Most families only make 2 long distance moves in their entire lifetime, so it’s understandably challenging to understand all of intricacies involved in a long distance move. Below are the most important considerations and questions to have answered when hiring long distance movers.
If you have spent days searching for “long distance moving companies near me,” you may feel very overwhelmed with all of the seemingly trustworthy information on the internet about long distance movers which we all know can be manipulated. There is a list a mile of long of moving companies with unfair prices, unsafe services, and even fraudulent business practices. It is up to you to navigate through this information and find the best long distance moving company for you!
You can avoid hiring untrustworthy long distance movers by getting key questions answered before you waste time only to find out the movers you have chosen are not a good fit. You can usually get answers by talking with a customer service representative over the phone, reading customer reviews, perusing a company’s website.
Questions To Ask Your Long Distance Moving Companies
Here are a few questions to help you determine if you should go forward and get a moving estimate for your long distance move:
1. Is this company licensed and insured
This is just obvious. If your long distance moving company isn’t licensed or insured do not even continue the conversation. If any of the movers get injured in your home they can sue you personally and this will be an expensive headache for you.
PRO TIP: It is extremely important to understand many movers on Uhaul sites, craigslist and other misc. websites are not licensed or insured. You should be able to go on a company website and see their license number clearly stated and long distance moving companies cannot be licensed without insurance.
2. Is this company a broker or a carrier?
All moving companies fall into one of three categories:
- Carriers/Van Lines
- Private Long Distance Moving Companies
For one, a crew from a different company than the one you talked to will actually show up to load and drive your belongings to your new home. It’s possible that this crew never even spoke to the broker. This can result in miscommunication and even additional costs and fees on moving day, not to mention lost items and even “lost shipments.” Also when things go wrong the broker isn’t responsible and the so-called long distance movers they sold your move to could be long gone, from another state, or simply impossible to reach.
Carriers are glorified moving brokers that have a little more responsibility with your shipment. A carrier manages a lot of local long distance moving companies that after many complaints can be simply removed from the list – of course until the van line has a last minute need and may hire the carrier that they just removed. Van lines are usually much more expensive as carriers are required to submit 30% of a move cost plus fees to the management. These long distance moving companies also must pay a fee for advertising and have almost complete control over the internet despite thousands of poor reviews, bankruptcy and yes even government bail-out! It is important to know that van lines own moving sites that seem to have real information about moving while really it is just pushing their brand. Many van lines are owned by the same entity but they pretend to compete against each other which drives up prices and pushes out your best bet for long distance movers – a private long distance mover.
Long Distance Moving – Best Choice
A private long distance mover is a moving company that performs all of their own moves with full time labor. They do not sell moves, barter, trade, give your information to other van lines, etc. These long distance moving companies generally charge 20-25% less than van lines as they do not have to pay a middle man.
3. What coverage options does this company offer?
Why you should ask this:
Moving coverage is an insurance-like service that covers the cost of your items if they break or go missing during transit. Unfortunately this is much more common during long distance moving than local moving. Your long distance movers should offer full replacement coverage and we have found a company where it is included for free – Movers Near Me.
All moving companies are required to provide basic liability coverage free of charge. This coverage insures your items for $0.30 per pound for intrastate moves and $0.60 per pound for interstate moves.
Long Distance Moving Insurance
Imagine you’re paying a company to move a 100-pound table If your table falls out of the moving truck on the freeway and breaks your long distance movers would be responsible for $.60 x 100 lbs or $60. Again, another reason to use movers that offer full replacement coverage for free
That’s probably not enough to buy a new sofa. Luckily, some companies offer additional coverage options.
Full Coverage is not considered insurance per say but it covers your items for their current market value. If you have FVP and your sofa falls off the moving truck en route, you’d be reimbursed enough to repair it or buy a replacement of equal value. You will find the best long distance moving companies will include full coverage for free. I would trust any movers offering full coverage without a charge as you know they will have complete confidence in their service
4. Can this company do everything I need?
All long distance moving companies are not created equal. Each individual moving company will possess a unique niche. For example you have probably heard of PODS for portable storage, Monster Movers for guaranteed date long distance moves, and Old Dominion for commercial moves. You will need to make sure the long distance movers you are considering are the best match for you. Here are a few of our favorites and their “best of”
Below are just a few of the services that a moving company might offer:
- Long Distance Movers – Monster Movers
- Local Movers – Movers Near Me
- Portable Storage – Pack Rat
- Motor Vehicle Shipping – Reliable Car Shipping
- Personal Storage – EZ Mini Storage
- Cleaning services – Maids.com
If any of these services are crucial for your move, you should make sure that service is provided by any company you might hire.
5. How Doest the Estimate Process Work?
Many long distance moving companies may give you an estimate based on an “average” for the size of your residence.These prices are do not reflect the actual price that your long distance move could cost. Unless that estimate is binding, the company could very well increase your price later on. Some moving companies are notorious for increasing their prices after your shipment has been loaded. The best way to avoid this is to choose long distance movers that guarantee their prices. Here is a long distance moving calculator that gives guaranteed rate based on your inventory. There is also an option to upload pictures.
6. Does this company have any hidden fees?
Why you should ask this:
Many long distance moving companies will try to increase prices on moving day by enabling the use of “hidden fees.” These fees are either buried under mountains of legal-speak in your contract, misrepresented, or undisclosed before they show up on your final bill. These fees can include
- Shuttle Fees ( to get from a highway to a tight city like Boston or NYC)
- Stair Fees
- Gas/Fuel Surcharge
- Packing Materials
- Elevator Fees
- Environmental Fees
Instead, we recommend checking customer reviews to see if a company regularly charges surprise fees. Of course, you should always take customer reviews with a grain of salt. Most of the time, they aren’t fact-checked, and they might be written by embittered customers who had a bad day or another moving company trying to hurt competition
7. Does your long distance mover offer guaranteed delivery dates?
All moving companies give estimates of when your stuff is likely to arrive, but unless they guarantee their delivery dates, they could very well be late without owing you anything.
Of course, things happen, and sometimes trucks are late even if you have a guaranteed delivery date. If this happens, your mover should reimburse you for part of your payment. This doesn’t get your furniture to you sooner, but it’s hard to beat a discounted move, even if it’s a little late.
8. Do Your Long Distance Movers Offer Cancellation Reimbursement?
Some companies will let you cancel your move free of charge as long as you do so far enough ahead of schedule, and a few will even let you cancel the day before your move without a penalty.
Most, however, will keep all or part of your deposit if you cancel within a certain amount of time before your move, and there might even be extra fees for cancellation.
If there’s even a sliver of a chance that you won’t actually be moving, ask about your moving company’s cancellation policy before you sign any contracts.
9. What payments will be accepted?
Long Distance Moving Companies are expensive, so you may end up needing to use your credit card to pay for it. Unfortunately, not all moving companies accept credit as payment. I suggest hiring long distance movers that offer multiple types – especially credit. Think of all of those points you lose if you have to pay by check or cash
Another consideration is how much of a deposit you will need. If you lose your deposit because of a home sale falling through or some unforeseen accident – you need to make sure you are only paying 20% or less as a deposit.