How To Choose A Moving Company
Because the moving industry in North America is unregulated, the industry is saturated with rogue movers. This puts the task of finding a reliable mover solely on you.
We have compiled this guide to help you select a quality moving company. It is imperative that you do your research. Check each and every candidate out by using the following four resources:
1. The Better Business Bureau (BBB)
The BBB is an excellent resource to check your mover out. We have provided our reliability report here for your reference.
To view the standing of a business, go to the BBB business search page, and enter the name of the business.
If they are not a member, there is usually a good reason for it, such as not qualified, poor business ethics, etc. Make sure they are a member in good standing before you do business with them. Because our Head Office is in BC, you can verify our membership at the BBB website for BC here.
2. Canadian Association of Movers (CAM)
The Canadian Association of Movers (CAM) is the only movers association in Canada that regulates and keeps records of reputable and disreputable movers. We have provided our certificate here for your reference.
To validate a mover, go to the CAM directory of movers, scroll to Validate a Mover, and enter the name of the moving company.
Unfortunately, most of the moving companies on the internet and in the yellow pages are not qualified to perform long distance moves. They give the impression they are a full service business with office locations all over Canada when actually it’s not the case. Most are independent home/office, cell phone operated businesses. They book your business and farm it out to another moving company who actually does the work. They lack infrastructure, dispatch, customer service departments, trained haulers and office locations to provide you with the service you require.
We strongly recommend you make these companies prove that they have multiple office or agent locations and better yet, check them out with CAM. You will be surprised at how many of these companies make fraudulent and misleading claims as to the extent of their abilities and their network.
You should not book a move with any moving company unless they are qualified van line agents, or an official Canadian Van Line. The only registered full service van lines in Canada recognized by the Canadian Association of Movers are:
- Great Canadian Van Lines
- United Van Lines
- Mayflower Van Lines
- Atlas Van Lines (includes Premier and AMJ)
- Allied Van Lines
- North American Van Lines
For a general inquiry with CAM on a mover email email@example.com, or call Toll free at 1-866-860-0065. If the mover is not a member in good standing, do not book with them. You will be surprised at how many companies CAM will advise you to stay away from.
3. Mover’s Insurance
Ask to see a copy of the mover’s certificate of insurance. We have provided our certificate here for your reference.
The policy must be active during your move. Look at the Expiry date. Has it expired? If so, ask for a current copy and if they can’t or won’t provide you with an active copy, don’t book their services. Remember to look at the Cargo section of the policy. It should state at least $250,000 of coverage. This is the minimum required by the Canadian Association of Movers.
4. Workers’ Compensation Insurance
To request a clearance letter from local Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, please follow the steps below. We have provided a sample letter here for your reference.
- Find the workers’ compensation insurance provider for your province. A list is provided below:
- British Columbia: WorkSafeBC
- Yukon: Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board
- Northwest Territories: Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut
- Alberta: Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta
- Saskatchewan: Workers’ Compensation Board of Saskatchewan
- Nunavut: Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut
- Manitoba: Workers’ Compensation Board of Manitoba
- Ontario: Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
- Quebec: Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail
- Newfoundland and Labrador: Workplace Health, Safety & Compensation Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador
- New Brunswick: WorkSafeNB
- Nova Scotia: Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island: Workers’ Compensation Board of PEI
- Ask the mover you are considering for their Workplace Safety and Insurance Board account number. If they don’t have an account number they don’t have coverage and you could be held liable for any injuries they receive while on your premises.
- Request a clearance letter from the relevant workers’ compensation insurance provider for your province. We have provided a sample letter here for your reference.
If the mover you are considering is in BC you can check them out at www.worksafebc.com and follow these steps:
- Click Get a Clearance Letter (the last heading under Insurance on the center of the page).
- Scroll down, then click Get a Clearance Letter on the yellow bar.
- Click Legal Name under Step 1.
- Type the company’s name in the form field, then click Search. The Company’s account number should appear to the left of their name.
- Click the box under Select, then click Next.
- Enter the information required in the form fields with a red asterisk, then click the Next button.
- Click Create a Clearance Letter.
You will be able to view the clearance letter and the report on the company. Make sure the letter states that they have valid coverage.