When planning a move in the Baltimore, Maryland area you have lots to think about and many companies to choose from. How do you know how to make the right desicion? This likely wont be a simple task but we can give you some info. and pointers to help you choose the right moving comapny for you in the state of Maryland.
One of the biggest differences with moving in the state of Maryland as opposed to moving in another state such as Pennsylvannia is how the companies are regualted. Unlike moving companies in PA. that are regulated by the Public Utility Commission, the same state agency that regulates gas and electric companies in most states, moving companies in Maryland are not regualted nearly as much.
Moving companies in Maryland do not have to publish a tariff, if they are doing intrastate moves (moves within the same state). They can charge how ever they would like. This will likely be one of the most key factors in determining a safe company to move you.
Another point you will want to make sure of is that the company you are choosing is insured! There is nothing wrong with asking the company that you are about to hire for a copy of their insurance certificates. Any reputible moving company should be able to produce these with effective and experation dates. One of the biggest nightmares in moving can be if your items get damaged and the company that is responsible is not able to cover your losses.
It is also a good idea to research your perspective moving companies online before making your decision. Sites such as Google, Yelp, Hireahelper and Angies List are great places to start. You should also weigh your options between booking full service moving where the moving company also supplies a moving truck and labor or renting your own truck and just hiring moving labor to help you load and unload. Some moving comapnies in Maryland offer both of these services others dont.
The following is further info. pertaining to the regulation of moving companies in the state of MD. to help you determin which mover will be the best for you. You can also check with the Maryland Motor Truck Assosciation, they have a full list of reputible moving companies. Their website is www.mmtanet.com
Summary of Maryland Intrastate Movers Regulations
As of October 1, 2011
For intrastate moves (those moves that take place entirely within the same state), it is up to each state to decide how best to regulate the moving industry. Maryland is considered an unregulated state because there is no registration requirement and there is no tariff; however, there are a few state regulations that all moving companies operating in Maryland must follow. A summary of those regulations is below.
· The Maryland Household Goods Movers Act of 2002 eliminated the right of a mover to enforce a carrier’s lien. On a move with no storage services, Maryland movers cannot hold a customer’s goods hostage. Companies must release a consumer’s goods and pursue any disputed monies owed to them in civil court. Please note that Maryland does still have a warehouseman’s lien (with the ability to auction off goods when specific conditions are met) if storage services are provided. (Article – Commercial Law; Section 14-3102; Annotated Code of Maryland)
· In 2004, legislation was passed that requires a household goods mover, on completion of household goods moving services for an intrastate move, to provide a consumer with a written receipt that states the mover’s legal name and the address and telephone number of the household goods mover’s resident agent in the state or, if the household goods mover does not have a resident agent in the state, the household goods mover’s principal place of business. (Article – Commercial Law; Section 14-3102.1; Annotated Code of Maryland)
· There is a specific section of MD law that requires companies to notify their customers that they should purchase insurance in addition to their level of valuation. The section reads:
(a) Required- Before a moving and storage firm or warehouse that stores household goods provides any service, the moving and storage firm or warehouse shall give notice to the buyer of the service that the buyer should get insurance to protect the buyer from loss of goods.
(b) Form- The notice shall be:
(1) in writing;
(2) printed in 12-point or larger type; and
(3) included in the application for service or in a separate statement.
(c) Penalty- A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction, is subject to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days or both.
(Article – Business Regulation; Section 17-1204; Annotated Code of Maryland)
· As of October 1, 2011, on Maryland intrastate moves you must:
o Provide a consumer with a written estimate before providing HHG moving services. Consumers may waive their rights to a written estimate if the waiver is made voluntarily and without coercion by the mover. Note: There is no designation as to when the estimate must be provided (e.g. how far in advance of the move). It simply must be given “before providing household goods moving services for an intrastate move.”
o The estimate must:
1. Separately identify each HHG moving service that the mover will provide and the price of each service.
2. Separately identify each fee that the consumer will or may be required to pay.
3. State the estimated total price.
4. State the time and method of payment for the HHG moving service.
5. Indicate if the estimate is binding.
o If the estimate is binding the mover cannot exceed the amount stated in the estimate “for the HHG moving services described in the estimate.”
o If the estimate is non-binding, a mover may not require a consumer to pay more than 125% of the total price stated in the estimate “for the HHG moving services described in the estimate, plus any applicable excess charges.” Excess charges means an amount, in excess of the estimate for additional services. They are not subject to the 125% cap.
o Additional services (not subject to the cap) are those services that:
1. Are provided before or during an intrastate move; and
2. Are necessary because of circumstances that:
Are beyond the control of the HHG mover; and
Could not have been reasonably anticipated by the HHG mover.