Moving is hard work. Hiring professional movers will not only lessen your workload but also help ensure your items arrive safely, assuming you choose a good mover!
So, how do you know which mover to give the work? Use this list to help verify the mover has the proper credentials.
Get Multiple Estimates
First order of business is to get at least three estimates. If you have a three bedroom home or larger, require any packing, or are moving interstate, the mover should come to do an on-site assessment. Don’t get the movers from the same advertising source. Go to different sites, and ask friends and family for referrals. Once you receive the estimate, ask the mover for three references from moves in the past month. (Anyone can cherry pick good moves from over a more extended period.)
Confirm the Mover is Licensed
The required license numbers are DPU and US DOT. Use this link to verify a company is legally operating in Massachusetts.
Select the town in which the mover is licensed. If a Massachusetts mover does not appear, they may not be licensed. Ask the company in what town they are licensed so that you can verify with the DPU (Department of Public Utilities).
Use this link also to check if the company has any formal complaints with the DPU. Formal complaints with the DPU are fairly uncommon. Consider any complaints as a red flag.
Research on the Better Business Bureau
While it is true companies pay to be verified by the Better Busines Bureau (BBB), consumers can still use the BBB to verify details about the business. To research a mover, heat to http://search.bbb.org/
A few things to review:
- Compare the employee-to-complaint ratio. If the company does not have a report, verify how long the company has been in business. There are a few known moving companies that repetitively change their names to evade their poor records.
- Review the compliments on a report. The BBB does confirm consumer reviews, making fake reviews less likely.
- If you can’t find the company on the Better Business Bureau’s website, there’s a chance they are not a legal entity.
Ask For a Certificate of Insurance
All movers must carry a certificate of insurance. Keep in mind, a certificate of insurance does not protect your items; it merely verifies the company carries the required insurance policies to operate legally.
The insurance policies are workman’s compensation, inland and marine, general liability, and cargo and auto. General Liability will protect your items for up to 60 cents per pound. If you want more coverage, the mover can offer you a higher valuation. Be mindful of exclusions, such as items of extraordinary value, previously damaged items, boxes packed by the customer, etc.
Verify Workman’s Compensation
Just because workman’s compensation is listed on a certificate of insurance doesn’t mean it hasn’t been canceled. Verifying a mover has workman’s compensation insurance is essential to protect yourself against a personal injury claim and/or third-party insurance subjugation. If a worker is hurt on your property, their health insurance or the worker could try to reclaim medical bills and lost wages to your homeowner’s policy. If you don’t have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, you could end up in a lawsuit.
Verify workman’s compensation using this site – http://188.8.131.52/Disclaimer.aspx. If no results appear for another mover, ask the mover to provide proof of workman’s compensation.
Trade Association Memberships
Inquiring if a mover is a member of the Mass Movers Association and American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) is a good idea. Organizations like these help movers stay on top of regulatory changes and industry standards. Additionally, if you are traveling interstate, members of the AMSA have access to arbitration services.
Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments section!