How to Select a Moving Company

With so many options out there, finding a moving company online can seem like looking for a needle in a haystack. That's why the best way to find a mover is by a referral from a trusted friend, relative or colleague. If you are working with a real estate agent, they are also knowledgeable about moving companies. Have at least three referrals to contact so that you can compare estimates for your move.

The next step is to set up appointments with each of the three companies to get in-home estimates. No mover can give you a complete estimate without physically being in your home. During this in-home estimate, be aware of dishonest practices. For example, a professional mover will not ask for any upfront cash deposits. This can be a red flag alerting you that the mover may not be a legit business. Notice whether the mover showed up in a rented truck or a company truck. A professional mover will have their own equipment. Were they able to answer your questions completely, or did they hesitate or seem unsure? After the estimates are in, go to for a calculator that allows consumers to compare moving costs.

Check licensing. Make sure the mover is licensed and insured by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, particularly if you are moving out of state. You can verify this information by going to the FMCSA site. For interstate moves, the moving company will provide you with a copy of a government-issued handbook titled "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move." 

If you are staying in the same state, check your local consumer affairs agency or the Better Business Bureau for any complaints made against the company. You can also check U.S. News & World Report for their annual Best Moving Companies list. Consumer Reports also provides impartial recommendations for national moving companies.

Protect your expensive items with an additional insurance policy above and beyond what is covered by the mover. Should any of your items become damaged during the move, the insurance policy will provide the replacement value for your belongings. For local movers, see what your homeowners insurance policy covers. Move any small items like jewelry, family heirlooms and important documents on your own for safekeeping. Some moving companies will not insure items they have not packed themselves, so check to see if you are covered if you pack on your own. If you have particularly breakable items, like a large-screen TV, pay the extra fee and have the movers pack them for you.

Finally, verify the moving company's contact information by going to their website. Check the listed business address to make sure it is not located in a residence.

Once you have completed all the steps outlined here, you can begin to feel more confident that you have selected a professional, reputable moving company to transport your belongings to your new home. Good luck. Contact us for more details on making your move as hassle-free as possible.

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