Moving Scam – Before and After.
The Challenge of Getting Insurance Compensation When You’ve Been Victimized by a Moving Scam.
Insurance claims against scam movers may require some special procedures to insure that you get compensation for your lost and damaged goods.
The classical moving scam includes a low ball moving cost estimate followed by rapid escalation of the price, after the goods are loaded onto the truck. With virtually all moving scam companies, your goods will be put into storage, until the move is subcontracted to the delivery company.
When your possessions finally reach the destination they have passed through the hands of at least two moving companies, and one storage facility, and are probably going to be damaged and broken, with many items missing.
The basic requirements for filing a claim include making an immediate inventory of the damage, in the presence of the truck driver, and getting him to sign. The next two steps are based on regulations detailed in the Carmack Amendment, and preserved for nearly 90 years by the Federal laws and regulations governing interstate moves.
You must file your initial complaint with the moving company before the lapse of 9 months, and go through any recommended arbitration process. If you don’t put in your complaint, in a timely fashion, you lose the right for subsequent claims. Should the moving company be unwilling to come to terms with you, the next step, is to put in a claim in civil court. However, by law, you must wait until the end of the 9 month negotiation period before going court.
The last step is particularly pertinent to people who have been victimized by a scam outfit. But it isn’t that hard to do. The victim must track down the insurance carrier the mover was using when he moved the goods. I say “was using,” because many scam movers will have multiple company names, and will often change their insurance policy or carrier. This last step must actually begin before the move, because all homeowners moving with a lesser known carrier must be sure the companies making the move have a active license. If not, they won’t have insurance either.
Be sure to check out the company’s DOT number to make sure they are licensed. If a moving company is not actively licensed, then they have no insurance. Check out their BBB status, and check for information on the BBB website, that will show you how to see if the company is licensed.
Once you’ve gotten to the last step, there is a handy way to track down a company’s insurance carrier, and that is to use the FMCSA web site. Go to web address
https://lipublic.fmcsa.dot.gov/LIVIEW/pkg_menu.prc_menu and put in the DOT number of the company, and their MC number and you should be able to pull up their current insurance record. The FMCSA web site not only lists the carrier’s current insurance, but also previous insurance policies, and dates. You must claim your money based on the insurance policy the company had at the time they moved you.
Just as a reminder, all of these steps taken after the move is over, won’t help at all if you didn’t make a packing list and have it signed by the mover before the move began. If movers do not agree on the Inventory and value of the items you moved, they can claim you subsequently falsified the insurance filing by asking money for goods that were never moved or were damaged before the move. Finally, keep in mind, all of these steps won’t help at all if you didn’t make a complete packing list, and go over it with the movers on moving day. Also you will only be entitled to .60 a pound compensation for your goods, unless you contracted with the movers to insure all or part of the value of the items you moved.
The best way to protect yourself from being caught in a moving scam is to take steps right from the start of your move. An ideal way to insure a safe move is to hire an honest packing company with a Flat Rate Quote. Then have them load your goods into locked shipping containers or Pods Containers, for which only you hold the key. Packing Service, Inc. is an honest packing company that is dedicated to protecting consumers from moving scams. They will not only pack and load your goods expertly; they will also help you find an honest shipping company to transport your belongings to the new location.