Questions to Ask Moving Companies

When you're planning your move, it's important to safeguard your property and peace of mind. We've broken down three areas to consider and questions to ask any moving company in advance.

Lock In Logistics

A three bedroom home could require over 100 boxes! To make sure nothing slips through the cracks, lock in the logistics of your move up front. Here are three questions to ask regarding logistics:

  • Do you work for a moving company or a broker? Brokers can be very helpful with a move. Just like travel agents help travelers, a broker can help a family plan a move. However, they're not able to give binding estimates. They also won't be responsible for loss or damage. If you use a broker, be sure to confirm details with both the broker and the moving company.
  • Is a transfer required? Depending on the quantity of goods you're shipping, your location, and your destination, the movers may need to transfer your items from one truck to another. Because this involves extra handling, it could increase the risk for damage.
  • Will my items be on a shared truck? Especially for smaller moves, movers might ship your items on a shared truck. This can increase the likelihood for loss.

    Pin Down Pricing

    Moving can be expensive, so be sure you understand cost up front. To prevent unwanted surprises, be sure you ask these questions:

  • Do you give binding quotes? Usually, telephone quotes aren't binding. Most companies will confirm the price onsite to ensure accuracy.
  • What are your payment terms? Will the company accept cash, check, or credit? Are deposits required, and are they refundable?
  • Are all extra charges included? Additional fees could be assessed for large or bulky items, storage, fuel, or stairs in your home.

    Assess Accountability

    Everyone hopes for a smooth move; however, you need to have a clear path of accountability in case a problem arises. Be sure to inquire:

  • What are my insurance options? Quotes may or may not include insurance. Basic coverage is generally around 60 cents per pound; however, you may wish to upgrade or secure a third party quote.
  • Who is responsible if something breaks? If something is broken or missing following a move, you need to understand the claim process and ensure accountability is clear. Rules may vary if you did your own packing vs. hiring a mover to pack and unpack.

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately one in nine people move each year. If you plan to be one of them, be sure to ask questions about logistics, pricing, and accountability in advance. By asking questions up front, you can ensure a smooth move when it matters.

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