Moving can be a stressful time without having to worry about if your precious belongings will arrive safely. No matter if you’re moving across town or across the country, choosing the right moving company is an essential part of making sure your possessions are in the right hands. When you’re ready to choose a moving company, use this checklist to ensure a good experience.
1. Get it in writing. It’s generally recommended to get quotes from at least three different companies. The company representative should also visit your home in person, not over the phone, to ensure a realistic quote without unexpected twists.
2. Appearances matter: A moving company that is detail-oriented, careful and precise with your estimate will most likely be the same when moving your belongings. If the representative seems bored, careless, rushed, or only gives out quotes over the phone, move on to the next.
3. Beware upfront payments: Be careful if the company asks to be paid in cash only – or for a large, nonrefundable deposit up front.
4. Check them out online: Yelp, Angie’s List, BBB, and other reputable online resources are all good places to ensure quality, professionalism, licenses and feedback from real people who have used their services.
5. Make sure you’re covered: First, check with your homeowners policy to see if you are covered during the move and for how much. Be sure to mention if you are moving in-state or out-of-state. If you’re crossing state lines, moving companies must offer two kinds of supplementary liability insurance: Released Value and Full value. Released value, offered at no extra cost, insures your belongings at a rate of 60 cents per pound. Full value covers repairs or replacement of damaged goods. Again, review all of this with your current home insurance representative.
6. Know who has your back:
- For an interstate move, check with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (www.fmcsa.dot.gov) to make sure your movers is licensed by them and for any other background information that may be useful.
- Check the ProMovers site at www.moving.org to get quotes from companies that have passed the American Moving and Storage Associations background checks and licensing and insurance requirements.
7. The ultimate authority: More than 35 million Americans move each year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. According to the Better Business Bureau, they received more than 9,000 complaints about movers in 2013. Many of those complaints were that moving companies refused to deliver their belongings unless they paid for unexpected fees that were not in the original agreement – essentially a classic bait-and-switch. If something like this happens to you, check out the FMCSA’s Protect Your Move website at www.protectyourmove.gov for resources for planning your move, protecting yourself from fraud, and directions and contact information if your move goes wrong.