6 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Movers
Hiring movers is a huge task. After all, it’s important to find someone who is reputable and who is capable of taking care of your belongings.
With that in mind, below are six questions that you should ask before hiring movers. Read them over so that you have a better idea of what to expect from this process.
Hiring movers? Here are the first questions you should ask them
1. Are you licensed?
If your worst fear is getting caught up in a moving scam, be sure to ask if your moving company is licensed. Truthfully, every moving company should have a current license number that can be tracked along with complaints.
If you’re working with an interstate moving company, you’re going to want to check the US Department of Transportation’s database in order to ensure that your company is licensed.
On the other hand, if you’re moving within the state, your moving company will receive a state license. In that case, every state has its own licensing requirements. You should check to see what they are before committing to a particular moving company.
2. What kind of liability insurance do you offer?
The next question that you want to ask when hiring movers pertains to liability insurance. Whether you’re moving across the street or across the country, it’s important to ensure that your belongings are covered in the event of a mishap during your move.
All movers should provide proof of liability insurance upon request. However, in particular, interstate movers are legally required to offer you a choice between two kinds of insurance.
- Full value protection: With full value protection, your movers are responsible for providing you with the replacement value for any lost or damaged goods. This is generally considered to be the more comprehensive option.
- Released value protection: Under this type of protection, the mover assumes responsibility for no more than $0.60 per pound per article.
Additionally, you are also entitled to get your own liability insurance coverage. That said, before you go out and spring for a new policy, you may want to check your homeowners’ insurance coverage. Sometimes homeowners’ insurance policies offer this under their policies.
3. Can you provide a binding estimate?
No one wants to get a surprisingly-large bill at the end of a long moving day. However, unfortunately, most movers only offer non-binding estimates. This means that the estimate for the cost of your move is subject to change, depending on how long it takes and how difficult it is.
Ultimately, this method of pricing could end up working either for or against you. For example, if your move is smaller than the moving company expects, you may end up saving some money. However, if it takes longer, you could get socked with a bigger bill.
Instead, a better move is to ask for a binding estimate. A binding estimate ensures that the cost of your move will not exceed the amount that is listed on the estimate. Your estimate should include any add-ons or other potential charges that could occur along the way.
4. If I’m hiring movers from your company, do you subcontract your services?
Especially if you’re undertaking an interstate move, you’ll want to ask your moving company whether they work with subcontractors. Sometimes, movers will hire people that don’t work directly for the company to do tasks like driving their trucks or even moving your belongings.
While this practice is not necessarily a bad thing, the issue comes when you’re talking about insurance. Often, subcontractors will not be covered under the company’s insurance policy. With that in mind, if your company uses subcontractors, you may have to do some extra leg work and verify their insurance policy as well when hiring movers.
5. How do you handle loss and damage claims?
Next, it’s important to look into how the company handles loss and damage claims. While you don’t want to think about something happening to your belongings, it will be easier to go through the process if you know what to expect ahead of time.
Ask the customer service representative if they can explain the process to you. In general, it’s a good idea to check for lost items before signing an inventory sheet and to take pictures of any damage when it occurs.
6. Can you provide references before I hire movers from your company?
Lastly, it’s important to ask your movers if they can provide references. You’d likely read reviews before hiring any other service — why wouldn’t you do the same for movers?
If the movers say that they can give you references, make sure to take the time to call them. Ask them how their experience was. Ask them if they would recommend the service. Don’t hesitate to ask them if there was anything that made them unhappy with their experience.
Truthfully, hearing a review can give you the type of first-hand knowledge that many people wish they had when they’re hiring movers. If you have this option, make sure you make the most of it.