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Best Moving Companies for Antiques

Whether we’re moving cross-country or simply to the other side of town, we put a lot of trust in moving companies. Fragile and precious items like fine art, family heirlooms, and antique furniture all face a higher risk when they head into the moving truck. It’s not uncommon to worry that one of these high-value pieces will end up dropped, dented, or even lost.

Luckily, many major moving companies across the country have expert training and experience caring for antiques during the hectic moving process. From climate-controlled crating to certified piano moving, each team offers unique services for your most important heirlooms.

As a customer, it all comes down to knowing how to look for the right company. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about what makes a trustworthy antique mover as well as some of the top brands in the U.S.

Best Full-Service Mover

International Van Lines

4.8
  • Provides Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
  • IVL is a Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker
  • Live Chat Option & A 24/7 Telephone Assistance Line

Best Moving Add-ons

American Van Lines

4.7
  • Local & Long-Distance Moving
  • Storage Options Available
  • Specializes In Fine Art, Antique, & Piano Moving

Best for Protection Insurance

Safeway Moving System

4.6
  • Safeway Moving is an FMCSA-Licensed Broker
  • Brokers Connect Clients With Local Moving Options at Advantageous Pricing
  • Select Locations Provide 1 Month of Free Storage Services

Signs of a Great Antiques Mover

Moving company websites can be a little hard to decipher, especially if they’re a small local name. In most cases, you’ll see services like “antique moving” and “custom crating,” listed on their site, but with little data outside of a quick mention.

So, what do professional movers with ample antique experience look like and how do you find the right ones?

Experience

First of all, always request to know how many years of experience a company has in moving antique furniture and other fragile items. Technology and carrier liability coverage plans have both grown over the years, so it’s important that a company has all the best materials and services to protect valuable antiques. 

For example, look for extra services like:

  • Custom crating build for your specific antique items
  • Reinforced packing supplies
  • Short and long-term storage in a climate-controlled storage unit
  • Increased carrier liability coverage options
  • Professional packing and unpacking services
  • Piano moving certifications
  • Highly trained moving crews

Companies like JK Moving—which made our top-five list below—have specific experience assisting museums move precious art and artifacts. Examples like these provide proof of past experience without having to dig through reviews.

Coverage

Moving companies are required to supply very basic liability coverage for accidents on moving day. However, these plans typically only cover a certain amount per pound, which is far from ideal for expensive delicate items and collectibles.

Look for companies that clearly list their additional insurance options on their website or in the moving quote. During your home walkthrough, be sure to point out any highly appraised items that need to travel to your new home. The best movers will suggest the right level of coverage and best price for your needs.

Reviews and Testimonials

Peruse sites like the Better Business Bureau as well as common review pages for red flags about customer care. Some of the most common complaints go back to packers or movers not taking extra care to protect special items. For example, look for reviews about the companies packing services, packing materials, and experience with their claims process.

Additionally, always feel free to ask a company for direct testimonials from similar customers. If possible, speak with past clients that also moved precious antiques with success.

Best Full-Service Mover

4.8
  • Provides Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
  • IVL is a Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker
  • Live Chat Option & A 24/7 Telephone Assistance Line

Best Moving Add-ons

4.7
  • Local & Long-Distance Moving
  • Storage Options Available
  • Specializes In Fine Art, Antique, & Piano Moving

Best for Protection Insurance

4.6
  • Safeway Moving is an FMCSA-Licensed Broker
  • Brokers Connect Clients With Local Moving Options at Advantageous Pricing
  • Select Locations Provide 1 Month of Free Storage Services

Most Customizable Moves

4.5
  • Long-Distance, Interstate, Local & Int'l Moves
  • 24/7 Customer Support & Great Mobile App for Customers
  • Low-Interest Financing Available with JK Moving partner

Most Competitive Pricing

4.4
  • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
  • Portable Storage Service at U-Pack Warehouse
  • Negligence & Catastrophic Liability Coverage

How to Find the Best Antiques Mover

Searching for the right mover for you can be a challenge. The companies that pop up first in your search are not necessarily the ones with the best reviews. However, you can take a handful of steps to find professional antique movers that will ensure a stress-free transition.

Always begin by checking a company for basic federal and state requirements. Even if the mover has an excellent website and social media, check their status in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration database for their:

  • USDOT number
  • Certifications, license, and proof of insurance
  • Whether the company is a broker or a carrier
  • Number of trucks in their fleet
  • Current complaints filed with the FMCSA

Brokers vs. Carriers

Many local and long-distance moving companies function as either a carrier or a broker. Carriers have their own fleet of trucks, trained staff, and moving supplies. Brokers reach out to locally vetted companies and coordinate your move from afar.

Both types of movers are legitimate, but you may need to do a little more research with a broker when it comes to antique moving. For example, if a company hires a team of movers close by that do not offer the same antique services as the parent website, you could end up with a headache on the big day.

The Free Quote Process

Use your estimate process to get to know your prospective movers even more. You should be offered an in-person or virtual walkthrough of your home, specifically to speak about the items that require special attention. The best companies are fully transparent about pricing, especially for extra services.

Your free moving quote should also include:

  • A binding or non-binding contract with your estimated costs
  • Additional services like packing, specialty crating, or piano moving
  • Add-on insurance costs and the claims process
  • Your moving-day and delivery schedule

What to Expect from Your Move

How do moving companies protect fragile items during local and long-distance moves? In addition to receiving special training on how to handle things like precious artwork, furniture, and heirlooms, you’ll spot several services aimed at protecting antiques.

Custom Crating

An experienced mover will come to your home, measure and photograph the piece in question, and build a customized package specifically for the item. These crates include custom packing materials and if necessary, climate-controlled technology to keep the item from extreme temperatures on the trip.

Professional Packing

Even if you’re handling a small move, packing services are an excellent way to keep precious items safe. The best movers have access to high-quality containers, packing supplies, and means to safely transport them to the truck.

Increased Insurance

As we mentioned earlier, carrier liability coverage is the form of insurance specifically offered by moving companies. While it depends on your plan, most homeowner insurance plans do not cover damage that occurs in the hands of the movers, so it’s important to opt for full valuation coverage whenever possible.

For this reason, be sure to have your precious items appraised before your prospective company writes up a free quote. 

Keep Personal Items Close

There are some special pieces movers prefer that you transport on your own. Irreplaceable items like wedding rings, family photos, passports, and tax data should be kept in a special box and moved separately. If there are small, high-value items you can transport yourself, you may save money on insurance rates.

Top 5 Antique Movers in the U.S.

Some of the best antique movers in the country offer local or long-distance moving services to all 50 states. All of our picks below have met federal requirements, received top customer reviews, and most importantly, have experience handling fragile, high-value, or precious personal items with care.

1. Atlas Van Lines

As one of the largest names in the moving industry, Atlas Van Lines also provides a detailed account of how they protect antique items. The company offers:

  • Specialty wooden crating
  • Small item transport
  • Moving truck decking
  • Electronics moving

Atlas also offers Full Valuation Protection as the default coverage plan.

2. JK Moving

This company handles some of the biggest commercial and government contracts in the country. JK Moving specifically has vast experience moving items for large museums

Residential customers can also choose for either full-service or fragile-only packing, allowing for more flexibility in each contract. JK Moving also has:

  • Extensive valuation coverage plans
  • Highly trained staff members
  • An A+ rating on BBB

3. Fine Art Shippers

As the only local company on the list, the New York team at Fine Art Shippers provides premier art moving experience for private and commercial clients around the world. Their expertise covers:

  • Antiques
  • Fine art
  • Crating and packing
  • International air and sea freight transportation
  • Local and long-distance moves

The company can also help customers find the right insurance plan for their needs.

4. Mayflower

Mayflower truly shines when it comes to valuation coverage options. Each customer has the option to choose from three full-service packages. These plans include:

  • Added valuation protection
  • Identity theft protection
  • Claims assistance
  • Delay claims
  • Assembly and disassembly assistance

As part of the center of their contract process, Mayflower goes above and beyond to help its customers understand what is included and left out of every coverage plan.

5. United Van Lines

United ranks as one of the top local and long-distance movers with nationwide reach. Its full-service plans include options like:

  • Customized packing plans
  • Custom crates
  • Packing checklists and videos
  • Short and long-term storage
  • Full valuation protection

FAQs About Antique Moving Companies

Does moving valuation coverage include antiques?

Basic carrier liability coverage offered by a moving company will not always cover items based on their value. Other plans will only cover damage that the owner can prove happened due to carrier negligence. For this reason, it’s important to:

  • Opt for full valuation coverage
  • Have your items professional appraised before signing up for the plan
  • Take pictures, and even videos, of the items before and after arrival

Which items will movers not move?

Moving companies—especially long-distance movers—will not carry items that are flammable, combustible, or perishable. A truck unit can change drastically in temperature during the trip, making these items particularly dangerous. Additionally, movers will not transport plants or pets on your journey.

How do I move a piano?

As incredibly cumbersome and fragile instruments, it’s important to choose highly trained and certified movers to transport a piano. Be sure your chosen company:

  • Has years of documented experience moving pianos
  • Has removed a piano from your type of house or apartment
  • Offers additional coverage for the move
  • Can provide specialty crating and climate-controlled moving for the trip