1. Are you available on the day I need to move?
Don’t assume that all movers will be available the day you need to move. If you’re flexible try to pick a move date in the beginning or middle of the week, as weekends tend to get booked first.
2. Will you do a visual, written estimate?
A written estimate, based on an onsite visit to your home, is the best way to know ahead of time what you will be charged.
3. Do you provide full packing services?
This is especially important if you are moving fragile, high value items. If you cannot afford full packing, then opt for partial packing for these items.
4. How do you charge for moving and packing?
Local moves (under 50 miles) are typically charged by the hour. Long distance moves are charged by weight, with each line item costing a percentage of the overall weight. Weights are estimated during a visual estimate — which is why it’s so important to do a visual estimate.
5. How long has your company been in business?
Operating a trustworthy moving and storage company is much more than a couple of strong guys with a truck. Knowing a company’s history and track record are important factors in deciding whether or not you can trust them to move your home safely and for the price you expected.
6. Can you provide references from two recent moves comparable to mine?
Great moving companies will be busy and will more than likely have customers who can speak about their experience. When you call the reference, be sure to ask, “Was there anything they could have done better?”
7. What licensing and insurance do you have and can you provide documentation?
While the federal government regulates all interstate (long distance) movers, not all states require local movers to be regulated by the state in which they operate. You can verify what states require this, through the U.S. Department of Transportation.
8. What other charges should I expect?
With long distance moves, expect extra charges such as origin and destination fees, which are typically administrative charges for obtaining and paying the local moving crews as well as fees for extra stops or shuttle trucks. You will also be charged for moving supplies such as boxes and moving paper but moving blankets and wardrobe boxes are typically provided free of charge as long as they are returned.
9. How will you protect my home during the move
Before a single item is moved, your movers will ask to do a walkthrough with you. When they do this they will notice what areas, such as wood floors, carpeting, bannisters or door jams may need protection before items are moved. Be sure to ask for their “Certificate of Liability Insurance.”
10. Do you offer insurance in case something gets lost or damaged?
Federal regulations only require movers to offer basic protection coverage at a rate of .60 per pound. This means your $5,000 crystal vase will be insured at the same rate as your frying pan. Consider additional Full Value Replacement or FVR coverage. You can get this either through your mover or through your home insurance agent.
11. Are your movers employees of the company?
If they are not, you could be liable if they hurt themselves on your property. The best moving companies also have a great support staff to address any of your move related questions or concerns before, during and after your move.
12. If I have a problem or question after hours or after my movers leave, whom do I call and how will it be resolved?
No matter how good your moving company, it’s always good to be prepared for the unexpected. Know ahead of time who you can call and when, should something go wrong. Have this information handy before moving day and be sure to document any damages in writing or in photographs.