Whenever unwanted possessions cannot be disposed of in the trash, a junk removal company can help. Consumers have many choices when selecting a junk removal company. People usually search for the best bargain or choose a company with the flashiest ads or website. Picking a company based on these factors is ill-advised, particularly in Florida where fraudulent activity by junk removal companies is prevalent. Consumers should choose a company that is licensed and insured to protect their belongings and ensure that the company is held liable when mistakes or willfully wrong actions occur.
Junk removal companies must register with the Florida Department of State, the IRS and the Florida Department of Revenue prior to opening their business. Business insurance policies protect junk removal businesses against theft and other losses. The most common and comprehensive type of policy is general liability insurance (also known as CGL). Some of the risks covered by a CGL policy include: bodily injury, property damage, medical payments, legal defense and judgment and personal and advertising injury. CGL insurance covers a broad range of scenarios. For instance, a CGL policy would cover a situation where a customer is physically injured by the actions of one of the company’s employees. CGL insurance would also cover a case in which an employee of the company conversed with a customer and then spread rumors about that individual. In such a situation, the employee could be held liable for slander. In addition, junk removal businesses require property insurance. Property insurance covers legal expenses arising from lawsuits and is most commonly used when one of the company’s trucks damages a customer’s property.
Junk removal businesses in Florida also require a business license and an EIN (i.e., a tax identification number from the IRS). A business license is an official government business registration that authorizes a company to legally operate at its location. Companies that fail to acquire a license face civil liability and/or criminal penalties. Due to the overwhelming amount of fraud among junk removal companies in Florida, it is essential that customers select a company that possesses both a license and insurance. These two requirements give the junk removal company legitimacy and allow the customer peace of mind. There are basically three types of junk removal scams in the market today. In the first scam, thieves pose as haulers to gain entrance to your house. The thieves will often take several more valuable items from your home while they are removing your “junk.” The second scam occurs when a junk removal company misrepresents where it is disposing of your belongings. Not every company disposes of your items correctly and many neglect to recycle them. Always ask a company where and how it plans to dispose of your possessions. Unprofessional dumpers often choose not to recycle your belongings because when they recycle your junk they have must pay a fee. In order to avoid the payment, these companies simply drop your possessions on the side of the road leaving them to become the city’s problem. If the city can identify the junk as yours, you become legally responsible for the illegal dumping and can face significant fines. The final scam occurs when you believe that you have hired a professional, licensed and insured company, only to have some guy with a truck show up at your door to haul away your stuff. For this reason alone, it is essential to do the research and verify whether a company is licensed and insured prior to hiring anyone.