Choosing the Right Moving Company

How to choose the right long distance movers?

The moving industry in North America is unregulated, and let’s be honest the industry is saturated with rogue movers and horror stories of moves gone wrong. As long distance moving professionals with over 20 years experience and pride from running a well-regarded reputable moving business this frustrates us no end – probably even more than it frustrates you. We have put this guide together to help you figure out if the company you are dealing with is one you should trust.

Things you can do to find a great moving company.

We have compiled this guide to help you select a quality moving company. Mores specifically when you are looking at long distance moves across country or state borders 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)

Better Business Bureau Reliability Report

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. International Association of Movers (IAM)

The International Association of Movers represents more than 2,000 companies in over 170 countries. More than movers, these companies are partners and innovators in the delivery of moving, forwarding, shipping, logistics and related services. IAM affiliation increasingly signifies strength, trust, diversity, ethics, reliability and accountability.

To validate a mover, go to the IAM directory of movers, click on the  Members List, and enter the name of the moving company.

If you enter Trans Canada Movers, you will see that we are a core member in good standing and carry the appropriate licences for the business we conduct. Unfortunately, many of the moving companies you will find searching on the internet or in the yellow pages are not qualified to perform long distance moves (or anything else). They give the impression they are a full-service business with office locations all over Canada, America and elsewhere when it’s not the case. Most are independent home/office; often cell phone operated businesses that don’t even own a moving van let alone employ expert staff. They will happily, offer a great price, book your business and then farm it out to another moving company who does the work – maybe.

Using these good household brokers as they are known can lead to real problems. For example, if the broker can’t sell the job to a mover for any reason, such as an overly low estimate or lack of availability, you could end up unpleasantly surprised when no one shows up on the day of your move.  Even if the broker does sell a job to a mover, the broker may not be willing or able to intervene on your behalf if any problems or concerns arise involving the move.

These fly by night moving companies can be identified if you do your homework. First, off they have little if any infrastructure, dispatch, customer service departments, trained hauliers or storage locations to provide you with the service you require. Most have not been in business for many years, are not members of the Better Business Bureau or a chamber of commerce

The bottom line is that you need to be sure you are dealing with the company that will actually move your goods and that if for example, you are moving internationally, that they know all the customs clearance procedures and are working with reputable companies at the delivery end if they are not handling it themselves. You may 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 movers and members in good standing of IAM or a similar national body.

3. Mover’s Insurance

Ask to see a copy of the mover’s certificate of insurance.

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, more if you feel your possessions value may exceed that.

4. Workers’ Compensation Insurance

WorkSafe BC Clearance Letter

Ask the company you are considering for a copy of their Clearance Letter from your provincial Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. You can also directly request a copy of it yourself.

In British Columbia, the BC Workplace Safety and Insurance Board can be reached  at and follow these steps:

Click Get a Clearance Letter (the last heading under Insurance on the centre 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.

Find the workers’ compensation insurance provider for BC here.

Ask the mover you are considering for their Workplace Safety and Insurance Board account number. If they don’t have such information or will not provide it, then you can assume they don’t have coverage. This is very important because you could be held liable for any injuries that occur to a person working on your move that they receive while on your premises.

If you are in Canada or moving to Canada you can also check out the Good Practice Guidelines for Canadian Movers produced by the Government of Canada office of Consumer Affairs. It’s a bit dated but does contain some useful resources.

Got more questions you need answered? We can’t speak for other companies, but we will gladly tell you how we do it at Trans Canada Movers Inc.

US TOLL FREE – 1 (844) 339-7953

CANADA TOLL FREE – 1 (844) 339-7953

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