Finding a removalist

Hiring a removalist you can trust can be a shot in the dark.
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Questions to ask your removalist

  • Is it a flat fee or will you be charged by the hour?
  • If it's hourly, does that include driving time from the depot to the property and back, or just packing and unpacking the truck?
  • Is there a call-out rate, and if so how is it charged?
  • Will you be charged more if the move takes longer than expected or access to the property isn't easy? Will heavy or bulky items or stairs add to the cost?
  • Will your move be subcontracted out? If so, who will be doing the work?

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Moving tips

  • Check the removalist is an AFRA member (visit
  • Make a detailed room-by-room list of all items you want the removalist to handle and pack, and transport any reasonably portable valuables yourself.
  • Insist on a contract that spells out terms and conditions of the move.
  • Before signing off, be sure all your stuff is accounted for after the move.

Should you insure?

About half the insurers in our home and contents insurance review offer some form of removalist-related insurance, but many don't cover accidental damage during the move.

Whether or not you need to insure your goods for the move depends on whether you have a home and contents insurance policy and what it covers. 

There are many variations between insurers, so read your product disclosure statement and policy document very carefully. About half the insurers in our home and contents insurance review offer some form of removalist-related insurance, but many don’t cover accidental damage during the move, and some offer cover while in transit but no cover at home until all your goods are in one place.

So if half your contents are in your old home and half in your new one, they won’t be insured. Other companies have time limits, generally ranging from 14 to 30 days, during which they will cover your contents in both your new and previous residences. If you don’t have home and contents insurance – or if the cover you do have is limited – AFRA members can act as representatives of insurance providers and get paid a commission for doing so.

There are more than a few types of cover, so be sure you understand which type you need and are getting, as well as the inclusions and exclusions. Common types of cover include:

  • Specified events insurance, which only covers events listed in the policy.
  • Transit insurance covering goods in transit but not if damage occurs when they’re being moved into or out of the home or the vehicle.
  • Cover for any damage caused by the moving process, including breakage, scratching, denting, chipping and so on, though exclusions still apply.

Who’s liable?

Some removalists insure themselves against damage to your things. If this is the case, make sure you understand what the removalist covers and doesn’t cover and in which circumstances the insurance applies. 

If you pack or unpack yourself and something is damaged, the removalist generally won’t accept liability.

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