Essential Questions to Ask Your Long-Distance Movers
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Long-distance relocations require a lot of effort and may cause some stress, starting from planning, choosing a mover, and the transportation process itself. The most crucial step in the moving process is finding the right moving company with who you can entrust the transportation of your most prized possessions through hundreds of miles. Otherwise, you might end up receiving low-quality services or even falling victim to fraudulent companies.
“Must-Ask Questions” Before Hiring a Long-Distance Mover.
You should never hesitate to ask all the questions you have and require further assistance regarding your move.
- How long will my move take?
- What if I need to cancel my move? What is your cancellation policy?
- How can I contact the driver during the move?
- What are the restricted items you don’t move? Are there any restrictions on how I should pack?
- Do you background check your employees?
- Will you be delivering my belongings, or will there be another party or subcontractor?
- How do you handle damage and loss claims?
“Uncomfortable Questions” to Ask Your Moving Company.
We recommend you asking the following four main questions before you decide to hire a specific moving company:
Under which circumstances will the price of my move increase?
Often, the main deciding factor is the price of your move. You need to make sure that the mover you choose is within your budget and trustworthy. Almost all long-distance movers will charge you based on the volume of your possessions and the distance. There may appear some other fees, depending on the extra services you purchase and the company’s policy.
Read your moving contract carefully: all the details should be spelled out, as well as the extra fees for stair carries, furniture assembly/disassembly, packing materials, etc.
What kind of liability coverages do you provide?
Make sure that the company is insured and liable for damages because you are going to entrust your valuable belongings to them. Your mover should offer you at least two insurance plans. Usually, there are two main options: Released Value and Full Value Protection.
The basic liability protection (Released Value), the most economical protection, covers only $0.60 per pound per item and does not allow punitive damage claims.
Your company should be able to offer you full value protection for an extra fee or recommend a third-party insurance company. It means your movers will offer you to repair, replace with a similar item, or a cash settlement for the cost of repair or the market replacement value. The exact cost of Full Value Protection may vary by mover, and you should ask your mover to give you details of their Full Value Protection plan.
Learn more about moving company quotes and insurance.
Are your employees covered by workers’ compensation?
You should ask your moving company if their employees are covered by the workers’ compensation. If they are not covered, in case of any injuries, you will be financially responsible for workers’ injuries.
When will my belongings arrive?
Delivery can take 1-2 weeks or more because your belongings will probably make several stops, switch to different trucks, or be placed in storage for a short time. Your company should provide you with an approximate delivery window so you can make the necessary arrangements.
Tips on How to Choose a Reliable Long-Distance Moving Company.
- Firstly, make sure you’re not dealing with a broker. Moving brokers are just sales agents who book your move and communicate with you in the moving process for a commission from your pocket. It means they sell the job to professional movers, and you will have indirect communication with movers may cause some misunderstandings and problems.
- Check the USDOT number of a company you chose on safer.fmcsa.dot.gov. Your moving company should be licensed and insured to operate in the state where it was incorporated and nationwide.
- Check the company background on Better Business Bureau (BBB) and reviews on Google, Yelp, and TrustPilot. Look for red flags, if they had any accidents and complaints from customers.
- Check if they have the necessary equipment, such as trucks, vans, hoisting equipment, and other special tools for your move. If a company hires another company as a subcontractor to perform a part of the job, check the subcontractor’s background too.
- Read the contracts carefully before you sign, especially parts about the responsibility of the parties and cancellation policy. Keep the contract until your possessions are delivered, and you are sure all the goods are in their original condition. Without documentation signed by both parties – you and your mover, you won’t be able to file a claim if your belongings are damaged.
- Ask for a detailed quote from any potential mover, which should include all the services and fees. Get video or in-home estimates and compare the quotes of different companies.
Read our article to find out how to pack yourself efficiently for your move. If you are thinking about hiring packers, you’ll find information about the average cost of packing services in the United States.
To learn more about hiring quality movers, read our detailed article on how to hire a reputable moving company.
8 Tips to Prepare for Your Long-Distance Move.
Request a move representative to conduct an in-house estimate by doing a visual survey of all the items you are moving. It would allow movers to give you an accurate price for your move. You will get a feel for the moving company you are considering selecting.
Insure your Belongings.
Many things can happen to your stuff over thousands of miles in the back of a truck. That is why we recommend getting the proper coverage. Under Federal law, moving companies are required to assume liability for an amount not exceeding $0.60 per pound. Determine well before your move if you want to purchase full-value coverage or stick to basic coverage.
Moving cost for the long-distance move is usually based on the weight or cubic footage of the items you ship. The greater the load, the more you will end up paying. We recommend taking the time to go through your stuff and decide what you still use and what you can get rid of. You may no longer need certain items at your new home, so consider holding a garage sale before your move or donating unneeded items to the Salvation Army or Goodwill.
Organize your Belongings.
You can do it yourself, but let the packers do the packing. We recommend you hiring packers because they will properly pack your belongings for long-distance transportation. Professional packers can wrap your items carefully and safely, so they won’t get damaged during the relocation.
Label your boxes while you are packing. Write on the outside of each box a list of the items that are packed inside and don’t forget to mark what room the items should be placed into in the new home. Markings like each room or section will make placing items significantly easier for the movers. Listing the items on the box will be a lifesaver when you are unpacking and trying to locate something.
We also shared an article on how to declutter and organize your move.
Move during the Off-Season.
If this is an option for you, we recommend that moving companies tend to charge higher prices during their busy summer than they do during the fall, winter, and spring. If you are flexible with your moving dates, you can save some money by moving in the off-season.
Separate your Personal Belongings.
Keep personal documents such as your driver’s license, social security card, passport, and birth certificate with you. Don’t pack anything you’ll need once you get to your new home. You’ll probably need some of your documents when you look for or start a job and will need some clothes, sleeping materials, hygiene products, and a few other things right away.
Know your Move-in Stipulations.
In an apartment or condo, you may have certain requirements that your movers need to meet. You’ll need to reserve the elevators beforehand before you move in. Also, you should know about the other restrictions and requirements if you don’t want to have your movers stuck in the truck waiting for clearance to move in.
Moving Expenses are Tax Deductible.
Moving costs are often tax deductible if you are moving for work. You can save some money if you deduct your moving expenses in the spring.
If you are planning a long-distance move to another city or few states over, ask your mover the questions above and keep in mind the tips before you choose a specific company. Those tips will help your long-distance relocation go smoothly, save you a lot of time and money, and give you peace of mind.