What Questions Should I Ask the Home Movers Before Hiring Them?
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
Are you getting ready to move into your new dream home?
Here are the questions you’ll want to ask the home movers before actually hiring them.
It’s time for you to pack up that old apartment and move into your dream home. Depending on how much stuff you have to move, you’re going to need to enlist the services of home movers.
You’ve got some important family heirlooms and fragile items to take with you so you need a company that is trained to handle that. You also don’t want to lose your security deposit if your apartment door is damaged because the movers had issues getting your couch out.
You can ask the movers how they handle fragile items and if they have some kind of property protection in place before you hire them. These aren’t the only questions that you should ask. Check out this guide to learn more.
Is Your Company Licensed?
You’re trusting your moving company with the protection of all your belongings. The last thing you want to do is run into a scam. The best way to avoid that is by asking a company if they’re licensed before you hire them.
If you’re looking to hire interstate moving companies they should have a license number that has been issued to them by the United States Department of Transportation. You can actually check online to see if they have one.
Local moving services won’t have a number issued to them by the United States Department of Transportation because they are regulated by the state they’re in. They will hold a license from the state
How Many Years Have You Been in Business?
The length of time a company has been around is not an accurate measure of its quality. A company that’s just started could provide amazing service so don’t red flag them before asking them some of the other questions on this list.
This being said, the longer a company has been around the more experience they have with all sorts of different moves. If a company has been in service for over ten years that means they must be doing something right.
What Kind of Liability Coverage Do You Offer?
Most moving companies offer liability coverage of some kind. This means if some of your things get broken because of their negligence, they will pay to replace the item. How much liability coverage a company offers, however, is a different story.
Some only cover a certain amount of money per weight of the item. There are other moving services that will offer you full liability coverage with a small added fee. You may also have the option to have your things covered based on their significance instead of their weight.
Are Your Workers Covered Under Worker’s Compensation Insurance?
Most states require companies to have some form of worker’s compensation insurance. This protects the workers in the event they are injured while they’re moving their things.
If the company doesn’t have worker’s compensation insurance, you may end up covering a worker’s medical bills if they are injured while on your property.
Do You Use Temps During the Busy Season?
Summer is peak moving season. Some companies hire temps during this time to cover them if they are understaffed. Most of the time, these temps are students and other people who are new to the moving industry.
Since they’re new, there’s a good chance they’ll make little mistakes and either break your things or get injured themselves. If a company uses temps this doesn’t mean you should rule them out. Instead, simply request that their professionals come out to handle the move if they can.
Do You Use Storage Facilities?
Depending on the nature of your move, your things may end up being stored for a bit. Some home movers have their own storage facility. If that’s the case, don’t’ be afraid to ask about the condition of the facilities if you want a little peace of mind.
A lot of companies use third-party storage companies. If this is the case, ask for the storage company’s contact information so you can ask them about their facilities. You should also see if there are any extra fees involved if you’re having your things stored.
Can You Show Me Recommendations or Give References?
If the moving service you’re talking to has a long list of satisfied customers and have won awards, you should be able to trust them with your belongings. Ask the company if they can provide you with a list of references.
If you want to do a little extra research outside of the references, you can check out online reviews. If there are any problems with the company, you’ll find out about them there.
Can You Provide an On-site Estimate?
When asking for an estimate see if the company will do an on-site one. They’ll come to your house to check out what they’re working with and give you an accurate price quote.
If the company refuses to do this than that’s a big red flag. It means extra charges may get tacked on later. If they will only give you a quote over the phone or through email, make sure you give them a list of everything involved in the move.
From there, they should be able to give you a written estimate that contains the name of the company, their location, phone number, and a detailed list of charges so you know what you’re paying for.
How Do You Charge?
Most short distance movers charge their clients by the hour. Some do it by the weight of the items or how many workers are needed to tackle the job.
You might find a company that charges by the hour but stops charging after a certain length of time. It’s good to ask so you know what to plan for.
Do You Offer Discounts?
Hiring a moving company can be expensive but some services hurt the wallet less by offering discounts. Some have special promotions going on during the offseason or give discounts for students. If you have a very specific and special situation you may be able to save a little money.
All of these things are quite common so it doesn’t hurt to ask your mover about them. The worst they can say is no.
Do You Have Any Packing Restrictions?
For a little extra money, there are some movers who will give you all the supplies you need to pack up your things. Some companies prefer that you don’t tape up your boxes before they arrive to put them on the truck.
This way, they can verify and take inventory of your belongings. They may prefer that you use their supplies instead of getting boxes from the supermarket downtown.
You could lose any liability insurance if you pack all your things yourself so you’ll want to ask about that. Find out if there is anything they don’t want you to pack yourself.
How Long Will the Move Take?
It’s a good idea to have someone watch your children and pets while the move is going on. The last thing you want is for Fido to run out the door and get lost. If you’re moving long-distance you’ll need to know what flight time to get.
You need to know what time you should hand your old landlord their keys. Again, some moving companies charge by the hour so you’ll want to plan for that expense.
Ask the company to give you an estimate of how long the process will take. It will make it easier for you to make any arrangements you need to make.
How Do You Prevent Property Damage?
You’ve done a great job of keeping your security deposit so far. You don’t want to lose it because your movers damage the doorframe trying to get your couch out of the apartment.
You also don’t want to have to do a bunch of extra cleaning before you leave either. Moving companies should be using blankets, carpet films, corner guards, and foam to protect your old home and your new one.
What If Something is Broken or Doesn’t Arrive at All?
The answer to this question all depends on what insurance you pay for. If you’re using Released Value Protection not many of your things are going to be covered. If you have Full Value Protection, the moving company will pretty much cover anything broken or lost.
Even if you don’t have Full Value Protection you may be able to get your things covered based on the terms of your contract with the moving company. Most of them will reimburse you unless something is broken because you packed the box poorly.
How Do You Handle Fragile Items?
When you’re labeling, don’t forget to write FRAGILE on the boxes that contain breakable items. This tells the movers that they need to be careful. It’s a good idea to ask the service how they handle these boxes.
Seeing your glass china being jostled around is enough to make you flinch. If you have any precious family heirlooms they’ll need special treatment. Ask the company how they handle these as well.
Are Additional Transfers a Possibility?
If you’re moving long-distance there’s a possibility that the moving truck might have to stop to transfer your things to a second truck. When this happens, the chances of your stuff getting broken goes up.
Your stuff may end up having to sit in a moving truck for a couple of days and nights. It’s good to ask the company how safe your things will be if the weather gets nasty. Will your items be protected from theft if the truck has to make a stop?
When Will I Get My Things?
You might want to know how long you’re going to be without the comfort of your stuff. Ask what time and date you can expect your things to arrive.
It’s a little difficult to estimate the exact time of delivery but they should be able to tell you around when you should expect the truck to arrive.
What If My Items Arrive Before I Do?
Anything can happen on the road. A simple traffic delay might cause your stuff to arrive at your new place before you do. You need to know what will happen to your stuff in the event this happens.
In some cases, your items will have to be placed in storage until you arrive or until your new house is ready for it. Ask the moving company how much you’ll have to pay for this extra storage.
How Do You Handle Complaints and Disputes?
If you run into problems with the service, it’s good to know how it’ll be handled. Do they settle things peacefully or do they have a history of claims made against them?
If they manage to settle disputes without any conflicts then you know you won’t run into any issues.
Do You Have Any Questions for Me?
To give you the best service possible, your moving company will most likely have a list of questions lined up for you. This way they’re able to understand the full length of your needs.
They may even give you a few helpful suggestions and advice. This is a huge sign that you’ve found the right service for you.
Important Questions to Ask Home Movers
It’s time to move out of your apartment and into your dream home. You’re going to need to find the right home movers for the job.
Feel free to call us to ask any of the questions on this list or go here to get a free estimate.