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Most Important Questions to Ask Local Movers

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When looking for the best local mover to handle your relocation, there are many crucial questions to ask to ensure the company is reliable and qualified. Even though you are only moving locally, you are still entrusting your most prized possessions in the hands of your movers. To help choose a reputable and trustworthy local moving company to service your relocation, remember to ask the following important questions before booking their services.

How do you charge?

Most local moving companies charge a flat rate per hour, depending on the size moving crew you require. The larger your home, the more movers the company may send to handle your move. The amount of time it takes to complete your move will also depend on the amount of goods you have and the distance you are moving. When you receive your estimate, be sure to ask the moving company how you will be charged, and inquire about the possibility of extra fees. These could include:

  • Stair carries


  • Long carries


  • Packing services and/or materials


  • Furniture assembly/disassembly

What kind of estimates do you provide?

Moving companies offer three different types of estimates--binding, non-binding, and binding not-to-exceed. It's important to understand the differences between these three types and find out which one any potential moving company offers. A binding estimate cannot be altered--even if your move takes longer than expected. A non-binding estimate can be changed--to reflect either a higher or lower final price. However, the increase cannot exceed ten percent of the original quote .A binding-not-to-exceed estimate cannot be raised, but can decrease if your move takes less time than anticipated.

What services do you offer?

Do you simply need moving labor services to load your rental truck? Do you require full-service movers to handle everything from packing your fragile wine glasses to transporting your shipment to your new home? Do you have a small move, requiring just a few items' relocation? Ask the movers about the various services they offer to ensure they can meet your specific needs. Do you have any specialty items that require specific training to handle and transport, such as a pool table, piano, or grandfather clock? Be sure to inquire about the company's experience moving these delicate items before enlisting their services.

Is your company licensed?

The required licensing for any local moving company will depend on the laws in your state. Over half of all states require intrastate movers to be registered with a US DOT number so they can be federally regulated. Other requirements vary, but most states mandate that moving carriers register with the state department of transportation. To find out more information, visit your state's department of transportation website.

Do you have references?

Before choosing a mover, request references from past customers to find out more about their experiences. While the company is unlikely to provide you with anything other than positive feedback, it is still helpful to hear personal accounts firsthand. You can also read online reviews and check the company's profile on the Better Business Bureau.

What type of insurance coverage do you offer?

The standard liability coverage moving companies are legally required to offer is known as Replacement Value Protection. With this type of coverage, your movers are only responsible to reimburse you for lost or damaged goods at a rate of $0.60 per pound per article. This means if your 20-pound flat screen falls and breaks during transit, your moving company will only owe you $12. Ask about your additional insurance options, the extent of the coverage, and the added cost. Most movers will also offer Full Value Protection for an extra fee, which covers the full amount of replacing or repairing a broken or misplaced item.

What is your claims process?

Before hiring a moving company, make sure you understand the standard procedure for filing a claim should anything go wrong. Many companies will have an online claim form to submit if anything is lost or damaged. You are legally required to file a written claim with the company to receive compensation--it is against the law for all interstate and most intrastate carriers to alter the charges indicated on your bill of lading without a formerly written claim.

While your claim must be in writing, it does not necessarily have to be done using the company's claim form. You must submit your claim within nine months of the delivery of your goods by the movers. You should also send it by means of certified mail.

What is your cancellation policy?

In case of an emergency or other unforeseen circumstance, you may have to cancel or postpone your move. Many moving companies will not charge you a fee to reschedule or cancel, but you should always ask before booking. It is also appropriate to give as much notice as possible, especially if you plan on arranging your move on a different date--the sooner you reschedule, the more easily the company can accommodate you.

Do you require a deposit?

Most reputable moving companies will not require you to leave a deposit for their services. In fact, this is often a red flag for a common moving scam. If you are using a broker to receive moving quotes, you should also be wary if a deposit is requested. At, we can provide you with up to seven moving quotes from companies in your area, completely free of charge!

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on January 22, 2014

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