February 2, 2022

Everything You Need to Know About Moving Company Licensing and Insurance

Running a moving company isn’t just about loading and unloading furniture. Like most other industries, there’s a lot of paperwork involved. When it comes to insurance and licensing, it can be tricky knowing where to start. Luckily, we’ve got you covered – read on for the key information you need to get your moving company’s paperwork sorted. 

Insurance for Moving Companies

Investing in business insurance is the best way to protect your moving company from heavy costs and legal issues. While insurance is important for all businesses, it’s especially important in an industry as physical as moving. As we discuss in our previous blog post on damage claims, insurance protects you from a whole range of incidences, from worker injury to property damage. 

But what kind of insurance is best for your company?

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance is the most common type of insurance for moving companies. It covers bodily injury, property damage, medical payments, and legal defense and judgement, among other things. 

The cost of general liability insurance depends on a few factors (location, deductible, number of employees, etc.). However, the average moving company in America spends $450 to $1,000 per year for $1 million in general liability coverage. If you buy a general liability insurance policy as part of a business owner’s policy (BOP), you may even get a discount. 

Additional Insurance Options for Moving Companies

In addition to general liability insurance, there are several other policies that moving companies can choose to invest in or are required by the law. 

Commercial auto insurance is legally required in order to operate trucks during moves. Auto insurance can be purchased on its own or as part of a package. 

Workers compensation insurance is also legally required for moving companies. The policy covers on-the-job injuries for workers, both part-time and permanent. 

If your moving company has an office space, storage unit, or expensive equipment, commercial property insurance is an optional policy to protect your belongings from weather and other potential damage. 

Commercial umbrella insurance is another optional policy that provides supplemental coverage for large claims – for instance, if a truck is involved in a major crash or accident. 

Many additional policies can be purchased as part of a larger insurance bundle – contact an insurance provider to explore your options. 

Moving Company Licensing and Permits

While insurance protects your company once it’s up and running, you can’t begin operations before acquiring the correct license(s). Licenses and permits show that your moving company is approved to operate on a state and federal level. Not having proper licensing can exclude you from booking jobs at certain locations, as well as lower your credibility. Fortunately, the process for acquiring a license is relatively straightforward.

Getting a Moving Company License

  1. Sign up for a U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) number on the department website (you need this number to offer interstate moves, some states require them for local moves too). 
  2. Complete the online application for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. 

Many states also have regional requirements for moving companies. Check your state’s Department of Transportation website to see if you need any additional licensing. 

Getting a Moving Company Permit

Depending on state and local regulations, you may have to obtain a business permit. This can be acquired by visiting your local Department of Transportation office or website. 

Paperwork can be tedious, but in the long run it’s better to have your business licensed and insured early. When a loss or liability issue does come up, you’ll be thankful it’s already taken care of. 

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  1. Myron Nock February 9, 2022 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Send me information on moving license and permit

    • Thomas Forsyth February 11, 2022 at 9:00 pm - Reply

      Hi Myron,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Moving company licensing and permits vary between states. We suggest contacting your state’s mover association to understand which licensing and permits you need. You can find a list of state mover associations here: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/protect-your-move/state-movers-associations

      I hope this helps.

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