May is National Moving month and also the start of the busiest moving season across the country. Planning ahead and using resources offered by Better Business Bureau can help alleviate an otherwise stressful event. If you or someone you know is planning a move, follow the five steps below to keep your move as smooth as possible:
1. Take inventory and plan ahead. Give yourself six to eight weeks to find the right moving company for your needs. Begin by taking inventory of your belongings so the moving company has an idea of how many boxes and pieces of furniture they will be moving. This will allow them to estimate how many movers and trucks they will need to provide.
2. Use BBB Accredited movers. Visit BBB’s online directory, Member Pages, to find BBB Accredited movers in your area. If you have been referred to a specific moving company, check out their BBB Business Review at bbb.org. You can see if they are properly licensed, have no unanswered or unresolved complaints and have no prior advertising concerns found by BBB.
3. Collect at least three comparable price quotes. It is important to compare moving rates with at least three different companies. Many moving companies will offer you a rate per hour or a rate per item. For instance, an hourly rate may be ideal if you are moving a short distance, but verify how many movers the company is sending because it could take two people all day to move your items. Use BBB’s Request a Quote program to receive a cost estimate of your move by email, but also consider having each company visit your home to get a better idea of what will be expected.
4. Verify insurance coverage. Ask what type of insurance the moving company carries and how it plans to resolve any issues, such as damage to an item. The minimum coverage required by federal law to cover damage by a moving company is $0.60 per pound per article and is usually included in an estimate. You can purchase additional insurance to cover the cost of replacing more expensive items. Ask your mover for proof of workers compensation coverage and call the insurance company to verify the coverage.
5. Get the final agreement in writing. When you decide which moving company you want to hire, make sure you have a written contract that outlines the timeline, all applicable deposits and fees, cancellation, refund and damage policies as well as any other agreements decided upon by you and your mover.