Choosing a moving company that you trust to move your personal belongings -your life crammed into boxes -is never easy. Moving companies are around every corner, each screaming their special offers and low prices at you via TV commercials and flashy ads, hoping that it is enough to convince you to hire them. Costs of the job are always important, of course, but when moving you precious belongings, it’s only one of the many pieces of the puzzle. Never hire a moving company based on price alone. Rather than fall victim to those special offers and less than stellar moving companies, make a list of questions to ask potential movers before you hire any company to help with your relocation needs. The answers to these questions help you easily decipher the good from the bad, resulting in a selection of a moving company that exceeds expectations and ensures that smooth move you need and deserve.
1. Are You Licensed, Insured, & Registered?
If the movers offer interstate moves on their list of services, make sure they’re licensed by the Federal Motor Carriers Administration and have a DOT number as proof. All moving companies should have a license and insurance in place. Not only does this offer the assurance that the move will be done the right way, but also that the value of your belongings is covered in the rare event that an accident or damage occurs. No protection is available if you hire an unlicensed, uninsured moving company. Do not hire this type of company under any circumstances.
2. What is the Total Cost of the Job?
Most people assume that the total amount indicated on their written estimate is the full amount of the job, but there might be miscellaneous fees tagged onto the costs along with the fees stated on the estimate. When you request an estimate, make sure that the amount covers all of the fees associated with your move. Some movers charge extra fees if the destination is located up several flights of stairs if you’re moving awkwardly-shaped items, and in other situations.
3. Do You Have References?
Any good moving company has references to provide to potential new customers (or existing ones) upon request. Don’t be shy about asking for and checking with references to find out what others think of the company and the services they provide. The moving company should offer at least three to four references to check. Additionally, online reviews provide detailed, first-hand information that is not found anywhere else. Reading reviews and learning more about what prior customers think of the company can save a considerable amount of time and hardship.
4. What Type of Insurance Does Your Company Offer?
No one anticipates an accident or to drop an important piece of art and destroy it, but that is the reason they’re called accidents! Although rare, accidents can and will happen and it is important that you are protected in such an event. To secure the costs of your goods, moving companies offer customers two types of insurance protection. Full Value Protection, or FVP, places responsibility for lost or stolen goods on the moving company. Various levels of protection are available to fully protect your goods. Released Value Protection, or RVP, is included with every move. The coverage is minimal, oftentimes providing reimbursement value of up to 60-cents-per-pound. Keep in mind that your homeowner's insurance policy may provide moving insurance and the optional coverage from the moving company isn't necessary.
5. How Long Will the Move Take?
You’re eager to move into your new home and begin your new life but can do so only once your belongings arrive. Ask the moving company before you move to estimate the length of time the entire move will take. Most movers schedule moves in two-hour blocks, so give or take a bit of time when the estimate is provided. Do not rush the movers, even when it feels like the right thing to do. A smooth, quality move that gets your belongings safely to their new location is more important than saving 10 minutes of time.