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Protect Yourself: With a little due diligence you can be certain that you are hiring a reputable moving company and avoid many of the unfortunate consequences of dealing with a rogue operator.

1) Check with AMSA
Start by checking with the American Moving and Storage Association [moving.org]. They keep an up-to-date list of Pro-Mover certified local and long-distance movers on file. Check with them to find a moving service or to screen a company you’ve already contacted.

2) Check with City, State and Federal Regulators
To be absolutely sure that a business is legitimate, you can check with city officials to verify their business license and address info. Additionally, you can check with the State Secretary’s office to check for up-to-date registration details and “does business as” (dba) aliases.

3) Get References
Ask each moving company under consideration for three local references with recent moving experience. Further check online for reviews with the BBB, Google and Angie’s List to be sure that they have a history of customer service success.

4) Document Everything
After delivery, you have only nine months — which goes by faster than you think — to report any problems to the moving company and file a written claim for loss or damage to your belongings.
You should note any problems on the mover’s copy of the inventory before signing it. Your mover then has 30 days to acknowledge receipt of your claim. Within 120 days of receiving it, they must make an offer to pay deny or your claim. It’s a lot easier for them to deny it if you don’t have before-and-after proof, or if they didn’t see the damage before leaving your home.