Why You Need Removalist Insurance
Why You Need Removalist Insurance
Australian slang gifts us with uniquely colourful language to describe our particular true-blue, dinky-di lives. A favourite of sensational ‘news’ programs (using the term loosely) is ‘shonky’. Referring to dishonest or unreliable goings-on, you will have heard of shonky builders, politicians, and from time to time, removalists. Unfortunately, when one disreputable moving company does the wrong thing, it taints the whole industry, which is very frustrating for those of us conducting furniture removalists businesses that are above-board. It has therefore become necessary for consumers to look into removalists insurance.
Before we look at exactly what removalist insurance entails and why it’s a good idea, let’s have a look at what you are protecting yourself from.
Removalist Sin #1: Bad Handling
The reason why it is so particularly galling when removalists go rogue is that you’ve trusted them with handling the entire contents of your home or office. Your possessions are often precious or personal, and the whole point of delegating the task to someone else is to employ their ability to professionally and carefully handle your possessions. They’re meant to be able to do it faster than you, while ensuring they arrive at their destination in the same condition they departed.
The shonkies are guilty of losing and breaking items, and creating other kinds of damage to their clients’ belongings. They may have been paid to store their client’s belongings for a period of time before it’s moved to its new location, only to return it with water damage, scratches and more.
Removalist Sin #2: Vanishing Vans
Punctuality is crucial during the removal process. Whether it’s your home or office, you want to minimise the amount of time you’re without a roof over your head. There may be a certain time by which you need to vacate your old property, and then there are all the obvious reasons why you want to settle into your new location as soon as possible.
Dodgy operators will fail to arrive at the scheduled time, or even fail to arrive at all. They can add to the anxiety of moving by changing the delivery times without notice, so you’re left wondering when you’ll see your belongings again. Even worse, they may even resort to storing your items at an additional charge, and then holding your goods hostage and asking you for extra money to pay for the storage costs before agreeing to deliver. Yeah, it’s the stuff of moving nightmares, but it can happen in real life.
Removalist Sin #3: Surprise Fees
Speaking of unexpected costs, another shifty practice is to attract customers with an ultra-low price. We all want to make our dollar stretch, and if you’re shopping around for a removalist, it can seem like your search is over when someone quotes you a great price. The old adage holds true, however, that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Once the bargain quote has secured your business, many removal companies will proceed to add fees that were not initially discussed. Often on the actual day of your move, when you’re at your most vulnerable, you’re asked to approve extra charges that you thought were included in the quoted price. They could wait until they hand you the final bill to spring hidden fees on you, so the quote that initially looked cheap and attractive turns out to be cheap and nasty, and costing you a lot more. Particularly if the low costs are due to the company not having adequate removalist insurance, it could turn into a very expensive exercise for you.
How To Avoid Being Scammed by a Removalist
Ok, so now that you know what to watch out for, we can discuss how exactly to avoid handing money over to a shonky removalists.
First and foremost, do your research. Start your moving preparations as early as possible and give yourself the time to find and consider customer reviews on independent websites. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recommends looking at information from multiple sources to gain an accurate impression of online customer feedback. Unfortunately, that’s another bad practice used by ‘the shonkies’: posting fake online testimonials. If you’re checking multiple sites such as Google Local, Yelp, One Flare or Product Review, you’re more likely to be able to spot them if the same review is copied across all the platforms.
Of course, the most reliable type of testimonial is that which you receive from a friend or family member. Ask them if they can recommend a removalist that they were happy with.
What Questions Should You Ask A Removalist?
An honest removalist will be more than happy to answer your questions up-front, such as:
What is the total cost of the move?
What exactly is included in the cost? Do you charge by the hour or is it a flat rate?
Are there any additional costs that need to be factored in?
How long will the move take?
If there are any delays on the day, is there an extra cost involved for storage?
Get an Accurate Quote
When you ask a removalists company how much your removal will cost, they should make the process easy and personalised. Unless they ask key questions such as the number of rooms involved and how much needs to be moved, they won’t be able to give you an accurate figure.
They should provide you with an itemised, written quote that makes it clear to you why they’re charging each amount. Some removalists will even guarantee that your final bill will be the same as your initial quote, which is a great feature for budgeting.
Get A Clear Contract
Once you’ve selected your preferred movers, obtain a comprehensive contract from them.
It should include:
A list of the services being provided
Details of the pick-up and delivery addresses
Dates and times of the relocation
A list of the goods being moved
Details of any included removalist insurance for any loss or damage
Details and inclusions of any other included removalist insurance.
If yours is a big move with expensive, irreplaceable items, taking out removalists insurance is a good idea. Transit insurance is also important, and covers your goods while they are being packed, moved or stored during the course of the move. Some movers have insurance already included in the price, so whatever the contents or size of your move, you’ll know you’re covered. Your home and contents insurance may have provision for removalist insurance, so check your policy to see what your inclusions are.
If Things Do Go Wrong
If you have been caught up with what you think is shonky removalists behaviour, firstly try to sort out the problem with the movers yourself. They may be open to taking responsibility for less-than-adequate service.
If this does not resolve things satisfactorily, you can lodge a complaint in Queensland via the Office of Fair Trading, or look for your local state or territory equivalent.
Make A Smart Move
The best thing to do is to work with reliable movers to begin with. When you move with Optimove, you are automatically covered with removalist insurance as standard. Our priority is you being able to relax throughout your move, so we include all the insurance you’ll need for your upcoming move. Our removals include:
* Public Liability Insurance for all our moves
* Transit Insurance for all your home and office furniture removals
* Workers Compensation Insurance for your move
* Comprehensive Insurance for our premium interstate moves. For those moves not covered by comprehensive insurance we can provided this as an optional extra for you.
In addition, we provide you with all the strong, free boxes you will need, so you can pack your possessions knowing the boxes will hold. We also shrink-wrap all your furniture, and it will also be wrapped in felt blankets for extra protection during transit.
Our quotes are transparent and comprehensive, and we guarantee that your initial quote will remain unchanged throughout your move. No surprise fees, no hidden costs. If you would like to receive an accurate, free, no obligation quote for your home, give Optimove a call. You can also check out our comprehensive, clear removalists costs here.