Choosing A Moving Company

Moving is stressful at the best of times, and the process of trying to choose the right mover may be part of the reason. We’ve all heard the stories; items lost, stolen or broken; movers holding property ransom; charges far exceeding original quotes; or even stories that have the completion of the move days if not weeks late.

When you’re making a move you want to be sure that your belongings will be in good hands, you certainly don’t want to show up to your new home to watch the movers delivering your treasured items like this:

and the unfortunate reality is that not all moving companies are created equal, which makes finding the right mover not a simple task.  So how do you pick the right one?  Here are some tips to help the process along.

  1. Ask potential companies if they are bonded and insured and (if they are insured ask for the name of the insurance company and the policy number).
  2. Ask the mover you are considering for their Workplace Safety and Insurance Board account number. If they don’t have an account number they don’t have coverage and you could be held liable for any injuries they receive while on your premises.
  3. Check with the Better Business Bureau and the Canadian Association of Movers to view standings and reviews of potential companies.
  4. Find out if the company is using their own equipment for the move.  If the company uses a sub-contractor, find out who that company is and what type of reputation they have.
  5. If the move requires that your items be stored off site for a period of time, find out where the storage facilities are and check out the site.  If this is subcontracted out make sure to find out about the company they plan on using.
  6. If your belongings are to be left overnight in a moving truck, find out where the vehicle is to be left and make sure it is a secure facility.
  7. Create an inventory of EVERYTHING to be moved.  Be thorough, start in the basement and finish in the attic and make sure to take note of any items that require special attention and care during the move.
  8. Ask for an estimate and get it in writing!  Make sure to give the moving company ALL pertinent information and remember to be precise, include any information that may be considered an obstacle (like stairs) as leaving them out of the estimate will most likely cost you extra in the end.  The estimate should include: full estimate of the number of boxes that need to be moved, cost per hour or flat rate costing, services covered (like packing and unpacking),  payment terms and the date and time the services are to be provided and completed.
  9. Make sure the estimate isn’t written on a brown paper bag!  It should, instead, be on company letterhead that states the name, telephone number, and address of the company.
  10. If you are packing items yourself make sure to find out about liability and if there are any limitations on the type of boxes or packaging used.
  11. When moving to another country or afar make sure to find out the name and address of the moving agents who will be handling your items at the destination and if there are any special licenses or customs documents required and who will prepare them.
  12. Most reputable moving companies will want to do an inspection of your belongings before completing a quote, if they don’t you should consider whether this company is the one for you!
  13. If the moving company provides insurance make sure to find out what it covers as it may not be as comprehensive as you would like.  Consider purchasing moving insurance if it isn’t adequate.
  14. Consult with a variety of companies and get multiple quotes.  The services and pricing offered will differ from company to company so don’t be afraid to shop around.
  15. If a deposit is required, find out where it is to be held and if it is refundable.  You should also discuss payment options before signing a contract.
  16. Find out if there are any special rates; often it is less expensive to move in the middle of the week or mid-month.



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