moving and packing tips

Moving to a different house means you must sometimes make a flurry of decisions quickly. The list of must-dos can become overwhelming, so here is an idea of what to ask moving companies.

You have to find the ideal moving materials, research home insurance quotes, and determine the ideal moving date. But the biggest choice to make is selecting the best moving company. All moving companies are not the same, and some don’t have enough experience or training to handle your valuable belongings. 

Knowing the questions to ask a moving company before hiring them is key to finding a company that’ll treat your belongings with care. Your homeowners insurance may not cover damage to them when in transit. 

Do a lot of research before signing any contracts or securing service by paying a deposit. Talking with a salesperson, consulting an in-home appraiser, checking moving company reviews, and examining a company’s website are all good ways to gather answers about the quality of a moving company. 

Questions to Ask a Moving Company

Your belongings are important, and moving can be distressing, so it is important to hire a good moving company instead of a bad one. Before inviting potential movers inside your home to complete a walk-through, start the process by asking a series of questions over the phone.

#1 – Is this business licensed by FMCSA?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a federal organization that regulates commercial vehicle operations. While FMCSA accreditation doesn’t guarantee that a mover will provide you with fair costs or excellent service, it does show that the organization isn’t merely a front for fraud.

On the moving company’s website, you should be able to find two numbers: its Motor Carrier (MC) number and its U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number. These are the federal government’s identifying numbers for the business. 

If you see these numbers on a moving company’s site, you can verify them through the FMCSA database. You can enter one of these numbers into the FMCSA database and look up the information under “Operating Status.” You can confirm the company’s legitimacy if its status says “Authorized.”

#2 – How long has your business been in operation?

Longevity does not always imply excellent quality services, but movers who have been in business for a long time have a lot of expertise and have done a good job to be competitive for so long. 

A spotless history shows timeliness and the ability to deliver items on schedule and in good shape.

Make sure to inquire about the moving company’s experience with your specific sort of relocation. For example, if you’re moving to a high-rise apartment complex or a townhouse with several levels and stairs, ask if the company has expertise with the sort of move you’re making. 

Moving companies should be prepared for everything that may arise, such as parking constraints, steep stairs, no elevators, and narrow entrances.

#3 – Are workers’ compensation and public liability insurance provided to employees?

Workers’ compensation ensures that your employees are paid if they can’t work due to a job-related accident or sickness. It will pay a percentage of their lost salaries as well as any medical bills that result from the incident. 

This may not seem like a big deal for you, but if the moving company doesn’t have enough insurance or workers’ compensation, you might be responsible for any accidents that occur on your property. 

Paying for a movers’ injury is an expense that you shouldn’t have to prepare for financially when planning your move.

#4 – Is this business a broker or a carrier?

Most moving businesses are classified into one of three types: brokers (also called brokerages), carriers (sometimes called van lines), and broker/carrier hybrids.

Brokers outsource their moving services to organizations with which they have a partnership. When you notify your broker that you plan to relocate, it will put your details on a marketplace-style community board where its partners can bid on the job. 

Working with a broker might result in reduced pricing since numerous organizations compete for your business. Working with a broker, on the other hand, has some drawbacks.

For starters, a team from a different firm than the one you spoke with will arrive to load and transport your possessions to your new house. This crew may have never communicated with the broker at all. This might lead to misunderstandings and possibly extra fees on moving day.

Carriers manage all your moving services in-house, so your experience will nearly always be smoother than if you worked with a broker. It may, however, cost you a bit more.

Some moving services are handled in-house by broker/carrier hybrids, but they contract specialty services—typically activities like vehicle shipment or piano transport—to other organizations.

When you hire a mover, understand how they function and whether your goods will be handled by a separate company.

#5 – What type of liability insurance does your business offer?

Before actually turning over your possessions, make sure that the business is insured in case an accident occurs during the move. Your professional moving company should provide you with a variety of liability coverage alternatives. 

All moving businesses are required to give free basic liability insurance. This coverage pays 30 cents per pound for intrastate transportation and 60 cents per pound for interstate transportation.

Full-value protection (FVP) ensures that your products are insured for their current market worth. If you have FVP and your sofa falls off the moving truck on the way, you will be paid enough to repair it or buy a replacement of equal value. 

On the other hand, full-value protection is usually more expensive and isn’t provided by every organization.

Coverage choices vary per business, and some companies offer their own household coverage options. Before hiring a firm for your relocation, you should always inquire about their coverage alternatives.

#6 – Can you give a guaranteed quote or an estimate that will not be exceeded?

Several movers provide non-binding estimates, which implies that the anticipated cost of your move is liable to alter based on actual costs. 

This might be either a good or a terrible thing. You may wind up paying more than the original estimate if your relocation needs more hours for those going across the country or is heavier than originally predicted. 

Hiring a moving company that provides a binding quote may be a better choice if you have a tight budget. A binding written estimate guarantees that the cost of your move will not surpass the initial cost estimate. 

Add-ons and any prospective costs along the route should be included in the binding estimate. 

When starting your search for a moving business, make sure to ask whether the organization provides binding written quotes. All add-ons and services, such as stairs and travel time, should be included in the estimate.

We hope you found this blog post 6 Things to Ask Moving Companies Before Hiring Them useful. Be sure to check out our post 5 Benefits of Moving With a Professional Moving Company for more great tips!

What To Do Before Calling A Moving Company When Moving Apartment

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