The average person moves more than 11 times in their lives. No matter how often you do it, it never gets less stressful.

For most people, the hardest part of any move is finding a trustworthy moving company to transport their belongings. But if you’re prepared and know which questions to ask movers before you hire them, the process will be much easier.

Here are a few of the most important questions to ask when you get your estimate and before you sign any paperwork.

1. How Long Have You Been in Business?

Moving both household and commercial items is harder than it seems. It takes experience and know how to make sure the items don’t break or get damaged in transit.

Before you agree to work with a moving company, find out how long they’ve been in the industry.

If the company has been around for a few years, you can count on them to be trustworthy. But if they’re brand new or don’t have much experience in the industry, keep looking. The last thing you want to deal with is unpacking boxes only to find that the contents got damaged.

2. Do You Have References I Can Speak To?

Experienced moving companies want you to feel comfortable working with them. And they’ll have a long list of clients who are happy to share their experiences with you.

Ask for those references and follow up with them. If their previous clients were happy with their services, you can expect to have the same experience.

But if most of their references had the same problems or aren’t satisfied with the way their moves went, keep looking.

3. May I See Proof of Licensing and Insurance?

Moving companies should have valid business licenses and liability insurance policies to protect their company, their workers, and their clients. Without these documents, you could end up being responsible for any injuries their team suffers while on your property.

Before you sign any contracts, ask for proof of their license and insurance. Reputable companies will happily provide the necessary documentation.

If the movers refuse, keep looking. Chances are that they’re trying to hide something from you and aren’t worth working with.

4. Are There Any Items You Won’t Move?

Not all movers are able to move everything inside your home. Take the time to find out if your movers have restrictions on items.

Some oversized pieces of furniture, flammable items, food, and plants are off-limits. You’ll need to know what restrictions your company has in place before you agree to work with them.

Keep in mind there are ways to move those restricted items. Your moving team will be able to help you find the right solutions for your home.

5. Can I Expect Hidden Fees or Charges?

Unfortunately, not all movers are up-front about their prices. Some even have hidden fees and charges they add on to the final bill after your belongings get where they need to go.

Before you agree to an estimate, make sure you know exactly what charges you’ll face. Ideally, you’ll receive a written estimate with details outlining any additional charges your move could incur.

Compare that rate against any other company you’re considering working with, and go with the team that you’re most confident in.

6. Who Is Responsible for Packing Up the House?

Not all moving companies provide packing services. Sometimes, they expect all of your belongings to be already packed up when they arrive.

But others offer full-service moves where all you have to do is open the door and let them inside the house. They’ll even provide the packing materials (at an extra charge) for your convenience.

Make sure you know who will be packing up your stuff before you sign the contract. If you’re too busy to do it yourself, look for a moving company that can do it for you.

7. How Will You Protect My Items?

Accidents happen. But reputable companies do everything they can to keep your belongings safe in transit. Find out how the movers will keep your items safe.

At a bare minimum, they should use packing blankets, cushions, and other types of padding to protect items from getting jostled on the truck.

Regardless of what they use, your movers should be able and willing to explain how they’ll keep your belongings safe on the way to your new property.

8. When Will My Items Get Delivered?

Moving delivery times are estimates. But you should always have a general idea of when the truck will arrive. This allows you to plan your move around the truck so you’re there to greet the movers once they roll up.

Once your items get packed and loaded on the truck, your team should give you an estimated time of arrival. If any delays pop up when they’re on the road, they’ll notify you so you’re always in the loop.

Just make sure that the date they estimate works for you. If not, you’ll want to coordinate a good delivery date before finalizing your contract.

9. What Should I Do If My Items Get Damaged?

Accidents happen no matter how careful your movers are. But reputable companies are happy to help you deal with any damage claims.

Before you sign the paperwork, ask them to explain the claims process. This will help you get the ball rolling if anything gets damaged in transit.

The less time you have to wait for compensation for those damaged items, the better.

Final Thoughts on the Top Questions to Ask Movers

Choosing the right movers is a process. You’ll want to speak with several companies to find the best fit for your needs. Use this list of questions to ask movers to help you find the right company to partner with.

Ready to schedule an estimate? Book your shipment now, and let our pros help you plan your move.