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20 Essential Questions to Ask Moving Companies for a Stress-Free Relocation

questions to ask moving companies

Hiring professional movers eliminates the backbreaking work and logistical hassles of relocating your household possessions. Gain control over your moving process by knowing these insightful questions to ask moving companies. This will ensure a transparent, efficient, and stress-free relocation experience.

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This article outlines the 20 essential questions every customer should ask potential moving companies before signing a contract. Getting clear answers assists with choosing a qualified provider to safely transport your belongings in a timely, stress-free manner.

Content Highlights

  • Vet a mover’s years in business, specialty experience, and licensing/insurance protection status.
  • Require hard proof of active credentials, like licensing documents.
  • Understand financial accountability for damages during moves.
  • Ask for references to discuss past customer experiences.
  • Evaluate truck sizes and staffing levels assigned appropriately.

Essential Questions to Ask Moving Companies

best questions to moving company

Here, we give you the key essential questions most people overlook when selecting movers. We’ll address what to consider regarding licenses and certifications, inherent risks, employee qualifications, pricing structure, specialty item expertise, storage capabilities, reputation, and more. No assumptions. No secrets. If a company cares, they’ll address your qualms by smiling. Today, give yourself insider tips to dodge cowboys and choose ideal movers ready to earn your trust.

1. How long have you been in business?

A moving company’s years of operation indicate useful industry experience in managing challenging relocation situations. Look for at least 3-5 years locally or 10+ years nationally. Extensive operations history with proven capability of handling diverse moves of all sizes signals reliability.

2. What types of moves do you specialize in?

Whether you’re moving locally across town or conducting an international relocation overseas, make sure a mover has specific expertise in conducting similar moves to yours. Ask if they handle needs like piano moves, antique transports, commercial relocations, or senior downsizing transitions. Targeted specialization aligns with capability, meeting your expectations.

3. Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

Reputable moving companies carry proper licensing, confirming legal operation within your state. Bonding provides financial protection should possessions become stolen or damaged. Insurance covers replacement costs if those incidents occur. Verify these safeguards are active, not expired. Avoid movers lacking appropriate protections; it puts your move at risk.

4. Can I see proof of your company’s licenses and insurance certificates?

Don’t simply take a mover’s word on carrying active licensing, bonding, and insurance. Politely ask to review current documentation as hard proof that these policies are all valid. Conscientious companies readily provide these records upon request. Be wary if a mover hesitates or makes excuses for a lack of transparency here.

5. Who is responsible for damages during my move?

Before allowing anyone to handle your possessions, get crystal clear confirmation of financial accountability should items become lost, broken, or scratched during transit and handling. Reputable movers take responsibility through insurance claims. But shirking blame onto customers is an immediate red flag to avoid business with dishonest operations.

6. How do you train your moving crews?

Hiring a mover means allowing strangers into your home to dismantle and reassemble your belongings. Understanding employee vetting procedures and skills training provides confidence in interacting with unknown staff. Ask how background checks, moving certifications, safe workplace habits, and handling specialty items are instilled at onboarding and through ongoing learning. Look for rigorous requirements.

7. Can you provide 3–5 reliable references I can contact?

Speaking directly with a moving company’s past customers offers third-party confirmation of actual capabilities beyond sales pitches and online reviews. A quality mover gladly supplies numerous references for newly prospective clients to contact and discuss experiences with them transparently. This gesture demonstrates a serious commitment to forging ongoing positive relationships in their community.

8. How many moves do you conduct annually?

A higher annual number of moves signals extensive experience navigating common and unexpected situations alike when relocating home furnishings and personal possessions. Ask specifically how many local, long-distance, and employee relocation moves a company executes regionally in a calendar year. Bigger numbers equate to refined process efficiency you can rely on.

9. What size trucks and teams will be assigned to my move?

Having appropriately sized moving vehicles and enough staff assigned leads to smoother service. A reputable mover visits your location during in-home estimates to accurately gauge how many feet of truck space and workers your move demands. Bigger homes often require larger trucks and more personnel than small apartments to complete efficiently. Ensure those resources align correctly with your scope.

10. How much access is needed inside both properties?

Verify site access elements like distance between loading zones and entry doors, ease of navigating stairs, thresholds to cross, and doorway/hallway widths. Inform the mover upfront of challenges like long driveways, narrow halls, or stairs requiring item dismantling to pass through. This allows them to equip teams and trucks to fit your layouts properly.

11. Should I know about any requirements or restrictions at either location?

Inform movers of any requirements mandated by apartment buildings, gated communities, or homeowner associations impacting access permissions, parking, timing, and other regulations. Knowing these details allows appropriate coordination, accommodating both sites’ guidelines for conflict-free service.

12. How are my possessions and home protected during my move?

Trust only comes with guaranteed precautions, actively minimizing move-day mishaps. Understand procedures like floor protection, door/wall padding, secure blanket wrapping, tie-downs stabilizing truck loads, supervised item transfers, and trained personnel to prevent damage to belongings or your home’s interior. Thorough measures indicate a serious commitment to caution by a mover invested in your positive outcomes.

13. What do you expect from me on moving day?

Moving firms rightfully have reasonable expectations of customers, facilitating efficient experiences too. Most commonly, customers should clear out possessions, clean rooms, point out fragile items needing special handling, and limit obstructing pathways. Make sure you can uphold the requested preparations to avoid hampering move-day progress.

14. How and when do I pay for the move?

Reputable movers never demand full lump-sum payments prior to finishing the job completely. While deposits are normal, arranging installments via credit card or certified checks during specific milestones ensures you maintain leverage, approving later payments only once fully satisfied at day end. Don’t surrender 100% upfront; it removes consumer power and exposes you to potential completion issues down the line.

15. What steps are taken if property damages occur?

Despite best intentions, unforeseen damages occasionally still happen when relocating entire homes. Before committing, know that the mover has procedures to address such incidents, like immediate notification requirements, claim filing processes, replacement or reimbursement costs, and more. Strict accountability demonstrates their commitment to customer fairness and transparency.

16. What preparation do you recommend I complete before the movers arrive?

The crew leads appreciate when customers prepare for move day by clearing out rooms, removing furniture debris, taking pictures off walls, cleaning recently used kitchen and bath surfaces, gathering valuables into separate boxes for personal transport, wrapping any fragile decor in protective barrier materials, and moving vehicles out of the loading and unloading areas so large trucks can park closest to doors.

This preparation allows movers to carry boxes quickly and maneuver furnishings through uncluttered spaces, greatly reducing overall timelines. Additionally, movers may offer a preparation checklist that the operations team has approved based on their extensive customer move experience. 

17. How do you protect valuable items like artwork, mirrors, and flat-screen televisions while moving?

Reputable movers have specialized equipment and processes for safely transporting fragile valuables, including furniture pads to wear smooth edges on wood to prevent scratching, shoulder straps and handles to carry items instead of dragging, dollies with soft guards when items need rolling, and professional unpacking tables to set delicate objects onto. 

For extremely fragile artwork, mirrors, and flat screens, the foreman may recommend still transporting those most delicate items in your personal vehicle for maximum safety. If having movers handle those fragile items, they’ll describe additional precautions taken, like dedicated staff members solely responsible for monitoring those valuables secured gently inside blankets within boxes and taped securely to prevent any shifting during loading, transport, and unloading.

18. Do you offer temporary storage if I cannot move into my new home immediately?

The majority of national van line moving companies have relationships with local storage facilities to provide customers with interim storage options in cases where closing dates on properties become delayed on either end. Customers can choose from basic low-cost storage just to hold boxes to upgraded climate-controlled units guarding valuables against temperature and moisture fluctuations. 

The logistics team can schedule the transport of your possessions into various-sized storage lockers after packing, which stay secured under 24/7 surveillance until the arrival property is ready for the final delivery timeframe. Customers regain access to items anytime by appointment, without rush. Storage extensions then continue getting billed on 30-day cycles at reasonable rates if extra time’s required.

19. If possessions are damaged, what documentation do you need from me during claim processing?

Should any client possessions incur damage during moving transport or handling, customers initiate claims by first gathering photographic documentation clearly capturing broken furniture, dented appliances, scratched floors, etc. Detailed descriptions matching those pictures explaining where or how accidents happened also prove useful.

For valuable antiques suffering damage, receipts confirming ownership speed verification. Compiling repair quotes from vendors detailing costs to refinish, replace parts, or reassemble broken items also smooths settlement analysis since that suggests reasonable reimbursement amounts. The more evidence clearly presented from inception, the faster claims specialists accurately process evaluations for fair damage compensation.

20. What are your company policies around employee conduct during moves?

Our movers undergo extensive vetting and training to ensure professional, ethical behavior while working inside customer homes and handling precious possessions. Each employee passes a comprehensive criminal and employment background screening prior to hiring. They carry company ID badges and uniforms confirming their registered status. 

We maintain industry-leading standards around appropriate language, respecting private spaces and personal items, avoiding horseplay or shouting, eliminating unsafe actions like stacking heavy objects dangerously high, and following all home access instructions provided, like wearing shoe covers in no-outdoor-footwear rooms. Special handling instructions for valued items are strictly followed.

The crew leads closely supervise all staff, preventing any opportunity for misconduct. Customers receive support numbers to immediately report any worrisome employee actions observed so onsite managers can promptly intervene. Our crews aim to minimize intrusive noise during moves with careful handling and respect for families, especially young children and pets stressed by relocations. You can trust that our movers will represent our company values around safety and dignity throughout your move.


Taking the time to thoroughly interview potential moving companies answers critical questions, revealing the best fit for entrusting your relocation to professionals. Beyond verifying the capabilities and protections legally required, their willingness to share references, explain protocols, accommodate access needs, and pledge accountability gives confidence that they properly prioritize customer service during emotional moves. Ask all key questions upfront so surprises don’t arise on a moving day.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Check some commonly asked questions on the essential questions to ask moving companies for a stress-free relocation.

1. What are signs of a bad moving company I should avoid?

Red flags include lack of responsive communication, inability to supply licensing or insurance proof, vagueness in addressing accountability, a very new establishment, and offering suspiciously low rates compared to competitors. Trust your gut and avoid questionable operations.

2. When should I book my moving company?

Ideally, confirm movers. 6–8 weeks in advance of move dates during slower seasons, or 8–12 weeks for peak summer moving weeks. This allows ample planning opportunities. Last-minute scrambling risks limited availability among quality firms.

3. What essential information should I have handy when requesting moving quotes?

When phoning for estimates, have your precise departure and arrival addresses, current inventory estimates, property access considerations, and tentative move dates available to provide. Accurate details give the most transparent pricing when initially reserving services.

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