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Choosing the Right Moving Company: A How To Guide

Choosing a moving company can be a daunting task, especially when you have to move to a new home or office. It is essential to find a reliable moving company that will ensure a smooth and stress-free move. With so many moving companies, it can be challenging to know which one to choose.

When selecting a moving company, there are several factors to consider. First, it is essential to understand the type of move you need. Are you moving locally or long-distance? Do you need help with packing and unpacking? Once you have a clear understanding of your needs, you can start your search for a moving company that specializes in your type of move.

Another critical factor to consider is the reputation of the moving company. You want to work with a company with a proven track record of providing excellent service. Reading reviews and checking the company's rating with the Better Business Bureau can give you a good idea of its reputation. Additionally, it is essential to ensure that the moving company is licensed and insured to protect your belongings during the move.

Researching Moving Companies

Researching moving companies is an important step in ensuring a successful move. Here are some tips for researching moving companies:

Online Reviews

One of the easiest ways to research moving companies is to read online reviews. There are many websites that allow customers to leave reviews of their experiences with moving companies. Some popular review websites include Yelp, Google Reviews, and Angie's List. When reading reviews, it's important to look for patterns. If several reviewers mention the same problem, such as damaged items or poor customer service, it's a red flag.

It's also important to keep in mind that some reviews may be fake or biased. Look for reviews that provide specific details about the move and the company. Reviews that are overly positive or negative may be less reliable than reviews that provide a balanced perspective.

Recommendations from Friends and Family

Another way to research moving companies is to ask friends and family members for recommendations. If someone you know has had a positive experience with a moving company, it's likely that you will too. Ask for details about their move, such as the cost, the level of service, and any issues that arose. It's also a good idea to ask for recommendations from multiple people to get a range of options.

Keep in mind that just because a moving company worked well for someone else doesn't mean it will work well for you. Every move is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Use recommendations as a starting point, but still do your own research before making a decision.

Licensing and Insurance

When choosing a moving company, it is important to ensure that they are properly licensed and insured. This will help protect you and your belongings in case of any accidents or damages during the move. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Checking for Proper Licensing

One way to check if a moving company is properly licensed is to look for its DOT number. According to Consumer Reports, if the mover is licensed, they must provide their DOT number on their website and in their advertising. You can also use the Licensing & Insurance Carrier Search tool provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to search for the company's DOT number or other information.

It is important to note that licensing requirements vary by state, so it is important to check with your state's Department of Transportation to ensure that the moving company is properly licensed to operate in your state.

Verifying Insurance Coverage

Another important factor to consider when choosing a moving company is their insurance coverage. You want to make sure that your belongings are protected in case of any damages or accidents during the move.

If you are moving out of state, you should verify the moving company's insurance coverage through the FMCSA's website and request their U.S. DOT number. If you are moving within your state, check with your local consumer affairs agency to ensure that the moving company is properly insured.

It is important to note that there are different types of insurance coverage that moving companies may offer, including full value protection and released value protection. Make sure to ask the moving company about their insurance coverage options and choose the one that best meets your needs.

Estimates and Quotes

One of the most important aspects of choosing a moving company is understanding how they provide quotes and estimates. This section will cover two key sub-sections: In-Home Estimates and Binding vs. Non-Binding Quotes.

In-Home Estimates

Many reputable moving companies will offer in-home estimates, where a representative will come to your home and assess the items that need to be moved. This allows the company to provide a more accurate quote based on the specific details of your move.

During an in-home estimate, the representative will typically take note of the items that need to be moved, including any large or fragile items. They may also ask questions about any special requirements, such as the need for packing materials or the need for a specific type of vehicle.

It is important to note that in-home estimates are typically more accurate than phone or online estimates, which may not take into account all of the details of your move.

Binding vs. Non-Binding Quotes

When getting quotes from moving companies, it is important to understand the difference between binding and non-binding quotes.

A binding quote is a fixed price that cannot be changed, even if the actual weight or volume of your items is different than what was estimated. This means that you will know exactly how much you will be paying for the move, regardless of any unforeseen circumstances.

A non-binding quote, on the other hand, is an estimate that is subject to change based on the actual weight or volume of your items. This means that the final price may be higher or lower than the original quote, depending on the actual details of your move.

It is important to note that a non-binding quote may be less accurate than a binding quote, as it is based on estimates rather than actual measurements. However, some moving companies may only offer non-binding quotes, so it is important to clarify this when getting quotes.

Additional Services

When choosing a moving company, it's important to consider the additional services they offer. These services can make the moving process much easier and less stressful. Here are two common additional services to consider:

Packing and Unpacking Services

Many moving companies offer packing and unpacking services to their customers. This can be a great option for those who don't have the time or energy to pack up their entire home themselves. The movers will come to your home and pack up all of your belongings, using high-quality packing materials to ensure everything stays safe during the move. They can also unpack everything at your new home, making the transition much smoother.

It's important to note that packing and unpacking services will usually cost extra. However, for many people, the convenience and peace of mind they provide are well worth the additional expense.

Storage Options

If you're not able to move all of your belongings into your new home right away, you may need to consider storage options. Many moving companies offer storage services, allowing you to store your items in a secure facility until you're ready to receive them. This can be a great option if you're downsizing or if you're not able to move into your new home right away.

When choosing a storage option, it's important to consider the cost, location, and security of the facility. Make sure you choose a reputable company that will take good care of your belongings.

Finalizing the Contract

After selecting a moving company, the next step is to finalize the contract. This is an important part of the process, as it ensures that both parties are on the same page and have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions of the move.

Reviewing the Contract

Before signing the contract, it is important to carefully review it. This includes reading through all of the terms and conditions, as well as any additional documents or addendums that may be included.

One important aspect to look for is the estimated cost of the move. This should be clearly outlined in the contract, along with any additional fees or charges that may be incurred during the move. It is also important to ensure that the payment terms are clearly outlined, including the amount of any deposit that may be required.

Another important aspect to consider is the level of protection offered for your belongings. Moving companies typically offer two levels of protection: full-value replacement coverage and released-value replacement coverage. It is important to understand the difference between the two and to select the level of protection that best meets your needs.

Asking Questions

If there are any aspects of the contract that are unclear or that you have questions about, it is important to ask the moving company for clarification. This can help prevent any misunderstandings or disputes down the line.

Some questions to consider asking include:

  • What is the company's policy regarding cancellations or rescheduling?
  • Are there any restrictions on the types of items that can be moved?
  • What is the company's policy regarding lost or damaged items?
  • What is the expected timeline for the move?

By asking these questions and carefully reviewing the contract, you can ensure that you are fully prepared for your move and that there are no surprises along the way.

Why Choose Allied Van Lines for Your Next Move?

Allied Van Lines stands out from the competition due to its extensive global network of movers and over 94 years of experience in the industry. Whether you're moving across the country or within your local area, we guarantee a stress-free relocation process with our reliable and efficient services.

As a full-service mover, we handle all aspects of the move, from packing and loading to transportation and unpacking. Our team of professionals is committed to providing affordable moving services with a name you can trust.

At Allied Van Lines, we take pride in our rich history of exceptional customer service. It's our pleasure to assist you in planning and preparing for your next move, and we offer an instant quote to get you started. Trust us to get you home, no matter where you're going.