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Understanding the Term Licensed and Insured Mover and Why It Matters
You know you need professional help for your upcoming move. Whether you’re interested in comprehensive services from packing to unpacking or simply want a team of experts to load and drive your truck, you also know that you need movers you can trust.
In this blog, we explain what it means to say that a company is a licensed and insured mover as well as why this designation matters so much in your moving decisions.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN A MOVER IS LICENSED?
Just like any other business, moving companies must obtain relevant permits in order to operate legally. Moving companies specifically may have to obtain multiple types of licenses to conduct their business.
Common licensing required for moving companies includes a general business license as well as transportation licenses for all types of freight that the company handles. Transportation licenses generally fall into the following categories:
Local – Whether or not a mover has a local-specific license depends on the requirements of the municipality they operate in. These licenses are issued by a city, region, or county for use within that designated area.
State – State transportation licenses are issued by the Department of Transportation (DOT) through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). All movers must have this type of license.
Multi-state – If your moving company offers out-of-state relocations, the licensing requirements depend on which states the company services. Just under 20 states require specific licensing through their Secretary of State or Public Utility Commission for movers to transport goods across their state lines.
International – If you are moving abroad, your mover must have a license from the Federal Maritime Commission. You may also need to check the licensing of any partner companies your mover uses, such as a cargo shipping line.
Your mover should readily provide their transportation licensing credentials. If you cannot find this information on the company site or a representative seems hesitant to offer them, the mover is likely not fully licensed to provide the services that they have offered you.
Without this licensing, you cannot be sure that your mover offers transportation that meets the minimum local, state, multi-state, or international standards.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN A MOVER IS INSURED?
In order to qualify as insured, a mover must comply with all insurance policy requirements for a transportation business of their size. Think of this requirement like the minimum automotive insurance policy requirements that you must comply with when you own a vehicle.
Typically, a mover’s insurance covers two main areas of concern: customer property and employee safety. Your property is covered by the company’s liability policy while in transit or storage by them. The company’s workers compensation policy protects employees who become injured while on the job from medical expenses and lost income.
While all movers must be insured, you may want to ask about prospective companies’ exact policies to determine if you want to obtain your own moving insurance as well if the coverage is too low.
For example, many liability policies cover damage on a per-pound basis, which will not cover the costs of antique, valuable, or one-of-a-kind items. Your moving company representative should be ready and willing to explain relevant insurance policies and walk you through any options they have for additional insurance through them.
As you hunt for the right moving company for your relocation, remember to double check both licensing and insurance to easily eliminate untrustworthy companies from your list.
For licensed, insured, and expert commercial and residential moving services, trust the team at Bos Moving & Service Inc.