Starting a new life at a new home? It’s important to know how to select local movers – and not just any person with a van, but one you can trust.
After all, these movers are handling your valuables. Ensure your beloved items are safe from disappearing into the back of a strange truck by reading moving reviews, verifying the movers license and background, and doing your due diligence so you can move into your new home and start your new life.
Why Should You Consider A Local Moving Company
Choosing a local moving company is a difficult decision when you are having a local move. There are so many moving companies to choose from that it can be overwhelming. Many people make the mistake of choosing a moving company based on the lowest price, rather than quality of services.
People hire low skilled, unprofessional movers who are bound to make mistakes, oftentimes very costly ones. From dropping glass utensils, breaking mirrors and fragile items to getting seriously injured during the move.
By moving items incorrectly into different rooms, unprofessional movers can further complicate moving into your new place. This makes it difficult to settle into a new place. You can’t arrange your things properly because your belongings and furniture are placed in the wrong rooms.
You should hire a professional moving company as part of your moving plan. With the help of a moving company, you can move in an orderly and safe manner, keeping all your belongings safe, and thereby making the process of moving into a new home easier for you.
How To Choose The Best Moving Company
Finding the right professional mover for your needs can be a challenge. There are many things to consider, from the cost of the moving company to how good the movers are.
Because of misleading targeted ads or questionable recommendations online, it is easy to get scammed or hire low-skilled movers.
We will discuss how you can identify the best moving company for your needs.
The easiest way to identify the companies that will make your move as worry-free as possible is to get referrals from trusted sources. This includes:
- Local/neighborhood message boards
The last group should be treated with caution; neighborhood message boards, Facebook groups, and local websites are excellent places for finding referrals. You need to be careful, however. Never trust unsolicited posts that appear exaggerated and over-the-top – unless there are comments confirming the claim. Often, these are just business owners touting their own services or people who are working for them.
Find threads where people have asked the same question you did. Questions such as: “Can anyone recommend a good local moving company?”or “I am looking for professional movers for local moving,” You should expect a few responses from people with no connection to the company, or to each other. If that happens, you have probably found a good choice to put on your list of potential hires.
You can also search the Internet. You can, for instance, Google or Bing “Affordable local movers” “Best local moving companies” or “Best rates for local movers” if you live in Ottawa.
However, when searching on the internet, you may be overwhelmed by the results. It is therefore very easy to hire the wrong moving company. You should always do your research on any online mover you find. Before considering them, check their reviews and credentials thoroughly.
Following referrals from friends and online, it’s time for you to research the movers you have encountered. Make sure the moving companies you have heard of are reputable.
Verifying a moving company’s registration is the first and most crucial thing you need to do. If you do not verify the legal status of a mover, you may be vulnerable to fraud. You should verify that the movers have licenses by asking them to show it to you.
One of the easiest ways of verifying whether a moving company is reputable or not is to check in with the Canadian Association of Movers. The Canadian Association of Movers (CAM), is the association of movers operating within Canada as well as international movers. The CAM certifies moving companies that have passed a background check and agreed to uphold a Code of Ethics.
You should also check the companies’ history with the Better Business Bureau. If you see lots of unresolved complaints — especially recent ones — that’s a huge red flag.
You should also read as many reviews as possible about the businesses you are considering. Reviews of any legitimate moving company can be found on:
To get a good balance of information, check multiple, verifiable sources. Lastly, ask the companies themselves for references from recent customers in your area. Communicate with the past clients to ask direct questions about their experiences and to get in-person feedback.
By now, you should have shortlisted 3-4 moving companies that are somewhat dependable. The next step is to choose the one that is most suitable for you.
Things To Consider When Choosing Your Moving Help
You need to consider things like cost estimates and a walkthrough in person when choosing a moving company. When a company refuses to do in-person reviews or provides vague cost estimates, this is a red flag.
It is also important to consider your own budget, as well as your budget. Although an affordable moving company is always desirable, you should thoroughly investigate whether the moving company’s services match your expectations.
In the same way, if you plan on spending a bit more on your move, carefully consider whether or not the services offered by the moving company are worth the price. Choosing an affordable moving company that also meets your needs is very important.
Listed below are some factors you should consider when choosing local movers.
Cost Estimates & In-person Estimate
Even though an “over the phone” estimate sounds convenient, it is also a red flag. You need an actual human to examine your belongings in person.
Most people have no idea how much stuff they own. There is a huge difference between telling a mover that you have a three-bedroom home and showing them. Because telling them over the phone does not indicate whether those rooms are minimally furnished or packed to the gills.
If a mover insists on not doing an in-person estimate, it may not have the experience you want, or it may be a scam.
Likewise, if an in-person estimate is rushed or incomplete, you should be concerned. During this step, the moving company develops an estimate or quote, so the in-person review needs to be thorough in order for the quote to be accurate.
Besides Cost Estimates and In-Person Estimates, there are a few other things you need to know. People are often scammed or charged unexpected extra charges because they don’t know much about moving or haven’t asked the moving company about extra charges and such.
Here’s a list of a few things you definitely want to avoid when considering a moving company:
Don’t Pay a Big Deposit
Reputable moving companies do not require cash upfront or a huge deposit to move your
Things. If a company asks for one, it’s a red-flag. Avoid any company that asks for a large amount of deposits.
It is also recommended for you to pay your deposit and all other charges with a credit card rather than in-cash in case you need to dispute anything at any point.
Avoid packing costs
If you pack your belongings yourself, the mover generally isn’t responsible for damage to them. However, if you ask your mover to do the packing, you may have to pay extra, inflated prices for boxes and packing materials, not to mention time and labor.
If you do decide to have the movers pack, ask about the packers’ experience. While most packers are careful, you should avoid the chance of getting someone who tosses whatever they can into a box and then seals it up with little regard for breakage.
Beware of extra fees
Do you live in a two-story house or are you moving into one? Moving to or from a 12th-floor apartment? If so, you’ll most likely be charged extra for the movers’ having to negotiate stairs and elevators.
Have a narrow street that won’t fit a moving van? Expect an extra charge for the transfer of your belongings to a smaller truck for delivery. Always make sure to ask your mover about any additional fees that may apply to your situation.
Avoid a blank moving contract
Never sign a blank contract. You must get every term of your contract with a moving company in a legal document. The document should include,
- Mover’s estimate
- Extra fees (if applicable)
- Pick-up and delivery dates.
Read your contract and make sure all of your belongings are listed. If your computer isn’t labeled on the inventory form you sign before the driver leaves, you can’t expect it to be in the box when he arrives. You can’t file a claim for something that doesn’t appear on the inventory list.
Review the Contract for “Gotchas”
Finally, you should review your moving contract thoroughly for any fine print that may end up costing you more than you need to pay.
Double check whether all terms are mentioned properly. Are there packing fees included in your contract? Are any extra charges (if applicable) mentioned? Is the estimated cost listed? Are delivery fees and dates of delivery correct?
Thoroughly check the contract for any loopholes.
Question any part of the contract that you haven’t already agreed to with the moving company. If the company can’t provide a good explanation for the charge, ask for it to be removed.
Moving insurance and valuation protection
Moving companies that are providing interstate moves to their clients are required to provide basic and full coverage insurance options to their customers. In technical terms, a moving company cannot sell insurance — so, what most people call “moving insurance” is actually a moving coverage. Actual moving insurance can only be availed through third parties.
However, there are three types of moving insurance. You need to be aware of the charges that apply and the amount of protection provided by each level.
Consumers have three options for moving insurance:
Basic coverage: Also known as released value protection, this is the most fundamental form of coverage for moving.
Full coverage: Sometimes known as expanded valuation or full value protection moving insurance, this coverage lets you set the liability limit for the company. This means the company is responsible for more than just basic coverage.
Third-party insurance: Sometimes, even full coverage from a moving company isn’t enough. For more valuable items, opt for third-party insurance.
Released value protection
Released value protection, also known as basic coverage, is a federal requirement for interstate moving companies. Quotes from moving companies automatically include this coverage, so it doesn’t cost extra. Released value protection typically provides 60 cents per pound for lost items, which isn’t enough coverage for most people. The average weight of a 50-inch TV is 35 pounds, which means basic coverage only provides $21 in reimbursement if movers damage your TV.
This coverage is void if you pack your own thing — you assume responsibility by packing. Basic coverage is best for those moving a short distance with few high-value items or who want to save money.
Who might use basic coverage: A college student making a short move from their dorm room to their parents’ house for the summer might opt for released value protection if they are strapped for cash and don’t have any items of especially high value.
Full value protection moving insurance
Full value protection moving insurance offers significantly more coverage than the 60 cents per pound offered by released value protection. A common valuation is $6 per pound. That means, if your total shipment was 5,000 pounds and all of it is somehow lost, destroyed or damaged, you’re entitled to up to $30,000. Full valuation coverage typically costs about 1% of the value of the items you’re moving.
Some companies do offer full valuation based on the actual estimated value of your items. If you’re interested, ask each moving company if it offers this when you’re gathering quotes.
Although the coverage is “full,” it still can leave some consumers wanting more, especially for small but valuable items. These consumers usually resort to third-party insurance.
Who might use full coverage: Families planning a cross-country move might opt for full value protection moving insurance. This is especially likely if they are willing to spend a bit more to insure their household items or if they are worried about a natural disaster or other event damaging all of their family’s possessions.
Third-party moving insurance
Because weight determines basic and full coverage, those options don’t adequately cover high-value items. Full valuation coverage’s $6 per pound rate doesn’t sufficiently cover jewelry, which usually weighs less than a pound. Third-party moving insurance is a good option to cover these types of items.
Consumers purchase third-party moving insurance to cover damage from:
- Natural disasters
- Electrical Accidents
- Temporary storage
- Damage to a collection or a set
Who might use third-party insurance: A family moving from Toronto to Ottawa who wants to insure their jewelry, fine china, some antiques and several valuable paintings benefits from third-party insurance that adequately insured expensive belongings. This family should also opt for full coverage from the moving company for the rest of their possessions.
You can get more information on this topic from Consumer Affairs.
The Bottom Line
Moving is a remotely fun experience. Researching moving companies will reveal that prices vary greatly. Finding an affordable moving company is ideal, but make sure the services are up to scratch. To ensure a hassle-free and safe relocation, don’t hesitate to spend a bit more on your move.
If a company appears to be outside of your budget, you can always negotiate prices. It is always recommended to hire the best movers in order to ensure your belongings arrive intact.
Plan ahead and make sure you deal with a moving company that will treat you fairly; You’ll thank yourself when you’re settled in your new home.
Our best wishes go out to you as you relocate and adjust to your new surroundings. And if you’re looking for professional movers who will make your move easier, look no further! Mr.Relokate is a professional moving company that provides engaging and friendly residential and commercial moving services.
Booking with us today means getting the job done by the best movers – guaranteed to be quick, safe and hassle-free!