Don’t move a thing…without knowing your rights!

July 7th, 2011 at 12:54 pm by under 10 On Your Side

When consumers search for a moving company they are usually motivated to choose one moving company over another because of price, location of the company or how quickly the company can get the move completed.  According to the American Moving & Storage Association based out of Alexandria, VA there are a few other things you should look for before trusting a moving company with your precious belongings:

  •  Research the company thoroughly.  While state regulations vary, all interstate movers must, at minimum, be licensed by the federal government and are assigned a motor carrier number you can verify on FMCSA’s website,  Also check the company’s rating with your BBB, which maintains more than 17,000 Business Reviews on movers across North America.  Having at least a satisfactory BBB rating is one of seven screenings AMSA relies on when authorizing its interstate mover members to display the ProMover logo, the sign of a quality, professional mover which has pledged to abide by the organization’s Code of Ethics.
  •  Get at least three written in-home estimates. No legitimate mover will offer to give you a firm price online or over the phone. Also keep in mind that the lowest estimate can sometimes be an unrealistic low-ball offer which can cost you more in the end.
  •  Know your rights. Research your rights as a consumer with either FMCSA for interstate moves or the state in which you reside for moves within that state.  Also, enlist the help of BBB or local law enforcement if the moving company fails to live up to its promises or threatens to hold your belongings hostage.  FMCSA requires interstate movers to offer arbitration to help settle disputed claims.
  •  Consider getting full value protection. It may cost a few dollars more up front, but it can provide some peace of mind and eliminate a headache after your move.  Investing in full (replacement) value protection means any lost or damaged articles will be repaired or replaced, or a cash settlement will be made to repair the item or to replace it at its current market value, regardless of age.  It’s important to note that the required minimum coverage of 60 cents per pound would not cover the replacement cost, for example, of a flat panel TV if damaged in transit.

 Here are some links that might be helpful to you before you make your next move.


American Moving & Storage Associaton

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

U.S. Dept of Transportation Household Goods Program

 **Credit: BBB and American Moving & Storage Association**

One Response to “Don’t move a thing…without knowing your rights!”

  1. Jae Burnham says:

    Very good advice. However, as a professional mover, I would only add one thing to your articl: Go to and get the free booklet called Knowing Your Rights and Responsibilities and read it carefully.


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