10 Tips for Finding the Best Military Movers Near You
Are you and your military family being relocated and a moving company? Here’s a guide from Find Movers Now to getting the lowest price from the best national movers.
If you are planning a home move in the next year you will be one of 11.2% of Americans who will move during the year. Having professional movers is one way of reducing the major stress associated with moving. But how do you choose the best military moving company for the job?
Check Licenses and Credentials of Military Moving Companies
If you in the military and are moving between states then your moving company must have a number issued by the US Department of Transport. If you are moving inside a state then you should check your state’s rules for the licensing of movers.
The American Moving and Storage Association and state associations can be a useful source of information about professional movers. Verify their physical address and how long they have been in business. Don’t let a mover turn up with a van and take all your belongings away without knowing that they are a genuine moving company. Often times special rates apply for NAVY, ARMY, MARINES, and all other forms of military and government moves.
Make Sure The Moving Company is Insured
Check whether the military moving company is insured. You can do this on the website where you check the license number. Never use an uninsured moving company.
Check the terms of the insurance policy by asking for a copy. It may seem boring to read all this small print. How boring would it be to lose all your possessions or have something broken and not be able to recover the cost?
Compare insurance options and decide what is right for you with a full understanding of what you are agreeing to. Full value protection is the most comprehensive cover available. The mover might limit their liability for some high-value items so get a full explanation from the mover about this.
Check Reviews on Local and National Military Movers
Some professional movers will publish reviews on their website. Treat these with some skepticism. They will do their own selection and are unlikely to publish any poor reviews.
Instead, check them out on the Better Business Bureau and on social media sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google. Ask for details of three previous customers who have done moves that are similar to yours. Contact them and have a personal chat about what their experience was like.
Verify What’s Included
Be clear about what is included in your estimate. Check if there are any potential additional fees such as charges for transfer of your belongings to a smaller truck if your destination has narrow vehicular access. Are there extra charges for elevators or stairs?
Ask how many movers will be on the job and how long the job will take. Will they load, move and unload on the same day or will it be over a number of days? Will there be a need to store the load and what if any charge will there be for that?
If you are moving a distance, including out of state, will the mover be consolidating your belongings with other customers things to save costs? What will be the implications for your delivery time and costs?
You can never be overly prepared. Consider also looking for these GSA Certifications:
- CHAMP Participant for Domestic and International
- SCAC Codes: ALLV (and CMAC)
- Value Index 105.01
- Dedicated Move Coordinators
- Certified Pre-Audit
- FSS Schedule 653.1-.2 and .4-.7
Get At Least Three Estimates From Military Moving Companies
Especially if moving long distance, make sure to get at least 3 quotes from out state military companies. Once you have selected some credible professional movers, get at least 3 moving company estimates and compare them. Have face to face meetings in your home so there can be no doubt as to what is being included in your move.
By all means look for a good price for your move but also consider whether the lowest offer is good value for money. Is the service level the same as more expensive movers? Will it be a false economy if they have a reputation for poor service?
A binding not-to-exceed or a binding estimate means that you know up-front the most you will have to pay. Be clear about what is included and get it in writing. If you later decide you want additional services such as unpacking you may have to pay extra for these.
Get Realistic Estimates
Good professional movers will take time over the estimate. They will base this on a thorough inventory of your belongings and calculate the space required for your move. The estimate cost to move will include all the things you have stored in drawers, cupboards, attics, and garages.
Be clear and consistent about what you intend to take and about the things you will not take. It’s best to de-clutter before your move than to pay for moving things you later donate to charity or sell. The estimator will exclude the things that are not being taken from their estimate.
If the estimator just does a quick walk-through be suspicious about them. They are either incompetent or shady.
Consider Packing Yourself
While most military families prefer movers to pack their stuff, you can save money by packing your belongings yourself, but there is a downside. It will take you longer to pack than it would an experienced professional mover. You will need packing materials and although your mover may be able to provide these they will charge you for them.
Most importantly, you may not be insured for breakages of the things you pack. Check the rates your mover charges for packing and the insurance implications before deciding whether self-packing is right for you. Compare the rates of your shortlisted movers.
Don’t Pay a Large Deposit
Especially from a Military family, reputable movers will not expect a large deposit prior to moving. Be wary of anybody who asks for this. Paying after delivery means you have some leverage if you need it and a reasonable expectation of seeing your belongings again.
Check Billing Arrangements of the Movers
Make sure you understand the movers intended billing arrangements. When will you be billed and how? If they expect cash payments on the day of the delivery does this give you enough time to check everything has been delivered correctly?
Use a credit card to pay. You then have some fraud protection through the credit card company. If your mover demands pre-payment or a large deposit, avoid them.
Do The Moving Company Have Questions?
A good military mover will have questions for you. The know that moving people in the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine, or Coast Guard is different than the norm. This indicates that they are interested in how to meet your expectations and in understanding the job fully. If the estimator has no questions but is willing to give an estimate then be suspicious.
You Are Ready To Choose Military Moving Company
Armed with this thorough research you are ready to choose your professional mover. Moving can be stressful but at least with this aspect of moving under control, you can reduce the stress.
If you would like more help choosing a mover, click here.