If a long-distance move is in your future, you will surely have many decisions to make in the months ahead. You’ll be pondering the best place to live, whether that cheap piece of IKEA furniture is worth moving, and if you should hire long distance movers—just to name a few. While we can’t pick a new home for you, we can tell you that leaving behind cheap furniture can save you money on your move and more importantly, hiring professional movers can make your move easier, more efficient, and a lot less stressful—but only if you hire the right ones.
A moving company can make or break the success of your long-distance move, so ensure you ask these questions when evaluating potential professional movers.
The type of moving company?
A local moving company is generally privately owned and often operates only in the city or state of origin. And when it comes to national moving companies, they are larger, nationally known chains that perform local, interstate, and even international moves. So choose your moving company wisely.
Do They Have Good Reviews?
Check out reviews not only on the moving company’s website and Facebook page, but also other places like Yelp, Google Reviews, and the Better Business Bureau.
You want to see how others that have used the moving company feel about their services, if they encountered any issues, and if there are reviews specific to long-distance moves. You’ll also want to ensure they have a web presence and a high volume of reviews in general as the absence of either of these could indicate a scam.
Where Do They Stand with BBB?
The Better Business Bureau is a trusted source that you can not only find complaints and reviews from past customers but an overall rating of the business.
When evaluating a moving company, you need to ask three questions in regards to the BBB:
Does the moving company have a profile on www.bbb.com?
Are they accredited?
Do they have a high overall rating?
The answer to all three of these questions should always be yes. If not, move on and find another company.
Are They Bonded and Insured?
Accidents happen. Even with the best movers, there is a potential for broken or misplaced items. However, if this does occur during your long-distance move, then there should be no reason that the moving company’s insurance doesn’t cover these losses.
You’ll want to inquire what kind of liability insurance the company offers, if it will be an additional cost to you, and what exactly it covers. Any legitimate moving company should have no issue showing you their proof of insurance when asked.
Another less apparent reason to check for insurance? A fully insured and bonded moving company also means that it has professional workers, not unskilled street hires.
Are They Properly Licensed?
While local moving companies that only operate within one state are regulated by that state, long-distance moving companies should have a license number issued by the United States Department of Transportation.
Ask for a license number to check their registration at the U.S Department of Transportation website. Here you will also find any complaints filed against the company.
How Long Have They Been in Business?
Knowledge and skill come from experience—and moving companies are no exception. Hiring a moving company that has been around for a while helps assure that your belongings are in the best hands possible, which is especially crucial for long-distance moves.
Plus, a lack of history is a red flag that points to a potential scam. While this isn’t always the case and could just be a new company, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
What Does Their Quote Cover?
You should get a quote from at least three long-distance moving companies to make the best possible decision. Just be mindful that the cheapest isn’t always the best, and value-added services may vary from company to company.
When getting quoted always be sure to check:
What services does this cover? Does it include merely moving boxes, or does it also cover packing and unpacking?
Are there extra fees? Will you be charged extra for things like fuel surcharge?
What is the charge to move special items, such as vehicles, ATVs, or boats?
If you want to avoid surprise charges, you can always ask if the moving company offers a binding estimate. This estimate ensures that the final cost of the move does not exceed the quoted amount. However, please note that many companies only offer non-binding quotes. But it never hurts to ask.
How Are They Handling Your Questions?
If you only take one tidbit of advice, let it be this: a legitimate moving company will have nothing to hide, and they should easily be able to answer common questions. If they are having issues answering common questions regarding insurance or making you feel like a bother, find another moving company.
Additional questions to ask a long-distance moving company:
Have you handled this type of move? You’ll want to know if they have experience with any unique obstacles your move presents. For example, are they used to hauling large furniture up narrow apartment building staircases?
Do you subcontract your moves? You may want to know if your items will be changing hands part way through the move. If so, who is taking over the handling?
What’s your cancellation policy? Life happens, and if your move needs to be postponed or canceled for any reason, you want to know where that leaves you with your moving company.
Whether you are embarking on a commercial or residential long-distance move, doing research before committing to moving company will go a long way in making it a positive experience. Hiring the right professional movers can make your move quicker, stress-free, and efficient—the perfect recipe for a successful long-distance move.