4 important things to look for in a moving company

homeowners packing their things

Starting the moving process, whether across town or cross-country, immediately presents you with a number of questions to be answered. Finding a moving company to get your belongings from point A to point B may seem as simple as a quick search online, but there are a few important things you’ll want to look for to find the best moving company to meet your needs.

1. Reputation

The amount of information available to you in the research phase of a move makes it a lot easier to narrow the search of moving companies that are worth hiring. Utilize word-of-mouth references from friends, family, and co-workers as well as online customer reviews to get a well-rounded picture of the moving company you’re evaluating. A moving company should never ask you to provide a deposit to “secure your schedule,” and it’s actually illegal for them to ask. A moving company, or agent, such as Suddath®, associated with a major van line like United Van Lines, is a great indicator of the expertise you can expect to get before, during, and after your move. 

2. License and Insurance  

Your destination will dictate the requirements of the moving company’s license. An in-state move only requires state licensing, but anything crossing state lines will require a US DOT number, uniquely issued by the United States Department of Transportation for that specific moving company. You can verify a moving company’s DOT issued number in the US DOT’s official database.

You will also want to make sure that the moving company is insured, which can also be verified in the DOT’s official database. Any moving company that does not have a license or insurance is not a good fit to ensure the safety of your belongings. You can also check with your own insurance company to find out if any of your belongings are covered during a move and then decide if supplemental insurance is needed.

3. Certifications  

Just as you have done with the license and insurance information, there are a few more ways to make certain the moving company you’re researching has the proper certifications to operate legally.

Any legitimate moving company will be able to produce proof of these certifications, and many may even offer them up without you having to ask. Make sure you verify they have the following certifications:

  • Licensed by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA)
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) Licenses
  • American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) – Pro Mover certification

In addition to these certifications, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and moving-company-specific associations like the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) can be a great help in determining which companies are reputable and which are not.

4. In-Home or Video Survey Estimates

Just as you wouldn’t accept estimates given over the phone or online for home repair, a moving company offering an estimate without seeing what they’re moving should set off an alarm. Having an in-home estimate or a video survey allows you to first meet with the person that will help you coordinate your move through its completion and learn more about their specific process so you know what to expect at every step of your move.

Choosing a reputable moving company does require a little bit of legwork on your part, but you’ll be glad you did so in the end. If you are in the process of searching for a moving company, contact us. Suddath has been moving people locally since 1919 and is the largest agent of United Van Lines, the leading long-distance moving company in the United States.