When you choose an interstate moving company you need to be sure you select a reputable moving company that will take care of you and your personal belongings. Moving out of state is a stressful event – one that takes careful planning. You should learn about moving fraud and your rights and responsibilities during a long distance move. Also, set yourself up for success by following these great tips for your interstate move.

Moving Company Fraud – Red Flags

Selecting the best moving company for your long distance move is an important first step to a successful out of state move. Choose an interstate moving company that follows the professional standards of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA).

Avoid any moving company that does not perform onsite inspections. The best way to assess your moving needs and provide you with accurate interstate moving costs is an onsite inspection of your home and personal items.

  • The moving company does not provide an accurate written estimate and a thoroughly written contract including their contact information, their obligations,and a detailed moving plan prior to moving day. Contingency plans are included as well.
  • Never work with an interstate moving company that requests a large deposit up-front.
  • A professional long distance moving company should have company marked, fleet trucks for interstate moves. Be wary of companies who only use small rental vehicles.
  • Be sure to research all potential companies; read interstate moving company reviews as well as finding their rating with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Check that the moving company is registered with the FMCSA here.
  • Always ask lots of questions; make sure the companies answer every question to your satisfaction.

Choose an Interstate Moving Company – Know Your Rights and Responsibilities

The best place to start your out of state move is knowing your rights and responsibilities. Every reputable interstate moving company will provide you with a copy of the Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet and a copy of FMCSA’s Ready to Move brochure. Federal regulations require moving companies to provide this information to their customers in the planning stages of interstate moves. These materials are the best place to start with understanding the interstate moving process.

Understand Your Liability Options

Interstate moving companies provide a basic liability of coverage at $0.60 per pound. If you do not feel that this is enough coverage for your personal items, ask about Full Value Protection options. This liability coverage gives you 100% of the replacement cost of your items. Also, check your homeowners insurance to see if you already have existing coverage for your household items.

Understand Your Contract

Choose an interstate moving company that has all the following components in their contract and process. Be sure the company and its representatives can explain your contract in detail.

  • Estimate: Never accept verbal estimates. All estimates need to be described clearly and in writing. The estimate should include all charges for all services and must be signed by you and the mover.
  • Order for Service: The order for service shows the pick-up and delivery dates. Also, there should be a list of all services the moving company will perform.
  • Bill of Lading: This is the contract between you and the mover. It also acts as a receipt for your items. Always get a copy of the bill of lading before the company leaves your home of origin.
  • Inventory List: The inventory list acts as another receipt and lists every item being shipped as well as its condition. You must get a copy of the inventory list after your items are loaded and ensure the list and condition of items is accurate.

For more information about the long distance moving process, visit the FMCSA website.

Choose an Interstate Moving Company – Always Supervise the Process

You are in charge of your long distance move. Be present for the pick-up and delivery of your items. Read every document and never sign anything you do not agree with or understand. Always check the condition of your items and be sure to document any damage or issues.

Taking on the task of an interstate move can be difficult if you are not informed and prepared prior to when you choose an interstate moving company. The best way to make your long distance move successful is watch for red flags and always research your potential movers thoroughly. It is beneficial to understand your contract details, know your rights and responsibilities, and take charge of your interstate move. Moving is a stressful event but can be simplified with preparation, research, and your leadership.