Whether you’re moving across the country or just around the block, there are plenty of decisions you must make in a relatively short amount of time. Should you hire movers and packers to help alleviate some of the stress? How can you estimate mover costs based on your specific needs? Finding the answers to questions like these can help make your move as seamless as possible.
Once you decide to use a mover company to assist with your move, the next step is to narrow down your options. There are thousands of companies, both local and nationwide, competing for your business. How do you choose the right one? Here are the 9 most important questions you should ask each moving company to help you make your decision.
Asking a mover company if they hold a license is one of the most important steps in choosing a company. You should never choose a company without a proper license. This is especially important if your move will take you across state lines.
Long distance moving companies and local long distance movers are required to hold a license issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). It is important to cross check this license number on the DOT’s database to ensure the license is up to date. You can even run the number to check for any complaints that may have been filed against the company.
Local moving companies must also hold a license; rather than being licensed through the DOT, however, local companies must be licensed within the state.
Before entrusting any movers and packers with your possessions, you’ll want to make sure that the company has an insurance policy. A mover company will typically offer basic liability coverage free of charge, which may not cover the full cost of your personal belongings.
If you want extra protection, consider using a moving company that offers a full value protection (FVP) policy. You’ll likely need to pay extra for this type of coverage, but you will be reimbursed up to the full value of your items in the event of any damages.
You should get a movers quote from each moving company that you are considering using. Comparing these quotes helps you get a better idea of your costs. All legitimate moving companies should provide you with a cost at your request.
However, local and long distance moving companies may approach moving quotes in different ways. For example, most interstate movers quotes are non-binding quotes, which are subject to change depending on the actual cost of your move. These may not factor in additional costs like fuel, extra time for packing or additional manpower.
A mover company may provide a binding quote, which guarantees you will not pay more than what is quoted. However, this option could be a bit risky because you could end up overpaying for your move.
In addition to getting a movers quote from all potential moving companies, it is important to understand how each company calculates the cost of your move. There are many factors that go into mover costs, such as:
- Shipping weight.
It is important to familiarize yourself with common mover costs so that you can more accurately prepare for your move. For example, moving fees tend to be higher during peak seasons such as spring and summer. If you can wait until the winter, your rate may go down.
Some mover costs may not be included in the quote or may not be expected. The last thing you want is to be surprised by hundreds of dollars in extra fees and hidden costs.
While searching for the best movers company, be sure to ask about any additional costs, including the following:
- Assembly or disassembly fees
- Fees for bulky or heavy items
- Fees for stairs
- Long carry fees (may apply when movers must carry belongings a great distance from the vehicle to the home)
- Storage fees for late delivery
Finding the best movers company depends on your type of move. For example, if you are moving across the country, long distance moving companies may offer you the most comprehensive package. You may consider choosing a company with experience in cross-country moves to alleviate some of the headaches that typically present with this type of relocation.
Do you know someone who recently used a mover company during their own move? References and reviews can help you sort through your list of potential companies.
If you don’t have any personal recommendations, consider asking the moving company for references from past clients. This will give you a true perspective from the eyes of a customer to help you get a better understanding of what your own experience could be like.
Hiring movers and packers without any experience is risky. After all, you are entrusting the company with your most valuable possessions. Not to mention you are paying a hefty price to do so.
Companies that have years of experience clearly understand the needs of their customers. While it does not guarantee a flawless move, it may give you peace of mind knowing your move is being handled by experts in the industry.
The best movers company is the one that provides you with all the services and amenities you are looking for. Aside from transporting your belongings to your new home, you may be interested in additional moving services.
Ask the mover company about any additional moving services, such as:
- Packing and unpacking.
- Loading and unloading.
Keep in mind that these additional services may add to your overall moving costs. Be sure to ask the company about all fees ahead of time so you are not surprised by additional expenses on your final bill!