Your uShip Questions Answered

We have received a number of inquiries lately about the shipping website, which is an online marketplace for shipping services. Service providers bid against one another for customers’ shipments. While you might be able to get your items shipped for dirt cheap using uShip, you should be aware that uShip is simply an online marketplace for helping parties connect.

Licensed MoversThey provide a venue where a shipper and a service provider can agree on a price for service, but uShip is not actually involved in the transaction. Most importantly, you should be aware that uShip;

“does not prequalify or validate the claims of transportation service providers with respect to their license, insurance, or other operating authority.”

And this is the main problem with this website. Many of the service providers you find on are not licensed, bonded and insured moving companies. They are either unlicensed moving companies operating illegally (the US Dept of Transportation has very strict regulations about licensing and insurance and any company performing moves without a USDOT operating authority is breaking the law) or they are just a guy or a couple of guys with a truck, trailer or van. Even if they say they are licensed they may not be, so be sure to do your homework just like you would when researching movers you find anywhere else. Check out the USDOT website ( to check the status of their license number.

Stay Informed

Read online reviews wherever you can find them to get an idea how other peoples’ experiences with them went. Make sure they provide a proposal in writing as well as a contract for service. Pay using a credit card or Paypal account. And of course, remember if the price seems to good to be true, it probably is.

We have heard horror stories from a couple of customers about hiring movers they found on uShip. And we have heard some positive experiences as well. It seems like a decent service that can save you money if you are shipping just one or a few items – most moving companies have minimum charges that even single item moves are subject to but uShip service providers may charge less. For larger shipments we have received some negative feedback, mostly due to the fact that the customer chose an unlicensed service provider and his insurance was not adequate.

If the mover you choose does not have a valid license (USDOT operating authority) then the mover is likely not insured and is not following all of the safety requirements and regulations that a licensed carrier must adhere to. Without the proper insurance policies you could be out of luck in the event of a major disaster on the road or even in case of relatively minor small damages. If the vehicle being used to transport your items is not properly registered then a state trooper could stop the driver and impound the vehicle, which is certainly a headache that no customer should have to handle.

We think it is always better to go with a licensed and insured professional moving services company for an interstate move. There are so many moving companies out there that offer wonderful service while managing to follow all DOT regulations and requirements. There’s no reason to risk your worldly possessions to save a few dollars by going with an unlicensed company or some guy with a truck. There’s a reason the moving industry is heavily regulated; going outside that regulated zone is not a risk worth taking when it comes to relocating your entire life.

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.


moving insuranceMore Moving Insurance Options:

Total Loss Only

This coverage is for a specified dollar amount and pays only in the case of catastrophic loss. Small damages are not covered by this type of insurance. Benefits of this coverage include low cost and protection against a major accident or disaster.

Add-on options for full replacement value moving insurance

include pairs and sets coverage and mechanical and electrical derangement coverage. Pairs and sets will replace a full set of something if only one or part of the set is damaged. The mechanical coverage covers internal working of mechanical and electrical devices (without this add-on coverage, only physical damage to the unit itself is covered). also covers storage in our warehouse (self storage facilities are not covered). A policy purchased for a local or interstate move is good for up to 90 in our storage facility. Customers can also purchase extensions of this coverage on a monthly basis to cover periods longer than 90 days.

All of our basic and increased insurance options cover the goods that we transport and store. None of these options cover damage to the premises we work in. Be advised that Elephant Moving’s liability is limited to $100.00 for damage to floors, walls, doors, and painted surfaces.

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

Get a quote for moving insurance now!

additional insurance for interstate relocationAdditional Insurance Options

Elephant Moving and Storage is pleased to offer a variety of increased additional insurance for interstate relocation. The basic coverage of $.60 per pound per article is included automatically and free of charge with every move, and also with all storage. The two most popular additional overages our customers most frequently purchase for their interstate relocation are ‘Total Loss Only’ and ‘Full Replacement Value.’

Full Replacement Value – Lump Sum

This coverage is for a specified dollar amount (customer states that shipment is worth $XX,XXX). Any items specifically valued at greater than $500 must be noted at the time of purchase. Damaged and destroyed items are covered at full replacement value up to the lump sum amount of the insurance. Customers should be careful not to undervalue their total shipment since compensation is limited to the total lump sum amount specified at the time of purchase.

Full Replacement Value – Valued Inventory

This coverage offers full replacement coverage for a list of select items. You will be prompted to create an inventory list that includes the name, value and condition of each item. Damage to listed items is covered, but items not included on the valued inventory are not covered by the additional moving insurance (the basic coverage of $.60 per pound will apply to these items).

Stay tuned for more information on other types of moving insurance that are available for your local or long-distance move with Elephant Moving & Storage…

interstate relocation insurance information It is extremely important to remember that movers are not insurance companies!

It is important to understand interstate relocation insurance information: All licensed movers must carry cargo insurance, for the customers’ and the company’s protection. This translates into cargo valuation coverage in the amount of $.60 per pound per article. Obviously this is a basic and limited coverage for your belongings.

Some moving companies offer different options for increased coverage, but you should remember that no interstate moving company is an insurance company. If your long-distance mover has offered to sell you increased coverage directly, then this is increased valuation, NOT INSURANCE.

This increased valuation means that for your interstate move your relocation company has agreed to be liable for damages above the $.60 per pound limit (usually this maxes out at around $5.00 per pound). This is still not enough to cover the full replacement cost of many items, especially smaller, lighter, expensive items such as TVs and fine china.

Guarantee Coverage

The only sure-fire way to guarantee that your things will be covered at full replacement value is to purchase additional insurance (not increased valuation). Many interstate movers offer this option through reputable third party insurers who deal only with moving and storage.

Elephant Moving works with to provide increased insurance options to our local and long distance moving customers. Policies are available for valued inventory or lump sum coverage; there are also add-ons available for pairs and sets coverage and mechanical and electrical coverage. Be aware that Elephant Moving’s liability for damage to floors, walls, doors, and painted surfaces is limited to $100.00. does not offer increased coverage options for damage to your premises. Check with your homeowner’s insurance to see if they will cover any damage to the premises that may occur during a move.

Stay tuned for more information on the third party insurance options that may be available from your interstate relocation company…

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

Get a quote for moving insurance now!

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!