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Using a removalist

Moving can be a stressful time, so plan carefully and do your homework.

Choosing a removalist

When deciding on a removalist service, make sure you:

  • shop around and compare quotes
  • check reviews they may have on their website or social media pages
  • check if they’re a member of the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA).

Checking costs

Ask:

  • what is or isn’t included in the price (such as packing and unpacking)
  • if the cost is based on the time it takes or the quantity of goods
  • where they deem the cost of the journey to start and end
  • if there’s extra cost for storage in the event of delays on moving day
  • what the surcharge cost is for using a credit card or debit card
  • whether they require an upfront payment.

Upfront payments can be risky. Try to find a removalist who doesn’t ask for one.

Preparing for the move

In the time leading up to your move, further protect yourself by doing the following:

  • prepare an inventory of everything the movers will be moving, noting any scratches or dents
  • take photos of your items and boxes
  • mark fragile items or glass items that require special care to move with a fragile label
  • number each carton and item.

Signing the contract

Make sure you read and understand the whole contract. This will help you work out:

  • what specific details are part of the service
  • whether it includes packing and unpacking
  • where and when they will pick up and deliver (look out for the fine print saying they won’t guarantee delivery on the specific dates you want)
  • whether something’s missing from the inventory of goods being moved
  • whether insurance will cover any loss or damage.

Choosing insurance

Not taking out insurance can be risky. If you're moving and looking for that extra peace of mind, choose insurance that suits your needs such as transit, contents, accidental, replacement or indemnity insurance. Most removalists only have insurance for their own vehicles in case of an accident. You will probably need your own insurance for possible damage or loss of your goods.

Transit insurance includes insurance for the damage or loss of your items the removalist may incur in transit as well as while packing and unpacking of your items. You can take transit insurance out for things you are moving within Australia or moving overseas.

Accidental insurance covers you for accidental damage to your items you do, for instance when you are moving cartons about the house to unpack.

If you already have home and contents insurance, it may have cover for transit and accidental insurance. If not, you can easily get these added to your existing contents insurance policy.

Your existing insurance may also cover your contents if some are in the old home and some are in the new home after you start moving for a limited period.

If you are moving your items into storage for any length of time, you should also consider taking out storage insurance to cover yourself against events like fires and water damage.

You should also:

  • shop around to compare quotes for the same type of cover
  • get a copy of the policy and read the terms and conditions (do this before you move)
  • check if your policy covers both loss and damage
  • ensure it covers replacement value for your belongings
  • find out if there’s an excess.