No matter how well you plan, there always seems to be a few glitches when it comes time for the big move. So in preparation for your upcoming move, make sure that movers are not one of them. Here are some legal things to check when hiring a moving company:
1- Does the Company Have Proper Insurance?
Make sure that any moving company you hire is insured. This should not be a problem with a reputable and well-known company but always check. Coverage can vary depending on what goods are being moved and where they’re going.
Regardless of what coverage is purchased, it’s important to remember that damage or loss of goods in transit will only be covered if all items are properly packed by the person hiring the mover and marked as belonging to them. Also, check state regulations before finalizing your move since some states require certain types and amounts of coverage for residential and commercial ones like those made by professional movers.
As an added precaution, you might also consider hiring an independent insurance adjuster to accompany your belongings on their journey. It doesn’t matter how large or small your move is. Most reputable moving companies will gladly agree and often have a representative who can do so as part of the overall cost or a small additional fee.
2- Make Sure to Get a Written Estimate
Statistically, most people choose a moving company that a friend or relative highly recommends. However, if you are doing so, make sure to get written confirmation. This way, there will be no confusion about what was said over the phone, and you’ll have proof of who said what when problems arise later on.
When it comes time for the actual move, be prepared with payment for services rendered in cash or by credit card. A reputable mover will not ask your family member or friend to pay part of their fee; posing as an undercover law enforcement officer is another popular approach used by scam artists. In addition, loss of property in transit due to inadequate packing could lead to legal action against the mover by you. A settlement or judgment that results from a lawsuit could result in additional costs, including attorney fees and legal expenses.
If problems arise after your items arrive at their destination, call your moving company to discuss them immediately. If there is the damage of any kind, take pictures of the damages. Keep all receipts for repairs or replacements incurred due to the move. And don’t forget that it’s always smart to have business insurance!
3- Research the Moving Company
Suppose you’re moving or using a professional mover. In that case, it’s important to note that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has launched a website to assist consumers with determining if they are hiring an appropriately licensed and insured mover. In addition, if your move involves crossing state lines, each moving company is required by law to have a USDOT number.
The best way to find information about your prospective mover is to get some recommendations from friends and family members who have used them in the past. Then, look at their website to see what kind of services they offer and make sure you understand exactly what will be included in your move on the day of.
If the mover tells you that they are offering additional services during your move, make sure to get it in writing and find out how much extra per item you will have to pay for them. Be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau as well before hiring a moving company.