In all likelihood, you will move several times during college. When choosing your college movers, it is important that you take these steps to ensure that you are working with a reputable company. Doing a little homework should keep you in the clear.
Verify Transport Authority
All movers are required by the Department of Transportation to have USDOT or MC numbers. Your movers should readily provide you with these numbers, which you can verify on SAFER. A simple search by company name or USDOT number should verify that your mover has the proper credentials to provide household moving services.
Confirm Insurance Coverage
Your carrier will offer a certain level of insurance on your move. If you choose to purchase additional insurance on your move, you can do so through a third party or through uShip Cargo Insurance after you choose the winning bid. You can also learn more about uShip cargo insurance here. Movers also must carry a minimum amount of liability and cargo insurance. The amount of coverage will vary, so be sure to inquire about the details of each company’s coverage.
A legal moving company will be able to provide you with a Certificate of Insurance. This can be confirmed either by looking them up on SAFER or calling the insurance company directly. If you are moving anything of value, it is recommended that you purchase additional insurance, which should be available from the moving company.
Confirm Payment Terms
You should always make sure that you are on the same page as the movers with regards to payment. You may want to avoid companies that claim to only accept cash. You will usually have to pay a deposit up front and should expect to pay the balance at the time of the move. You can protect yourself by using a credit card so that there will be a record of any fraudulent charges. Keep in mind that any changes you need to make to the move may affect the price, so you should be sure to communicate with the moving company ahead of time.
This will be good practice for all those papers you will have to write! The best way to evaluate a moving company’s professionalism is to investigate previous customers’ experiences. If someone recommends a particular moving company, you should try to get the names of the actual movers assigned to that move since this personal service will likely be more important than which company you choose.
For recommendations and reviews, contact:
- Friends, family, and coworkers
- Real estate professionals, like Realtors or apartment managers
- The Better Business Bureau
- Trade associations, such as the American Moving and Storage Association
- An online search
- Previous customers