Around 35.5 million people in the United States move each year. While most moves go smoothly, others fall victim to rogue movers who scam people out of their hard-earned money. How can you protect yourself? Knowing what to look for can help keep you safe during a stressful move. Here’s how to spot legitimate local moving companies.
License and Insurance
When researching local movers, be sure to check if they are properly licensed and insured. Every state has its own rules and regulations regarding licensing, so you will need to look these up to determine what a local mover should have. A mover should also be able to show you proof of insurance when requested. This insurance protects you against lost and damaged goods during the moving process.
Another way of determining the legitimacy of local moving companies is to look online for consumer complaints. You can check social platforms such as Google or Yelp to find out what people are saying about the business. Another excellent resource to consider is the Better Business Bureau. This website will detail the company’s history and give you details about any potential warnings. It will also show how the professional moving company responds to complaints it receives.
Professional moving companies always perform in-home inspections before providing you with a written estimate. You should never rely on a quote given to you over the Internet or telephone. It’s a good idea to get written estimates from at least four local movers before making a final decision. If you notice an estimate that is much higher or lower than the others, this could be a red flag that the company isn’t legitimate. Be wary of any local mover who demands that you pay a large deposit upfront.
Legitimate local movers will present themselves as professionals to the community. That means they will have a business website, a verifiable physical address, uniforms, and the right equipment. They also can provide proof of business licenses and insurance information. You should also be able to have a written inventory of all your items that are to be moved.
When looking for local moving companies, it’s important that you trust your gut. If something feels off, then you should walk away and look for another company to work with. Take your time and research movers carefully before signing any contracts.