Questions To Ask Movers Before An Interstate Move

As you may very well know already, moving can be quite a disaster. Therefore, not paying enough attention to things such as costs, transportation, and actual reliable interstate movers can complicate things quite dramatically. Sure, your movers will substantially simplify the whole process, but you still need to make precise plans and be careful about who you hire. Not choosing the right movers will end up making everything worse rather than helping you out. Obviously, that’s the one thing you don’t want to happen, we don’t want to further complicate the already complicated. That’s why we are here to make sure you are asking them the correct questions before you go on and get your money out. Without further delay, let us go through our hand-picked list of questions to ask movers before an interstate move.

The movers’ Experience

Diving into the first question, you should ask your movers how much experience they actually have. How many years have they been active? Are they a relatively newly established company or have they been working for a while now? These are all really important questions to ask interstate movers before your move. The company’s experience will let you know whether they are really ready to take the job. The companies that have been working for an ample amount of time will most likely be more reliable. Simply put, the more experience the company has, the bigger chances of them already going through a move like yours in the past.

Of course, the fact that a company is newly established does not mean it’s not reliable. In which case, we could go onto a theme of whether they have done a move such as yours. For example, did they have experience moving from Michigan to California? A company that has experience in your specific move will prove to be of much more help. Moving a piano out of a house for the first time could prove to be pretty challenging. That’s why asking if the company has had a similar experience is one of the main questions to ask movers before an interstate move. No one would like to have a big investment like a piano go down the drain. If they have successfully answered these questions, chances are, they are the ones you were looking for.

A mover employee smiling next to their van while answering questions to ask movers before an interstate move
The more experience the company has, the more reliable they are.

Asking for a proper license, another perfect question for movers before an interstate move

A dependable moving company will most likely be properly licensed. Although, this does not incline that the movers you hire will be pitch-perfect if they have a license. By asking them about their license, you will evade an obvious scam. This is why this is an obvious question for your movers before the big long-distance move. A professional moving company should be able to give you their license. Using this guideline, you will avoid rogue movers that might turn your experience into a living hell. Researching licensed interstate movers is unavoidable for safety reasons. Most moving companies will outright just put their license on their sites though. Therefore, it might be worth checking it out yourself first.

To be exact, you will be looking for something labeled USDOT. That number is the license number that has been issued by the United States Department of Transportation. Next up, in order to check whether it’s legit or not, just access FMCA’s online database and type in the license number you’ve found. Make sure to check the right option (USDOT), because we are using that serial number in order to verify the company’s license. This should guarantee you that the company you are looking into has the license we have been looking for. Now that you’ve checked their license, we can be safe to carry on asking some other questions to ask movers before an interstate move.

The mover company handing away their license
The importance of a proper moving license is easily underestimated.

Are you brokers or carriers?

In order to fully understand why this is an important question to ask cross-country movers before your move, we have to get through some important terms. Firstly, what exactly is a broker, and what is a carrier? A Broker company is a company that will put your job up for bidding to their partners. That means that, in actuality, another company will be responsible for moving your belongings. So you would call up a broker company for a move from Miami to Houston, and they would just find someone that’s currently available to do the job. On the other hand, a carrier company will do the work themselves. They are the ones that have their own workers that will be responsible for your interstate move.

So, why is this one of the key questions to ask movers before an interstate move? Well, the problem with broker companies is that you just cannot, in any way, know who will actually do the job beforehand. You are quite literally just relying on them to find the people suitable for your move. Another problem with brokers is the fact that they will most likely ask you to estimate how much you need to move. Meaning that you might make a mistake in your estimates and then come up with unplanned expenses afterward. On the other hand, there is a much bigger chance of brokers, finding someone that will take the job. Carriers might already be too busy to provide you with their services on the date needed. Also worth mentioning is that you might need to pay a bit more for carriers than brokers.

How do loss and damage claims work?

Mistakes and accidents happen. Avoiding such things would be perfect, but humans aren’t perfect, no matter how you look at them. On that account, you should ask the company to get you through their loss and damage claims process. You need to know how you will act in case of an accident happening. Going through their claims process will ensure that you are ready for almost everything to happen. This easily makes it into the list of important questions to ask movers before your cross-country move. You can just never know for sure that everything will go by smoothly. Everyone would like to know how to avoid property damage when moving out. Another thing to check out is the reviews of the company. There is a chance you’ll find some negative reviews that talk about the person not getting reimbursed. In which case you should most likely rethink your decisions.

Liability Coverage as one of the questions to ask movers before an interstate move

Now that we’ve talked about damage and loss claims, let’s talk liability coverage. Liability coverage will make sure that even if something goes wrong your belongings will be covered. Most well-licensed companies will have at least two types of liability coverage to offer. Be sure to pick one that better revolves around your type of move:

  • Released Value Protection – A very important question to ask movers before your long-distance move. You can cover your items by paying 60 cents per pound per article. For the sake of understanding this better, let’s look at an example. Imagine that you are moving a 750-pound piano. Your movers happened to break it into pieces during the job and now they have to turn to liability coverage. In the case that you’ve chosen this liability type, they will pay you 450 dollars back. Is this enough to cover the piano? Exactly, not really. That’s why asking for the types of liability coverage options your company offers is one of the go-to questions to ask movers before an interstate move.
  • Full Value Protection – This, if you are very concerned about what you are moving, is the better option. This will ensure that the company will cover the current market value of the item you are shipping in case of an accident. Meaning that if they break that 750-pound piano, they’ll have to either pay for a repair or buy you a new one of equal value. Although, you should know how to recognize overly expensive movers since some of them might offer a big bonus for full value protection. Truly, it should be a bit pricier, but try not to get fooled.
A man putting boxes in a van
Damaging your goods during the move will add up to an unneeded expense, be careful who you choose to hire!

How do I reach out to you during the actual move?

Communication is key. You should ensure that you have the correct phone number of at least one of the people that will be moving you. There are many tracking methods, and they might prefer sending you texts or similar stuff, but you can never be sure enough. Having someone’s phone number just makes for a much safer experience. If something suddenly changes, and you need to let the driver know during the actual move, it’s going to be easy to just phone them. Imagine moving from Atlanta to Chicago and your carriers are hours and hours late, would be great if you could just give them a call to make sure everything is alright. Otherwise, by sending them a text message you might risk them not even seeing it. That may lead to some unneeded complications. This makes for a useful question to ask movers before your big interstate move.

A woman giving her contact information to the mover
Asking for contact information is a key question to ask long-distance movers before the move.

Beware of non-binding estimates

Many companies might offer you a non-binding estimate. What this means is that if perchance, the move takes longer than expected or they come up with some other problem, the company can bill you more. Some companies even like to use this, increasing the price right before the move is supposed to happen. Precisely why this makes for one of the must-ask questions to ask movers before an interstate move. They know you most likely won’t have another option at that point. In all probability, you’ve already planned everything out, so what now? Avoid getting forced to pay. The other side of this is that you can also get a non-binding estimate and pay less if the move proves to be easier than first anticipated. This though might be too big of a gamble to work with.

In an effort to zero out the chances of getting over-priced at the last minute, just ensure that your company offers a binding estimate. Binding estimates are not subject to changes. To be more exact, that means that if everything goes as planned, you will pay the same price. Making this a great question for your long-distance movers before moving. This way you will be sure to know the exact amount of money you will have to give up before the move. Obviously, if you decide to transport a fridge right after they come to your door, the price is going to be tinkered with. All in all, be sure to ask your moving company whether they can offer you a binding estimate if you want to be safe.

A man counting his money questioning movers before the interstate move
Non-Binding estimates might surprise you at the worst moment.


You can just never know, can you? Maybe the company offers a discount for certain services, or for certain places. It can never hurt to ask, you can just get something out of it. So asking for a discount is surely a very budget-friendly question to ask your interstate movers before the move. The more common discounts are for students, military members, or AAA members. After all, preparing a relocation budget will be one of your main concerns when planning out the whole move. So if you fall into one of these categories be sure to check some discounts out!

The last one on the list of questions to ask movers before an interstate move

Last but not least, we’ve got the last question on our list. The last key question to ask cross-country movers before your move is “How do you calculate your prices?”. While this one might be a bit more obvious, it is an absolute must. You just cannot know for sure how their calculating process works. It is best if you can estimate the expense yourself without having to stretch your moving budget. On the other hand, it’s good to know whether the quote covers the disassembling and reassembling or unloading and loading of the truck. Most companies will charge you according to the weight of your luggage, the time spent doing the job, the distance, or seasonality. Some companies might even combine a few different factors. It all depends on who you hire for your move. We are here to make sure you estimate the right budget for your move.

A couple sitting surrounded by boxes
Precise calculation of your expenses will result in a calmer move.


After this long ride, we hope you have realized the importance of some of the questions from our list. We’ve gone from explaining some needed terms to making sure you don’t underestimate the budget for your cross-country move. This matter is much more important than you first might think it is. It’s always good to know exactly what you are dealing with before trusting someone to handle all of your things. That’s exactly why we were here to shine a light on very important questions to ask movers before an interstate move. After you’ve gone and asked your movers everything, you will be ready to move on to some more important matters of planning. Remember, by asking the right questions you will uncover the right solutions! Good luck!

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