How to pick the right mover?

Moving to a new home can be quite stressful. Some people get stressed out when thinking of starting a new life somewhere else and meeting new people. Others are sad to leave their old lives and cherished homes. Finally, there are also those who are dreading the moving process. Fortunately, there are professional movers. These guys can make your life so much easier. They can help you feel relieved and like there’s nothing to worry about. They can sometimes even do wonders. Seems so easy, doesn’t it? There’s a catch though – you need to pick the right mover first. Here are a few tips on how to do that.

New house
Pick the right mover to avoid additional stress when moving.

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Dismiss anyone who performs a too quick in-home estimate

Just like with anything else in the world – if they want to deal with you as quickly as possible and just get it all done, that’s not a company to rely on. Reputable movers will perform a thorough in-home estimate and ask questions about what you plan to take to your new home and what you want to leave behind. You should have already made up your mind on most of the items so that you could answer their questions.

It matters a lot what items you want on the truck and how much space they will take up over there. The bulk and the weight of your belongings will eventually determine the cost of your move. This is why you need an estimator who will take inventory of all your items and check all your storage places, such as drawers, bookcases, and garages, not someone who will just walk through without paying too much attention. That’s certainly not going to be the right mover to rely on.

Never agree to pay a large deposit

This is not something a reputable moving company will ever ask for. When movers demand cash or a large deposit before moving, it’s a red flag as you should only pay upon delivery. If you agree to pay a deposit, you have no control over the process any longer and might end up waiting for your stuff much longer than planned. In the worst case scenario, you will never see any of your stuff again. This is another reason why you should look carefully and pick the right mover.

Ask them to specify all extra charges in advance

Avoid any last-minute surprises with take it or leave it options – and you’re certainly going to take it at that moment. You don’t want that to happen, so ask in advance. That way you’ll be able to make well-informed decisions ahead of time. But be sure to provide all the info the movers need – if you omit to tell them your new flat is on the 15th floor, you’re the only one to blame.

Moving boxes
The bulk and the weight of your belongings will determine the cost of your move.

Never sign a blank contract

This should be a common sense. But if by any chance you’ve ever considered doing so, just don’t. Make sure you get everything written down. That includes the estimate and any extra fees, as well as your pick-up and delivery dates. You should also check for all your items on the inventory form before signing it. Should you ever need it, you could only claim for items that have been added to the inventory list.

Don’t hire a moving company that is known under different names

Some companies tend to do business under different names. As soon as you come across such a company, you know it’s no good. They either want to distance themselves from bad reviews or to avoid being assessed by the Better Business Bureau. To avoid such scams, check if the company has a local address and if its licensing and insurance information is publicly displayed. To get even more info about the company’s history, call the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s consumer complaints hotline (888-368-7238).

Pay special attention when hiring packers

When hiring professionals to help with packing, you obviously want them to do a better job than you would do yourself – and certainly not worse. However, there are packers who will just toss everything into boxes not worrying too much if something will end up broken or damaged. That’s why you need to make sure the company you’re about to hire offers insurance, in case something indeed ends up damaged. And above all, you should try hard to pick the right mover.

Books in a box
Be cautious when hiring packers.

You must file an insurance claim within 9 months

You can report any problems and file an insurance claim within 9 months. So don’t wait for a year or so to open all your boxes. The best way is to open each box on a moving day and check for damage. If there’s any problem, note that on the mover’s copy of the bill of lading before you sign it. The mover must acknowledge the receipt of your claim within 30 days. They must make an offer to pay or deny your claim within the next 120 days.

Moving insurance and levels of protection

Moving companies must assume liability for the value of the items they transport. What you need to know is that there are two different types of liability. They come with different charges and different levels of protection.

Full (Replacement) Value Protection means that if an item is lost, destroyed or damaged while in your mover’s custody, the mover can either repair and restore the item to the previous condition or cover the cost of the repairs; or else they need to replace the item or pay for the cost of the replacement. Movers can limit their liability when it comes to items of extraordinary value, so you should discuss this with your movers.

Alternative Level of Liability comes at no extra cost but provides far less protection. The mover only assumes liability for no more than 60 cents per pound, per item. To opt for this one, you must sign a particular statement on the bill. If you don’t select this option, the company will transport your items at the full (replacement) value level of liability.

These are some tips to help you pick the right mover. It’s an important task that takes some time but also brings many benefits. So choose wisely.

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