Moving can be a real hassle, full of hard work and headaches. That’s why moving companies exist – to take one less thing off your list! A lot of families who are moving prefer to have a moving company help them, and that’s especially true when you are moving across state lines, and relocating.
As a consumer, you need to be aware of some of the shady practices of moving companies. The most important thing when hiring a moving company: read the contract. The contract will stipulate your recourse if items are lost or broken. And if the contract says the moving company is not responsible for lost, stolen, or broken items, you need to re-consider hiring that company.
A bigger red flag is if the company doesn’t have that stipulation in their contract, or if they have no contract at all.
Here are some other tips to keep in mind when hiring a moving company:
Get at least three estimates. Don’t rely on one company. Shop around! There are tons of moving companies out there – some are big, some are small mom-and-pop operations. Some warranty and guarantee, some don’t. Some charge a lot, some charge very little. You have to shop around.
Make sure the company is registered and licensed. If a moving company isn’t licensed and registered, you could have a big problem on your hands if one of the movers gets injured. Check out this great resource on the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website on moving in Florida.
Get a local referral. Ask your friends, family, and co-workers for a referral of a moving company they have used before. If they are happy, you’ll probably be happy!
Find out if your homeowner’s insurance policy covers lost or damaged household items. Your policy might have a clause in it relating to what happens when you move, and what the policy does and does not cover for accidents or incidentals that occur during a move.
One last tip – consumers can call the Florida Consumer Services hotline to find out if a moving company you are considering has any complaints against them by calling toll-free 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352).