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December 12, 2016

Your rights and responsibilities when moving

  • Local Moves
Knowing what to expect from a move ensures you have an experience worth your time and effort.

In the U.S., consumers have all sorts of rights and protections in place. These regulations ensure their interests are being considered at all times.

This is especially true when it comes to moving, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has policies in place to safeguard people no matter where they're headed. The work of the FMCSA ensures people know their rights and how to work alongside services to ensure the smoothest move possible.

Read on for more insight into your many rights: 

"There are two main insurance types: Full and released."

A safety net of insurance
To ensure their belongings are protected, many people opt for moving insurance. According to the FMCSA, there are several different options to protect your property. Interstate movers primarily rely on two forms of valuation, each one suited for a specific situation. Full value protection means that movers must pay the full cost of any damaged goods in a shipment. Released value protection, meanwhile, is a much more economical option for consumers, but movers are only made to pay a portion of any damages. The FMCSA suggested that movers can also opt for third party insurance. This is for those who have released value protection, and serves as extra liability coverage that the consumer must pay for.

Blocking fraud 
Part of your moving protection is preventing the occurrence of fraud. Per the FMCSA, the average loss related to moving fraud is $10,000. Protecting yourself begins with recognizing certain red flags, like moving services with no address or website, large deposits despite no onsite inspection and companies who don't provide a "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move" booklet. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud, then you can file a complaint via the FMCSA. The process is quick and easy, and only requires some basic information (name, address and moving company, for instance). These complaints can help, and the FMCSA has an entire team dedicated to track down fraudulent brokers and other services.

Going above and beyond
As mentioned above, the most professional moving services will provide you with a booklet called "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move." In it, you'll find an exact outline of your rights when moving, including the company's information, rules about weight and insurance, how you can provide feedback and obtain answers, and other important terms and conditions for any move. But all of the best movers go above and beyond providing the booklet, and offer other forms of support for consumers. That includes a checklist for the entire moving process, special services they provide and a plan for the moving or delivery day. The more information you have, the better the experience.

Reliable partners
While not every consumer is aware, there are laws in place that guarantee certain protections. For instance, you are guaranteed delivery dates, in writing, from any moving company. When it comes to estimates, meanwhile, you are due copies in writing, and they must be fully binding. You can even have your total shipment re-weighed to ensure a precise estimate. As consumers, you must take steps to learn and research your rights to be as careful as possible. 

Ultimately, though, it comes down to working with a moving service that understands and promotes your role in the moving experience. Atlas Van Lines has done just that since 1948, ensuring consumers feel safe and protected at all times.