My Rights with a Moving Company

When you plan a move, there are a lot of things to consider. Budget, travel and estimates must all be included. Perhaps the most important aspect of your move is also the most overlooked: your moving rights.

All carriers must provide you with information about your moving rights so that you are prepared and informed for interstate moves, per federal regulations. You must also understand what your rights are when you are crossing state lines. For example, a move within a commercial zone like Los Angeles to the outer suburbs like Burbank or Santa Monica will differ compared to a move from Seattle to New York City. According to the moving company Mayflower, these commercial zones are defined as cities or communities located within the same major metropolitan area.

Knowing your rights is just one part of moving day. Knowing your rights is an important part of moving day.

Moving Rights 101

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are several basic rights you have during interstate moves. A moving company must provide the following:

  • A written estimate
  • Data about the company's arbitration program
  • A functionality for claims processing
  • A written notice about access to your moving tariff
  • Brochures or web links that fully explain your rights and responsibilities as a mover
  • A list of what you need to get ready to move

Having this basic information helps you stay organized when it's time to get started.

What You Need to Do

The FMCSA also says that you have a few responsibilities when it comes to moving rights. In addition to reading all of the literature provided by the moving company, you will need to inform your moving company if there are any changes to your estimate - i.e., additional goods that need to be added to the truck at the last minute. You must also be prepared to file claims to the moving company in case there are delays, losses or damages on moving day.

Inform your moving company if there are any changes to your estimate.

Selecting Your Moving Company

With moving rights in mind, you will need to have a lot of foresight before moving day starts. The FMCSA states getting written estimates from each moving company not only lets you know how much your move will cost, but it will also allow you to see whether or not the company is registered and insured. Organizations like the FMCSA, the Better Business Bureau and federal consumer protection agencies may also let you explore former complaints to see if the company you pick is reputable. United Van Lines recommends that you get estimates from at least three moving companies so that you can compare and contrast, and make sure you receive an accurate assessment of the cost of moving your goods.

Do Your Homework

No one likes to read the fine print, but these are your possessions, furniture and appliances. It is important for you to go over your moving contract with a fine-tooth comb. In particular, make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of your contract, and also have a plan laid out in case you need to process a claim.

Additionally, you must find out whether or not the company is a household-goods broker or a mover, according to United Van Lines. Household-goods brokers set up your transportation, but do not own the vehicles used for transporting your goods. Hence, they cannot market themselves as a moving company.

Moving is an exciting time, but you need to take steps to protect your possessions. Follow these steps to ensure your move is as smooth and stress-free as possible. 

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