5 Questions to Ask a Moving Company Before Signing a Contract

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There are many areas in life where it doesn’t pay to go cheap. Choose the wrong moving company — or the company with the cheapest rate — and you may arrive at your destination with missing or broken belongings and little to no protection. This certainly doesn’t mean you need to hire the most expensive moving company — after all, the average interstate move is over $5,600, according to the American Moving and Storage Association — but you should do your homework to select a company you can trust. Here are 5 important questions to ask before you sign the contract and hand over your valuables.

#1. Does the company have a good reputation?
Check the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau then check for reviews and complaints on popular sites like Yelp, Google Plus, and Facebook. You can also ask for recommendations from friends, family members, coworkers, and your real estate agent.

#2. Is the company licensed?
A moving company for an interstate (between state) move should have a US DOT number, a unique license number issued by the US Department of Transportation. You can check the moving company’s DOT number is still valid with the DOT database. For intrastate moves, the company should have a state license.

#3. Is the moving company insured?
You want to know that you are protected if something goes wrong during your move. You can use the same DOT database above to make sure the moving company has adequate insurance to cover you if your belongings are damaged, lost, or stolen in transit. It’s also a good idea to buy your own supplemental moving insurance because your belongings may not be protected during transit by your homeowner’s insurance policy.

#4. What do the rates include?
Don’t assume that low rate you see advertised will be the final bill. If you aren’t sure what’s included, ask. Find out if fuel charges are included in the quote, how rates change depending on the day of the week, and whether any labor is included or if you will need to load and unload everything yourself.

#5. What happens on moving day?
Finally, make sure you understand what to expect when the company shows up at your door. Will the crew protect your furniture from damage? Are you expected to have belongings packed and ready, or will the crew help? Will the moving crew move heavy furniture down stairways? How many movers will be working on the job? How long will it take to load then unload your belongings? Will you be charged extra if the job takes longer than expected? It’s important to know your responsibilities on moving day and what the company includes in the estimate you’re provided for an easy and painless move.

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