Are you gearing up for a big move? If so, you’ve probably discovered that moving can be a tricky process and that finding a reliable moving company can be tough. However, by planning out your first steps and taking the time to research each company, finding the right professional mover can be relatively easy. To help you out, here are a few tips to consider when shopping for a moving company.
State and Federal Licensing
Depending on where you’re moving, you’ll need to look for particular types of licensing, including certification from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA regulates interstate moving companies, which are moving companies who move customers across state lines instead of within a state. For your protection, it’s vital that the company you use has a current FMCSA license. Additionally, all moving companies should also have their USDOT number on display in their advertisements and their moving trucks. If you’re moving locally, within the state, be sure to check that your mover is licensed with the state DOT or DMV. In Texas, moving companies must be registered with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
Insurance and Other Legal Requirements
To avoid hiring a mover that doesn’t have insurance or other legal requirements, you’ll need to do some research on a company’s credentials. Try searching for a business on the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System and input the company’s USDOT number. You’ll find a lot of information about the mover, including if the company is Authorized for Hire and if they’re allowed to move customers across state lines. You’ll also be able to find out a company’s insurance information, such as Bodily Injury and Property Damage insurance (BIPD). They should have a minimum of $750,000 in BIPD, as well as a “Yes” next to the section for Cargo insurance.
Moving Associations Membership
While it’s not 100% necessary to hire a moving company that’s part of an association, it can give you a peace of mind in knowing that a company’s movers are accredited and trustworthy. For example, look for movers who are part of the American Moving and Storage Association, as members are interstate movers who’ve been in good standing with the association for a minimum of 18 months.
Before you make a final decision, it’s important to read a professional mover’s customer reviews and recommendations. Try looking up a company online and read remarks from past clients, and pay attention to repeat issues that pop up over and over again. If you’re having trouble finding reviews, you can contact FMCSA’s complaints number to determine if a company that you’re planning to hire has any complaints filed against them.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options to your top three moving companies, you can contact them to set up an in-home estimate. According to this website, interstate movers are legally required to provide an in-home estimate for your protection. You can also request a binding estimate or a not-to-exceed estimate so that you know the maximum amount of money that’s required for the moving process. While non-binding estimates are common, the final cost is usually higher than the estimate, and it’s always helpful to know the underlining price that you’ll need to budget for.