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By KK Mounsey

Choosing a moving company

When you decide to move, there is a lot that you must consider. You may wish to move yourself, which can result in lots of stress for you and your family. In order to avoid this extra stress, you may wish to hire a moving company. But there are some questions that you must ask before you entrust the movers with your possessions.

1. Ask them how long they have been in business. If they have only been around for a few years, you may want to check into their background. Of course, while checking credentials is vital, you may also wish to speak to customers that have used them for some personal references. A company may look good on paper but then not perform to the standards they have set forth.

2. Ask if they can provide you with other proof that they provide good service. If they are willing to provide you with references, this indicates that they are both professional and reliable. Additionally, contact the BBB and the AMSA for more insight into their reputation.

3. Ask if they have licenses and insurance, and if they are up to date. Again, a company may have great reviews but if they do not have or will not provide you with their DOT number, they may not be as honest as they seem. If they do have a DOT number, then you can verify them through the Department of Transportation, which will assure you that your things will be legally and safely transported.

4. Find out the types of estimates offered by the mover that you're talking to. After all, chances are that you have a budget. By asking about estimates, you will be able to find a mover that you can afford.

5. Ask about all moving charges related to your move. When you have this information, you can also ask questions about additional charges/policies related to your move. Keep the following in mind when asking about charges:

  • Long-distance/interstate moves are typically charged by weight
  • Local moves are an hourly charge
  • International moves are typically charged according to volume of shipment

6. Find out how they plan to avoid damaging the walls and carpets in your new home. They should be able and willing to explain to you their techniques and the types of coverings they use to protect your things and areas.

7. Find out how they protect their workers against injuries, and whether or not they offer workers' compensation. If they do not provide this, then you could be responsible for any injuries or illnesses that occur on your property.

8. Find out how they plan to protect and handle your items during the move. They should tell you about the packaging they use and the precautions they take, as well as the insurance policies they have in place.

9. Find out about their procedures for damage claims. It's possible that no matter how many precautions are in place, damage can still occur. You should know their policy in advance so that you're ready if that does happen to you.

10. Find out when you can expect your belongings to be in the new location. If it's a local move, it should not take weeks. However, an interstate or international move could possibly take that long.

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