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
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
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
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 Movers.com, we can
provide you with up to seven moving quotes
from companies in your area, completely
free of charge!