When most folks are faced with the need to move to a new location, the most convenient option they go for is using a moving company. This indeed is a great option as it drastically reduces the stress that is usually associated with moving.
As with every other areas of our lives where we have to choose service providers, whether or not you will enjoy the full benefits that working with a moving company can offer will largely be dependent on your ability to choose the right company to work with.
What we will seek to do in this article is take you through a journey at the end of which you should have a better understanding of moving companies, what they can offer you and how to get the best ones to work with.
Let’s jump right in.
Understanding Moving Companies
The first thing we need to do when looking at a topic with a view to bringing a better understanding to the reader is to start from the very beginning. In this case, the very beginning will be a question – what is a moving company?
A moving company helps you move from one location to another. Pretty simple right? Yes it is that simple. There are other details that we will look at later but that simple sentence describes the entirety of what this type of company does. You can read about it here.
What a Moving Company Can Offer
Now, let’s break it down to examine what kind of services that we may be able to get from any or some of these companies. The moving process can be divided into five stages. These are:
- Packing at the old location.
- Loading into the moving van.
- Transportation to the new location.
- Unloading at the new location.
- Unpacking at the new location.
These are the standard options that you will likely get especially with a full-service moving arrangement. Aside from these, you may also get additional services like cleaning of the new location, disassembling and reassembling of furniture as well as warehousing.
One very important benefit you should enjoy when you choose to use any of the companies is the insurance cover that they are mandated to get. All companies that fall into the category of movers or removalists are exposed to certain risks which federal and state laws insist that they get cover for.
There is the risk of damage to their own properties (e.g the moving van and equipment), the risk of injury to their staff and others as well as the risk of damage to their clients’ properties not to mention public properties.
While individual states have specific laws that guide such companies operating within its borders, there are federal laws that also guide the operations of such companies that operate across state lines. This industry is overseen by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).
According to federal requirements, there are two kinds of insurance that a mover can offer you. The first is “released liability” while the second is “full value protection”.
A released liability plan is usually included in your quoted payment while a full value protection is offered at additional cost. While a full value protection is self-explanatory (company will pay for any damage to or loss of the customer’s property to its full value), a release liability on the other hand means that company can either repair the damaged item(s), replace it with something as good as what was damaged or lost or offer a cash settlement to the value of replacing the item(s).
You can read all about it here: https://bizfluent.com/list-6926652-insurance-requirements-moving-companies.html.
What to Consider When Choosing a Moving Company
Given the above and the fact that you can only enjoy the full value of working with professional movers if you choose the right one, how then do you go about the process?
There are a few important factors that you will need to consider to enable you choose the right company to help you with your move to your new home.
Where are they Based?
This is something you should consider because you need to work with a company that is close to you. Preferably, opt for one that operates both in your current location and the new one.
For How Long Have they been in Business?
Length of time in business may not on its own determine how well a company is doing or can do. It however means that they have a history you can investigate. A new company has no such thing and you will simply be flying blind.
Are they Licensed?
This is very crucial. Every moving company that operates across state lines should have a US DOT number which is issued by the United States Department of Transportation. You can confirm the authenticity of whatever number you are given on this site. For those operating within the state, check for the state’s license.
What about Insurance?
We already discussed this in some detail above. Find out what kind of cover they offer so you can be sure before going any further with them.
This is something you should pay close attention to. Ideally, you should not have to pay more than 20% of the cost of the move as deposit. Actually, a lot of companies will not ask for any deposit. Given this, be wary of company that asks for a very sizeable deposit. That is a very big, red flag.
These are just a few factors to consider.
How to Find a Moving Company
Before you can begin to consider the factors listed above, you must first find the movers you want to consider. We will be ending this article by looking at a few steps that can help you find removalists to consider for your move.
Ask for Recommendations
We always recommend this step first because it is the most reliable way of finding service providers. Ask your friends, family members and colleagues if they know any moving companies that they can recommend. If they know any great ones, they will be sure to recommend them. If they also know not-so-great ones, they will also be sure to warn you off.
If the above option yields no results, then your next step should be to search online. You should be able to find a number of recommendations online. Be sure to include your location in the search so you can get companies close to you.
Check for Reviews
When you find a company online, try to see if they have reviews about them. It may not be a good idea to go with a company that has no online reviews. Online reviews provide you with an insight into what past customers think of the services rendered by a company.
After reading through the contents of this article, it is our hope that you now have a better idea of how moving companies operate and can therefore confidently transact your business with one. Remember to take some time to ensure you choose the right one.