Questions to Ask When Selecting a Moving Company


Moving to a new place should be an exciting adventure, not a stress-filled nightmare. But with so many moving companies out there, how do you know which one to trust with your belongings? Between hidden fees, sketchy insurance, and inexperienced movers, it can get tricky. That’s why we’ve put together this handy list of questions to ask any potential moving company to make sure your move goes off without a hitch.

Best Questions for Movers

Choosing a moving provider? Here is a list of questions to ask your moving company before you sign the dotted line (and a few red flags to look for):

Credentials and Experience

How long have you been in the moving industry, and can you provide me with references from past clients?

A reputable moving company should have plenty of experience and satisfied customers to back it up. Make sure to ask for references or check online reviews to get a better understanding of the company’s track record.

RED FLAG: If a mover is unable to provide any information supporting an established business with credible references, you might want to look elsewhere. It is not uncommon to find “movers” who often change names and information to avoid a trail of bad reviews and dissatisfied customers.

Are you licensed by the USDOT and insured?

RED FLAG: If a company is unable to provide you with documentation of licensing and insurance, chances are that if something goes wrong, the DOT and other organizations might not be able to help you. Always do your homework and make sure that your service providers check out.

Are you licensed for interstate moves?

This is key if you’re moving across state lines. Make sure the company you pick is licensed to handle moves, whether it’s just across town or across the country.

What is your experience level, and do you have any specialty experience?

If you’re moving to a city area with walk-ups, freight elevators, or narrow streets, check that your moving company can handle it. Also, if you need to move big items like a grand piano, be sure to mention it and discuss alternatives if they can’t meet your specific needs.

Available Services

Do you offer packing and unpacking services?

Many moving companies provide comprehensive services that include packing, unpacking, and even setting up beds and placing large furniture your new home. If you are interested in packing items yourself to save some costs on the front end, make sure you understand how that might change the liability and insurance of your items during the process.

Is temporary storage an option if needed?

Ask about storage options if there’s a gap between your move-out and move-in dates. Many moving companies also provide storage services, so be sure to consider this if you need a place for your belongings in the meantime.

How do you handle fragile or special items?

Make sure the company knows how to safely move delicate items like antiques, pianos, or artwork and has the right equipment to do so.

Pricing and Payment

How do you calculate your pricing, and what does it include?

Understanding the pricing structure will help you avoid unexpected costs. Ask for a detailed breakdown of what the quote includes. This will help you in your moving company quotes comparison.

Make sure to check if the costs for packing materials and specialty equipment are included, or if there are extra charges after a certain amount is used. Also, this is a good time to chat about the size of the moving crew, so you know what to expect on moving day.

Are there any hidden costs I should be aware of?

Make sure to ask about rate changes and extra fees. A good company will share this info when asked, so make it a key part of your chat. Talk about things like fuel costs, moving extra items from storage, new purchases before the move, and peak season rate changes. This way, you’ll have a clear idea of what your final bill might be.

What is your deposit policy?

Some companies require a deposit to secure your moving date. Make sure to understand the terms and conditions.

RED FLAG: If a company only accepts cash or demands a large deposit upfront for services, it might be worth looking into other options. This could be a sign that things might go south later on and then you will be out the funds with no way to track it or stop payment if the services end up being fraudulent.

Insurance and Liability

What type of insurance do you offer? Is it based on weight or value?

It’s super important to know the liability and insurance policies of your moving company before your move. Legally, they should give you a document detailing your rights and responsibilities. If they don’t, that’s a major red flag, and you might want to consider another option.

How do you handle claims for damaged or missing items?

Know the process for filing claims and resolving disputes in case something goes wrong during the move.

Can I purchase additional insurance through you?

Additional insurance can provide extra peace of mind, especially for high-value items. Check with your homeowner’s insurance as well to see if they cover any damages during the move.

Additional Tips for a Stress-Free Move

Moving can be a complex and stressful process, but thorough planning and organization can make the experience much smoother. Besides the basics like licensing, services, and costs, there are a few other things to keep in mind to ensure a successful move. From figuring out the right time to move to knowing the moving company’s rules on claims and insurance, these extra tips can give you peace of mind and help you dodge common issues.

Understanding Your Rights and Responsibilities

When it comes to an interstate move, customers are protected by federal law under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This means that moving companies must provide you with a document detailing your rights and responsibilities before your move.

It’s important to know your rights and any state laws to protect yourself during the move. These documents will cover things like liability coverage, disputes and claims processes, and the importance of accurate quotes.

The Importance of Accurate Quotes

Getting an accurate moving quote is key when you’re doing a moving company quotes comparison. It’s important to understand the difference between non-binding and binding estimates, as well as any potential additional charges that may be added on later.

To get an accurate quote, make sure to give detailed info about your move, like the number of items, any special handling or storage needs, and the distance between your current and new places. This helps avoid any surprise costs later on.

Pre-Move Planning

Proper planning can make all the difference in a successful move. Before packing begins, it’s important to take inventory of all your belongings and label them accordingly. This will make unpacking much easier and help avoid any confusion or misplaced items.

On moving day, it’s important to have a plan in place for loading and unloading the truck, as well as coordinating with the moving company. Make sure to also prepare your new space by cleaning and setting up any necessary utilities beforehand.

Pro tip: Check our Moving Prep Checklist and our Ultimate Room-by-Room Packing Guide for a crash course on preparing for your move.

Post-Move Considerations

Once you arrive at your new home, take some time to unpack and settle in before dealing with any issues or claims with the moving company. If anything is damaged or missing, make sure to follow their process for filing a claim.

It’s also key to properly toss out any packing materials and update your address with important contacts like banks, employers, and utility companies. This way, you can settle into your new place and start fresh.

Red Flags to Watch Out For

Unfortunately, there are some common scams in the moving industry that can leave customers with a bad experience or even financial loss. To protect yourself, make sure to thoroughly research any potential moving company before hiring them.

Some warning signs to watch out for include:

  • Lack of a physical address or official website
  • Suspiciously low estimates compared to other companies
  • Demanding a large deposit upfront or insisting on cash-only payments
  • Unprofessional behaviour or lack of proper documentation
  • Refusal to provide a written estimate or contract
  • No licensing or registration with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration)
  • Poor reviews or complaints from previous customers
  • Unmarked trucks or equipment
  • Vague answers or evasion when asked about insurance or liability policies
  • Pressuring you to sign documents without giving you time to read them carefully

Additional Tips for a Stress-Free Move

Moving can be a stressful process, but there are ways to make it easier on yourself. Start by preparing physically and mentally for the move by getting enough rest and staying organized throughout the process.

It’s also important to communicate clearly with your moving company and ask any questions you may have. Don’t be afraid to speak up if something doesn’t seem right or if you’re not satisfied with the service provided.

Lastly, make sure to give yourself some time to adjust to your new home and neighborhood before diving into unpacking and settling in completely. Moving is a big change, so take it one step at a time and don’t hesitate to reach out for support from friends and family.

Get a Free Quote from ADSI Today

A successful move hinges on careful planning, understanding your rights, and choosing the right moving company. By staying organized, vigilant, and informed, you can significantly reduce the stress associated with moving and ensure a smooth transition to your new home. Remember, the key lies in doing your due diligence and preparing adequately for every stage of the process.

Ready to make your move with confidence? Let ADSI help you every step of the way. With our expert team and reliable services, you can rest assured that your belongings are in good hands. Contact us today to get a free, no-obligation quote tailored to your moving needs. Get a free quote today or get in contact to learn how we can help you make your move. Start your journey to a hassle-free move with ADSI!