15 Most Frequently Asked Questions for Long Distance Movers

Words From Hercules Movers & Packers Pros

Finding a moving company can be exhausting, especially a company that is appropriately licensed, insured, and can meet all your needs. One of the easiest and most straightforward ways to find a reputable, affordable, dependable moving company is to know which questions to ask.

Here are 15 of the most frequently asked questions you should ask before hiring a long-distance moving company.

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moving faqIs Your Long-Distance Moving Company Properly Licensed and Insured?

Any reputable moving company will have the proper licensing required through their state. For example, in Texas, long-distance and interstate movers are required to be licensed by the US Department of Transportation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

If you are hiring a long-distance moving company, they are required by Federal law to provide you with liability coverage. Most movers will provide you with two different types of insurance: released value protection or full value protection.

moving insuranceFull value protection

A more comprehensive form of liability coverage, if you opt for full value protection, the moving company must cover the actual value of any lost, damaged, or stolen item.

For example, suppose the moving company accidentally drops your television. In that case, the movers must either pay to replace that exact TV model, pay to have the television repaired, or provide you with the total replacement value of the television in a cash payment.

Each moving company has its own rules and regulation concerning this type of coverage. If you have several valuable items, it is worth the extra expense of this protection.

Released value protection

Most interstate moving companies offer released value protection at no additional cost. With this type of protection, you will receive a set amount per pound of any damaged, lost, or stolen item during the relocation.

For example, if that same television weighs approximately 100 pounds, and the moving company pays you 60 cents per pound for any lost, damaged, or stolen items, you will receive $60 in compensation.

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Many long-distance movers offer separate liability coverage through a third-party insurance provider. If you purchase this insurance, any money that is not provided to you through the released value protection payment will be provided by the third-party insurance company.

For instance, if that broken television is valued at $800, and you receive $18-$30 from the moving company, the third-party insurance will give you the other $770-$782 to cover the cost of replacing the television.

Additionally, inquire about the type of insurance provided to company employees. The moving provider should have their employees covered through worker’s compensation and general liability insurance.

trustworthy movers iconHow Long Have You Been in Business?

Don’t be afraid to ask how long the moving company has been providing services to your community. Look for a well-established long-distance provider that has been in business for several years.

The professionals at Hercules Movers & Packers have been proudly serving the Houston, Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio area for over ten years. We pride ourselves on providing fantastic customer service. We are indeed a one-stop shop for all your residential or commercial local and long-distance moving needs.

moving faq'sDoes Your Company Provide Binding and Non-Binding Estimates?

Many homeowners do not understand that when it comes to hiring long-distance or local movers, the most critical question to ask is whether the company offers a non-binding or binding estimate.

Understanding the difference between the two options is critical, especially if you need to start planning the budget for your long-distance move.

non binding estimateNon-binding estimate

The more cost-effective option, a non-binding estimate, is based on the weight of your belongings. The final bill can and often is different than the original quote. Any reputable movers will provide you with an accurate non-binding estimate in writing. Legally, the moving company must also explain the reason why the final cost is higher than the original estimate.

binding estimateBinding estimate

Although it is typically the more expensive option of the two, many homeowners opt for a binding estimate. Basically, when you choose a binding estimate, the price you are quoted at the beginning of the move is what you will be charged at the end of the move.

It does not matter if your belongings weigh more or less than initially estimated. Your final bill will not change.

According to a governmental regulatory administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, the estimate must be in writing, the long-distance mover cannot add any additional charges without a complete explanation, and any other services, such as packing services and storage services, must be billed separately.

Do your own research to determine if a binding or non-binding contract is the best option for your family and budget.

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extra servicesWhat Extra Services Do You Offer?

Moving is more than simply getting your furniture, boxes, and precious belongings from point A to point B. There are many other steps involved. This is why it is essential to hire a long-distance moving company that provides all the extras and services you require to make the move as easy as possible.

packing servicesPacking services

When it comes to moving, many homeowners dread sorting and packing all their belongings, cluttering up their closets, garage, and attics. Why go through all that major hassle if you can leave this Herculean chore to professional movers?

storage solutionsStorage solutions

It is not uncommon for movers to require both packing and storage services. Moving isn’t always so cut and dry, and if you need to store your belongings temporarily, why go through the unnecessary inconvenience and expense of finding separate storage facilities?

Instead, hire a full-service moving company that offers storage services. Also, search for a company that is affiliated with the Self-Storage Association.

Specialty services

Sure, any moving company can relocate your bedroom furniture, kitchen appliances, or boxes filled with children’s toys. However, what if you need a moving company that can handle your pool table, motorcycle collection, or grand piano?

specialty moving item
Soft & Hard Crating

At Hercules Movers & Packers, we offer a wide variety of specialty moving services, including

  • Pianos and pool tables
  • Hot tub and jacuzzi
  • Safe and motorcycle
  • Antiques and artwork

The best movers will build custom crates for high-end and expensive items. That way, you don’t need to worry about any special item getting damaged or destroyed during the move.

moving cost questionHow Much Will It Cost to Move?

The average overall cost of a long-distance move is anywhere between $2,000 to over $20,000. There are a multitude of details that can impact the cost of hiring local movers or scheduling a long-distance move.

If you are moving less than 50 to 100 miles from your present location, it is often considered a local move. The majority of local moving companies charge a flat rate by the hour. Any relocation that is over 100 miles is traditionally considered a long-distance move.

Typically, a long-distance moving company will charge by the pound, the mile, and the cubic feet of your home or apartment. The longer the relocation and the more your belongings weigh, the more you will pay for your move.

moving cost factorsWhat Are Some Factors That Will Influence the Overall Cost Of My Move?

In addition to the weight and mileage, there are several other factors that will influence the cost of your long-distance or interstate move, including:

The overall accuracy of your inventory

Taking an accurate inventory of all your belongings is a critical step in planning your relocation. Suppose you are inaccurate, and the moving company must take additional time to obtain an exact weight or create a detailed, itemized list of your belongings. In that case, you will be charged extra by most long-distance moving companies.

number of moving trucksThe number of vans and trucks you require

If you have a larger house with more stuff, you will typically require additional moving trucks and vans to relocate your belongings. Because additional costs are incurred, your final bill will typically be more when you reach your final destination.

The size of the moving crew

Most moving companies and van lines pay their employees by the hour. If you suddenly require additional staff to complete your interstate relocation, you will be charged extra.

moving by seasonThe time of year

You might be amazed to learn that the season has a significant impact on the total cost of your move. For example, if you relocate during the peak season, which is typically the summer and early fall, you will pay more for both local moves and long-distance relocations.

The complexity of the move

There are several hidden fees that many moving companies do not disclose and that you should be aware can impact the overall cost of your move.

For example, did you know that the moving team will charge you extra if you have a flight of stairs, narrow hallways in your home, or an elevator in your apartment building?

Moving companies also charge an extra fee if the crew is required to walk a greater distance from your home to the moving truck than is expected. In the moving industry, these fees are referred to as ” long-carry fees,” As a homeowner, you should be aware of them when hiring movers or moving long distance.

loading into truck

How Can I Save Money on Hiring Long Distance Movers?

Moving cross-country can be expensive, and you want to save as much money as possible. Luckily, there are several simple ways you can save big money by hiring long distance movers.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, you can actually save big money by securing packing services. When you factor in the packing supplies and moving supplies and the time it takes to pack up all your belongings, you will quickly realize that including packing in your moving contract is one of the additional moving services that can actually save you money.

Remain flexible with your moving and delivery dates. Securing a delivery date during the off-season, such as winter or spring, is another great way to save big money on your moving process.

Finally, make sure to leave all your packing and moving needs to the same company. Working with different companies to relocate your belongings and store your belongings is not only a serious hassle, but it can also actually cost you money.

moving depositDoes Your Company Require a Deposit to Hold the Moving Date?

It is at the discretion of the moving company whether or not to require a deposit to hold the moving date. Some long-distance movers will ask for a small deposit upfront, especially if the relocation is scheduled during the busy season or you are moving your belongings a significant distance, such as cross-country.

Be aware of a local moving company or long-distance movers that ask for the entire cost of the move upfront. Reliable movers will only ever ask for a reasonable deposit. If the moving company requires you to pay in full upfront, and cash is the only payment method the company will accept, consider this a red flag.

The right movers will not only provide you with a thorough and accurate estimate, but they will also accept several different payment methods and give you a receipt.

Do You Have Any Rules and Restrictions Regarding Moving Boxes Used?

If you decide to sort and pack your belongings on your own, be aware that some moving companies will not accept items packed in moving boxes that are damaged. This is because once the moving boxes are placed on the moving truck, the safety and security of these items become the moving company’s responsibility.

Make sure that any moving boxes you use are in good shape, and most importantly, remain open until the moving company can verify the items stored inside the box and provide you with an approximate value for insurance purposes.

moving referencesCan You Show Me References?

You want a moving company with a proven track record of stellar customer service. Don’t be afraid to ask the moving company to provide you with some references and recommendations from several past customers.

In addition to this, do a little research on your own. Look for a moving company and van lines that have stellar online reviews and happy former customers. One great place to check is the Better Business Bureau or BBB. This federal organization’s job is to oversee business practices and inform consumers about any complaints filed against any one company.

Do You Provide Long-Distance and Local Moving Services?

Moving can be complicated, and if you are moving within 50 to 100 miles away from your present location, you might not know if you require the services of a local moving company or if you should hire a long-distance moving company.

Many moving companies offer both services, but it does not hurt to ask. Otherwise, you might wind up with an unexpected surprise and a much larger bill if you work with long-distance movers and only need to hire local movers.

cancellation policyWhat Is Your Cancellation Policy?

There is no moving industry standard when it comes to a company’s cancellation policy. Always ask before hiring a moving company, especially if there is any chance you will change your delivery dates or you may need to cancel the relocation altogether.

Inquiring about the cancellation policy is one of the most important questions to ask both a local moving company and long-distance moving companies. For example, one company may have a two-week policy allowing you totally cancel the move and receive a 100% refund.

Another company may require you to cancel the move at least one month in advance. Additionally, the policies of certain companies may differ depending on if you are securing long-distance moves, as these moves tend to be more complex and require an additional moving truck.

cancellation polity

How Does Your Company Handle Disputes and Complaints?

Accidents happen, and despite the quality of service provided, it is still possible that one of your items will be damaged, lost, or stolen during the move. Because of this, another of the most crucial questions to ask a potential provider is about the company’s policies when handling disputes and complaints.

Reputable moving companies will have clear-cut policies and procedures in place that will make it very easy to file an official complaint if any of your belongings are damaged in transit or while on the moving truck.

Most moving companies will handle the complaint internally, meaning you will not need to file an additional complaint with the Better Business Bureau, American Trucking Association, or the FMCSA.

plan your moveWhen Should I Start Planning My Move?

Every situation is different, and the best time to start planning long-distance moves is around two to three months before your intended moving date. This will provide you plenty of time to start packing up boxes and coordinating with the relocation company.

However, while it is best to start planning your move at least two to three months in advance, you should start the actual process of moving at least one year before you decide to relocate. This year will give you plenty of time to research moving companies, research a new city to call home, find a new house or apartment, and sell your old house.

Two months before your relocation, start decluttering your space and deciding what you are keeping, selling, donating, or throwing away. Create a detailed inventory of all of your belongings while you declutter. This will save you serious time down the road.

There are several things you can procrastinate on in life, but moving is not one of them!

Why Should I Hire You Instead of Other Moving Companies?

There are several moving providers in the Houston area, so don’t hesitate to ask one deceptively simple question: Why should I hire you instead of one of the other hundreds of moving companies in my area?

A reputable moving provider can quickly list off the reasons why they are heads above the rest. Here are some qualities to look for in your next moving provider:

transparency in movingTransparency

From the timeline to the available rates and cancellation policies, look for a company that is completely upfront and transparent about its business practices. If the company is unwilling to provide you with even the most basic information about their policies and services, consider this a red flag and keep looking.

reliable moversReliability

Relocating is a long and complicated process. There will be instances when you have questions and concerns about the move. A stellar company will always be available to answer these questions and provide you with fantastic customer service.

efficiency moversEfficiency

No one wants to organize a move with a chaotic moving provider that does not have all their ducks in a row. Look for a moving company that is clear about the process of moving, meets all your deadlines, and is known for being on time and ready to work when moving day arrives.

A company that can meet your unique needs

No two families are alike, and no two relocations are the same, either. You have unique needs, and you want to choose a relocation company that understands the challenges that come with your relocation.

beware of red flagsWatch Out for Obvious Red Flags

The majority of moving companies are reputable, upstanding, and ready to meet all your needs. Unfortunately, there are a few unscrupulous providers out there, and recognizing the red flags early will help you steer clear of a moving company that is simply out to make a quick buck.

For example, remain wary of a moving provider that does not have a website, a commercial address, or a phone number. Most home-based or disreputable moving providers who are interested in making a quick buck will not have the licensing and insurance you require to protect yourself and your belongings.

Stay away from a moving company that asks for payment when providing an estimate or moving quote. The initial quote and walkthrough of your property should be professional, thorough, and, most important, completely free.

At the very least, an honest moving company will give you the option to choose a binding or non-binding contract. If the provider only offers non-binding contracts, you might wind up paying far more than you had initially expected at the end of your move.

Finally, the best way to ensure you do not sign a contract with an unscrupulous moving company is to read the online reviews. If the reviews are overwhelmingly bad, or you cannot find any reviews about the moving company, keep looking.

Give Hercules Movers & Packers a Call

Are you ready to start a new life in a totally new city? Moving can be stressful, and you want a provider that can guide you through the process.

When you are ready to hire a moving company with years of experience that can provide you with a variety of moving services, from packing to storage, pick up your phone and give Hercules Movers & Packers a call!

We are licensed, insured, and ready to handle all your commercial or residential local and long-distance moving needs.

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