Why signing a moving contract protects you and your wallet

December 8, 2014

Don't leave the details of a move to chance. The result could be a costly and aggravating surprise. Here's why signing a moving contract helps to protect both you and your wallet.

Why signing a moving contract protects you and your wallet

Above all, your agreement with a moving company needs to clearly outline their responsibilities and your own obligations. What's more, it must be documented. That way if you ever have any questions, you can refer to the terms of a contract.

Remember, a reputable mover will always be glad to go over the details with you. That's why the first thing you must ask before hiring a moving company is if they provide a service contract. If they don’t, forget about them and move on to the next company.

What to ask for

The standard contract you're initially presented with may lack some information or details. Don’t hesitate to ask for explanations on such things as:

  • Any surcharges that apply for delivery, including what they are for.
  • The mileage between the two locations listed on the contract to avoid extra fees.
  • Who the responsible party is for damage or loss of personal property during loading, unloading and transportation.
  • Insurance provisions, including coverage and how much, as well as the name of their insurance provider and the policy number.
  • Specific conditions, including the coverage of fragile and valuable items.
  • How complaints are processed and who the contact would be.
  • Payment terms, such as a deposit at the time of signature or a check issued upon delivery.

What the contract should include

By clearly spelling out the terms of a contract, both you and your wallet are protected from the unexpected. That's why your moving contract should have on it:

  • All contact information, including yours and the company.
  • An inventory list of all your belongings. If the mover doesn’t furnish a list, be sure to provide your own.
  • The approximate number of boxes to be moved.
  • Details that describe all included services (packing, loading, unloading, unpacking).
  • The number of hours included in the service, for both the truck and movers.
  • The date and time of the company's arrival to load the goods. Be careful because some companies add a clause stipulating that the movers can arrive two hours late without any obligation on the part of the company.
  • The total amount, including taxes, surcharges and any other fees, if applicable.

Don’t forget

Contract or no contract, no moving company, regardless of province, has the right to hold your belongings for any reason, even if they demand a surcharge on delivery. If this occurs, indicate on the bill that your payment is "subject to conditions".

Writing "subject to conditions" means that everything will be verified and you will be refunded if the move is inadequate or doesn’t meet the agreed upon conditions.

  • You can always contact the Canadian Association of Movers or the police if you have a problem.

Be aware

Before signing a contract with a moving company, do your homework and read the cancellation policy. Otherwise, it could cost you a bundle.

  • Remember, a price quote can also serve as a signed contract. Do not sign anything until all of your questions have been answered by the company. If you have any doubts, don't get pressured into signing. After all, you're moving all your worldly possessions and want it to be done properly.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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