Blog September 11, 2023

Questions to Ask Movers Before Hiring

Posted in Moving 101
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

Relocations can be stressful. Picking the right company makes it easier. Before deciding, it’s good to have a list of questions to ask movers. This helps you know if they’re a good fit and can handle your stuff with care.

Navigating a big relocation soon? Ease the transition with the right relocation company by your side. Ensure they’re seasoned, licensed, and equipped to handle your prized possessions with care. From understanding the timeline of the relocation to ensuring a smooth process even during unforeseen delays, being equipped with a set of important questions can be your safeguard. Make an informed decision for a smooth, worry-free transition to a new beginning.

Why Should You Have a List of Questions to Ask Movers Before the Move?

Relocating to a new place can bring a mix of excitement and stress. Finding the cheapest way to move out of state can certainly save you a lot of money, making the transition smoother financially. But let’s face it – it’s a lot easier to hire movers who know how to handle the intricacies of moving from state to state. One way to lean more towards a stress-free relocation experience is to be well-prepared, and that includes having a list of questions ready for potential movers.

Asking about the cost of moving interstate can prevent any surprise expenses later on. Inquiring about options for last-minute interstate moving helps if you find yourself in a time crunch. Moreover, asking about the most commonly forgotten things to pack can save you the headache of realizing you left something important behind. If you’re bringing the car with you, ask how to best prepare the car for shipping with their auto transport service. Having a list of moving company questions ready not only eases your mind but can pave the way for a successful relocation day.

But besides these most obvious inquiries, you should compile a list of other important questions to ask a moving company that will ensure you’re choosing the right one.

Cross-country moving to-do list, pen, calendar, coffee mug, clock, and a small succulent
Lists come in handy when you're relocating across the country

How Long Have You Been in the Moving Business?

When you’re paying for long-distance moving services and trusting a company with your belongings, it’s essential to know their background. Asking “How long have you been in the business?” gives you a glimpse into the company’s experience and reliability. A company that has been around for many years likely has a track record of successfully helping people relocate. They are more apt to have encountered various situations and know how to handle them efficiently.

Moreover, experienced professionals might offer valuable tips to help you navigate common relocation challenges, making the transition smoother. This doesn’t mean that newer companies can’t provide excellent services, but understanding a company’s history can be a good indicator of their ability to handle the relocation successfully.

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Can You Provide References From Past Customers?

Real feedback from individuals who have previously used their service can be a goldmine of information about the company. It gives you insights into their reliability, professionalism, and how they handle real-world issues during transit. Hearing from past customers can paint a clearer picture and help you make an informed decision, offering peace of mind that your belongings are in capable hands.

A man taking notes from online research
Look for recommendations and inquire about references from previous clients

Are You Licensed and Insured?

When you’re gearing up to relocate to a new home, having a well-crafted to-do list is key. One crucial item on that list should be to verify if the company is both licensed and insured. This step is vital in planning a move to another city, as it guarantees that the firm meets professional standards and can cover potential damages. Checking their credentials through agencies like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and conducting a DOT number check can offer an extra layer of assurance that the big transition is handled professionally and with accountability.

What Kind of Liability Coverage Do You Offer?

When planning to shift your belongings to a new place, understanding the liability coverage options the company offers is crucial. Usually, they offer two types – full value and basic liability. Full value coverage means that, in case of damage or loss, the company is liable to replace or repair the item, providing the highest level of protection.

On the other hand, basic moving insurance, which often comes at no extra charge, offers minimal protection and covers only a fraction of the item’s value. Differentiating between these two before settling can help you decide how much protection you want for your belongings during the transition, making sure you can bounce back without much hassle if something goes awry.

A damaged box after moving interstate
Insurance gives peace of mind when it comes to the safety of your belongings

Do You Have Experience With My Specific Type of Move?

When you are on the verge of a big transition, it’s crucial to find a team that is well-equipped to handle the specific type of relocation. Whether you’re shifting a studio apartment or a sprawling family home, relocating within the city or to another state, every relocation comes with its own set of challenges. Asking about their experience helps you gauge whether the company is capable of meeting your unique needs. It allows you to discuss any special requirements you may have and understand how adept they are in catering to them.

What Equipment and Resources Do You Use for the Move?

It’s a great idea to ask about equipment relocation specialists use. This question helps you understand if the company is prepared to handle specialty items such as pianos or antiques. Before signing a contract, ensure that they have:

These resources are important for safely relocating valuable items. Plus, knowing that the company is well-equipped can offer peace of mind on the relocation day.

State-to-state movers packing up a truck
The company of choice should have all the necessary equipment

Can You Provide a Detailed Estimate?

Relocating across the country can be an exciting yet stressful experience. With so many things to do and consider during the process, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the costs involved. That’s why a detailed estimate from the relocation company is crucial. However, not all estimates are created equal.

Is the Estimate Binding or Non-binding?

First and foremost, it’s important to know the difference between a binding and non-binding estimate. A binding estimate is a written agreement between you and the relocation company for a guaranteed price. This means that the price you agreed upon before the relocation is the price you will pay, regardless of any unforeseen circumstances that may arise during the relocation.

Non-binding estimates, on the other hand, are not guaranteed and are subject to change based on the actual weight of belongings, additional services requested, or any other unforeseen circumstances.

To ensure there are no hidden fees, it’s crucial to ask the moving company for a detailed estimate that breaks down all costs involved. This provides transparency and helps you understand exactly what you’re paying for. The estimate should include all charges for packing, loading, unloading, transportation, and any other additional services requested.

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Are There Any Potential Additional Charges I Should Be Aware Of

It’s also important to ask about any potential additional charges that you should be aware of. These can include things like stair fees or long carry fees, especially if there are narrow hallways or tight spaces in your home. By asking about these upfront, you can avoid any surprise charges on the moving day.

When reviewing the estimate, it’s important to keep in mind that the cost of the relocation can vary depending on the time of year. Moving during peak season (usually spring and during summer) or on the weekend can result in higher costs. If you have some flexibility with the move-in date, ask the moving company if there are any discounts available for relocating during the offseason or on a weekday.

Calculating expenses with a calculator and a pen
Be certain if there are any additional charges so you can plan the budget accordingly

What Is Your Payment Policy?

Understanding the payment policy of the company is vital to avoid any surprises or disputes later on. Generally, they might offer several payment options, such as cash, credit, or secure online portals. Be clear about any additional charges that might come up and how they handle cancellations or delays. It’s always better to have a transparent discussion about the payment terms upfront.

Do You Require a Deposit?

Many companies require a deposit to secure the relocation date. This is a standard practice, but the amount can vary greatly between companies. Always inquire about the refund policy related to the deposit, especially if there is a change of plans or unforeseen circumstances. Knowing the details about the deposit can help in budget planning and setting the right expectations for the relocation.

Money on the table
Stay away from companies that ask for too large deposits - it might be a sign of a scam

Additional Things to Ask the Relocation Company

When gearing up for a significant transition to a new home, getting clear, straightforward answers to a few vital questions to ask moving companies can make all the difference in experiencing a smooth relocation. These questions are aimed at helping you gauge the professionalism, reliability, and efficiency of the company you are considering.

What Is the Expected Timeline for My Move?

It’s essential to have a clear idea about the timeline for the move, helping you to plan and set expectations effectively. This means understanding when the packing will start, the anticipated transit time, and when the unpacking at the new place will occur. A well-laid-out timeline can ease your mind, allowing you to coordinate other aspects of the relocation seamlessly.

Do You Have a Cancellation Policy?

In life, unexpected events can sometimes change our plans drastically. Therefore, it’s important to ask about the company’s cancellation policy to know the options in case of a sudden change in the relocation plan or emergencies that might arise. It helps you to avoid any unforeseen penalties and to reschedule without much hassle.

How Do You Handle Delays Due to Unforeseen Circumstances?

Delays can happen for a variety of reasons, from bad weather to road closures. Knowing how the company handles delays ensures that the relocation stays on track even when issues crop up. It gives you peace of mind, knowing they have a plan to navigate around any barriers effectively, minimizing the impact on your schedule.

How Do You Protect Delicate or Valuable Items?

When relocating, the safety of the treasured possessions should be a priority. Ask the company about their strategies and materials used for protecting delicate or valuable items. This could involve special packing materials, experienced personnel, or even customized crates for very precious items. It assures you that your prized belongings are in capable, caring hands.

What Is Your Claims Process in Case of Damaged or Lost Items?

Despite all precautions, accidents can happen. Understanding the claims process is crucial to knowing the steps to follow if items get damaged or lost during transit. A company with a transparent and straightforward claims process indicates that they are prepared to take responsibility and address any issues promptly, offering you some reassurance.

Do You Subcontract Any Part of the Move, or Will You Be Handling Everything?

It’s very important to know who will be handling your belongings at all times. Ask if the company subcontracts any part of the move, as it might influence the level of accountability and the quality of service delivered. Knowing this information upfront helps you make an informed decision, ensuring a smoother transition to a new home.

Wrapping Up Moving Plans with Confidence

The process of moving homes can indeed be a seamless venture when you are equipped with the right information. Asking these critical questions helps establish transparent communication with the company and plays a significant role in safeguarding cherished possessions.

Remember, a reputable team will always be willing to provide detailed answers to your queries, showcasing their expertise and readiness to cater to specific needs. So, arm yourself with these questions to embark on a moving journey that is well-planned and executed to perfection, paving the way for new beginnings.

As you gear up for the big move, consider entrusting the relocation journey with State2State Movers, where your needs are our priority. Don’t hesitate to reach out to State2State Movers today. Take the first step towards a hassle-free and secure moving experience designed with excellence and your satisfaction in mind.


What Should Be My First Question to a Potential Moving Company?

Start with inquiring about their experience and expertise in handling relocations similar to yours to gauge their suitability for your specific needs.

How Can I Be Sure That My Valuable Items Will Be Handled Carefully?

Ask the movers about their policies and measures for protecting delicate or high-value items, including the type of packing materials and techniques they use.

What if I Need to Cancel or Change the Moving Date?

It’s important to understand the company’s cancellation policy, including any fees or penalties, to make informed decisions in case plans change.

How Do Moving Companies Deal With Unforeseen Delays?

Established companies should have clear protocols for managing delays due to unexpected circumstances, ensuring that the relocation remains on track despite challenges.

What Should I Do if My Belongings Are Damaged or Lost During the Move?

Be sure to inquire about the company’s claims process to understand the steps to take and the support you can expect in case of damaged or lost items during the relocation.

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