3 Ways To Tell A Moving Company Is Legit

BEWARE: Rogue and uninsured movers are in your neighborhood

The moving industry is heavily regulated by both federal and state governments, but there are still rouge companies out there that operate under the radar of these regulations. And they are everywhere! They do so by not properly insuring their business, employees, or your belongings when in their care.

You might think that all you need to start a moving company is two strong movers and a truck, but you’d be wrong. You need two strong movers, a truck, and insurance. While you can probably save some money up front by hiring an uninsured moving company, you have no guarantee that your stuff will arrive in one piece. On top of that, you will have little recourse if things break or go missing.

I’m going to point out some of the dangers of hiring these rouge movers and give you some tips on how you can vet companies before you make a stressful decision.

3 dangers of hiring an uninsured or rogue moving company:
  1. You are taking on more personal liability while the crew is on site at your property. If the moving company does not have proper general liability coverage or worker’s compensation insurance to cover their employees, you could be sued by one if they are injured at your home.
  2. Your possessions are not protected while in transit on the company truck. If the moving company does not carry cargo insurance, then you have no recourse if the truck crashes and all your stuff is lost due to damage or fire.

Federal law mandates that all licensed and regulated moving companies insure your items at a minimum of 60 cents per pound. Some companies may even offer full valuation coverage for a fee (we do).

  1. The owner does not respect authority, nor do they care about breaking the law by operating an uninsured moving company. The last thing you need to worry about is the character of the moving company that you’ve entrusted with all of your possessions.

So how do you know if you are hiring an uninsured moving company? An easy way to find out if the companies you are communicating with are legal and insured is to check the FMCSA’s Company Snapshot. Simply enter each company’s name in the field to find out if they are registered with the DOT (Department of Transportation) and up to date on their insurance coverage. The time that it takes to run a query on this website is more than worth your peace of mind on and after moving day.

3 ways you can vet these companies before you hire:
  1. Ask About Insurance
    Ask the company if they are insured and find out what their policy is for replacing broken or missing items. Do this before even getting an estimate! Most moving companies offer two different kinds of insurance. The basic released value of 60 cents per pound per article, or the Full Replacement Coverage. It is your mover’s responsibility to explain both of these options to you.
  2. Do Your Homework
    Spend time reading online reviews. If you can’t find them online, chances are they are a rogue mover. Make sure they have a local address and you can find their location on Google Maps. If you are moving across state lines, the company is required by law to be registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation. The federal agency has a helpful site – https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/protect-your-move – that allows you to look up info about all interstate moving companies.
  3. Find a ProMover
    The American Moving & Storage Association launched a consumer protection and certification program called ProMover. This initiative is designed to fight imposters by giving consumers an easy way to separate reputable, professional movers from con artists out to make a quick buck. All ProMovers are fully licensed and insured and meet high standards for safety and professionalism. Each ProMover is also highly rated by the Better Business Bureau. Search for the company you are communicating with here. (Here is our certification.)

Moving your belongings is serious stuff and it is well worth your time to do the research before you make the important decision of who to hire. Professional Moving & Storage is a certified ProMover and practices honest and ethical business practices. We are also one of the only moving companies in Kansas that has a Certified Moving Consultant on staff. Whether you are doing business with us or not, we are always willing to help you discover if the mover you choose is reputable and legitimate.

Reese Jones

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