4 questions you should be asking your local movers

Couple packing boxes preparing for a local move

So, you’re moving across town and starting to research the seemingly endless pool of local movers who can get your belongings from point A to point B and you ask yourself “how do I find the right mover?” We’ve narrowed down four critical questions that are best asked during your in-home survey or video estimate that will help you narrow down your list and ultimately select a quality mover.

1. What licenses and certifications do you have?

The first number you should be concerned with is the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) number issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Any local mover who claims to be legitimate will have this number handy for you to jot down. You can then verify the number online to confirm their legitimacy.

You can also ask if they are a member of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) as it demonstrates their compliance with the federal moving and storage laws. If you want to check on the company’s credibility and professionalism, ask if they are members of the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Last, but not least, with moving crews that are in your home and around your family and valuables, it is critical you ask the moving company if their employees are background checked.

2. Is your pricing binding or non-binding?

If you call a local mover for an estimate, they’re nearly always non-binding. A non-binding estimate is put together based on what the company thinks the cost will be based on the estimated weight of your belongings and the service(s) they are providing. The cost is almost always not what you will pay in the end, as the final cost that you’ll pay is based on the actual weight of your shipment, leaving it open-ended.

Local movers may provide a binding estimate once they have reviewed all of the belongings they will be moving. Binding quotes are written in advance and will outline in detail the service(s) the company will provide along with the guaranteed total cost of the move.

3. Can you provide me with reviews or references?

Receiving reviews or references from your local mover can give you insight into what their process is from a consumer’s standpoint.

You can also verify the good-standing of the company by noting if they have received any customer satisfaction or reliability awards. Online reviews can also provide insight into a wide range of experiences that folks have had, giving you an unfiltered perspective on the moving company.

What protection options do I have for my belongings?

Basic coverage is often 60 cents per pound. However, that may not cover your treasured belongings. If that’s the case, you should have the ability to upgrade your coverage and determine if you should include some of your belongings on a High Value Inventory.

  • 60 cents per pound – the minimum protection you are afforded, which is typically less than what most people want. This is based on the weight of the carton that the item is packed in.
  • Full value protection, but not listed on the High Value Inventory – if the item isn’t on the High Value Inventory and isn’t able to be repaired, the value will be paid at $100 per pound, based on the weight of the item.
  • Full value protection, listed on the High Value Inventory – this will cover the cost to repair the item. If it can’t be repaired, this will cover the cost to replace the item with a similar replacement, not exceeding the total coverage amount for the move.

Being an informed consumer can mean the difference in having a great moving experience and a poor one. Next time you’re searching for a local mover, contact us, we’d love to help make your moving experience a great one.