Hiring a long-distance moving company can feel daunting. Trusting your belongings in someone else’s hands for hundreds or even thousands of miles can be incredibly nerve-wracking, especially when you can’t be present. And with so many long-distance movers in Minneapolis to choose from, how can you possibly know who to put your faith in?
At Ace Moving & Warehousing, we know how tough it can be to find a moving company you trust. That’s why we've put together this list of traits that all high-quality, long-distance moving services share. Let’s take a look at what you should know to choose the best cross-country movers for your upcoming relocation.
1. Established Track Record of Excellent Service
Browsing reviews from past clients is one of the easiest ways to determine if a long-distance moving company provides excellent service. To find these reviews you can:
- Check out reviews on the business website (ours are excellent!)
- Browse Google reviews
- Visit the Better Business Bureau website, Angie’s List, and other service websites where customers can leave detailed reviews
In addition to reviews, look for an established track record of success. The best moving companies don’t earn their reputation overnight or even in a year or two. Most high-quality, long-distance moving companies have refined their processes, techniques, and policies over several years of service.
If you really want peace of mind throughout your relocation, look for a company that’s been in business for many years.
2. Licensing and Insurance
Any reputable long-distance mover should be able to quickly provide proof of their licensing and insurance. If you have trouble getting this information or the company is seriously delayed in getting it to you, be wary.
You can also double-check for a license number on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. Ideally, you should be able to find this number in plain sight at their office or somewhere on their website. The best movers are fully transparent, so keep that in mind.
3. Interstate Moving Registration
Every moving company is required to have a USDOT registration number with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). As you’re researching long-distance movers, don’t hesitate to ask for this number or check online at fmcsa.dot.gov to find it yourself. Don't hire them if you can’t find a registration number or the company seems reluctant to share it.
4. Written, In-Home Moving and Packing Estimates
Any estimate you get from a long-distance moving company should be in writing. Verbal estimates hold zero weight when you’re working with professional moving services, so make sure you get everything on paper. If you have a tough time trying to get a written estimate, it’s in your best interest to walk away.
In addition to the fact that all estimates should be in writing, they should also contain a line-by-line breakdown of your estimated costs. If you want the most accurate price quote possible, scheduling an in-home estimate is the way to go. You can get one over the phone or virtually, too, but it’s bound to be less precise.
5. Broad Range of Moving Services
When you’re moving cross country, chances are you can use all the help you can get. That’s why it’s important to find a long-distance moving company that offers a range of moving services to suit various needs. Aside from full packing and moving services, some of the most useful extras you may want to consider looking for include:
You may or may not end up benefiting from these services, but it’s nice to know you have access to them if you decide they’re necessary.
6. Transparency Regarding Costs, Transfers, and Subcontractors
When you’re vetting long-distance moving companies, always ask about additional fees and where they may apply. There should be no room for confusion as to what your final bill will look like when everything is said and done.
If you encounter a company that seems reluctant to share this information, keep looking. Reputable long-distance movers will be more than willing to share anything you’d like to know. Some larger moving companies also subcontract to smaller teams, and they should be fully transparent about who they use. If subcontractors are involved in the process, don’t hesitate to ask for names — a high-quality company will be more than happy to share this information with you.
Last but not least, make sure you ask if the company ever transfers items from one truck to another during the transportation process. An additional transfer increases the risk of damage and item loss, so this is something you’ll definitely need to be aware of.
7. Various Levels of Moving Insurance
When you hire a long-distance moving company — or even a local moving company, for that matter — basic liability coverage comes standard. This level of moving insurance is called released value protection, but it may not provide adequate reimbursement if any of your belongings suffer damage in transit.
If you want peace of mind knowing your things are adequately insured throughout your move, ask each moving company if they offer additional moving insurance options. Full value protection is a step up from basic coverage, and it will either repair or replace any items that incur damage during the move.
There are also higher-level moving insurance options that provide even better coverage, so if you own a lot of valuable items, it may be a good idea to opt for one of those. If you have homeowner’s insurance, make sure you review it before you purchase high-level moving insurance. Many policies offer additional coverage for long-distance relocations.
8. Full Packing Services
Moving long distances is a major endeavor, and there are dozens of moving parts (no pun intended) that you’ll need to manage and keep track of. One of those moving parts, packing, is by far the most tedious task involved in any move. If you don’t have the time or desire to tackle that task on your own, there’s a solution for that: full packing services.
If you’re willing to make the investment, you can hire your movers to pack, load, and transport all of your belongings to your new location. Hiring the pros to pack up your stuff will save you several hours of valuable time and reduce the risk of item damage during your relocation.
However, it’s important to note that your movers cannot pack certain items, namely hazardous, flammable, and perishable materials. These items are collectively referred to as non-allowables, and none of them can be professionally packed or transported in the moving truck.
To learn more about what your movers cannot pack and transport, check out our tips on transporting items your movers won’t handle. And for a full breakdown of what those items include, refer to the Atlas Van Lines list of non-allowables.
9. Custom Move Planning
Between work and other life obligations, you may not have much time to plan out a cross-country move. If you think you might need help with the preparation process, you’ll want to look for a long-distance moving company that offers fully customized moving plans and solutions.
What exactly does that mean? Each moving company is a bit different, so the service will likely vary from business to business. At Ace, our custom moving solutions can include a variety of services because they’re uniquely tailored to each customer’s needs. We can:
- Help you store your belongings while you declutter your home for showings.
- Schedule packing services on multiple days, according to the time you have available.
- Put you in contact with our extensive network of vetted, out-of-state storage solutions.
- Keep your belongings in climate-controlled storage for an unlimited amount of time.
- Build you handmade, custom crates designed to safeguard items that won’t fit in boxes or that need an extra layer of protection.
- Much more!
Red Flags to Watch For
When you’re pricing out and vetting long-distance moving companies, you may run into some questionable practices that should give you pause. These practices are common among rogue movers companies who take their clients’ money or belongings and run.
Your best defense against hiring one of these companies is to keep an eye out for the following red flags:
- You can’t find the company’s local address.
- You found a local address, but the company’s building or warehouses appear to be in poor condition.
- The company’s website lacks insurance and registration information (DOT numbers should be displayed prominently on any legitimate moving company’s website).
- The company doesn’t have a website.
- The moving company tells you they’ll automatically and fully insure all of your belongings. (That’s not how valuation coverage works. To learn more about this, check out Do I Need Moving Insurance?)
- The movers don’t give you a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” (Federal regulations require long-distance movers to give this booklet to their clients during the planning stages of the relocation.)
- The moving company demands that you pay in cash.
- You’re asked to provide an unusually large upfront deposit.
- The company tries to give you a moving estimate without actually visiting your home.
- You get an estimate that sounds too good to be true. (If it sounds outlandishly cheap, chances are the company is trying to scam you.)
- On move day, the movers arrive with a rental truck instead of a company-owned fleet truck.
It’s important to note that the majority of moving companies are legitimate businesses that deliver quality service. However, the number of complaints filed against interstate movers has risen in recent years, primarily due to fraudulent practices.
As you search for a mover, trust your gut. If you feel like something isn’t quite right about the company or their employees, chances are you’re right. To protect yourself from falling victim to a scam that could cost you thousands, always research each company you’re considering thoroughly.
Looking for a Long-Distance Moving Company in Minneapolis, MN?
If you’re getting ready to hire long-distance movers in Minneapolis or St. Paul, get in touch with our team at Ace Moving & Warehousing! We specialize in intrastate, interstate, and international residential moving and offer an extensive selection of professional moving services to streamline your relocation.
Whether you’re looking for full packing services, a custom move plan, furniture movers, appliance movers, military movers, climate-controlled storage, or anything else, contact us today to discuss your moving needs!
To get started, give us a call today at 763-755-2045 or request a quick moving quote. We look forward to making your upcoming long-distance move your easiest relocation yet!