Many consider moving to be one of life’s most stressful and least fun events. There are many ways you can determine that the company you select to handle your move to a new home will be the best one.
Here are 4 steps to choose a mover you can trust:
1) Is your moving company licensed?
A moving company’s licenses and other requirements will differ depending on whether you are moving within your state or to another.
To do business across state lines, the mover must be licensed with the federal government and have a U.S. Department of Transportation, or DOT, number.
For local moves within the same state contact your state moving association to check on a mover’s licenses and other requirements, which may differ from state to state.
2) Do they offer free moving Estimates?
You should get estimates from more than one moving company. And make sure those estimates include everything in your home you want moved. Be sure to include things in the attic, garage, backyard, shed, crawl space, basement, underneath and behind furniture, and inside every closet and piece of storage furniture.
If you point to several things during the estimating process and say, “That will be gone before the move,” and they are not, your cost will be higher.
Your estimate should be in writing and clearly describe all the charges.
Do not accept verbal estimates.
3) Are items insured during the move?
While your mover is liable for your belongings as they’re being handled and transported, there are different levels of liability, or valuation. You need to understand the level that will apply for your move, “full value protection” or “released value.”
Under full value, a more comprehensive insurance that will cost you extra, the mover is liable for the replacement value of any item that is lost or damaged during the move.
Released value protection comes at no additional charge and offers limited liability that will pay you just 60 cents per pound for any items that disappear or are harmed.
You may opt to purchase your own separate insurance for the move. Or, your furniture and other stuff may already be covered through your existing homeowners policy.
In-state movers are subject to state insurance requirements, so make sure you ask about coverage when using a local carrier.
Don’t ever sign anything that contains language about “releasing” or “discharging” your mover from liability.
4) Ask lots of Questions
Once you get all the licenses and paperwork checked and in order, your job still isn’t done. Make sure the mover provides answers to the following questions.
How long have you been giving moving estimates?
How long has the company been in the moving business?
Does your company do any repeat work for businesses in the area?
Will the company transfer the property to another company or crew during the move?
Does the company guarantee delivery on the date you want (or need)?
The bottom line is that you need to be comfortable with all the answers you get from the mover and trust the company.
Lastly, if you hire a mover based solely on the cheapest price, you may be sacrificing other things that are actually more important, such as getting your possessions moved and delivered on time. And remember, movers are required by law to deliver your goods for no more than ten percent above the price of a non-binding estimate. This is known as the 110 percent rule.