Initial Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Mover

Jon Fesmire |

There is so much to do when moving, we wonder how anyone can handle it all. Yet we do, move after move. There’s enrolling our kids in new schools, looking for the right neighborhood in another city, having mail forwarded, deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, and so much more. Add packing and hauling boxes from one city to the next and it all starts to feel like too much.

If you can afford to hire a moving company, we recommend you do. It will save a lot of stress and allow you to focus on getting other aspects of your move handled.

However, you’ll need to vet moving companies and find one that you trust to do the best job. Mainly, you’re looking for a reliable company that has the right experience. Here are the initial questions we recommend you ask.

Are You a Brokerage?

You want to work directly with a moving company, not a brokerage that takes your money and hires a moving company for you. This kind of middleman company will take a large commission, and that will come out of your pocket. It’s much better to communicate directly with a moving company and to pay their more reasonable fees.

Are You a Member of the AMSA?

Consider this a must. The AMSA is the American Mover and Storage Association, and members strictly follow federal laws and regulations. If the company ever moves people across state lines, and most do, they should have a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number, issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In addition, they may be members of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and it’s a great sign if they are. Ask to see related paperwork.

How Long Have You Been in Business?

Just because a moving company hasn’t been around a long time, that doesn’t mean they won’t do an excellent job. However, it’s a good idea to hire one with a track record of successful moves and happy customers stretching back years or decades. It shows that the company is competitive and dedicated.

Can You Show Me Some References?

Chances are the company will have references, such as letters from individuals or businesses they’ve provided services for. Ask if you can read them. If they’re proud of what others have said, they’re sure to share with you. In addition to this, read online reviews of the company on Yelp and Google Reviews. They moving company will show only good references, so you can get a fuller picture by checking out their online reviews, too.

How Experienced Are Your Workers?

Ask this to get a sense of how competent their workers are. You should already have a feeling for that based on references and reviews, but you’ll learn more when you ask directly. Do they have initial training when they start? Are they hired with plenty of pervious moving experience? Also, ask if they have enough of their in-house movers during the time your move is scheduled for, or if they’re using seasonal help.

What Equipment Do You Use?

For your move, they should use dollies, a moving truck or two large enough to transport all your things, proper lifting gear, moving blankets, straps, and so on. If they’ll be packing as well as moving your belongings, find out what sort of boxes they use. If you’re concerned about a given piece of furniture, ask what methods they use to move it without causing damage.

What Sort of Liability Insurance Do You Have Available?

What kind of liability insurance does the company have? Basically, if they accidentally damage any of your belongings, you’ll want the value covered. If the insurance doesn’t cover enough, ask if you can purchase additional coverage through them, or get it through a third-party insurance company.

Make sure they have Workman’s Compensation for their movers as well. If one of them gets injured on your property, you don’t want to have to be liable for their medical costs.

These questions should help you narrow down your choices of moving company. Next, you’ll want to get estimates, pick a company, and get the contract signed. Still, think of the time you’ll save on packing yourself. Hiring the right moving company will make the entire process easier.