Moving to a new home is one of the most stressful and potentially riskiest decisions most homeowners will ever make. When all of your belongings are packed into a truck, you trust the movers not to break, lose or steal any of them. To minimize these risks when selecting a mover, please read my recommendations.
Keep it local
The first step to selecting a reliable moving company is to establish that the organization you contact is actually a moving company. Con artists often masquerade as moving companies, anxious to load your belongings into rented trucks and drive off with them never to be seen again.
To avoid these scams, only work with companies that have local offices. Travel to those offices, make sure the companies actually have trucks and moving equipment and ask each company for testimonials from past customers. Do this with as many local moving companies as possible and select three of them that have a reputation for good service. Once you have three trustworthy companies, you can move on to the next step.
Call each of your prospective movers and ask them if they’ll perform a free, binding estimate. In such estimates, an agent will travel to your house, evaluate the size, weight and durability your belongings and offer you a price. This price will represent an upper limit on what they can charge you for their services.
Once you have estimates from all three companies, compare them and ask questions about any differences in prices. Higher prices are not necessarily a bad thing. They may indicate that the company places a higher value on your belongings, moves your items with greater care or insures your goods beyond the released value coverage required by law. Greater insurance coverage is worth higher moving costs, but it may be unnecessary if the company that sells you homeowners’ or renters’ insurance also covers moving.
Before the agent leaves, have him or her provide you with detailed company information. This should include the company’s name, address, contact information, motor carrier and Department of Transportation license numbers and references. Also make sure that the company itself will be doing the moving. Never hire a moving company that contracts its services out to a third party.
Once you have all the companies’ information, log onto safersys.org, a website run by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and enter each company’s license number. Make sure that all of the information on the site matches the information the company gave you and that it has passed inspections. SaferSys will then provide you with a link to the company’s insurance information. Make sure that the company’s common authority status is active and that it carries both cargo insurance and at least $750,000 of bodily injury and property damage coverage.
If all of the above information checks out, contact each company’s references and ask them about their past experiences with it. Speak to several references from each company before you decide which company is best.
Keep your guard up throughout the moving process. Make sure that the movers you hired are the ones who show up. Never sign any paperwork that you don’t understand and look through an inventory of everything the movers will move before you give your consent. Immediately correct any omissions in the inventory, as anything they don’t list will not be covered by insurance. Provide the movers with detailed travel instructions and obtain a number you can use to contact them throughout the move.
In Home Moving Estimate connects businesses and families looking to move with safe, reliable movers. To learn more about our company and services, visit our website today at inhomemovingestimate.com.