Evaluating Moving Companies: Key Questions to Ask Before Hiring – Safe Ship Moving Services 

Choosing a moving company is a critical decision that can significantly impact the success and stress level of your move. With so many options available, it’s essential to evaluate potential moving companies carefully to ensure you select a reliable and professional service. Asking the right questions can help you make an informed decision and avoid common pitfalls. Here’s what insiders such as Safe Ship Moving Services have to say.

Are You Licensed and Insured? 

The first and most crucial question to ask is whether the moving company is properly licensed and insured. In the United States, interstate movers are required to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and have a USDOT number. Verify this number and check the company’s status on the FMCSA website. For local moves, check with your state’s regulatory agency. Insurance is equally important; it protects your belongings in case of damage or loss. Ask for proof of insurance and understand what is covered.

What Is Your Experience and Track Record?

Experience matters in the moving industry. Inquire about the company’s history and how long they have been in business. An established company with years of experience is likely to have the expertise to handle various moving challenges. Additionally, ask for references from past customers and look for online reviews. A company with a solid track record and positive feedback is a good indicator of reliability.

What Services Do You Offer? 

Moving companies offer a range of services, from basic transportation to full-service moves that include packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking. Clarify what services are included in your estimate and whether there are additional services available, such as storage options, specialty item handling (e.g., pianos, antiques), and disassembly/reassembly of furniture. Understanding the scope of services will help you compare companies accurately and ensure all your needs are met. For specialized services, such as pet transport, consider using platforms like Shiply to find trusted moving companies.

Can You Provide a Detailed Estimate? 

A reputable moving company should provide a detailed and written estimate after conducting an in-person or virtual survey of your belongings. Be wary of companies that offer quotes over the phone without seeing your items. Ask if the estimate is binding or non-binding. A binding estimate guarantees the cost of the move, while a non-binding estimate may change based on the actual weight and services provided. Request a breakdown of all costs to avoid surprises on moving day.

What Is Your Policy on Damages and Claims? 

Even with the best movers, accidents can happen. It’s important to understand the company’s policy on damages and how they handle claims. Ask about their claims process, how long it takes to resolve, and what documentation you need to provide. Additionally, inquire about their damage coverage options. Basic liability coverage is typically included, but it offers minimal protection. Consider purchasing full-value protection for added peace of mind.

Do You Have Any Subcontractors? 

Some moving companies subcontract parts of the move to third parties. If this is the case, ask about the subcontractors’ credentials and how the primary company ensures their quality and reliability. You should be informed if any part of your move will be handled by a different company, and you have the right to verify their legitimacy.

Selecting the right moving company requires careful evaluation and asking the right questions. By inquiring about licensing and insurance, experience, services offered, detailed estimates, damage policies, subcontractors, delay handling, COVID-19 safety, inventory processes, and payment terms, you can make an informed decision and choose a reliable and professional moving service. Taking these steps will help ensure a smooth and stress-free moving experience.