Moving can be stressful and hiring a moving company can make the difference between taking some stress away or adding to it. Finding the right company is really important and sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. When looking for a moving company, make sure you ask the right questions and look for certain tell-tale signs to know if the company is legitimate and if they are going to do the job well. It is especially important to find a good company if you move a lot. Finding a company that has experience as a military moving company can make things go much smoother.
Ask to see a business license
All companies should have a business license that proves they are a legitimate business. When looking for a moving company, especially if you are moving from one state to another, ask for their Department of Transportation number and you can look them up in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) data base. If you are staying within the same state, the state will regulate them and a business license will show that the company has gone through the steps to become licensed.
Ask to see proof of business insurance
Proof of insurance is vital when working with any company, to make sure that if something happens, it will be covered. Legitimate moving companies will have insurance to protect themselves from potential lawsuits and to cover any damage that could occur during a move. If the company cannot provide you with proof of insurance, do NOT hire them.
Ask for an estimate
When looking for a moving company, ask for an estimate to see how much the company expects the job to be. If an estimate seems too good to be true, it probably is. Also be on the lookout for non-binding estimates – an estimated price that the moving company doesn’t have to stick to. Estimates are based on the mover’s best guess of what your belongings weigh, versus the actual weight of your belongings. Ask for a binding estimate or a binding not-to-exceed estimate. If you have a non-binding estimate, this makes it easy for the movers to give you a low estimate at the beginning, and jack up the price once they have the actual weight of your belongings to calculate the cost. Because Hampton Roads is home to so many military families, it is important to have an accurate estimate so you know if your moving allowance will cover the cost. Finding a military moving company in Hampton Roads that gives a good estimate can make things so much easier.
Ask to see if they offer valuation coverage
Legitimate moving companies should give you the option for valuation coverage. It is not the same as insurance, but it holds the mover liable for at least part of the value of your belongings. If something becomes damaged, it is another way to cover the cost of the damage item. Interstate movers are required to offer Full Value Protection and Released Value Protection, while movers regulated within a single state may not have to have those protections – it is dependent on the state.
Find reviews from previous customers
Check the internet for reviews from previous customers. Don’t just go with reviews provided by the moving company – do your own research. Previous customers are the best way to hear about the service provided. You can also check online to see if customers have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The BBB has a website you can search companies through.
Ask them to provide references
By asking the moving company to provide references, you aren’t just asking for a review. You can contact the reference yourself and ask any questions you want. If a company is unable to provide references, or if the reference provided isn’t able to answer your questions, that’s a sign that you should not go with that company.
They should give you a bill of lading – the official contract
Before any moving is done, the company should provide you with a bill of lading. This is the official contract between you and the moving company, which is required by law. If any moving occurs before you have to contract, you are not protected. You need to have proof of the agreement and the terms. The bill of lading is key to making sure your movers are legitimate.
They demand to be paid upfront
This may seem obvious, but don’t pay a moving company ahead of time. That takes away any leverage you may have. The bill of lading should state the terms you have agreed to – which should include the amount you have agreed to pay and when the payments will be made.
When choosing a moving company, make sure you do your research – don’t wait to find out if you made the right choice. Monarch Movers are a reputable group that checks all the boxes when looking for a great company. We are a military moving company in Hampton Roads and love to work with military families when they are on their way to a new station. We are licensed and insured, have great references, and are always professional. Give us a call today for an estimate and to answer any other questions you may have.
For more information on what to watch out for in moving companies, check out https://www.angieslist.com/articles/watch-out-moving-company-scams.htm