Moving can be both an exciting and stressful event. With many tasks, making the right decisions is essential, especially when hiring movers. Professional movers like Qshark Moving Company, with years of experience and over 50,000 moves since 2014, can make all the difference. Qshark has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and received the prestigious Torch Award for its commitment to ethical business practices. To help you find the best moving company for your needs, we’ve compiled the top 10 questions you should ask when hiring movers, with in-depth answers to guide you through the process. You can also check out what real people have to say about our top moving service.
1. Are you licensed and insured?
Before hiring movers, verifying their licensing and insurance is crucial. Reputable and professional moving companies should have appropriate licenses from the Department of Transportation (DOT) and be registered with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Moving companies are required to have a USDOT number, which you can verify on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website.
- State regulations may also apply to local movers, so check your state’s requirements.
Insurance coverage is vital for protecting your belongings during the move. A professional company will offer both liability coverage and valuation coverage options.
- There are two types of liability coverage: Full Value Protection and Released Value Protection.
- Full Value Protection ensures that the moving company is liable for the replacement value of lost or damaged items. This coverage usually comes with a deductible, and the cost depends on your protection level. You should discuss the details of FVP with the moving company to ensure you understand the terms and conditions.
- Released Value Protection offers minimal protection based on the weight of the items, usually at a rate of $0.60 per pound. This coverage is provided at no additional cost but may not be sufficient for valuable items.
Ask the company to provide proof of their insurance and explain their coverage options in detail.
2. Can you provide references, and where can I find reviews for moving companies?
A reputable company should be able to provide references from previous clients. Gathering feedback from past customers can give you a better understanding of the company’s reliability and professionalism. To find reviews and references, consider the following sources:
- Company website: Check the moving company’s website for customer testimonials or case studies. These can provide insights into the experiences of past clients.
- Better Business Bureau: Search for the company’s ratings on the Better Business Bureau website. The BBB assigns ratings based on various factors, including the company’s complaint history, the age of the business, and its commitment to resolving disputes.
- Yelp: Yelp is a popular platform for customers to share their experiences with local businesses, including moving companies. You can find reviews on a company’s Yelp page and pay attention to the overall rating as well as individual reviews.
- Thumbtack: Thumbtack is an online platform where customers can find and hire movers for various services, including moving. You can browse through profiles of moving companies, read customer reviews, and even request quotes directly through the platform.
- Google: Google reviews are another useful source of information about a moving company’s reputation. Search for the company’s name in Google, and you’ll see their reviews and ratings on the search results page.
- Friends and family: Personal recommendations from people you trust can be invaluable when searching for reliable movers. Ask friends, family members, or colleagues if they have any experiences with moving companies they would recommend.
Don’t forget to ask the moving company for contact information of recent clients who can vouch for their services. Be sure to ask these references about their experience, the quality of the moving company’s service, and any issues they encountered during the move.
3. Do you offer in-home estimates?
An accurate moving estimate is essential for budgeting your move. Many moving companies offer free in-home estimates to assess the size and scope of your move. Here’s what you need to know about in-home estimates:
- Why in-home estimates are important: The in-home estimate allows movers to examine your belongings and provide a more accurate quote for their services. They will take note of any special items that require extra care, such as fragile antiques or large furniture pieces, as well as any potential challenges that might arise during the move, like narrow staircases or limited parking spaces.
- Binding vs. non-binding estimates: Ask the moving company if they provide binding or non-binding estimates to avoid unexpected costs. A binding estimate guarantees the final moving cost, regardless of any changes in the actual weight of your items. A non-binding estimate is an approximation of the moving cost, which may change if the actual weight of your items is different from the initial estimate. It’s crucial to understand the difference and clarify with the movers which type of estimate they provide.
- Comparing estimates: It’s a good idea to obtain estimates from at least three moving companies to compare rates and services. When comparing estimates, consider the price and the services included, such as packing, unpacking, disassembling, and reassembling furniture. Keep in mind that the lowest price doesn’t always guarantee the best service, so choose a moving company that offers a balance of affordability and quality.
- Additional fees and costs: During the in-home estimate, inquire about any additional fees or costs that might not be included in the initial estimate. These could include fees for long carries, extra stops, or providing packing materials. Understanding these potential extra costs can help you better budget for your move and avoid surprises on a moving day.
By discussing these aspects during an in-home estimate, you can get a clearer picture of the moving company’s pricing and services, which will help you make an informed decision about moving services.
4. How do you handle special items and protect my belongings during the move?
Ensuring the safety of your belongings is a top priority when hiring movers. You’ll want to choose a moving company with experience handling special items and taking necessary precautions to protect your possessions. When discussing this topic with potential movers, consider the following points:
- Packing services and materials: Ask the movers if they offer packing services and what kind of packing materials they use. Movers should use high-quality packing supplies, such as sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, and furniture blankets, to safeguard your items during the move. If you’re packing your belongings yourself, make sure you have access to appropriate packing materials and follow the best packing practices.
- Specialty items: Inquire about the moving company’s experience with special items, such as pianos, pool tables, valuable antiques, or large appliances. These items may require additional care or specialized equipment, so hiring a moving company with the necessary skills and resources is crucial.
- Furniture disassembly and reassembly: Some large furniture pieces may need to be disassembled for transport and reassembled at your new home. Ask the movers if they provide this service and if any additional fees are involved.
- Loading and unloading techniques: A professional moving company should have proper loading and unloading techniques to ensure the safe transport of your belongings. Ask about their methods and equipment, such as dollies, furniture straps, and moving blankets, to secure items in the moving truck.
- Liability coverage: As mentioned earlier, it’s essential to understand the different types of liability coverage options offered by the company. This includes Full Value Protection and Released Value Protection. Review the company’s coverage options to determine which option best suits your needs.
- FMCSA regulations: Moving companies are required to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, which aim to protect consumers during interstate moves. Review the FMCSA’s Protect Your Move website for more information on your rights and responsibilities during a move.
5. How do you calculate the moving cost, and are there any hidden fees?
Understanding how your moving cost is calculated and being aware of any potential hidden fees is crucial for budgeting your move. When discussing pricing with potential movers, consider the following move cost factors first:
- Weight vs. Volume: Moving companies may calculate the cost based on the weight or volume of your belongings. Weight-based pricing is typically more accurate, as it directly reflects the actual weight of your items. Volume-based pricing is based on how much space your belongings occupy in the moving truck. Make sure to ask the movers how they determine the cost and if there are any minimum weight or volume requirements.
- Distance: The distance of your move will significantly impact the cost. Local moves are usually charged by the hour, while long-distance moves are typically charged based on the weight of your items and the total mileage.
- Additional services: Additional services, such as packing, unpacking, furniture disassembly and reassembly, and storage, may incur extra fees. Make sure to discuss these services and their associated costs with the moving company during the estimation process.
- Hidden fees: Some moving companies may charge hidden fees for various reasons, such as long carries, extra stops, or providing packing materials. During the in-home estimate, ask the movers to clarify any potential hidden fees so there are no surprises on a moving day.
|Impact on Cost
|Weight or Volume
|Based on the actual weight or volume of your belongings
|Directly impacts the cost
|The total mileage of your move
|Significantly affects the cost
|Packing, unpacking, furniture disassembly and reassembly, storage, etc.
|May incur extra fees
|Long carries, extra stops, packing materials, etc.
|Can lead to unexpected costs
6. What is your cancellation policy, and are there any penalties for rescheduling my move?
Life can be unpredictable and sometimes plans change unexpectedly. When hiring movers, it’s essential to understand their cancellation policy and any penalties associated with rescheduling your move. Here are some key points to consider when discussing this topic with potential moving companies:
- Cancellation policy: Ask the movers about their cancellation policy, including any deadlines and fees associated with canceling your move. Some companies may have strict policies and charge a significant fee if you cancel after a specific deadline, while others may be more flexible. Understanding the cancellation policy can help you make informed decisions and avoid unexpected costs if you need to cancel.
- Rescheduling fees: Inquire about any fees or penalties for rescheduling your moving date. Some moving companies may charge a rescheduling fee, especially during peak moving season when their schedule is tight. Make sure you’re aware of these fees and the company’s policy regarding rescheduling to avoid surprises.
- Deposits and refunds: Many moving companies require a deposit to secure your moving date. Ask the movers if the deposit is refundable and under what conditions. This information can help determine if the company’s policies align with your needs and budget.
- Peak season and off-season: The moving industry experiences peak seasons, typically during summer when demand is highest. Moving companies may have stricter cancellation and rescheduling policies during this time due to high demand. On the other hand, off-season moves may offer more flexibility with fewer penalties for changes. Consider your moving timeline and discuss the potential impact of peak season on your move with the moving company.
7. Do you offer any valuation coverage or insurance options for my belongings during the move?
Protecting your belongings during the moving process is crucial, and understanding the valuation coverage or insurance options a moving company offers is essential. When discussing this topic with potential movers, consider the following factors:
- Basic liability coverage: By law, moving companies are required to provide basic liability coverage at no additional cost. This coverage, known as Released Value Protection, offers minimal protection and typically covers your belongings at $0.60 per pound per item. However, this amount may not be sufficient to cover the actual value of your items in case of damage or loss.
- Full Value Protection: You can opt for (FVP) for more comprehensive coverage. This coverage requires the movers to repair, replace, or provide a cash settlement for damaged or lost items during the move. Be sure to ask the moving company about the cost and terms of their FVP plan and any deductibles that may apply.
- Third-party insurance: Some moving companies may offer or recommend purchasing additional insurance from a third-party provider. This insurance can provide a higher level of coverage for your belongings. Inquire about the company’s partnerships with insurance providers and the potential costs of obtaining third-party coverage.
Useful resources for understanding valuation coverage and insurance options include:
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – Protect Your Move
- Better Business Bureau (BBB) – Tips for Hiring a Mover
By asking the right questions and understanding the various coverage options, you can ensure that your belongings are adequately protected during the move. Remember to include relevant keywords, such as “valuation coverage,” “liability coverage,” “full value,” and “moving insurance,” to ensure your content is optimized for search engines.
8. How will you protect my belongings during the move?
Ensuring the safety of your belongings during the moving process is a top priority for most companies. When discussing this topic with potential moving companies, consider the following factors to understand how they plan to protect your items:
- Packing materials: Ask movers about the type of packing materials they use to protect your belongings. High-quality packing materials, such as bubble wrap, packing paper, and sturdy boxes, are essential for preventing damage during the move. For delicate items, consider using a full service moving company that offers specialized packing services.
- Furniture protection: Inquire about the methods used to protect large or delicate furniture items, such as wrapping with moving blankets or using furniture pads. A professional mover should have the equipment and expertise to protect your furniture during the move.
- Loading and unloading: Discuss how the team plans to load and unload your belongings. A reputable moving company should have experienced staff who know how to handle various types of items safely and efficiently. Properly securing items inside the moving truck is also crucial to avoid damage during transit.
- Valuable antiques and specialty items: If you have valuable antiques or specialty items, such as pianos or artwork, ask the movers about their experience handling these types of items and any additional precautions they take to ensure their safety.
By understanding how movers plan to protect your belongings, you can decide which service provider to choose. Remember to include relevant keywords, such as “packing materials,” “moving supplies,” “professional mover,” and “full-service moving company,” to ensure your content is optimized for search engines.
9. How long will the move take?
The duration of a move can vary significantly based on factors like the size of your home, the distance between locations, and the company’s efficiency. When discussing this topic with potential movers, consider the following points:
- Size of your home: The size of your home and the number of belongings you have will impact the amount of time it takes to complete the move. For example, moving a one-bedroom apartment will generally take less time than moving a larger home. Be sure to provide movers with an accurate estimate of your home’s size and the number of items you have to ensure a more precise time estimate.
- Distance between locations: The distance between your current and new homes will also impact the duration of your move. A local move within the same city will generally take less time than a long distance move to another state or region.
- Packing and unpacking services: If you choose to use a full service company that offers packing and unpacking services, the overall duration of your move may increase. However, these services can significantly reduce the stress and workload associated with moving, making them a valuable option for many individuals.
- Efficiency of the team: The efficiency and experience of the moving team will directly impact the duration of your move. A reputable moving company with professional movers should be able to complete the move efficiently while maintaining the safety of your belongings.
10. During my move, Can you handle special items like pool tables or large appliances?
When planning your move, it’s essential to consider any special items or large appliances that require extra care and expertise. Before hiring movers, inquire about their ability to handle these types of items, such as pool tables, pianos, or large appliances. Keep the following points in mind when discussing this topic with potential movers:
- Experience: Ask the moving company about their experience handling special items like pool tables or large appliances. A professional moving company should have the necessary skills and knowledge to safely move these items without causing damage.
- Equipment: Inquire about the equipment and tools the moving company uses to move special items. Professional movers should have the appropriate equipment, such as dollies, straps, and ramps, to handle heavy items and ensure a smooth and stress-free move.
- Additional costs: Moving special items may require additional fees or services, such as disassembly or reassembly. Be sure to discuss any extra costs associated with moving these items to avoid surprises on your final bill.
You can have a successful upcoming move by addressing your moving needs and ensuring that your moving company can handle special items.
Hiring a moving company for your move is an important decision that can significantly impact the success and ease of your relocation. By asking the right questions, hiring professionals and considering factors such as experience, reputation, costs, and services offered, you can make an informed choice that best suits your moving needs.
Remember that a professional moving company can make a significant difference save costs and in the overall experience of your move, turning what could be a stressful event into a smooth and stress-free process. As you embark on your DIY move or work with professional movers, keep these top 10 questions in mind to ensure you select the best moving company for your needs.
|1. Are you licensed and insured?
|License number, insurance coverage, FMCSA and BBB verification
|2. How do you determine your pricing?
|Hourly rates, flat fees, additional charges, accurate estimates
|3. What services do you offer?
|Packing, unpacking, special items handling, disassembly, reassembly
|4. Can you provide references or reviews?
|Online reviews, personal recommendations, BBB ratings
|5. Do you have a minimum charge?
|Minimum hours, minimum weight, travel fees
|6. What is your cancellation policy, and are there any penalties for rescheduling my move?
|Cancellation policy, rescheduling fees, deposits, refunds
|7. Do you offer any valuation coverage or insurance options for my belongings during the move?
|Basic liability coverage, Full Value Protection, third-party insurance
|8. How will you protect my belongings during the move?
|Packing materials, furniture protection, loading and unloading, valuable antiques
|9. How long will the move take?
|Size of your home, distance between locations, packing and unpacking services, efficiency of the moving team
|10. Can you handle special items, such as pool tables or large appliances, during my move?
|Experience, equipment, additional costs