Making the move to a new home requires firm decision-making—and a lot of it. Many crucial decisions must be made in a relatively short time. It’s no surprise that people get overwhelmed. One of the most difficult decisions—and one many people fret over—is selecting a moving company. With literally hundreds of companies to choose from, both nationally and locally, it’s challenging to know where to start. We can simplify the process by matching you with a selection of Houston-based moving companies that meet your moving requirements. Start by getting a free quote now.
This list will help you know what to ask when you’re researching moving companies yourself. Answers to these critical questions will help you decide what Houston moving company will serve you best.
1. Are you licensed?
Every legitimate moving company should have a current license. The U.S. Department of Transportation issues license numbers to all professional interstate moving companies. The easiest way to avoid scams is to use the U.S. DOT Mover Registration search tool to look up a moving company’s license number, safety information, and contact details, and to read any complaints against the company.
The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles licenses local moving companies that handle relocations only within Texas. Check the TxDMV website to confirm the integrity of a prospective mover.
2. Can you handle the kind of move I’m making?
Not every move is the same. Whether you’re moving from a house into a high-rise apartment building, or from a small town to the big city, your moving company should have experience with this type of relocation. The bottom line is that your moving company should know how to handle any eventuality, such as parking restrictions, stairs, and narrow entryways.
3. What are your liability options?
Ask the company what level of liability coverage it provides to make sure your possessions are covered in case of an accident during the move. Moving companies should provide you with at least the following two liability options:
Full Value Protection. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), full value protection means the mover is liable for the replacement value of anything lost or damaged during shipment. This is the most comprehensive option. Cost of full value protection is different for every company.
Released Value Protection. According to FMCSA, released value protection is typically offered at no charge and is therefore more affordable. Coverage is minimal, though, and the mover’s liability is generally no more than 60 cents per pound per item.
You also have the choice of using (or purchasing) insurance through a third-party provider. Many homeowner policies already cover items during relocation.
Don’t forget to ask for the company’s proof of insurance!
4. Who are your references?
You should check your moving company’s references just as you would if you were hiring a new employee. A company should not hesitate to share references and their contact information. Once you have the list of references, start researching.
But even before you ask for references, you should ask friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations. Word-of-mouth remains an effective way of find moving options. When considering your choices, don’t forget to check online reviews and ratings.
5. How much will this cost?
Of course, you will want to know the price tag for your move. More importantly, you’ll want that cost in a binding quote or a not-to-exceed estimate; otherwise, you leave yourself open to surprises on your final bill. A non-binding estimate means if costs go up—if additional man-hours are needed or freight is heavier than expected—so does the price of your move. At the same time, if costs go down, so does your price, though that doesn’t happen too often. A binding estimate, which should be in writing, ensures your costs do not go above your original quote. Binding estimates should include any potential add-on charges incurred.
Those are the five most crucial questions to ask when choosing a moving company. But don’t stop there. Consider asking these additional questions to further inform your selection:
How much time should I allow for this move?
How can I maintain contact with the company/driver?
Will another party be involved (does the company subcontract the move)?
What other charges could I face?
What supplies will I be charged for?
What is your cancellation policy?
What is your preferred method of payment?
What restrictions will I have on how items get packed (including specialty items such as electronics)?
Doing your homework and thoroughly vetting prospective moving companies before you commit is essential to staying on budget, avoiding mishaps during the move, and protecting yourself from scammers. To cut some of the stress of contacting moving companies, ask for a free quote now from professional, affordable moving companies.