The basic definition of a Household Goods Carrier or HGC is a company that is licensed by their local/state government and the US Department of Transportation to transport household goods, furniture and other properties involved in moving.
Many people and companies call themselves movers or offer moving services. The consumer needs to understand why its important to hire a licensed HGC.
- While most truckers and trucking companies are required to have a USDOT number, a Household Goods Carrier is required to have an additional and higher level of licensing.
- Anyone can sign up on a website for a USDOT number. Many organizations that license HGC on the state or local level checks criminal backgrounds, verifies insurance and tracks the rates (also called tarrifs) to make sure people are being charged correctly and not scammed.
- To be a legal Household Goods Carrier a company has to be licensed by both their home state AND the USDOT. This means that the consumer has 2 organizations protecting their interests.
- Being a legal HGC means you carry insurance that is not available to those that are not properly licensed or may be operating illegally. An insurance company can use a trucker or company operating illegally as a reason not to pay out on a claim.
- To be a legal Household Goods Carrier your truck and equipment must be inspected yearly which protects the belongs of the families you are moving.
It is easy for the consumer to get on a website and hire some guys with a truck or trailer claiming to be movers. To go online and search for a cheap mover. That doesn’t mean they are finding real movers which are licensed as household goods carriers.
Why is it important to make sure your mover is a licensed Household Goods carrier? The biggest reason is to avoid scams
. Licensed HGCs pay thousands of dollars a year for their insurance and licensing. They are not going to risk losing that to cheat a family out of some money. The sad fact is most of the scams you see reported on TV are companies that are operating without licensing and prey on consumers being uneducated.
Another good reason is if someone is caught operating illegally as a mover, their truck and all the belongings in it can and often are impounded. Moving is stressful enough without a family having to make arrangements to get their belongings out of a truck that is locked up in an impound yard.
In our mind the best reason is that a company that has a household goods carrier license has proven that they are willing to go above and beyond to be legal and provide their customers with the best and safest service possible. They are showing they respect the law and care about their clients.
A properly licensed HGC works the hardest to be legal and take care of their customers. In the end, isn’t that the moving company you want to hire?