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Every week, join Sydney Waters as she helps you navigate life as a smart consumer. You'll cover everything in avoiding the latest scams, including phishing emails, medical equipment fraud, understanding layaway, hiring a reputable tax preparer, and even digital spring cleaning. Add to your toolbox and flip through your Consumer Handbook Thursdays during NPR’s Morning Edition at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., only on KRCU.

Consumer Handbook: Moving Tips

Professional movers moving up on staircase and carrying large box with furniture on first floor of house
miodrag ignjatovic/Getty Images
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Professional movers moving up on staircase and carrying large box with furniture on first floor of house

Half of all household moves happen in the summer. Movers are among the top categories of companies searched on BBB.org, and they’re in high demand at this time of year.

The stakes are high when movers handle your precious belongings. Accidents can happen and items can be lost. This makes it even more important to hire a company that will treat your possessions with respect.

BBB received over 2,700 complaints about moving companies in 2023. Common complaints included damaged or missing items, bills that were higher than estimates, late deliveries and in some cases, belongings held hostage for additional payments.

So, how do you find a mover you can trust? Follow these tips from BBB before hiring a moving company:

Verify credentials. Ask for proof of licenses, insurance and affiliations with reputable industry organizations.

o For interstate moves, certified movers will be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and have a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) number, which you can verify on the DOT website.

o Movers who operate within a single state are regulated by the state government.

o The American Trucking Association also offers a ProMover certification and a Certified Moving Consultant certificate for salespeople.

Insure your possessions. Confirm your mover provides full-value protection insurance for lost or damaged possessions. Be sure you understand how the company will reimburse you for lost or damaged items and consider additional coverage for high-value items.

Know your rights. Learn more at protectyourmove.gov or from your state attorney general’s office.

Sydney Waters is the new Regional Director of Better Business Bureau in Cape Girardeau and responsible for outreach efforts in Southern Illinois and Eastern and Southwest Missouri.