March 14,

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Moving Company

moving companyWhen moving to a new home, one must make numerous decisions quickly, including selecting the best supplies and choosing the appropriate move date. However, the most critical and challenging decision is selecting the right moving company from among the thousands of local and interstate movers across the country competing for your business.

Therefore, asking the right questions during the interview is vital to find the moving company that best suits your needs. Ask these questions before hiring a moving company:

1. Are you properly licensed?

To prevent falling prey to moving scams or unscrupulous movers, ask whether the company you’re considering holds a proper license. 

2. Do you possess experience with my specific type of move?

When interviewing a moving company, ask whether they have adequate experience handling your particular type of move. For example, suppose you’re relocating to a high-rise apartment building, a multi-story townhome, or a big city. In that case, you must inquire whether the moving company has any prior experience with this type of move. 

3. What liability coverage options does your moving company offer?

 Irrespective of whether you’re relocating nearby or to another state, the moving company you hire should provide you with several liability coverage choices. Licensed interstate movers must provide two liability options: Full Value Protection and Released Value. The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) outlines these options as follows:

  • Complete Value Protection: The moving company is responsible for the total replacement value of all items in your shipment that are lost or damaged. This is the most extensive plan available to safeguard your belongings. The cost of Full Value Protection is dependent on the mover you select.
  • Released Value Protection: Released Value is the most affordable liability coverage option available, which does not incur an additional cost. 

Customers may opt to buy insurance from a third-party insurance provider. However, before purchasing insurance, the FMCSA suggests reviewing your homeowner’s insurance policy to determine if you’re already covered.

Apart from liability coverage choices, you must also request the moving company’s proof of insurance. Any genuine, licensed moving company should be capable of producing their insurance policy upon request.

4. Do you have references?

Just as you would only employ a worker by verifying their references, requesting references from a moving company before entrusting them with your possessions is equally essential. When asked, a moving company representative should be able to furnish you with all the necessary details.

However, it is ultimately your responsibility to conduct your research. For example, you could ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations while searching for a moving company. Even today, word-of-mouth remains one of the most dependable methods of finding a trustworthy mover.

5. Can your company offer a binding quote or a not-to-exceed estimate?

These estimates are subject to change depending on actual costs, which can be good or bad. For example, if your move requires more person-hours or is heavier than initially estimated, you could pay more than expected. On the other hand, if the actual costs are less, you could pay less.

If you prefer a clear idea of how much you will owe in advance, choose a moving company offering a binding estimate. With a binding written estimate, the cost of your move will not exceed the original cost estimate, including add-ons and any potential charges. 

When hiring a moving company, asking several questions is vital to ensure you make the right choice.

  • How long will the move take? Ask the mover to estimate the time required to transport your belongings. Additionally, inquire if they provide guaranteed delivery dates.
  • How do you handle claims and damages? To ensure a smooth claims process, ask the company about their process.
  • What are the ways to contact you and the driver during the move? Make sure to inquire whether the moving company offers a means of getting the driver during the relocation. Ask the representative to explain how the process works.
  • Are there any possible charges that I am not aware of? Ask the moving company about all the charges, including packing services, moving supplies, labor charges, and more, to avoid hidden fees or surprises.
  • Do you have a cancellation policy? Ask them about the moving company’s cancellation policy to ensure you know it.
  • What forms of payment do you accept? Most movers usually accept cash, checks, and credit cards.
  • Do you offer any discounts? Moving companies commonly provide discounts to eligible individuals such as AAA members, military personnel, and students.
  • Does your company have any restrictions on what and how I pack? All moving companies should provide a list of non-allowable items.
  • Do you provide storage? Inquire if the moving company offers storage services if you require storage before, during, or after the move.
  • How do you calculate your prices? Ensure that you ask how they calculate their prices.

Additional tips for interviewing a moving company

  • Obtain at least three moving quotes from different movers to ensure that you hire the right company. This step will allow you to compare prices and identify any red flags, such as a quote that seems too good to be true or considerably more expensive than others, helping you make an informed decision.
  • Before seeking moving quotes, reviewing your budget beforehand is a good idea.
  • Be aware of common red flags, such as lack of proper licensing or insurance, poor reviews and complaints, unprofessional demeanor and rude behavior, unmarked trucks, and demands for upfront payment.
  • Lastly, checking online reviews, BBB ratings, and the moving company’s complaint history is recommended. You can also ask friends, neighbors, and trusted sources for moving company recommendations.

In summary

  • Prepare a list of questions to ask moving companies before you start the interview process. Research the movers before hiring them for the job. Asking the right questions will help you make an informed decision and ensure that you select the right mover for your needs.

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