HARRISBURG – The House and Senate recently approved a proposal written by Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) to protect consumers utilizing household goods movers.
“We have an uneven playing field in Pennsylvania and this will make sure consumers are protected. These illegal companies often lack the necessary insurance coverage to protect damaged goods during a move, leaving the consumer on the hook.”
Current law requires any household goods moving company to register with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC). For-hire household goods movers must carry adequate insurance to protect property moved and workers compensation for their employees. Some movers are skirting the law by not registering with the PUC and not carrying adequate coverage for the goods they are transporting. Despite the efforts by the PUC to enforce current regulations, there is a strong underground market that exists among household goods movers, where “rogue” movers often pose as legal ones.
Argall’s bill would make it a punishable offense to perform an illegal move in the state with a $5,000 fine. Vehicles used in an illegal household goods move would be confiscated and registration would be suspended. Repeat offenders would be subject to a $10,000 fine. Revenue generated under the bill would be invested into future enforcement through the PUC.
The bill only applies to commercial, for-hire entities.
Senate Bill 458 passed the House by a vote of 145-42 on December 6 and the Senate unanimously approved the measure on December 11.