To find the relocation company best fitting your specific needs, here are five questions you should ask them first.

Are you properly licensed?

To avoid moving scams and rogue movers, make sure to ask whether the moving company is properly licensed. All professional interstate moving companies should have a license number issued by the United States Department of Transportation. You can check their license number and complaint history here. On the other hand, local moving companies who only relocate customers within the same state are regulated by the state – not the U.S. Department of Transportation. Therefore, local movers should hold a state license. It’s important to note each state has their own set of moving regulations and license requirements.

Do they have experience with my specific type of move?

Be sure to ask the moving company whether or not they have ample experience handling your specific type of move. For instance, if you’re moving to a high-rise apartment building, a townhome with multiple stories (and steps), or to a big city, you should inquire whether the moving company has experience with the type of move. Movers should be well-prepared to handle anything coming their way – i.e. parking restrictions, steep stairs, no elevators and small doorways.

What kind of liability coverage does your company provide?

Before handing over your things, you’ll want to make sure your belongings are covered in case of a mishap during the relocation. Whether you’re moving across the street or across the country, your professional moving company should have multiple liability coverage options for you to choose from.

Do you have references?

You wouldn’t hire an employee without checking their references, so why would you hire a moving company without asking for theirs? Before entrusting your belongings to a relocation company, ask for references. When prompted a moving company representative should be able to provide you with all the information you need.

Can you provide a binding quote or a not-to-exceed estimate?

Don’t let your bill leave you with any unwelcome surprises. Many (if not most) moving companies offer non-binding estimates, which means the estimated price of your move is subject to change, depending on actual costs. This could end up being a good or bad thing. If your move requires more man-hours or is heavier than originally estimated, you could end up paying more than the original estimate. If not, you could end up getting lucky and paying less.

Other important questions to ask before hiring a moving company:

  • How long will the move take?
  • How do I contact you and the driver during the move?
  • Will my items be transferred to another party along the way? Do you subcontract your moves?
  • Are there any potential charges I’m not already aware of? What additional moving supplies will I be paying for?
  • Do you have a cancellation policy?
  • What forms of payment do you accept?
  • Are there any restrictions on what and how I pack?
  • Will you pack specialty items, such as TVs and electronics?
  • Will this moving company be delivering my items or will another party be delivering them?
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