If there is one thing all global citizens can agree on, it’s that moving abroad is stressful. As an expatriate making a move to a foreign country, you will undoubtedly have many schedules to prepare, plans to devise, and tasks to complete in order to arrange a successful moving process.
We all understand that moving to a new country involves making many decisions in a minimal amount of time - for example, whether to make the move yourself or hiring professional movers. The cheapest option might be to move all your belongings yourself, despite the amount of preparation this requires.
On the other hand, when hiring a removal company, remember there are many affordable options. If employing one of these services, there are multiple things to consider, such as the length of time your belongings may be in movers’ care, or guaranteeing their adherence to a specific moving date.
To ensure you are comfortable with your choice of moving company, we have compiled a list of questions to ask if you’re looking for an affordable removal service to assist with your relocation.
Questions for Moving Companies
Is the Moving Company Adequately Licensed?
To guarantee that your cheap moving company has the proper paperwork, make sure you check whether they have a license, which in the US, for example, is issued by USDOT (US Department of Transportation). This is a unique license number published by the national transportation authorities, and it’s also crucial to ensure that the mover’s license number is valid by searching it in their databases.
Never hire movers without a license number, and verify that the name of the company harmonizes with the license holder’s name - no one wants to be scammed by fake and non-licensed services! Even if deciding to utilize a cheaper moving company, the most reliable options are those that have been in business for a few years - their reputation is their guarantee.
Is the Moving Company Insured?
Before sending over your belongings, you’ll want to make sure they are covered by insurance in case of an accident during the relocation. All you need to do is ask for a moving company’s certificate of insurance. Never hire movers without insurance to protect your belongings!
Cross-country movers in the US are required to offer two types of insurance - Full Value Protection and Released Value Protection. Full Value insurance will cover damage or loss to any of your belongings, either by paying for replacement or repair. In comparison, Released Value Protection has no additional cost, but only covers 60 cent per pound of the item damaged, ie. compensating you according to the weight of your possession not its value. Most movers offer additional insurance coverage as well, so make sure you are aware of all the options and choose an insurance that adequately protects you.
Does the Moving Company Have Expertise With My Particular Type Of Move?
Everyone has their own unique requirements when moving from one place to another. For this reason, we urge you to verify as many details as possible with your moving company in advance. These may include: specific location details, including parking restrictions and the flights of stairs at your apartment; all the hidden moving costs; and also ask whether they have handled any similar moves before.
If all your inquiries are responded to adequately, the company is most likely trustworthy. A good mover should be well-prepared for all circumstances and be able to respond to your queries.
What Do the Moving Company's Rates Include?
Cheap rates do not necessarily equate to a low overall payment. Make sure that you ask about little details which could add a surprise, extra cost to the move. Some questions to ask include how many movers would be employed in the process or how long the move will take. We recommend moving companies who will send someone to your home for a free on-site estimation of the total cost.
A trustworthy moving company with a reliable reputation is likely to charge rates close to their competitors’, because they have a similar cost of running the business. Therefore, be cautious of the moving companies that charge significantly lower prices, as these have the potential to increase the cost unexpectedly later on in the move.
Have You Checked the Company’s Online Ratings?
There are many websites that you can access in order to check the company’s online reviews and ratings. Review sites such as Moving Companies Directory will provide you with customer reviews for more than 600 moving companies around the world. Other websites such as Yelp, City Search, and Trust Link will also share people’s positive and negative experiences using various moving companies.
If you are planning a move abroad and need assistance with any aspect of your relocation process, the all-in-one relocation platform Avvinue can guide you through the difficult decisions that arise. A personal moving assistant can take the pressure off you and remind you of the questions you should be asking at every stage.