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What Should I Look for in a Mover?

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Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, you need a mover you can trust. Find out what to look for in a mover who treats your items with care.

Every year, 40 million Americans move at least once.

The lifting, turning, and packing that moving involves are can be overwhelming to most folks. This is why so many Americans look for help from professionals when they move.

Some people take full advantage of the average American’s need for a mover. Moving scams abound. You may find yourself forking over even more cash for the privilege of seeing your stuff again.

How do you know what to look for in a mover, and what to run away from? Here is how you can start.

1. Get Some Recommendations

recommendationsYou may be able to do an internet search of movers in your area and find some great companies. Be sure to read online reviews before giving them a call.

Folks will be surprisingly honest in their reviews. Look for comments that appear more than once, and you will get a good idea of what your experience will be like.

Were the movers on time? Were they friendly and professional? Did any hidden costs appear at the end of the move?

You will want to look for any red flags in the review comments.

The Better Business Bureau can also let you know if there have been any complaints against the company. Check out its grade, and some of the comments former customers have made.

A simpler way to find a great mover, however, is to ask friends and family who have moved recently about their experiences. You can trust their honest feedback.

Find out if their property was handled with care, or if it got treated roughly. Was the price right, or did your friend feel that they were taken advantage of?

Word-of-mouth is a great place to begin your search.

Once you have narrowed down your choices, be sure to ask for at least three references of people the company has moved recently. Don’t be afraid to ask former customers about the organization, honesty, and professionalism of the moving company.

2. Check for License and Insurance

Interstate movers are required to register with the US Department of Transportation. Ask your company for their USDOT number and look it up to be sure they are legit.

Many states also have additional licensing requirements, which you can look up online. You should also look for a company that has a real physical address, and not just a P.O. Box number.

You should also ask your company for proof of insurance. There are two basic types of insurance required by moving companies.

Full Replacement Value Protection is the most common type of insurance that movers carry. Under these policies, the mover must repair or replace any item that gets lost, destroyed, or damaged during the move.

insured and bonded

Your moving company is allowed to limit its liability to items of extraordinary value unless the item is specifically listed in the moving documents. An item of extraordinary value is defined as anything that exceeds $100 per pound. This includes jewelry, silverware, and electronics.

Be sure to ask your mover for a complete explanation of their policy before you move.

The other type of insurance your mover may carry is Alternative Cost Liability. Under this plan, the mover assumes liability for no more than sixty cents per pound.

There is no extra charge for Alternative Cost Liability, but you must sign a statement agreeing to it. Otherwise, your shipment will get charged at the Full Replacement Liability value.

3. Look For A Detailed Estimate

You should immediately rule out any companies that refuse to come to your home to give a detailed estimate.

written estimateYour mover should go through your home and do an inventory, checking inside cupboards, garages, and bookcases. They should ask what you plan to take with you, and what you plan to sell or give away.

Your mover should make a list of inventory and give you a detailed estimate based on what they see.

When you do sign a contract, it will be one of three kinds.

A non-binding agreement means that the company cannot require you to pay more than 10% above the original estimate on moving day. Any overages must be paid within thirty days of delivery.

A non-binding to exceed estimate means that you will not have to pay any overages. The original estimate is the maximum amount the company can charge you.

A binding estimate is a guaranteed price for all services. If you request any extras, they must get paid within thirty days of the move.

Be sure to ask your company ahead of time if they charge extra for tricky moving spaces such as steep staircases or narrow streets. You do not want the added stress of additional fees on your moving day.

4. Beware of Cash Advances

Do not give any company cash before they move your things. Moving companies should not ask for any more than a 20% deposit.

If you believe you need to make a deposit before the move happens, be sure to put it on a credit card so that you can contest any charges.

If you are unhappy with the company, you can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

What To Look For In A Mover

It can be hard to know what to look for in a mover. If you ask trusted friends, read reviews, and ask questions, you can make an informed decision. Be sure to check contracts, insurance, and licenses before you sign with a company.

To find a great mover now, get a quote today.

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