cardboard question marks symbolizing questions to ask your mover to ensure safety

7 Questions to Ask Your Mover to Ensure Safety

Article posted by on May 10, 2024

Choosing the right moving company can significantly reduce moving anxiety and help you avoid scams. A reputable mover will make sure that your belongings are well-protected and the moving process is smooth and efficient. However, you should ask essential questions to identify a trustworthy mover before signing any contracts. Below, MovingScam aims to discuss seven crucial questions to ask your mover to ensure safety and prevent unpleasant surprises during your move.

Question 1: Are You Licensed and Insured?

When choosing a mover, always ask if they are licensed and insured. This question is vital for several reasons. First, licensing means the moving company meets specific standards set by authorities. This will let you know whether the company operates legally and follows industry guidelines.

two people going over documents

Asking about insurance is one of the most important questions to ask your mover to ensure safety.

Moving insurance is just as important because it protects you if something goes wrong. If your belongings get damaged or lost during the move, an insured company can offer compensation.

Always check the mover’s credentials yourself. This step is crucial to avoid rogue or uninsured operators who may not protect your belongings or might offer substandard services. You can verify their license by asking for their USDOT number, which is required for interstate moves, or their local license number for moves within the same state.

Question 2: Can You Provide a Written Estimate?

Always request a written estimate from your mover before committing to their services. A written estimate outlines the expected costs clearly and reduces the chance of surprise charges on a moving day. It protects you from last-minute price changes, which can occur if movers attempt to add hidden fees or miscalculate their rates.

A detailed estimate should explain what services are included and list all possible additional fees. For instance, it may specify costs for stairs, long walks, or packing supplies. Knowing these costs upfront allows you to plan your budget more accurately.

Question 3: Do You Offer Binding or Non-Binding Estimates?

It’s important to understand the difference between binding and non-binding estimates in order to avoid surprises on your moving bill.

Binding Estimates

A binding estimate guarantees a fixed price. The moving company gives you a written quote based on your inventory or an in-person survey. This fixed price will not change, even if your items weigh more or less than estimated. And you’ll know your exact cost before the move begins. This type of estimate is helpful if you want to stick to a strict budget and avoid last-minute cost changes.

Non-Binding Estimates

A non-binding estimate provides an approximate cost based on the initial weight or volume of your items. The final bill may vary if your actual load exceeds the estimate. While this type of estimate could be more flexible, the moving company can charge you more if the final weight is higher. For moves where you are uncertain about the exact amount you are transporting, a non-binding estimate may make more sense. However, keep in mind that the final cost could be higher than initially expected.

Which Type to Choose?

Choose a binding estimate if you have a clear idea of your inventory and want cost certainty. However, if you’re unsure about the weight of your belongings and prefer flexibility, a non-binding estimate might suit you better. Just remember that with a non-binding estimate, the final cost can change.

Question 4: How Do You Handle Claims for Lost or Damaged Items?

Before moving day, it’s important to understand the claims process and know what to do if your belongings get lost or damaged. A professional moving company should have a clear, detailed claims policy. This policy should explain how you can file a claim, what kind of compensation you could receive, and the expected timeline for resolution.

Look for movers that provide simple instructions for reporting any issues. The policy should also mention the required documentation, like photos of the damaged items, original receipts, and a detailed description of the loss. This paperwork will speed up the claims process and allow you to receive proper compensation.

You should also find out how your mover handles claims and the types of coverage they offer. Moving companies often provide two types of liability: full value protection and released value protection. Full value protection covers the entire replacement cost or repair of damaged items, while released value protection offers limited coverage based on weight (usually $0.60 per pound). Understanding these options helps you pick the coverage that best suits your needs.

Question 5: Can You Provide References or Reviews from Previous Customers?

Customer feedback plays a crucial role in evaluating a moving company’s reliability. Verified Movers reviews and references from past customers provide firsthand insights into the mover’s performance, professionalism, and handling of belongings. To be sure you’re making the right choice, one of the first questions to ask your mover to ensure safety should be whether you can see their reviews.

guy using a laptop and looking at his phone

Choosing the right mover begins with thorough research and customer testimonials to ensure quality service.

Your mover should willingly provide contact details for previous clients who can share their experiences. Reach out to these customers to inquire about the mover’s punctuality, communication, and how they handled items during the move.

When checking online reviews, focus on the most recent feedback. Recent reviews reflect the company’s current practices and performance. Pay attention to consistent trends. For example, repeated comments about late arrivals or damaged items can signal persistent problems. Conversely, frequent praise for efficiency, care, and professionalism can indicate a trustworthy mover.

Weigh positive and negative reviews carefully. Don’t let one or two negative comments overshadow an otherwise strong record, but also be wary of glowing reviews if they’re too generic or lack detail. Genuine feedback often includes specifics about the moving process.

Question 6: What Measures Do You Take to Protect My Belongings During the Move?

Making sure that your mover takes proper precautions to protect your belongings is crucial to a successful move. Asking about protective measures gives you an idea of how committed the company is to handling your items carefully.

guy carrying a box down the stairs

Trust in a mover who values the safety of your belongings as much as you do.

Common Protective Measures

Professional movers typically use several protective techniques to protect your belongings:

  • Padding
  • Shrink-Wrapping
  • Custom Crating
  • Disassembly and Reassembly
  • Floor Protection

When you ask about these measures, you show that you care about how your belongings will be handled. A trustworthy mover will take the opportunity to explain their process and demonstrate competence in protecting your items. They might even offer suggestions for additional safety measures based on the unique items you’ll be moving.

Question 7: Are There Any Additional Fees That I Should Be Aware Of?

Identifying potential extra fees helps you avoid unexpected costs that can quickly inflate your final moving bill. Some companies may add these fees at the last minute, catching you off guard and stretching your budget.

Commonly Overlooked Fees

  • Stair Fees: Movers may charge extra for carrying items up and down flights of stairs, particularly in buildings without elevators.
  • Long-Carry Fees: If movers need to transport items a long distance between your door and their truck, they often charge a “long-carry” fee.
  • Packing Supplies: If the company provides boxes, tape, or other packing materials, you could face an additional cost.
  • Disassembly and Reassembly: Taking apart and reassembling large furniture pieces often requires extra time and labor, which leads to added charges.
  • Specialty Item Handling: Moving pianos, antiques, or other specialty items can result in extra fees due to the specialized equipment required.
  • Storage Fees: If your items need storage before delivery, expect storage fees depending on the time and space used.

A transparent moving company will make these potential fees clear during the estimate process. They will outline each fee and explain why it’s necessary. Make sure you ask specific questions about these potential charges to prevent unpleasant surprises on moving day.

Key Questions to Ask Your Mover to Ensure Safety and Peace of Mind

Choosing the right moving company can not only make moving more manageable, but actually even enjoyable. These seven questions to ask your mover to ensure safety will help you evaluate your mover thoroughly. Use this guide as a checklist when looking for potential movers. A bit of preparation will help you find a company that protects your belongings and provides the seamless moving experience you deserve.