Moving Up and Moving Out: 20 Questions to Ask Your Moving Company

by Matt Solis


Before you schedule your move, make sure you know who is responsible for obtaining any necessary parking permits. Photo: You Move Me (2016)

For more helpful moving information, check out our Essential Guide to Moving Services. 

When it’s time to move, unless you’re planning to pack up your station wagon, you’ll need to select a moving company. As with all contractors, you should obtain at least three estimates before making a choice, but there are other factors to consider as well. Here are 20 questions you can ask to determine which moving company will best meet your needs.

Upfront details

  1. What kind of liability insurance do you provide? What is covered and what is not? Can I purchase additional insurance?
  2. Who is responsible if something breaks?
  3. How does your company charge: by the number of movers, the weight or the time it takes to move?
  4. What does your estimate cover? What kinds of unexpected or hidden costs might come up?
  5. Is your estimate binding?
  6. How long is your estimate guaranteed?
  7. Do you offer moving and storage if my new home isn’t ready yet?
  8. How much advance notice do you need to schedule a move?

About the moving company

  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. Can you provide references?
  3. Is your company licensed for interstate and international transport?
  4. Are your movers employees or subcontractors? How long have they worked with your company?


Ask your moving estimator if the moving company will provide a Not-To-Exceed price. Photo: AMS Bekins (2016)

The day of the move

  1. How many movers will be coming to my home?
  2. How long will it take to load, move and unload?
  3. Do you guarantee pick-up and delivery dates? What happens if you miss one or both?
  4. What happens if you arrive late on the day of the move?
  5. Are there any items that can’t be moved without incurring an extra charge?
  6. Can you pack fragile items like mirrors or antiques? If so, what do you do to protect these items?
  7. What form of payment do you accept? When is payment expected?
  8. How big will the moving truck be? If it blocks the street, who will obtain any required permits? (This question is particularly important for San Francisco residents.)

If it’s relevant, make sure to ask your potential moving companies if they offer packing services. Photo: Advantage Moving & Storage, 2016