Moving to a new home can be exciting and choosing a mover to fit your needs is key to a great move.
Are you moving with kids? Not sure what to do with the pets on moving day? What about your delicate electronics and antiques?
You’ve taken a step in the right direction by coming to the experts. In this section, you’ll learn about choosing a mover, when to move, what type of estimates to request, and what to expect on moving day.
If you have any disputed charges or loss and damage claims after your move, we can help you resolve them.
Top 10 Successful Moving Tips
Here are our top 10 tips to ensure that you’re working with a professional, ethical mover:
Know who you’re dealing with — verify the mover’s identity
Look for red flags that something may not be right, such as:
- No physical address or phone number online, just a “Contact Us” feature
- You’re quoted a very low price that seems too good to be true
- No federal motor carrier (MC) number is shown; or if there is an MC number, it doesn’t match with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) website
- We make verification easy for you with our ProMover program, so always choose among companies displaying the ProMover logo for interstate moves. Or if it’s a move within your state, look for companies that are a member of your state’s moving association (where they exist). California has a state-level ProMover program.
Get at least three written in-home estimates.
- Be wary of any “guaranteed” estimates offered over phone or online; instead, ask to have someone come to your home. Some movers also offer virtual home surveys that you can do yourself. Get more than one written estimate. If a mover insists that he can provide a “final” estimate over the phone without ever seeing your home and your furniture — choose another mover.
Research the Moving Company.
Know your rights.
- Your rights for an interstate move are spelled out in two federal government publications, Ready to Move? and Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.
- Federal regulations require your mover to give you a copy of the first brochure, Ready to Move?, with all written estimates for interstate moves. When you agree to hire a mover, you must then receive a copy of Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move, a second booklet that goes into more detail. You must also receive information on the arbitration program that the mover participates in. Some movers now provide this important information electronically. No matter what form it comes in, be sure to review it and ask questions about anything that you don’t understand.
- Most state governments regulate movers who operate within that state, so for a local move, check with your state moving association or your state consumer affairs office for details.
Understand the level of liability, or valuation, that your mover would be responsible for in case of loss or damage. The cost of full-value protection must be included by law in interstate estimates — so you must “opt out” to get the minimum coverage of 60 cents per pound, which we don’t recommend. This is a different product than traditional insurance, which is written by a third party.
Avoid large down payments.
- Although some movers may ask for a small “good faith” deposit to hold a date (especially during the busy summer season), be wary of carriers seeking large down payments, or payment in advance for any reason.
|Make sure all agreements between you and your mover are in writing, and get a copy of everything you sign, especially the most important document, called the bill of lading. Never sign any blank forms.
Take valuables with you.
- Cash, coins, jewelry, photographs, and important papers should be taken with you or sent ahead separately.
Be reachable by phone.
- Make sure the mover has your cell phone number and is able to reach you during your move, in case there is any unforeseen change in your delivery schedule. Be sure to have the driver’s full name, ID and truck number to allow for fast and accurate communication.
- If you do not understand something, ask. The moving business and has its own terminology and can be complex. If you aren’t satisfied with the answers to your questions or if the mover hesitates when you ask for clarification, talk to another carrier.