Hiring someone to be responsible for your family’s belongings is not an easy task. You need to make sure that you choose a company that will treat your possessions with responsibility and care that they would treat their own. Likewise, you need to be confident that your chosen moving company doesn’t overcharge you for their services. With that in mind, there are three considerations for you to weigh before you hire a moving company.

 

Consider the company’s reputation

Any moving company you research, unless they have just begun taking clients, will have earned either a good or bad reputation. It is easy to find reviews on moving companies by doing a simple web search. There are multiple websites that offer reviews of movers from professionals and previous clients. This can be a good place to start but should not be the sole source of information. Some companies offer services in exchange for good reviews, which can skew the data in their favor.

Another way to learn about the reputation of a mover is to ask the moving company itself to supply you with a list of former customers. The moving business is unlikely to provide you with the name and contact information of an unhappy client. Therefore, the length of the list should give you adequate information regarding whether the company has earned a good reputation.

The third option is to ask friends and family members for opinions on the moving companies you are considering. Advice from people you know and trust can offer the best information.

Shot of a young family unpacking boxes in their new home

Consider how they structure their fees

You can receive a free quote from most moving companies. Some will provide these quotes over the phone or via email with just a few pieces of information from you. They will want to know roughly the number and/or weight of boxes that will need to be moved and the amount and types of large furniture. They will also need to know how far your move will take you. Some companies may ask for more specifics, like whether your home has stairs or narrow hallways.

Make sure the moving costs are quoted with all possible fees. You may need to ask for a complete breakdown that includes insurance, mileage and any applicable taxes. Will the movers be packing and/or unpacking for you? If so, make sure the quote includes the cost of packing materials. This includes packing paper, bubble wrap, boxes and crates.

If you may find yourself in need of extra services, like junk removal or temporary storage, it is a good idea to ask for quotes just in case. That allows you to fully consider the amount of money you will be expected to spend on your move.

 

Consider insurance and liability

Every moving company should have basic insurance that will cover the cost of items that are lost or damaged during the move. However, you should consider exactly what that insurance covers. Some insurance only provides restitution in certain situations. For example, if you hire the company to pack your possessions, you will probably be completely covered. If you unpack your belongings, you may be in a more precarious situation.

The easiest way to manage this is to ask the moving company upfront what their insurance covers. The company should be more than willing to give you all details in writing. You should feel confident in choosing a different company if a moving company refuses to give you insurance details.