Moving in one home to some other is regarded as one of the most stressful events in life. In most cases, the best success of your residential move is determined by deciding on the best mover – reputable, experienced, and trustworthy.
Some house moves get completed with no major problems, some relocation instances can change into horror stories due to dishonest or “rogue” movers that won’t hesitate to adopt good thing about you any way they can.
To safeguard yourself from possible moving fraud and keep your belongings from falling in to the wrong hands, you need to do your homework and educate yourself on your viable options whenever choosing a moving company. Your very best line of defense is thorough research and careful planning.
Follow the 10 steps below to choose an established interstate mover and get rid of the possibility to become a victim of moving fraud.
1. Get written estimates from different movers
Get moving cost estimates on paper from several reputable movers in your area. These written estimates must be based on an in-home survey of your property or apartment and family members goods you would like to move.
The physical inspection of your home is crucial so you can get accurate quotes that will reflect your actual moving cost. Say NO to moving companies that provide estimates only over the telephone or via e-mail lacking any actual inspection of your household items.
2. Compare the movers and their estimates
It’s never smart to go with the 1st moving company that offers to go your belongings. You will need to weigh in your relocation options carefully to be able to choose the interstate mover that fulfills the needs you have, meets your expectations, and fits your finances.
In nearly all cases, it’s a blunder to hire a mover based solely on the cheapest estimate. When you compare moving companies and their offers, pay attention not and then the purchase price, but also to the included additional services, online reputation, many years of experience, and complaint history of the company.
3. Don’t be tempted by “low-ball” cost estimates
Be skeptical of any cost estimates which have been way lower than those provided by other moving companies. Why? A “low-ball” estimate could be a sign of potential moving fraud – a dishonest mover wanting to lure you in and then raise the price drastically at the time of your move or disappear with your deposit money or your belongings.
Avoid movers that give you the moon. Understand that if an estimate is too good to be true, it usually is, in particular when the mover involved has trouble explaining why their offered price is so low.
4. Make certain the mover is accredited by the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT)
All interstate moving companies must be registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in order to operate legally in the united states. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that each cross-country mover meet various insurance, safety, and financial standards before they are simply issued with a USDOT number.
A USDOT number is the proof that you’re dealing with the best and properly accredited interstate mover. Utilize the FMCSA’s mover search tool to access up-to-date information about registered interstate movers and their complaint history.
When moving within circumstances, the requirements for professional moving companies vary. Check with your state, county or local consumer affairs agency, or your state attorney general.
5. Check the movers’ complaint history at the FMCSA and the BBB
Check each moving company’s complaint history, if any, with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA’s National Consumer Complaint Database (NCCDB) will let you examine the amount of complaints lodged against any registered interstate mover in the last four years.
Also, check each mover’s complaint record with the BBB (BBB). Hiring a BBB-accredited mover with an outstanding BBB rating and with few or no customer complaints is a guarantee that you as well as your belongings will be safe.
6. Read moving reviews and check movers’ ratings
To choose a reputable interstate mover, check their online reputation in the form of customer reviews and ratings. Good moving companies understand the value of good reputation so they are doing their best to remain to offer high-quality services with their clients.
Go to a trusted moving reviews website and read how people rated the services of the moving companies you’re researching. Generally of thumb, stay away from professional movers with an overwhelming variety of negative reviews and low overall ratings.
7. Ask your movers the top questions
When selecting a specialist moving company, asking the movers a few simple questions can help you make the right decision. In the end, you want to make certain your prized possessions will maintain good hands throughout the move.
The top 5 questions to ask movers are:
How long has your business been in business?
Can you guarantee that the moving crew that will handle my belongings are experienced packers and movers, not non permanent employees?
Do you have the necessary equipment to get the job done safely?
How will you prevent property damage?
What goes on if any of my items are broken or missing?
Advice: What questions to ask movers
8. Browse the paperwork carefully
Read carefully any documents that the movers give you before you place your signature on a bit of paper. Pay special attention to the Bill of Lading which really is a formal contract between you and the moving company.
Be sure you discover how the price tag on your move is calculated and the type and rates of most additional moving services required to complete the move. If there are any conditions or sections in the Bill of Lading that you don’t understand well, ask the movers for clarification and don’t stop until every little detail is clear for you.
9. Understand the degrees of protection for your belongings
When choosing a mover, you must understand your alternatives for protecting your items. In reality, you have two options to do that: Valuation Coverage and Moving insurance.
You’ll automatically get Valuation Coverage when you sign the Bill of Lading, but its liability is only 60 cents per pound per item when moving to some other state. That basic coverage is seldom enough which means you should you should think about purchasing additional moving insurance for your household goods.
All professional moving companies can offer you enough insurance, either from them or from a third-party insurance company they use. In any event, the mover must issue a policy or a written record of the purchase.
10. Know and understand your rights before choosing the mover
The final step to selecting a mover is to learn Your Rights and Responsibilities WHILE YOU Move – a booklet made by the U.S. Department of Transportation that contains useful information you must know when moving in one state to some other. The booklet also includes vital information in what you should do if your goods are lost or damaged through the interstate move.
Your interstate mover is required for legal reasons to supply you with a free copy of Your Rights and Responsibilities ONCE YOU Move. Alternatively, you can download a free digital copy of the handbook in a PDF format from the website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).