When making a move across town or across the country you may need to hire a moving company. This can be a daunting task for someone who has no experience with moving companies. Below is a list of questions that will help you make the right choices at this important and critical time in your life.

Be sure to allow plenty of time to choose the right moving company. Most companies will want a reservation scheduled between 2 and 4 weeks before the move. This helps them arrange their workers and trucks. You will need to get your questions answered at least a month in advance so that you can narrow down your choice for the right moving company.

Some of these questions can be answered by looking at the moving company's website. But it is also good to confirm the information with a phone call or email. Phone calls are quick, but emails help provide a list of written responses in case something goes wrong.

Questions to Ask the Moving Company

  • Is the company and its employees insured and licensed? They should be able to assure you that not only the company is insured, but so are the individual workers.
  • Is the estimate an hourly rate or a flat-fee? Either is fine, but you need to know if you will be charged more if the workers run into a snag.
  • Does the moving company charge extra for larger items?
  • Is there an extra fee for moving into a second, or third floor of an apartment complex?
  • If you are paying an hourly rate, do you pay for worker's lunch and break times? Do they bill by the hour, half hour or quarter hour? Is there a minimum fee?
  • Do you pay for travel time for the workers? Both before and after the job?
  • When is a deposit due (if any at all)? What types of payments do they accept?
  • Are the employees trained by the moving company?
  • Do they use day-laborers? Realize that temporary laborers may not be trained nor insured.
  • Are the items insured during the move? Even if you cross state lines?
  • What is the cancellation policy? Many movers require a change or cancellation fee if you wait until just a couple of days before the move date. However, with a reasonable amount of warning, you should be able to adjust your dates.
  • Are there any supplies and information the moving company can provide before your move?
  • Is there an extra fee for moving on nights or weekends?
  • Does the moving company have any referral discounts?
  • What items are they not able to move? Gas? Ammunition? Moving companies are not allowed to transport certain items. Make sure you find out from them exactly what those items are for your location.

These questions will help you choose the right moving company. Some of the information you will be gathering can be had by seeing how they react to your questions. When you are trusting someone with your household goods and precious belongings, you want to choose a moving company that is open and honest about their policies.

Moving can be stressful, but these questions should help eliminate much of the stress during this important time.