8 Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Moving Company
Unless we moved already in the past, we have so many questions that we want to ask before hiring a moving company. It is really important to know the details of the move and to find out everything that you want to know. Otherwise, you might end up hiring a fraudulent moving company, or a moving company that will charge you more than necessary. It is a great idea to compare the costs of at least three moving companies to get a clearer picture of how they function.
1. What type of moving insurance do they offer?
This is a very important question that you should ask your movers before hiring them. There are two types of moving insurance that they can offer you. Here they are:
Limited-value moving insurance – the limited-value moving insurance means that the moving company will pay you up to 60 cents per kilo for your damaged items. This type of insurance is typically free and most moving companies offer them. But, if you are moving costly items such as your new TV or a pool table, this compensation will not do you any good.
Full-value protection moving insurance – this is the type of insurance where you will have to pay for getting your items insured, but it is absolutely worth it. In this way, you will not have to worry about the items that have great value, as in case of an accident, you will be either fully reimbursed or get the same item from your moving company.
2. What is their USDOT number?
Ask your movers for the USDOT number of their moving agency. This is the way to find out whether your movers are licensed. You can easily check this information on the site of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If your movers are not licensed, find another moving company that is, as chances are they are either frauds or amateurs. Needless to say, you do not want such a moving company relocating your items.
3. What is their cancellation policy?
In the case that you will not be moving after all, or you will not be using the services of a certain moving company, you will have to cancel the move. But, before hiring a moving company, ask them what their cancellation policy is. It is typically free of charge to cancel two weeks before the move, but the cancellation fees increase as the moving day gets closer.
4. What is their physical address and can you meet them in person?
This is another thing that distinguishes professional moving companies and fraudulent ones. If you do not see a physical address on site, ask them what it is. Arrange for a meeting in person. If they say no, then you will be saving yourself from a potential scam. If they say yes, then you will have a perfect opportunity to ask them all of these questions face to face, which is always a great option.
5. Do they offer any discounts?
Some moving companies will offer a discount based on a referral, so if you know someone who has moved with that moving company, it is worth of try. If there is any possibility to lower the expenses of your move, then you should go for it. Also, bear in mind that moving companies charge less if you are moving out of peak season which is from May to September. Working days and the middle of the month are also great days for moving at a lower cost, and if it is suitable for you, you should definitely move then.
6. What type of estimates do they offer?
This is a question that you need to know the answer to before hiring a moving company. The more options they offer, the better as then you are free to decide what suits your move the most. There are three basic types of moving cost estimates that you can choose from.
Non-binding estimate – this type of estimate is just an estimate which does not guarantee that you will pay a certain amount of money for the weight of your items. The cost is estimated based on the weight, but if the weight is bigger than originally stated, you will pay the full amount. This is the type of estimate that you should avoid unless you do not have a lot of items to move.
Binding estimate – this is a better solution. In case that the weight is higher you will only pay for the shipping services, for example. However, in case that the weight is smaller, you will still pay the original amount.
Binding not-to-exceed estimate – if you have less items than originally estimated, you will not have to pay the full price of estimated cost. If your items weigh more, you will not have to pay for that. But, in case you want to add a few items on a moving day, you will need to make a new type of estimate on spot.
7. Who will handle the unpacking and other after-move services in your destination country?
Ask your movers whether they have representatives in the country that you are moving to. It is important to know whether the same company or the subcontractor will perform unpacking, furniture assembling, and other services. Once you find out who the subcontractor is, you will be able to find out whether they are reliable as well.
8. What additional fees do they have?
Again, it is important to know whether you will be charged extra and in exactly which situations. Furthermore, you should ask them to write everything clearly in the written form, so that you have everything you need in writing. Additional fees are usually charged when there is no elevator in the building or when there is no parking space in front of your home so the items have to be carried longer than necessary.