Moving to a new home involves a lot of decisions in a short period. You need to choose the best supplies and a moving date; the entire process can be overwhelming. The most important decision of all is choosing the right moving company.
There are many interstate and local moving companies across the country, which means you have a lot of options to choose from. It is important to ask some key questions before you hire a removal company near you to help with your move.
1. Are you licensed?
You need to find out whether the moving company you want to hire is properly licensed because that is how you are going to avoid rogue movers and scams. Interstate moving companies need to have a license number issued by the US Department of Transportation. When you have this number, you can check their complaint history. Local moving companies are allowed to only relocate customers within the state and they are regulated by the state, not the USDT. If it is a local mover, make sure they have a state license. Each of the different states has its own regulations and license requirements.
You need to put effort into the process because you want to have peace of mind. Make sure the company you are about to hire is both licensed and insured.
2. Are you experienced with my specific type of move?
You need to ask the moving company if they have experience handling your specific type of move. If you are moving into a high-rise apartment building, to a big city, or a townhome with multiple stories, then you need to find out whether the moving company is experienced in such types of moves. The moving company you choose needs to be ready to handle anything that comes their way – i.e., steep stairs, parking restrictions, small doorways, and no elevators.
3. What liability coverage do you provide?
Before you hand over your belongings, you need to ensure that they are covered if things go wrong during relocation. Whether you are moving across the country or across the street, the professional moving company needs to have liability coverage options that you can choose from. Interstate movers are required to provide their customers with two types of liability options: Released Value and Full Value Protection. These options are defined by the FMCSA as;
Released Value Protection: “The released value is the most economical protection available because it doesn’t come with an additional charge. The protection provided by this option is minimal. With this option, the mover is going to assume liability for a maximum of 60 cents for every pound per article.”
Full Value Protection: “the mover is going to be liable for replacing the value of damaged or lost goods in the entire shipment… This is a more comprehensive plan for protecting your items”. The cost of this protection is going to vary from one mover to another.
A customer has the option of purchasing insurance from a third-party insurance company. Before you purchase insurance, you need to first check whether your homeowner’s insurance covers because there are some policies that do that.
4. Do you have references?
You have to check with an employee’s references before hiring them, why shouldn’t you do the same with a moving company? Before you entrust your belongings to a moving company, make sure you get references. Most moving companies are going to be ready to provide you with any information you need because they want you to have peace of mind working with them.
You are still going to do some homework. When looking for a moving company, you should start by asking your family and friends for recommendations. Word of mouth has remained one of the best ways of finding a trustworthy mover. You should also check out online reviews and ratings of that moving company. Reviews will let you learn more about the moving company and what their past clients are saying about them. You can check their Better Business Bureau ratings, whether they have any association with the American Moving and Storage Association, and if there are any FMCSA complaints filed.
5. Can you provide a not-to-exceed estimate or a binding quote?
The last thing you want when working with a moving company is to get a surprising bill when the move is done. When you first talk to most moving companies, they will usually offer you a non-binding estimate, which means that the estimated price of your move can change and mainly due to actual costs. This can be either a bad or a good thing. If the move ends up requiring more man-hours or is heavier than estimated, you might be forced to pay more than what you had on the quote. There are times when you can end up being one of the lucky ones and pay less.
Do you want to know how much you are going to pay ahead of time? then it is a good idea to choose a moving company offering a binding estimate. When you have a binding written estimate, it ensures that the cost of your move is not going to go over the original estimate. You need to make sure that the binding estimate includes add-ons and any potential charges that might come up in the process. When beginning the search for a moving company, find out whether the company offers binding written estimates. The quote you get from the company is going to be very important. Make sure that the quote has add-ons and services, such as travel time, stairs, and more. You most likely want to have peace of mind during the process and not have to worry about how much it is going to cost you. You have a lot of important things to focus on, no need to make this one of them.