Bonded vs. Licensed & Insured
When people call me to schedule a move many will ask if we are bonded. You will be hard pressed to find a “bonded” mover. Movers are licensed and insured but rarely “bonded”. Your maid, your dog walker and even your plumber may be bonded but these individuals maintain their own bond. A moving company is licensed by the state, your property is covered by their insurance and your belongings are covered by a basic liability coverage.
Being bonded means that a bonding company has secured money that is available to the consumer in the event they file a claim against the company. The secured money is in the control of the state, a bond, and not under the control of the company. Let’s say that you hire a cleaning company and they end up stealing your Nintendo Wii. Well, you would file a claim against the company and, after an investigation, would be paid out by this bond. Usually you have to get a conviction by a court of law to get paid on a bond.
Licensed & Insured
The CPUC licenses and regulates companies that move household goods within California. The companies must prove their financial and safety fitness. They must also prove to the CPUC that they have adequate insurance and they are subject to criminal background clearance by the California Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Household goods carriers must file evidence of cargo insurance coverage of not less than $20,000 per shipment as well as evidence of liability coverage. Evidence of coverage is filed using a Commission-prescribed form. Any household goods carrier that engages independent contractor subhaulers or leases vehicles from its employees must file a bond with the Commission in a sum of not less than $15,000 in accordance with General Order 102 Series.
Basic Carrier Liability is the minimal amount of liability that must be provided to any consumer when transporting goods at no extra charge. Also called the “released value,” this “coverage” is limited to 60 cents per pound per article.
If you are planning a move and have a list of possible moving companies, you can call the CPUC at 1-800-877-8867 to find out if the companies are licensed and insured. Or, you can search the CPUC List of Companies to find out if a company is licensed and insured, the location of its headquarters, and more!