Moving is full of emotions, from excitement to nervousness, and usually, several big decisions must be made in a short amount of time. The relocation process can seem overwhelming, especially when meeting with different moving companies and reviewing estimates. What should you ask? What do the quotes mean? Are you comparing apples to apples? There are several questions to ask moving companies before signing on the dotted line.
Is the moving company a broker or a carrier?
All moving companies are either a broker or a carrier, but what is the difference? It is one of the big questions to ask moving companies, and it is important to understand each option.
Brokers give you an estimate for your relocation and bid it out to moving companies to provide the services. They do not assume the responsibility or are authorized to transport your household goods.
If you find yourself working with a broker, here are a couple of questions to ask:
- Are they registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
- Can they give you a list
of moving companies they use
- Make sure the
moving companies the broker uses are registered with FMCSA
- Ask to get everything in writing, do not accept verbal agreements
What is the moving company's delivery spread?
If you are moving long-distance, be sure to ask about the delivery spread. Simply put, the delivery spread is a window of days your moving company commits to dropping off your household goods at your new home. It can range from 2-25 days depending on the total weight, the distance of the move, and the time of year. The driver can select a delivery date within that window based on his or her schedule.
What is the payment schedule?
When preparing your list of questions to ask moving companies, be sure to understand their deposit policy, pay schedule, and accepted forms of payment. Many companies handle deposits and payment schedules differently.
Do you offer liability coverage?
When moving locally or across the country, protecting your items with liability coverage is important. There are two types of coverage: basic liability and full valuation.
- Basic Liability: All moving companies are required to provide basic liability coverage free of charge. Basic liability covers $0.30 per pound for intrastate moves and $0.60 per pound for interstate moves.
- Ex: If your 100-pound desk breaks during transit, the moving company would only reimburse you $30 if moving within the same state (intrastate move) or $60 if you moved out of state (interstate move).
- Full Valuation: The second protection option is what it sounds like – you receive the full, current market value to repair or replace the damaged items. Typically, this coverage is an additional cost.
Can you walk me through the moving process?
You don’t know what you don’t know, so be sure to ask moving companies about their relocation process, what to expect next, and how to prepare for the big day. A reputable moving company will be transparent and will be happy to walk you through everything. A local or long-distance move can be stressful and having a good contact person at the moving company can make all the difference in your relocation experience. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
If you are preparing to relocate, have a list of questions to ask moving companies ready to go before your in-home estimate. The more you know upfront, the more comfortable you will feel with entrusting movers to get your belongings to your new place. If you have any questions about the relocation process or you are looking to hire a mover, we would love to chat! Please reach out to us.