Moving with a professional moving company can take much of the stress out of the process. Of course, any major life event can’t be completely stress-free, but it can be made easier if you eliminate as many stressors along the way as possible.

Hiring a good, professional moving company is one way to minimize stress. Good movers can help you with all aspects of the move, from packing up the old home to unpacking and placing furniture in the new home. But, they do need to be good, reliable professional movers.

Here are 5 questions to ask to help you find the best movers for you. 

Do you subcontract the work?

When you do your research on a mover, you want to be sure the company you are researching is the company that is actually handling your move. If the mover subcontracts the work to individuals or other companies, you lose the continuity that a company can offer. It also becomes difficult to know who is accountable for the move. Ensure that the mover you hire handles their responsibility with their own employees.

May I Have Your USDOT Number & State License?

Every interstate moving company us a USDOT number. The US Department of Transportation maintains a record of the companies, their history and ensures they are a legitimate company. Obtain the USDOT and double-check with the USDOT website.

For local moves, your mover will be license by the state. As with the USDOT number, don’t just take the word of the mover, double-check the license number with the state dot.

Can you provide references?

All good movers happily share references to prospective customers. Be sure the references are for moves similar to the type of move for which you are hiring them. If all the references are for local moves and you are moving long distances, there may be a disconnect between the service the reference experienced and what you will receive. 

Do You Provide an Itemized Fee Schedule?

Good professional movers provide itemized costs. You will want a binding quote from the mover that includes the detail of the services provided as well as an itemized list of items being moved.

This is great for you because you know exactly what the cost will be. But, it also means you need to be clear about what you want to have moved, and what services you want. Last-minute additions to the scope of the move can cause problems when the final bill arrives.

What are the insurance options?

From a purely technical perspective, movers don’t have insurance for your belongings. Instead, they carry protection coverage. 

The standard coverage is $0.60 per pound of items moved or per article. Taking a quick look at your belongings, and you can see that this will likely not cover the full value of many items. This level of coverage is called “Release Value Protection.”

Ask about “Full Value Protection” from your mover. This level of coverage will provide compensation up to the full cost of replacing or repairing the item. There is no set rate for this coverage. It varies by the mover, so you’ll need to get specific quotes that include it.

Hiring movers can be challenging. But, asking some questions upfront can make the hiring process, as well as the entire move, go quite smoothly.