Are you planning a move? Hiring a moving company can be a daunting task. But when you ask the right questions, finding the best company for you can be a breeze. By getting the correct answers, you can be sure to hire the right moving company for your needs. Trust us; your future self will thank you! Moving is stressful enough without worrying about whether or not your movers are reputable and will take good care of your belongings. Keep reading to learn the four questions you should ask before hiring a moving company.
Can You Show Me Your Proper Licensing?
When you’re looking for a moving company, the first thing you should do is make sure they are correctly licensed. If they aren’t, it’s best to move on and find someone who is. You can check with the Better Business Bureau or your state’s Attorney General’s office to see if there have been any complaints filed against the company. It helps to know what kind of licensing is required for each type of move. That way, you have a source of truth to compare their answer to.
Requirements by State For Local Moves
Moving scams and fake movers are an unfortunate reality. These bad actors either pose as a legitimate moving company or overcharge clients for standards services, making moving across state lines more challenging than it already is.
To combat this, A US Department of Transportation (USDOT) license number is required for every professional interstate moving company. You can also use their database to conduct background checks when selecting national movers.
It’s important to know that companies that operate in just one state don’t fall under the USDOT jurisdiction and won’t have the same licensing numbers and background information. Moving companies in your state only have to adhere to the standards of the state government.
In Florida, for example, all in-state-only moving companies must be registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Local movers are not required to register with USDOT, however, long-distance movers are. A long-distance moving company is any entity that moves people a distance of 100 miles or more or across state lines. Long-distance movers also must register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can use the FMCSA database to certify any registered company.
Requirements by Country for International Moves
The requirements for moving companies transporting goods and belongings overseas are more stringent than those for domestic moves. This is because the consequences of something going wrong during transport are much higher, as are the risks associated with transporting valuables.
For this reason, almost every country has its own set of regulations governing international movers. Some commonalities include requiring movers to be registered with a governing body, having a certain insurance level, and passing an inspection.
It’s essential to research the regulations of your destination country before hiring an international moving company. This will give you an idea of their expectations and help you determine if they are up to par.
While the regulations will vary from country to country, here’s what you should look for when hiring a company for your international move:
- A Freight Forwarder permit
- A Federal Maritime Commission number
- Membership in an international moving federation
What’s an Estimate for Cost?
Before you sign on the dotted line with any moving company, you should know how much the entire process will cost. The cost of moving is an essential part of any home-buying budget. It’s important that you get more than one estimate and that you understand what is included in each.
Be sure to get an itemized breakdown of all the services they will be providing and the associated costs. This way, you can compare line-by-line expenses between companies when deciding.
You should also ask how the cost of moving is calculated. The most reputable companies will use an algorithm that factors the weight of your move and the distance being moved. Be wary of a company that charges per cubic foot, as these metrics can easily be manipulated. Use a moving cost calculator to fact-check any estimates you get.
You should also be aware that there are typically three types of estimates that moving companies will give: binding, non-binding, and not to exceed.
Binding estimates. These estimates are essentially finalized. If you choose binding estimates, your company will provide the estimate and writing and cannot charge you more than that without informing you.
Non-binding estimates. The total moving cost may exceed the written estimate with this type of estimate. What’s the upside? The total could potentially be less than a binding estimate, and the company legally can’t charge you more than 110% more than the estimate.
Not-to-exceed estimates. For this pricing method, the mover will set a flat rate and agree not to go over it.
What Kind Of Liability Coverage Do You Provide?
One of people’s biggest concerns when moving is what will happen if something gets damaged or lost in transit.
Any reputable moving company will have moving insurance that will cover your belongings for damages or losses while in their possession. The coverage amount should be enough to replace your items in the event of a disaster.
You should also ask about their claims process. The best companies will have a fair and easy-to-understand claims process that doesn’t leave you feeling taken advantage of.
If you’re moving a collection of high-value objects, you might look into moving companies that offer insurance based on items’ actual value instead of their weight.
Generally speaking, there are two types of liability coverage, full value protection and released value protection.
Full value protection is a thorough plan that ensures every moved item in the event of loss or damage. Released value protection is less expensive, but not as secure since it is only the minimal protection required for the total weight of the shipment.
Do they have experience with my specific type of move?
Not all moves are created equally, and not all moving companies are created equally. You should ask your moving company if they have experience with your type of move before you hire them.
For example, if you’re moving to a waterfront location and you want to bring your motorboat, you should verify their experience moving large vehicles.
Before proceeding with a company, read reviews from customers with needs that are similar to yours. One bad review isn’t a reason to write off a company altogether. However, if you notice a trend of negative reviews, that company may not be the right fit for your move.
Ask the Right Questions to Hire the Best Moving Company
Moving is a big task, and it’s essential to choose the right company for the job. By asking the right questions, you can be sure that you’re hiring a reputable and qualified moving company. Ask about licensing, insurance, and experience with your specific type of move. With these questions in hand, you can rest assured that your belongings will be handled with care during your upcoming move.