How To Hire a Mover: the 4 questions you should always ask

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Moving can be a daunting task, whether it’s across town or across the country. And when it comes to hiring a mover, you want to make sure you choose the right one.

After all, you are trusting these people to handle your prized possessions and make sure they get safely from your current home to your new home. But with so many moving companies out there, how do you know which one is best for you? We’ll explore 4 key questions that you should always ask before hiring a mover – because being prepared is half the battle!

1. Are you properly licensed?

To avoid moving scams and movers who won’t be responsible with your possessions, make sure to ask whether the moving company is properly licensed. All professional interstate moving companies should be licensed by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) and /or your state Public Utilities Commission.

The company should have the USDOT or State license number issued available on the website – usually in the About Us section. You can check the USDOT online to verify their license number. If you are hiring a company that only does local moves or ‘relocations’ that company would not need USDOT and only be regulated by the individual state

If you are doing a local move, you want to make sure they hold a state license because every state has different licensing and regulations requirements. Blue Men Moving is licenses by both USDOT and Ohio State Public Utilities Commission.

2. Do you have experience with my specific type of move?

Make sure when you are talking with the moving company, you ask about their experience handling your type of move. For example, if you’re moving to a high-rise condo or apartment building, a town home with multiple stories (and steps), or to a downtown location, you should inquire whether the moving company has any experience with this type of move.

These different types of moving situations require different experience.  It is important to have expertise so your movers can handle anything that comes their way. Ensure they are ready for any issues including parking restrictions, steep stairs, lack of elevators, and small doorways found in older homes.

3. Do you have references?

The best way to determine the quality of a moving company is to talk with a few of their customers or read the online reviews. Before entrusting your belongings to a relocation company, especially for long-distance or corporate moves, look for online reviews or ask where you can read about referring customers.  If you are doing a small local move, you can also review their Better Business Bureau profile and check their business for any issue or complaints.

Some people start their search for a moving company, by asking friends and neighbors for recommendations. Even in this day and age, word-of-mouth is still one of the most reliable routes to finding a trustworthy mover.

Another way to double-check the moving company’s reputation is to look through online reviews and ratings. Blue Men Moving has hundreds of reviews on Google that will give you an idea about how customers felt about the service and give details of their move.

4 – What kind of liability coverage options does your company provide?

Before the movers carry anything into their truck, you’ll want to make sure your belongings are covered in case of a mishap. Whether you’re moving down the street or across the country, you should check to ensure the moving company you pick has liability coverage. Licensed interstate movers are required to offer two types of liability options: Full Value Protection and Released Value. The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) defines these options below:

        Full Value Protection: “Your mover is liable for the replacement value of lost or damaged goods in your entire shipment. This is the more comprehensive plan available for the protection of your belongings.” The cost of Full Value Protection varies by the mover.

        Released Value Protection: “The most economical protection available is Released Value since it is offered at no additional charge. However, the protection is minimal. Under this option, the mover assumes liability for no more than 60 cents per pound per article.”

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More important questions to ask movers

The 4 questions above should be considered the bare minimum when you are talking to or researching moving companies. However, there are some other questions if you wanted to do ab it more research before making a decision.

How long will the move take? – Most long-distance moves take anywhere from seven to 10 days. Local moves usually only take one day. When you are scheduling, ask how long it will take to deliver your belongings.

Are there any restrictions on what and how I pack? – All moving companies should be able to provide you with a list of items that would not be included in a standard move.  You might need additional specialty moving services.

What other moving services do you offer? – If you are getting a quote, that will cover moving your belongs.  However, some moving companies offer packing assistance.  Do you have a grand piano, that would mean you need specialty item moving.

How do you handle claims and damages? – Be sure to ask about the company’s claims process to make sure it’s as uncomplicated as possible.

Will my items be transferred to another party along the way? Do you subcontract your moves? – Brokers often transfer shipments to other carriers. Moving companies often use contract movers as well. We recommend avoiding moving companies that subcontract the work to movers who are not employees.

Do you have a cancellation policy? – A moving company may charge you a fee to cancel a move reservation. Others may let you cancel a move without any penalty up to two weeks in advance. Be sure to ask the moving company about the cancellation policy when you are getting  a quote.

Do you provide storage? – If you are downsizing or need storage before, during or after the move, be sure to ask is they offer storage services. Many interstate movers offer short-term and long-term storage options for customers.

It’s important to know the right questions to ask when you are talking with moving companies. When you email or call, it helps to write out your questions. It is also good to do a little research on a mover before hiring them for the job.