Protect Your Move, Protect Yourself

May 14, 2012

If you are moving in or out of Chicago real estate in the near future, you are not alone.

May is National Moving Month and the start of the busiest time of year for changing residences.

cartoon, faceless people moving a house.

Find the right moving company and protect your belongings, your money, your memories . . . your move.

Moving can be an extremely difficult and stressful process, so it’s important to ask yourself: Who are you going to trust with your move?

Last year alone, the Better Business Bureau received more than 9,000 complaints against movers, including damaged items, price increases over estimates and even items being “held hostage” for additional payments.

The BBB serving Chicago and Northern Illinois received 471 complaints about movers in 2011; that’s an increase of 33 percent over  the previous year, which had also seen an increase of more than 30 percent over the prior year.

It’s important to pick the right mover. The BBB and the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) offer these tips on how to select a trustworthy moving company:

*Do your research: Research companies thoroughly, especially if you’re moving out-of-state. The BBB offers more than 17,000 reviews on moving-related services; AMSA-certified ProMovers are recommended for interstate moves; and all interstate movers are assigned a motor carrier number with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that you can verify at

*Get estimates from home: Don’t trust price-quotes online or over the phone; sometimes those unrealistic low-ball estimates can end up costing you more when it’s really time to move. Get at least three written in-home estimates.

*Know your rights: Research your rights whether you are moving within Illinois or out-of-state. Contact the BBB, FMCSA or local law enforcement if a moving company fails to live up to its promises or threatens to hold your belongings hostage.

*Consider full value protection: It will cost more up front, but getting full replacement value protection means any lost or damaged articles will be repaired or replaced, or a cash settlement will be made at current market value, regardless of age. Keep in mind that the required minimum coverage of 60 cents per pound would not cover the replacement cost of a heavier item, like a television set.

Now it will be easier to understand this right: Beginning May 15, a new interstate regulation requires the cost of full value protection to be included in all mover’s estimates.

Under another law, every mover is required to give you this booklet about moving rights. Check it out, and be prepared to make your move move smoothly.

Categories: Education, Featured

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