6 tips on how to hire the best removalists

Removalists do not, by law, need to provide insurance for your goods during removal.

When you’re moving home, starting off on the right foot is easier when you find a competent removalist. Here are our tips:

1. Compare services by asking around and checking customer reviews online.

Ask family and friends for recommendations and look at quote comparison websites, such as Find A Mover.com.au and Compare Quotes.

2. Try to use a removalist who has been accredited by the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA).

Removalists who are accredited by AFRA have been trained to meet the highest standards, so they should know how to use equipment, pack items correctly, and know about the latest legal and industrial changes. Australian law doesn’t require removalists to hold any type of insurance to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your belongings if they are damaged. However, AFRA members may be required to have public liability insurance, third party property and motor vehicle insurance and Carriers Legal Liability Insurance. Look at the Find A Removalist website to find any of AFRA’s 350 accredited members, from one-truck removalists to multinational companies.

3. Ask the right questions to calculate the total cost of the move.

Ask how long they think it will take to move all your belongings and whether they charge a flat rate or by the hour. Where do they count the journey as beginning and ending? Find out if there are extra costs if there are delays or storage is needed. Be clear about everything that is included in the cost.

4. Get a written quote. Be honest and itemise everything that could potentially affect the cost.

Use an inventory list to calculate how many boxes you’ll need. Let the removalist know how many stairs there are at either location, and whether there is nearby parking or whether they need to carry the goods a long distance. How far is it to the nearest elevator? Are any pieces wider than a door frame? How many large and heavy items do you have? Being clear from the beginning can help reduce the chance of incurring extra costs and it’s a good idea to get all charges in writing.

5. Check the contract and make sure it contains: the pickup and delivery address; dates and times of move; household inventory of goods being moved and details of insurance for any loss or damage.

Read the terms and conditions included in the contract carefully and look for hidden costs. Fair Trading NSW recommends avoiding pre-paying and providing credit card details beforehand in case you change your mind or decide to go with another removalist.

6. Consider getting insurance to cover household goods being damaged while in transit.

Items in transit during permanent removal from your home or which are being kept in a storage facility will not be covered by your home and contents insurance policy or removalist. While AFRA-accredited removalists must have Public Liability Insurance (and other insurances as noted above) this will not protect your property should it be damaged during the move. You should consider taking out separate transit and storage insurance to protect your belongings while being relocated and/or housed in a storage facility for any length of time.

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