Whether you’re moving down the road or across the country, finding a reliable moving company can make the event a lot less stressful.
Before you agree to a specific moving company, there are several things you should consider as you shop around.
Read on for a helpful guide to the top things you should look for in a moving company so that your next move goes smoothly and without a hitch.
Rely on Reviews and Recommendations
You probably check reviews for the products you buy online, a new restaurant, or even a new movie release. Your moving company shouldn’t be any different, so ask family and friends for a few suggestions.
Word of mouth is often the best advertisement, and it gives you some insight as to which companies are great and which ones aren’t. If you don’t know any friends or family members who have recently moved, read reviews online.
As you browse the reviews, check for specific details like how fast the moving company was and how careful they were with peoples’ belongings. If the reviews seem vague or most of them are negative, you may want to keep looking.
Customer reviews and personal recommendations can help you narrow down your search for a reliable moving company. You don’t need to rely on these completely, but they can help you whittle down your choices and eliminate movers that could potentially cause issues on moving day.
Another good way to investigate potential moving companies is to ask them for references. A trustworthy moving company should be happy to provide you with a few personal references from past customers to help you make a decision.
Make Sure They’re Licensed and Insured
All properly licensed interstate movers are given an official US DOT number by the US Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This license is particularly important if you’re moving to a different state.
You can verify the moving company’s license through a database provided by the FMCSA. Use this online database to request their US DOT number just in case you need it later if you have to file a claim.
If you plan to move within your current state, you can also check with your local consumer affairs department or attorney general. The FMCSA offers a list of local agencies you can speak to as well.
A quality moving company will be fully licensed and insured. While you might need to pay extra for additional coverage, at least you will know it’s available and that your claim will be processed if you need to file one.
The FMCSA database also keeps a record of any official complaints filed against the company. This information can be invaluable if you’re on the hunt for a trustworthy moving company.
A Reliable Moving Company Gives Accurate Pricing
Hiring a professional moving company can be costly, so it’s crucial to choose one that gives you prices that won’t surprise you later. Some movers may list their prices online. These rates could depend on the size of your home or the distance they need to travel.
If the moving company you’re interested in requires you to contact them for an estimate, make sure you get everything in writing. Keep in mind that most estimates only last for a set period of time. If you move after that timeframe expires, your price or rates could change.
Ask the moving company upfront how they calculate their rates. Some could charge them based on total weight while others simply base them on the time of year, distance, or the square footage of your home.
Make sure that you find a mover who offers their services within your pre-set budget range. Moving can be expensive, so you don’t want to get hit with unexpected costs later when it’s crunch time.
You should never pay a deposit upfront to any moving company. If you do, you could end up losing money if something goes wrong later. A reliable moving company should only expect payment upon delivery of your belongings.
When you receive your estimate, make sure that all of the details are complete. Never accept a partial or “generic” blank estimate, since you need to be absolutely sure you know how much the cost will be in advance.
Know the 110 Percent Rule
When you get a few estimates from different movers, you might be tempted to choose the one offering the lowest price. Keep in mind that you could end up sacrificing things like speed and quality.
You want your items to arrive at your new home on time and in excellent condition. That’s why you should keep the 110 percent rule in mind as you shop for a mover.
This “rule” says that movers are required by law to deliver your belongings for no more than 10 percent over a nonbinding estimate. If the price is higher than 110 percent, you may want to consider looking elsewhere.
They Provide In-Home Estimates
A quality moving company should be able to provide you with an in-house estimate whenever possible. This method will make it much easier for you to get an accurate price on the cost to move.
The mover will send a representative to your home where they’ll take an inventory of the items you need to move. This process allows the moving service to be more accurate when they give you a price, and it allows you to communicate any possible concerns or pose questions you might have about the process.
An in-house estimate means that the moving company can calculate the total size and estimate weight of everything you’re transporting. Doing this ensures a clearer picture of how big the truck needs to be and how much labor is involved.
While you might not always have the time to schedule an in-home estimate, it’s highly recommended if possible. This way, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the price you’re paying is as accurate as possible.
Movers who ask basic questions over the phone and then give you a rate might not always have your best interests in mind. A truly professional moving company will do their best to be as open and transparent about costs as possible.
Reliable Movers Protect Your Belongings
Whenever you move, a number of things can go wrong, which includes some of your stuff getting damaged. A reliable moving company should have some level of coverage to protect your furniture and other items.
Full replacement value protection is a comprehensive plan that will protect your items. This plan should be explained to you in advance, and it should be clearly shown somewhere on your estimate.
With the full replacement liability plan, anything that ends up lost, damaged, or destroyed while in the mover’s care can either be repaired or replaced. If the item is repaired, the mover should restore it to the same condition as it was in when the movers took it. They may also offer to pay you what it will cost to be repaired so you can do it on your own.
If your belongings need to be replaced, the moving company should replace any damaged items of the same type or quality. Alternatively, they could simply pay you what it would cost to replace it.
Keep in mind that anything the movers lose or damage has a monetary limit. If you have antiques, valuable jewelry, or other priceless items, they may not be covered under the protection plan.
Anything that costs an “extraordinary value” should be listed separately, and you may need to pay a small premium to cover these items. Make sure you inform the movers about any artwork, jewelry, and other valuables you pack in advance in case.
Overall, you want to be sure that the moving company you hire is trustworthy, reputable, and experienced. Do your homework to make sure you’re getting quality service at an affordable price. If you need additional coverage, it can’t hurt to pay a bit extra for peace of mind.
Be Ready for Moving Day
With these tips, you should have no issues finding a reliable moving company for your big day. Make sure you check reviews and ask for recommendations to help you find the right company for your needs.
Always get prices upfront and make sure you read the fine print on any estimates you receive before you commit. Ask about coverage for your valuables and belongings so your moving day will be stress-free.
When you’re ready to schedule your next move, visit our website and contact us to find out more!