9 Tips for Choosing the Right Mover

A successful move starts long before the truck arrives at your home.  Choosing the right mover will make the whole process go smoother.  

  1. Get an In-Home Estimate

    The pricing on a long distance move is based on the weight and mileage you are moving.  A reputable mover will want to visit your home to determine what you are moving and what services you will require.  The mover should look through all your rooms, cabinets and closets.  This will tell them how much weight you have and how much packing you will need.  Local moves are done on an hourly basis and normally don’t require an in-home visit.

  2. Don’t Pay a Deposit

    A reputable mover will not require any money up front.  Long distance moves are supposed to be collected at delivery (before the truck is unloaded).  A mover requiring money up front is a huge red flag.

  3. Check the Mover Out

    See if the mover will be using his own equipment or rental equipment to perform your move.   Do they own a warehouse and have a physical address? How long have they been in business?  Check with the Better Business Bureau in your area to see what kind of reputation the mover has and how he handles any problems that might arise on your move.  Also, check their website for Customer Comments.

  4. Ask about the Mover’s Help

    Are they full time employees or day help hired just for your move.  Reputable movers will use trained, full time employees for your move.

  5. Confirm the Type of Pricing Being Offered

    Most movers offer 2 basic types of pricing, binding and non-binding estimates.  A binding price means that the price quoted will be exactly what you pay for your move.   A non-binding price means that the price you pay will depend on exactly what services you use.  On a long distance move, you should always ask for a Binding Price.

  6. Ask About Any Extra Charges

    Ask the estimator what, if anything, can change the pricing that he gives you.  Even a Binding Price will change if you get to an out of state location and the mover can’t get his large truck into your new location.  A reputable mover will let you know anything that can change your cost from the upfront estimate.

  7. What types of Valuation Does Your Mover Offer

    All movers are required to assume liability for the goods being transported, however, there are 2 different types of coverage available.

    If you’re moving across state lines, all licensed movers are required to quote you with Replacement Cost Valuation (RCV).  RCV will pay either the repair or replacement cost of any damaged items; whichever is lower. RCV is available with $0, $250 or $500 deductibles.   There is a charge for RCV, which should be listed on the estimate.

    The second type of valuation is based on the weight of the item that is damaged.  Under this option, the mover assumes liability for no more than 60 cents per pound per article.   For example, if a 100 pound table is damaged, the most the mover will pay is 100 pounds times 60 cents per pound, which is $60 in this example.  This coverage is the most economical option, but it provides on minimal coverage.


  8. Ask About Claim Procedures

    Regardless of how skilled your movers are, a small percentage of moves will have some damage.  Ask your mover how you go about filing a claim for this damage.  Is it handled in the local office, at a national corporate office or directly with the insurance company?  You should have at least 6 months to file a claim with any reputable mover.

  9. Confirm the Mover’s State & Federal Licenses

    Your mover should be able to provide you with their state and federal license numbers.  You can determine that your mover has the correct moving authority and the require levels of insurance by visiting the US DOT’s site, www.protectyourmove.gov.