It’s time to move, and you’ve realized that asking your friends to carry your boxes and furniture in return for pizza and beer isn’t an option this time. You know you need to hire a moving company, but how do you choose the right one? It doesn’t take long to find moving company horror stories online — tales of lost and broken items, late deliveries, and worse. Read on for the 5 questions you should ask when choosing a moving company.
Are you licensed? Choosing a licensed moving company helps you avoid scams and shoddy service. Ask for the moving company’s license number, which will be issued by the state. If you are looking for a company to move you from one state to another, look for a company that holds a license from the US Department of Transportation. Once you have the license number, you can look up the company’s Better Business Bureau record to see if they have any complaints.
Are you bonded and insured? You will want to choose a moving company that is bonded and insured. This helps protect you in case of loss, damage, theft, or other mishaps during your move. You should ask with whom the company is insured.
What kind of liability insurance do you offer? This is important. Some companies off insurance for the full value of your goods, while others only offer for the “release value” of your goods — typically 60% of value. Depending on what you are moving, you may want full value. But be prepared to pay for it. On the other hand, some companies include the release value insurance cost in your overall moving quote.
How long have you been in business? While newer companies can certainly offer quality service, it’s worth asking how long the company has been in business. A company with a long business history is likely to be a sign of quality service and satisfied customers. You can follow up by asking questions about your specific type of move. A company that has been in business for a long time likely has experience with a wide variety of types of moves.
Do you have references? A moving company that can’t or won’t provide references should get a hard pass from you. A reputable company should be able to provide you with references easily. In addition to looking at the references they provide, do your own checking of places like Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, and review sites. Keep in mind that many times only people who are very motivated to leave a very good or very bad review take the time to rate a company online, but keep an eye out for trends (positive or negative) in reviews.