Ready to Move? 7 Key Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Moving Company

Francey Beall
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Moving is an exciting event, but it's also an extremely busy time in life, so you want to be sure you choose a moving company you can trust.

If you're ready to move, how do you know what to look for in a quality moving company?

Read on for seven questions you should ask before you hire your next movers along with the answers you should seek.

1. Do You Have the Appropriate Licensing?

A good moving company should be properly licensed and should have a license number. This number is issued by the US Department of Transportation and should be prominently displayed. Companies should post their license number on the moving trucks, website, and marketing materials.

You can look into their license number and see a history of any complaints online.

Movers who remain in the state are regulated by the state in which they operate. These moving companies should still have a license number, but it will be a state license instead. You can also check license history within your state.

2. Do You Include Liability Coverage?

Whether it's your grandmother's vase or your prized flat-screen TV, you want to be sure all your stuff arrives at your new home or apartment safely. A quality moving company will have liability coverage that should reimburse you for broken items.

Full value protection means that the mover will replace the value of lost or damaged items in the whole shipment. Released value protection covers items on a price-per-pound basis. Read the fine print and consider paying extra for full value protection if you have a long move or extremely valuable items.

3. Are Your Quotes and Estimates Binding?

There's nothing more frustrating than getting a quote, only to find out you owe more than what was stated. Ask the moving company if they provide what's called a binding estimate for long-distance moves. When the quote is binding, you'll know exactly how much you owe when your stuff arrives at its final destination.

Most local moves have a non-binding estimate. Make sure you tell your moving company everything about your moving needs so you don't get hit with additional charges.

4. Do You Have Referrals or Reviews?

These days, you probably don't go to a new restaurant without reading the reviews first, so why would you do that with a moving company? Check their customer reviews to learn more about other peoples' experiences and complaints.

A solid moving company may even have referrals so you can contact some of their customers directly. This is a great way to get detailed insight into other people's opinion of their services. Always verify the moving company has a clear reference policy or that reviews are easy to find before you commit.

5. What Is Your Timeline When I'm Ready to Move?

If you're crunched for time (as most people moving are), you need to know how quickly the moving company can get everything packed and delivered. Find out about their requirements for scheduling and if a deposit is required.

It can be a bit stressful if you're waiting for your bed to get to your new apartment and you have nowhere to sleep on your first night. Make sure the movers communicate with you so you know the status of the move as it goes on. You should also make sure you are available throughout the entire move.

6. What Are Your Customer Policies?

Not all moving companies are the same, so it's important to understand what their policies are. For example, you might end up with an additional charge if you cancel or you need to change the moving date.

Other movers might charge for additional fuel or man hours that are outside of your original estimate. And, you may also find that you cannot cancel once you sign an agreement. Get all of these policies in writing upfront before you agree to hire them so you're not surprised by something later.

7. Will You Pack My Belongings?

When you're ready to move, packing can be a time-consuming effort. Some moving companies offer packing as part of their services, although most charge extra for this since it requires manpower, materials, and time. If you're in a pinch, a moving company that also helps you pack can be a real lifesaver.

If the movers pack your stuff, find out if they provide the packing material or if you need to supply the bubble wrap and boxes. Make sure you notify them of high-ticket items like artwork or antiques. Those items might need special care, and you will probably pay a bit more to have them moved.

Make Your Move

Once you're ready to move, it's important to choose a moving company that will make the process streamlined and easy. Use these seven questions to help you make a wise decision and find a mover you can trust.

Fully understand your estimate, and double-check to ensure that the moving company is fully licensed. Discuss extra liability coverage, especially if you're concerned about your valuables getting damaged or lost in transit.

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