Moving can be a far less stressful experience if you are moved by reliable and professional movers. To find the best moving company out there, here are the questions that you need to ask.

What is your registration number?

Before you do anything, find out if the moving company is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and has been given a USDOT number from the US Department of Transportation. For many companies registered in only one state, they might not have it. But you want a reputable licensed company, especially one that is licensed for inter-state moves, if that is what you require.

How long has the moving company been in business?

Length of time in business can tell you how well thought of the company is in your area. You can easily access that opinion. An experienced moving company should provide you with references so you can speak directly to former customers and determine for yourself the company’s strengths and weaknesses.

You can always check on line for recommendations, and of course with the Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been filed. Keep looking until you can find a company with a service background that is up to your standards.

What are the rates and estimates?

When you are moving long distances, any rate should be given in pounds and a distance rate, never in cubic feet. For shorter distances expect to be given an hourly rate. Those rates should never change for each company so get more than one estimate, they will likely vary.

When you get your estimate, it should include all charges that are applicable to your move including flight charges, like when they have to use a smaller truck, or there are stairs  or no elevator, or elevator load restrictions they might encounter. Additionally, the estimate should include how you will pay and when.

How experienced are the drivers, movers and packers, and subcontractors?

A company might have been in business for many years, but you will not receive the benefit of that experience if all of your movers are new to the job. Ensure that at least the head of each crew brings the experience needed to organize your move to ensure that you get the actual benefit of experienced movers. And check out the drivers as well.

And for a long distance move, ask if there will be any subcontractors and their company names. You have the right to know the name of any company that will be handling your belongings. Check out the drivers of your subcontractors and the company reputation, too.

Check to see if the moving company employees are bonded, it’s a sign that the moving company has gone the extra mile to ensure that your property is in safe hands.

What kind of insurance do they carry?

Moving companies carry insurance usually for an additional cost, based on the weight of your goods. The moving company policy usually  gives replacement costs or makes a determination of how moving damage has devalued your item. You need to ensure that your valuables are actually insured the way that you would like, so check their policy and your policies to see that you are fully covered to a amount that you need.