Questions to Ask a Moving Company in NYC

Questions to Ask a Moving Company in NYC

Like any major business, moving companies come in a wide variety. Finding the right company for your major move isn’t just a matter of cost comparison. The key is making sure that you’re working with a reputable company that falls within your budget and will get your things to your new location safely and as promised.

The following are a few major questions you should ask any moving company before you sign on with them for your relocation. These questions should help keep you- and your belongings- safe during this transitory time.

Are you licensed or regulated?

Don’t just take the company’s word for it. It’s key to find out for yourself whether a moving company is licensed. Your state should have a transportation department that can point you in the right direction and let you know whether a particular mover is authorized.

Are you associated with a trade organization?

There are a few unions that exist for movers. Whether or not a company belongs to an organization isn’t necessarily a deal maker or breaker when it comes to hiring them. It is, however, excellent information to have if you should have to settle a dispute with the company in the future- the organization can act as a go-between, or offer regulated rules that can help solve issues.

What are the exact charges in my estimate?

If necessary, ask to look at a contract and a breakdown of everything that comprises the estimated cost. Many moving companies will assume you want it all unless you tell them otherwise, and an estimate may include such charges as packing boxes, breaking down beds, and unplugging appliances. Keep in mind that unless you read the estimate and specify that you don’t want these things done, you’ll be paying for them even if you did them yourself.

How long will the process take?

This question will need to be asked to a few different movers to get a good idea of what you should expect for your particular situation. If one company is giving you a time estimate that is dramatically different from the others, be suspicious. A three-bedroom house should take, on average, three hours to load into the truck and two hours to unload. A mover who estimates much longer than this may be trying to get more money out of you, while a mover with a very short time estimate is probably being untruthful. Go with your instincts.

What liability and protection do you offer?

Never choose a moving company that doesn’t have adequate insurance. A reputable mover will have a decent insurance policy to cover any natural accidents that may occur. Whether or not you insure your belongings yourself, you should never be responsible for damage caused by a moving company. The company absolutely must have a policy in place to protect you.

The amount of protection they should have is up to you; do some cost comparisons among different companies. Read the fine print; some company’s insurance policies will not protect items against damage if you packed boxes yourself. Make sure to choose a company with a policy that makes you feel comfortable.

Moving is a stressful enough experience; choosing a moving company can sometimes make it even worse. Make sure to do your homework, ask for referrals from family and friends, and don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re choosing between companies. Keep in mind that you may pay a little more for a reputable moving company with good insurance and a clean track record. Also keep in mind that your belongings- and your peace of mind- are worth it.

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