Your Moving Company: The Impact of Laws & Regulations

Laws and moving company regulations are continually evolving. The larger your business grows, the greater the impact these can have on your operations and continued growth. Staying abreast of existing laws and proposed initiatives is the only way to grow your businesses successfully.

Regulations Create a Level Foundation

While regulations can certainly create headaches, they can also help prevent headaches. Moving company regulations ensure that every company plays by the same rules. This helps protect businesses from unfair competition and the shadows shady operators can cast across the industry.

Of course, each state has different regulations. As your business grows and expands into new states, you will need to carefully research and review the requirements that exist within these new markets. While it’s a good idea to do your own homework, there is no substitute for hiring a knowledgeable attorney and accountant that is familiar with the ins and outs of these state-specific regulations.

The Impact of the FMCSA

Following years of complaints from scammers and “sham” companies, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has taken an active role in monitoring and regulating moving companies. FMCSA regulations require interstate movers to register and provide a written estimate, information about arbitration and dispute resolution, and written notice regarding tariffs and fees.

These regulations protect moving companies and the customers they service by creating a foundation for the business relationship. Adhering to these regulations can help protect moving companies against frivolous lawsuits and erroneous claims when property is damaged or shipments are delayed due to weather or other causes.

The Role of the Surface Transportation Board

Moving company regulations require movers to accept liability for loss or damage that occurs to customer property during transportation. These rates are determined by the Surface Transportation Board and are periodically adjusted to take into account inflation. Thus, these regulations create a foundation for determining the value of goods that may be damaged or destroyed.

FMCSA and STB regulations allow moving companies to charge graduated rates for increasing levels of protection. This puts the onus on customers to determine the appropriate level of coverage for their move.

The Need for Insurance

Good insurance isn’t just a requirement; it is a wise investment. Most states require moving company operators to carry significant levels of insurance in order to obtain and maintain licensure. However, these requirements may not be sufficient to cover your business against potential claims. For this reason, it is imperative to review the size and scope of your operation to determine whether or not existing regulations are sufficient for protecting your operations. When it comes to insurance, being penny wise can be pound foolish, and in many cases, it is better to select insurance coverage that is above the requirement.

Getting Active and Learning to Lobby

The International Association of Movers and the American Moving & Storage Association takes an active role in shaping moving company regulations and laws. Getting active within these organizations and sharing the impact regulations are having on your business is the most effective method of shaping the direction of the industry.

Moving company regulations and laws will evolve and change as politicians and regulators react to consumer complaints and issues within the industry. By taking an active role in the process, you can help shape the future of the industry and the regulations that will impact your business.

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