How to Choose a Moving Company
The process of moving into a new home can be pretty stressful, so choosing a company that provides a worry-free experience is important. Taking the time to research and find a reliable moving company will make your experience a lot smoother when the time comes.
The following guide should help you make this decision. When looking through the various moving company options available to you, keep this checklist handy:
Ask for an Estimate
A reputable moving company will want to know details of your move to properly assess the requirements in terms of truck size, personnel, and packing procedures. The estimate should be in writing on company letterhead and state the following:
-name, telephone number, and address of the company;
-number, size, and value of items to be moved;
-cost per hour;
-estimated timing of services to be provided; and
-terms of payment.
Be sure to make a detailed inventory of everything you need to move, as well as navigation issues such as escalators or steep staircases. If you will need special arrangements for any items, such as appliances, pianos, or electronics, be sure to let the company know. Beware of a company that tries to assure you an estimate is not necessary or wants to do it over the phone.
For a long-distance move, an inspection of your belongings should be done by the moving company to prepare a detailed quote. Find out in advance how much it will cost should you need to add any items on the day of your move.
Providing as many details as possible about the move, such as the number of stairs and the distance that must be travelled, allows for a more exact estimate and should make the moving process smoother for both you and the movers, with no unexpected charges.
You may contact Zen Moving for a written estimate in advance, as well as information about piano moving.
Pricing and Rates
Beware of a price that is much lower than others you research. This could be a sign of hidden charges that show up later. Do not deal with a moving company that offers to forego the Goods and Services Tax (GST) or who only accepts cash payments. These are indicators of a mover who is unlikely to pay claims, or adhere to the professional standards of the industry.
Be sure to find out about accepted methods of payment. You may also wish to inquire as to whether the moving company offers any seasonal discounts or promotions (e.g. mid-month specials).
A reliable moving company will agree to abide by the terms of the Good Practice Guidelines for Canadian Movers. They should provide you with a pamphlet that outlines customer and mover rights and responsibilities, as well as information regarding mover liability for loss or damage.
Ask the moving company for information on how to make a claim, and what the time limit is for making a claim. Identify the difference of liability between owner-packed versus mover-packed cartons.
Certificate of Insurance
Ask the moving company to provide a current copy of their certificate of insurance. If the policy is expired, look for service elsewhere. A trusted moving company will have a minimum of $1,000,000 liability and $150,000 cargo insurance coverage. Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to provide our insurance certificate.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Ask the moving company to provide a copy of their Worksafe BC Clearance Letter. This is a letter that lets you know whether a company is complying with their provincial Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. This clearance protects you as the customer against any contractor liability. This ensures that if any injuries were to happen during the move, you would not be held liable.
Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to provide our Worksafe BC Clearance Letter.
The Moving Process
Ask about the actual moving process and what you can expect to happen from start to finish.
Questions to consider:
– Does the company use their own equipment, storage facilities, and movers, or are these sub-contracted out?
– If you intend to pack your own items, will you be permitted to use boxes from other sources, such as a grocery store? Do all boxes need to be completely sealed and labeled?
– If a sub-contractor or other company is used, who are they and what is their record like? Do they have references?
– If the move takes multiple days, will the vehicle and/or your belongings be held in a secure facility? Where is the facility and does it belong to a third party?
– Are the vehicles used appropriate and designed for household goods moving and storage?
We invite you to visit and check out our offices, storage facilities, and vehicles.
Replacement Value Protection
Be sure you have adequate protection either through your own household’s insurance policy or through the moving company’s Replacement Value Protection. Check with the moving company for the cost of RVP, as well as written material explaining how it works.
RVP means that the moving company agrees to be legally liable up to an amount that represents your estimate of the value of your property being moved. It is typically calculated by multiplying each pound of weight of your shipment by $10.00, but be sure to find out the exact details from the moving company you are considering. If you don’t buy RVP, the moving company is usually liable only up to 60 cents per pound of any article that may be destroyed or lost.
Use this provided resource to prepare in advance for a peaceful, worry-free moving day. Your research and efforts in finding a suitable moving company will benefit not only the day of moving, but the days to come in your new home, with the security that your belongings and concerns are well taken care of by a trustworthy company.
If you should have any further questions about what to look for when selecting a moving moving company, please feel free to get in touch!