDOT certificate number (for interstate moves) is 1710619. We carry cargo insurance, vehicle insurance, general liability insurance, warehouse insurance and we are bonded; a copy of our certificate of insurance is available upon request. All of our employees are regular, trained employees, not subcontractors or day labor.

We want to make sure your move goes as smoothly as possible and that we are providing you with the highest quality service for your move. Please always feel free to ask questions if you do not understand your paperwork or are unclear on any aspect of your move and what is included for your rate.

moving compliance inspectionTop Ratings!

Elephant Moving and Storage has just finished a USDOT random moving compliance inspection and has received a rating of ‘satisfactory’.

The US Department of Transportation is the agency that is in charge of regulating the household goods movers that engage in interstate operations. Elephant Moving was picked randomly for inspection by the main office in Washington DC along with another 50 household goods movers in TX.

The inspection covers every aspect of a moving company’s operations. Household goods movers must comply with paperwork regulations: moving contracts, moving estimates, moving tariff, claims files and more.

The inspection covers safety regulations for drivers: alcohol and drugs programs, hours of service driving rules, accident reports and more. Safety regulations apply to the trucks as well as to the individual drivers.

The trucks have to comply with maintenance and weight regulations. Elephant Moving passed this inspection with the best possible rating there is for moving companies!

We were happy to see that Elephant Moving is fully compliant with the USDOT requirements. Perfectionism in the office leads to high quality moving services in the field! Thanks to our wonderful office staff for keeping everything in order and helping us be the best moving company in Texas!

moving tip #10Safeguard valued items

Our helpful moving tip # 10 is simple, but important. It is a good idea to keep valuable possessions, such as jewelry, silverware, collections, or antiques, with you. If you have a long move and no room in your car, bury the items in a box titled “Misc kitchen pantry”.

Either way, check your homeowner’s insurance to see how you are covered during the move and if you need additional insurance from your Austin moving company.

Be Prepared

Find out what paperwork (receipts, appraisals, and photos) you might need to file a claim in case of loss. If you purchase additional insurance for your move, be sure to read your moving insurance policy carefully so you are aware of all conditions and exclusions of the policy.

Some items will require additional packaging (for an additional cost) in order to be fully covered. Certain valuable items, such as jewelry, watches, gem stones, cash/currency/bank notes, deeds, travelers cheques, coin/stamp collections, sports memorabilia, alcoholic beverages, furs, plasma televisions, and firearms/ammunition, are not covered by any mover or third party insurer regardless of the policy or coverage purchased, so make sure your homeowner’s policy does cover these items if you plan to ship them with the moving company.

Get your local or long distance residential or commercial moving estimate now!

Place an order for moving boxes and packing materials now!

moving claimsAt Elephant Moving and Storage we strive to maintain the highest quality services.

Our movers work hard to get your valued possessions moved safely across town or across the country. Occasionally, however, despite all efforts and precautions, small damages may occur. It is important to remember that all claims must be submitted in writing.

A phone call will not be sufficient to process your claim! If you have a damage claim the best way to begin the claims process is to submit your claim to our claims department by emailing

Please include your name, the date of your move, a description of the item and the damage that occurred, the value of the item, and what you are asking for as compensation. If you have photographs of the damage please send those along with your claim.

Be advised that damage claims will be limited to $.60 per pound per article as noted on our local and long-distance moving contracts unless increased insurance has been purchased. This is the basic level of liability that is included automatically and free of charge in the rates for moving. If you purchased additional moving insurance coverage through then you must submit your claim directly to them online at For any damage to floors, walls, doors, and painted surfaces, Elephant Moving’s liability is limited to $50.00.

Also, please note that pressed wood and particle board furniture are exempt from any third party insurance (such as coverage purchased from or increased valuation coverage (claims are limited to the basic coverage of $.60 per pound). This furniture is not stable, and is not meant to travel fully assembled. For further discussion on this topic please visit the pressed wood section of our blog. If you have questions about the claims process or insurance for your move please feel free to call our office and we will be happy to assist you.

moving insuranceRead Everything!

When purchasing moving insurance coverage for your local or long-distance move you should be sure to read the fine print carefully! There are some things that are not covered by any third party moving insurance policy. Boxes, containers, and items that are packed by owner (PBO) are excluded from full coverage – the maximum amount that will be paid for these items is $250. If there are items that need to be boxed or otherwise packaged that you would like insured for above this amount then you will need to order packing services from your Austin mover in order to get full replacement coverage.

Delicate and fragile items – including glass tables/tops, marble tables/tops, slates, paintings, framed pictures, chandeliers, display cases – must be professionally packed and/or crated in wooden or other protective containers to be covered. Wrapping such items in moving pads only does not constitute professional packing and are not covered.

All lamps, including floor or pole lamps not professionally packed in cartons specifically made for this item, will be excluded from coverage. Loss and/or damage to articles not professionally wrapped with special moving pads, bubble wrap, and/or shrink-wrap will also be excluded from coverage. Mattresses and box springs are specifically excluded from coverage unless packed by the mover in mattress cartons specifically designed for this purpose. Shrink-wrap alone does not constitute proper protection.

The following items are excluded from coverage regardless of how they are packaged:

  • Jewelry
  • Watches
  • Gem
  • Stones
  • Cash
  • Currency or bank notes
  • Deeds
  • Traveler’s cheques
  • Coin or stamp collections
  • Sports memorabilia
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Negotiable items
  • Furs or garments trimmed with fur
  • Plasma televisions
  • Firearms and ammunition, or contraband

Loss or damage to motorcycles is not covered. Wrinkled or soiled clothing, linens, drapes, or rugs are also excluded.

Additional Exclusions

*** Moving insurance excludes damage to any furniture constructed of veneered chipboard, particle board, composite board, pressed wood or similar. Any reduction in quality arising as the result of dismantling or reassembling of any such items of furniture is also excluded. Click here for other posts on this subject. ***

And perhaps the most important exclusion to remember: Items not listed on the movers’ inventory prepared at origin are not covered. Items not shipped are not insured. Be sure to double check the inventory your Austin movers have prepared for your shipment!

As with any insurance policy, it is important to read through your moving insurance policy information so that you are aware of all exclusions and exceptions to the coverage. If you have any questions or concerns talk to your move coordinator.

The insurance offered on your move covers only the items that the movers are transporting. Please be advised that our liability is limited to $50.00 for damage to floors, walls, doors, and painted surfaces.


insurance for movingInsurance For Moving

We want to make sure you understand the in’s and out’s of insurance for moving. The liability coverage that movers offer isn’t actual insurance. It is cargo vaulation coverage, and the basic coverage carried by all licensed moving companies in Texas only pays you 60 cents ($.60) per pound for any item that is damaged or broken. So even though your Waterford goblet is worth $80, if you were to make a claim for it, you’d get less than a buck because it’s lightweight. It is extremely important to be aware of this when you are moving.

Get Additional Coverage

If you would like full replacement value insurance for any or all of the items in your shipment you must purchase additional coverage from your mover or from at least 3 days prior to your move in order to be covered. If no additional insurance is obtained, your items are covered at 60 cents per pound and only 60 cents per pound!
Please be advised: your premises are separate from the goods we transport and are not covered by the cargo valuation. Elephant Moving’s liability is limited to $50.00 for damage to floors, walls, doors, and painted surfaces unless we agree in writing prior to the move to increase the level of liability.

Questions about insurance? Ask your Austin movers for clarification on anything you don’t understand. We’re here to help!

packing and loadingUseful Tips For Packing and Loading

Depending upon your agreement with your Austin mover, you may be doing some of the preparation for the move. Either way, we are here to offer some help when it comes to packing and loading.

If you are doing your own packing, be careful about overloading your moving boxes. Be sure to use appropriate boxes so your goods will arrive safely. Box tops should be flat and taped securely for easy handling and safe stacking in the truck.

Never pack liquids with other items – be sure to label the boxes as liquids to ensure proper handling. To avoid damage, do not pack fragile items and heavy items in the same carton. Clearly mark fragile cartons. DO NOT pack valuables (such as jewelry, money, etc.), medication, or important papers to be taken on the moving truck. The mover is not responsible for these items.

Don’t Forget…

Remember, it’s first in, last out when loading any truck. Keep items such as toiletries, medicines, and other necessities with you. Be sure to check out our other helpful hints and tips to help you with your move.

Get an Austin residential or commercial moving estimate now!

transit insuranceThe Basics About Transit Insurance

The basic insurance that Austin movers carry is $.60 per pound per article. Liability is limited to $100.00 for damage to floors, walls, doors, and painted surfaces. You may wish to purchase additional transit insurance to cover loss or damage to your goods; additional coverage is not available for damage to premises.

Elephant Moving works with to bring you increased insurance options. offers Total Loss Only, Full Replacement – Valued Inventory and Full Replacement – Lump Sum coverages. Additional options include Pairs and Sets coverage and Mechanical and Electrical Derangement coverage. allows you to insure one high value item, your entire shipment, or anything in between. You can also choose your deductible. The average cost for a policy purchased on is less than 1% of the value of the goods.

Determining Factors uses a number of factors to determine which moving companies they include in their network. Each moving company that applies to become an affiliate is checked for relevant state and federal moving licenses, valid liability, auto, cargo, and warehousemen insurance policies, previous loss history (in terms of past claims), Better Business Bureau record, and general moving experience. The claims loss ratio and frequency with affiliate moving companies on is 50% lower than the nation’s average.

Get an Austin residential or commercial moving quote now!

Get a quote for your moving insurance now!

mover's libalityAccording to TX Department of Transportation regulations;

“your mover has a basic liability of 60 cents per pound per article. This means if your 50-pound television is damaged, your mover is liable for a maximum of only $30. Although your mover cannot reduce his liability below 60 cents per pound per article, he may agree in writing to assume a higher level of liability. Your shipment will be valued at 60 cents per pound per article unless you and your mover agree to a higher level of liability on your moving services contract. Your mover may assess an additional fee (sometimes referred to as a valuation fee) for assuming the higher level of liability. Noting a higher level of mover liability (valuation) is not the same as purchasing transit insurance.”

moving reservation Moving Reservation and Cancellation

Reservations for move appointments are accepted on a first come first served basis. Simply receiving an estimate does not guarantee that an appointment is available on the desired day. Time slots are not guaranteed until customer has officially booked a move. Valid credit card information may be required to hold a reservation. Reference numbers and/or confirmation emails are given to every customer who books a move –


Moves must be cancelled at least 48 hours in advance of appointment time to avoid a cancellation fee. Failure to do so will result in a $75 nonrefundable cancellation fee. An additional fee will be assessed if customer fails to notify the office of intent to cancel prior to a crew being sent to the pickup location. The additional fee for a crew being sent to a location but unable to perform move due to customer cancellation will be equal to 50% of the estimated move total. Fees will be charged to credit card on file. In the event no credit card is on file the customer will be billed for the additional fees. Failure to pay cancellation fees within 30 days will result in account being sent to collection.

Should you have any questions about reservations or cancellations please do not hesitate to call our office directly at 512.442.6622 any day between 9am and 7pm.

Additional insurance must be purchased prior to the scheduled move date by the customer directly from and is subject to the terms and conditions set forth by; if no additional insurance is purchased all items in the shipment will be covered at the basic valuation of $.60 per pound as outlined on the contract for moving services (please see our section on Regulations and Insurance for exclusions and limitations of that coverage). Elephant Moving’s liability is limited to $100.00 for damage to floors, walls, doors, and painted surfaces.

Elephant Moving Austin