Aside from being home to Memorial Day, the month of May is also designated as National Moving Month. It is touted as the busiest month for relocation since many families usually move around this time of year. In order to help the estimated 35 million Americans that the U.S. Department of Transportation predict will move this year, the Better Business Bureau has released tips to help the process go as smoothly as possible.
According to the BBB, persons moving in this busy season should:
• Research the company thoroughly. While state regulations vary, all interstate movers must, at minimum, be licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA assigns a unique motor carrier number that can be verified at protectyourmove.gov. Also make sure you know whether you are dealing directly with a mover or with a broker (middleman) who will refer your job to a mover you don’t know.
• Get at least three written in-home estimates. Not all price quotes online or over the phone are legitimate (or binding), and crooks are not likely to send an estimator to your home in advance. Also, remember that the lowest estimate can sometimes be an unrealistic, low-ball offer that may cost you more in the end.
• Know your rights. Research your rights with the FMCSA. Interstate movers must give you two booklets detailing your rights, which are also available online. If a company threatens to hold your belongings “hostage,” enlist the help of BBB or local law enforcement.
• Consider accepting full value protection. It may cost a few dollars more, but it can provide some peace of mind and eliminate headaches after your move. Purchasing full (replacement) value protection from your mover 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, for example, that the required minimum coverage of 60 cents per pound would not cover the replacement cost of a flat-panel TV if damaged in transit. The cost of full value protection must be included in the initial estimate you receive for an interstate move. FMCSA also requires interstate movers to offer arbitration to help settle disputed claims.
There are only a few days left in National Moving Month and we wish that you have a safe and productive one!