10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Local Movers

by / Tuesday, 19 December 2017 / Published in Moving Company

Are you preparing for an upcoming move?

Many people don’t consider hiring help for a local move. Even if you’re relocating within the same city, though, there are ample reasons to hire professional movers.

The key is finding reliable, experienced local movers to get the job done.

But with so many different moving companies out there, how can you decide which ones are trustworthy?

Here are 10 vital questions to ask before hiring any local movers.

1. Is Your Company Licensed and Insured?

This should be your first and most important question. You should only work with a moving company that is professionally licensed and fully insured.

Ask about relevant affiliations and memberships. Make sure they abide by the Good Practice Guidelines for Canadian Movers.

You should also get the name of their insurance company as well as the company’s policy number. Verify their coverage is current and valid before proceeding.

2. How Long Have You Been in Business?

A company that’s been around for decades doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll receive stellar customer service.

On the other hand, just because a company is newer doesn’t mean the movers are inexperienced or incapable.

Either way, find out how long the local movers have been in business. Don’t rely solely on what’s posted on the company website. Check out what kind of reputation they have online on different review sites.

3. What About Liability Coverage?

Even when the company is insured, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re 100% covered.

Your contract will likely include basic liability coverage. This is usually based on a fixed price per item (or item weight). In most cases, though, this does not allow for punitive damage claims.

The company should be able to offer you full coverage for an additional fee. This means the local movers are responsible for any lost or damaged items.

You might also elect to buy extra moving insurance from a third party.

4. What Kind of Equipment Do You Use?

Does the moving company have one small truck or a fleet of larger trucks?

There’s no right or wrong answer here, as long as their equipment is suitable for your moving needs.

You should also find out what types of and how many dollies they have. If you have very large or heavy items, what will they use to move it? Do they have special hoisting equipment available for such items?

5. Who Will Actually Do the Moving?

Is the team of local movers actually made up of experienced, professional movers?

Some companies hire subcontractors to do the heavy lifting. If that’s the case, you should request references and check the backgrounds of the subcontractors.

In other instances, moving companies employ temporary workers or college students. These “movers” may lack experience and injure themselves (or your belongings) in the process.

It’s a good idea to go with a company that has a permanent team of professional, experienced movers.

6. Will You Give Me a Written Estimate?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of scammers out there. These moving companies may reel you in with an exceptionally low estimate, only to demand more money on moving day.

Save yourself from this situation by ensuring you have a finalized written estimate. Make sure it includes all insurance, taxes, and fees with no hidden costs.

You should also find out what “extras” the company may charge you for. This might include:

Packing and unpacking services
Parking or storage fees
Fuel surcharges
Disassembly and reassembly services
Oversized item fees
Travel time to and from the location
Find out in advance exactly what’s included (and not included) in the estimate. You should also find out their deposit and cancellation policies.

Get everything in writing in a binding contract. That way, there are no surprises on moving day.

7. How Much Time Will the Move Take?

Most local moves can be completed in one day. Still, you need to know how long the movers plan to take so you can plan your day accordingly.

If you need to hire a babysitter or drop the dogs at a kennel, you need to know how long they’ll be there. Same goes for arranging for parking spaces or street parking.

Local movers generally charge per hour, but this varies by company. What about the number of movers? Does the weight of your items matter?

Many companies have a minimum hourly charge (regardless of how long the move actually takes). Make sure you understand their policies and have all necessary information.

8. What’s Your Policy on Property Damage?

The last thing you want to deal with is property damage to the residence you’re vacating — or the one you’re moving into.

Find out what measures the local movers take to protect against damage. How do they protect the floors, walls, ceilings, and doorways? Do they use drop cloths, moving blankets, or carpet films?

They should also measure doorways, stairwells, and elevators to ensure your largest items will fit through them.

9. How Will You Handle Heavy/Expensive Items?

If you’re moving items of monetary or sentimental value, you want to be sure the movers will handle them with care.

How will these items be loaded and secured on the truck?

Specialty items like artwork, antiques, musical instruments, or glass furniture also require special attention. Ask the moving company exactly how they plan to transport these items and keep them free from damage.

10. What If Something Breaks or Goes Missing?

Hopefully, you’ll have already ironed out these details when discussing insurance and liability.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to double-check the facts. This is especially true if you’re moving high-value or fragile items.

Trustworthy moving companies should be willing to reimburse you for any missing or damaged items. Again, make sure to get everything down in writing.

Hire the Right Local Movers

Have this list of questions handy when you call or meet with any local movers.

Once you receive satisfactory answers, you’re one step closer to choosing the best company for your move.

If you’re moving in or around the Winnipeg area and need the help of local movers, please contact us at Alero Moving & Storage.