Gerber Life Family Times --- News and tips for familes of all ages and stages of life

A Moving Experience  
Moving can be a stressful experience but finding a reliable mover can help ease the transition for your family.


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A Moving Experience
Finding a Reliable mover

Gerber Life Family Times Archive

ImageMoving—it is one of the most stressful events a family can experience. The actual act of moving combined with the events surrounding the decision to move impacts all members of your family, and few things in life can cause as much upheaval for all family members. The reasons for moving are varied. From voluntary or forced career changes (which occur more frequently than in our parent’s days) to upsizing or downsizing a home due to growing family needs or financial changes (positive or negative), moving—as undesirable as it may be—is something few families can avoid. Whether it is across town or across the country, the logistics of moving are equally challenging. What do I pack? How do I pack to protect fragile items? Should we rent a moving van or should we hire a mover? With so many details and decisions, more and more families are opting to turn the process of getting their belongings from old home to new over to professionals movers. As with hiring any professional service, there is always the possibility that things won’t turn out perfectly. To protect your belongings and investment, there are some tips to keep in mind when making a decision on which mover to use.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that more than 40 million Americans move each year for either personal reasons or career opportunities. Although many moves go as planned, there are a small percentage that don’t due to the fraudulent practices of dishonest movers the FMCSA refers to as “rogue movers.” Rogue movers typically give low estimates over the Internet or telephone without ever visiting your home or seeing the items you want moved. Once your belongings are on their truck, they demand more money before they will deliver or unload them. In effect, your belongings are held hostage and you are forced to pay much more than you agreed to if you want your possessions back.

There are a series of “red flags” that the FMCSA recommends being aware of when choosing a mover:

  • When you call the mover, the telephone is answered with a generic greeting of “Movers” or “Moving company” as opposed to a legitimate company name.
  • The company’s website has no local address and no information about the company’s registration or insurance.
  • The mover doesn’t offer or agree to an on-site inspection of your household goods and gives an estimate over the telephone or via the Internet—sight-unseen. Estimates often sound too good to be true—and they usually are.
  • The moving company requires cash or a large deposit before the move.
  • The mover claims your belongings are covered by their insurance.
  • The mover’s office and/or warehouse is in poor condition or doesn’t exist.
  • On the day of the move, a rental truck arrives instead of a company-owned or marked fleet truck.

ImageIf you are moving from one state to another (interstate), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires a mover to have a U.S. DOT registration number. DOT registration numbers can be checked online at In addition, the DOT requires that a mover give you a copy of a booklet from the Federal government entitled “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” The booklet provides you with important information you’ll need if your belongings are lost or damaged during the process of moving. For intrastate moves (those within your state’s borders), check with state, county, and local consumer affairs agencies or the state’s attorney general. To help in choosing a reputable mover, the FMCSA advises getting written estimates from several movers, with each estimate based upon an actual inspection of the items to be moved. The FMCSA adds that movers are required by law to deliver your goods for no more than 10 percent above the price of a non-binding estimate—referred to as the “110% Rule.”

In the event that you experience some sort of problem with your move, the FMCSA advises that you should first file a complaint directly with the mover. If you are unsatisfied with the resolution to your complaint, you should then file a complaint with FMCSA where your report will become part of a Federal investigation against the company. Additionally, the situation should also be reported to the state’s attorney general as well as any state consumer affairs agencies.

As with most things in life, “you get what you pay for.” Moving services are no different. The best protection you can provide for your belongings comes in the form of a well-researched and carefully selected mover. By doing your homework and following a few common sense guidelines, you and your family can rest a bit easier while your belongings are in transit to the comfort of your new home!

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration—
United States Department of Transportation—

Articles are provided for the general interest of our readers. Gerber Life Insurance is not responsible for any content and recommends that you consult the appropriate professional with any questions or concerns you may have concerning any financial or health related issues.

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