When selecting a moving company for a household move or corporate relocation, it’s important to compare multiple companies and ask each of the movers questions provided in this article. To ensure all of your belongings arrive safely, you want to “weed out” the bad companies to find the movers who will provide the highest quality of service at an affordable price.
What moving services do you offer?
Most national moving companies can provide a variety of services. Some of the moving services offered include packing, unpacking, specialty packing (wines, collectibles, antiques), furniture set-up, short-term and long-term storage. These are just some examples of the services available. Some companies offer auto transport services as well. While there may be an extra fee for additional services, the fees are well worth the time and money saved in most cases. It’s important to ask all potential movers what services they provide, and get detailed pricing to help you decide which company you will hire.
Can you move fragile items, such as my china cabinet and piano?
Delicate items such as a china cabinets, pianos, and grandfather clocks should be packed and moved with extreme care, by professionals. These items may not only be fragile, but very valuable as well. They can be damaged easily if not handled properly. Hire reputable moving companies that specialize in moving antiques and collectibles.
Do you have storage units available for my belongings?
Many of the larger moving companies and van lines will have storage facilities available for customers in most cities. This option is not available everywhere, nor offered by all moving companies. However, if the mover you hire does not offer storage services, they will be able to help you find an affordable storage facility in the area. Be sure to ask the moving company about the cost of both short-term storage and long-term storage.
What items cannot be moved or stored?
No professional movers can transport items that are combustible, flammable, or explosive. To give you an idea of some the items that cannot be transported, here is a short list:
- Fire Extinguishers
- Household disinfectant cleaners
- Oil, gasoline, or antifreeze
- Propane cans or tanks
- Perishable foods
- Pool chemicals
Again, this is just a short list, but should give you a general idea of what movers and storage facilities will not move or store with your household belongings. Please note, most moving companies will provide you with a list of what not to include with your shipment.
Is your company licensed, bonded and insured?
Each of the moving companies in our network have insurance to cover broken, damaged, or lost items, but be sure to get specific coverage amounts from each company if you are interested. As with any service, the consumer must never assume that insurance is provided.
What will insurance policy cover?
Some moving company insurance plans will only cover the retail value of the item that was broken, damaged, or lost. If you paid $1,000 for a television 5 years ago, that same television is probably worth much less today. The same model may be able to be purchased in a store for $500. However, since your television was 5 years old, the insurance company would not insure you for the full $500 it would cost to replace the television because it is used and has depreciated in value. Therefore, you may only be reimbursed for a fraction of the replacement cost.
Do perform drug tests and background checks on your movers?
The last thing you need on your moving day is to have something go missing from your home. You don’t want to have any question about the trustworthiness of the movers in your home. Make sure you ask each company about their employee screening before you choose to hire them for your move.
You do you determine the moving estimate?
Sometimes an hourly rate can assist you in getting the best deal possible, especially if you are able to help with some of the labor. Alternatively, it can also be the most expensive pricing model if you have a large amount of furniture and belongings to move. Think about what method would offer the best moving costs and try to negotiate the terms with the moving company.
Does the service offer a flat-rate pricing structure?
Many moving services will offer a flat-rate service, whereby they agree to move a certain amount of furniture for a set price, regardless of how long it takes.
How flexible are the moving schedules?
It can be difficult, if not completely impossible, to schedule movers on holiday weekends if you don’t make your reservation far in advance. This can be especially inconvenient, since this is when many people choose to move. Therefore, planning is one of the more important factors of a successful move.
How far in advance do I need to make a reservation?
Some moving companies will take reservations several months in advance, while others only book your move a few weeks out. Be sure to compare the availability of several movers before you choose a company to hire.
Is a moving deposit required?
Some movers will require a deposit before you move and the remainder of the moving cost paid upon completion of the move. Again, be sure to ask each company about the payment options.