Moving a house is a tough job. It requires a lot of knowledge and a lot of know-how to make sure that everything goes down smoothly and efficiently. But, how can you choose the right moving companies for your relocation? With so many companies promising a hundred percent satisfaction, guaranteeing the cheapest prices and the best practices; it’s hard to know which companies you can trust and which ones in reality just lack the required know-how.
So here’s our new blog about eight important questions to ask your moving company to make sure you’re leaving your precious items in capable hands.
Questions to ask before hiring movers
To help you navigate the sometimes sharky waters of the moving industry, we’ve thrown together a handful of questions you should ask every company you might end up hiring.
1. Is this company a broker or a carrier?
You’ve probably heard all about this and probably even googled about it if you’re planning your move in these upcoming weeks but here’s the real reasoning behind it and here’s the real definition of what a moving company and a broker are.
A moving company
Is somebody who takes your money and does a service for you. They own all the trucks, they own all their people and they come in providing the service.
Is just a middleman. Somebody who takes your order sells it to some other moving company you have no idea and no information about but those brokers assure you that everything’s gonna go smoothly and then they just sell your job to the other moving company and stop caring about that.
2. Is the company licensed through the FMCSA?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a government agency that regulates commercial vehicle operations to guarantee safety for companies and consumers alike.
Every reputable moving company should list two numbers at the bottom of its home page: its MC # and its U.S. DOT #. These are identification numbers assigned to that company by the federal government. Plug either of these numbers into the FMCsa.org database and read the information listed under “Operating Status.” If it says “Authorized,” you’re good to go.
3. What coverage does this moving company provide?
Moving coverage is an insurance-like service that covers the cost of your items if they break or go missing during transit. All moving companies are required to provide basic liability coverage free of charge. This coverage insures your items for $0.30 per pound for intrastate moves and $0.60 per pound for interstate moves.
Full-value protection (FVP)
Covers your items for their current market value. If you have FVP and your sofa falls off the moving truck en route, you’d be reimbursed enough to repair it or buy a replacement of equal value. However, full-value protection usually costs extra and isn’t offered by every company.
Released Value Protection
The most economical protection available is Released Value since it is offered at no additional charge. However, the protection is minimal. Under this option, the mover assumes liability for no more than 60 cents per pound per article.
4. What if I need to cancel?
There are countless good reasons to cancel your move. Maybe you didn’t get a job offer you were planning on, or maybe you simply decided you like it right where you are after all. Find out what your options are in case you need to cancel.
Some companies will let you cancel your move free of charge as long as you do so far enough ahead of schedule, and a few will even let you cancel the day before your move without a penalty however, will keep all or part of your deposit if you cancel within a certain amount of time before your move, and there might even be extra cancellation fees.
If there’s even a sliver of a chance that you won’t be moving, ask about your moving company’s cancellation policy before you sign any contracts.
5. Who will do the loading and unloading?
One question you’ll want to ask your moving company before you choose one is who will be responsible for the loading and unloading of the moving truck. Moving fragile and heavy objects takes experience. You should make sure your moving company provides a well-qualified team of moving professionals who are up to the task and are physically able to move everything in your home safely.
6. Are there any extra fees I should know about?
Every move is different and moving companies have a process of evaluating the fees associated with their moves. What you don’t want is to be surprised on moving day with a series of extra charges you weren’t aware of, so make sure you ask your moving company about their moving policies. Some questions to ask moving companies include flight charges which govern carrying items up and downstairs, elevator charges, and long carry charges which are determined by the distance between where the moving truck is parked and the home.
7. Does the company provide binding estimates?
Moving companies may give you an estimate designed to entice you with a low price. Unless that estimate is binding, the company could very well increase your price later on. Some moving companies are notorious for increasing their prices on moving day, long after it’s too late for you to find a different option.
You can avoid this situation by working with a company that provides binding estimates. Binding estimates ensure that your price won’t increase as long as your move goes as planned and you don’t add anything to your inventory at the last minute.
Of course, there are trustworthy moving companies that don’t offer binding estimates, so you shouldn’t necessarily be deterred by this.
8. How do they determine the cost of your move?
To determine your moving expenses, you should ask each moving company how they calculate their pricing structure. Some moving companies charge by the weight loaded onto the moving truck and the distance, others charge by the hour and the size of their team, and some charge by a combination of the two. Finding out how each moving company charges can help you plan when packing up your home.
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