So you’ve done it—you’ve settled on a gorgeous property. Now, to move your furniture from the old home to the new, you’re going to need a professional moving company. How can you ensure that your grandmother’s armoire, or your writing desk crafted by hand in Italy, will arrive to your new property in one piece? Consider these three clues to make sure the moving company you’ve chosen is the right one.
Get an in-home quote
If a moving company with flat rates does not insist upon an in-home quote, find another. Similar to a doctor and patient relationship, a moving company needs to see what they are working with before they transport (or in the doctor’s case, operate) – size, weight and material are all things to consider when providing a client with an estimate. Also, an in-home visit will alert movers to layout specifics that will make the move more difficult: stairs, or a narrow hallway will cost extra. An in-home quote ensures that the company will not charge you after-the-fact.
Greenbaum Expert Moving in Park Slope, doesn’t charge flat rates, but instead collects by the hour. Owner Granger Greenbaum says, “If you get an hourly rate, that conversation [about the size and material of items to be handled] doesn’t have to rear its ugly head.” His only caution when working with a company that charges by the hour? “You want to make sure the company has a good reputation, that they won’t get there and drag their feet.”
Fact: 40 million Americans move every year
Beware basement-level pricing
The age-old maxim still applies: you get what you pay for. If a moving company gives you a quote that is much less than other quotes you have received, they may not be a full-service moving company. For example, they may forward your furnishings—literally, drive your things in their truck—to the next address, where you, or additional laborers that you will be forced to hire, will move the furnishings inside. If you pay much less, chances are you will make up the price difference in additional hires.
Moving insurance: speak up
You should consider moving insurance in your pricing; moving insurance protects your belongings against any damage that occurs during transport. Greenbaum says, “You have to have a basic level of insurance,” and a reputable company will include a rudimentary insurance in the price. This is called “Released Value,” and is not comprehensive. Instead, you will receive a reimbursement valuation of price per pound per article. For example, if the insurance states that you will be reimbursed fifty cents per pound per article, and the moving company damages a fifty-pound bookshelf, you will only receive $25 for that piece. Greenbaum illustrates a worst-case scenario: “So if you have a $60,000 vase that is ten pounds, you’re not going to get much recompense for that.” He’s understating; you would get $5.00.
You can also choose to purchase blanket insurance, either offered through the moving company or a third-party. “Full Value Protection” is what you might expect: if anything is damaged, you will be fully reimbursed. But speak up; Greenbaum warns that it’s the customer’s job to inquire about insurance above the basic level.
Of course, there are other things to consider when choosing a moving company, but the above three points will guarantee that your choice is the right one.