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5 Ways a Moving Company Will Take the Stress Out of Your Move

5 Ways a Moving Company Will Take the Stress Out of Your Move

Moving can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. Here are just 5 ways a moving company will take the stress out of your move. 

Moving Large, Bulky Items So You Don’t Have To

Have you ever tried to lift a big screen TV, sofa or piano? It’s not an easy task, even with a few friends by your side. Large and heavy items can be dangerous to move without the right equipment and training. If dropped or mishandled, these items can damage your flooring, the item itself, and even others. A professional moving company will have all the right equipment and lifting techniques to move any large items safely so you don’t have to risk it.

Packing and Unpacking for You

Packing and unpacking can be more stressful than the actual move itself. To make matters worse, poor packing is the number one cause of broken items. Fortunately, full-service movers can pack and unpack for you. They are trained to pack the right way and can do it in a fraction of the time.

Safely Transporting the Items

Not all of us are cut out for driving a large moving van. They are long, tall, wide, and filled with thousands of pounds of your belongings – what could possibly go wrong? In Canada, there are hundreds of rental truck accidents every year caused by people who are not skilled enough to drive these vehicles. If you want your items to arrive safely in one piece, your best bet is to hire a moving company with professionally trained drivers with the right licenses for the truck size.  

Time Management

Moving can take weeks to plan and months to prepare, and once the moving day arrives, you’re on the clock to get everything done on time. It’s not only stressful to properly plan and execute a move, but it’s also costly if things don’t go as planned. Save yourself the hassle and let the moving company plan everything for you.

If you want to have an easy, hassle-free move, contact us at First Rate Movers!

Everything You Need to Know About Moving Insurance

Everything You Need to Know About Moving Insurance

Most people believe that moving insurance will cover all damages that may occur during a move. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Some items won’t be covered if the moving company doesn’t carry enough insurance. To ensure you hire a company that has the proper protections in place to safeguard your belongings, learn everything you need to know about moving insurance right here.

What’s Required by Law?

According to the law, Ontario movers must carry a minimum liability of loss or damage insurance for $0.60/lb per item. This “Basic” or “Released Value Insurance” will rarely provide enough coverage for anything of value. For example, this would mean a $3000 leather couch might be valued at $120 if it weighs 200 pounds. Given that most companies have a deductible of between $200 and $500 to make a claim, you will rarely see a dime of this type of coverage unless the entire shipment is lost. This type of insurance coverage is not for protecting household goods during transport.  It is just the bare minimum under the Transport Act for any company shipping anything under contract. For example, Canada Post must insure your mail for $0.60 per pound.  Most movers offering anything more than basic coverage, will offer “protection” (fake insurance). A very few of the higher end moving companies will off actual replacement value insurance (the best coverage available). Read more about the different types of insurance coverage

What Items Are Typically Covered?

With most moving companies, damage will only be covered for items that were packed/unpacked and/or wrapped/unwrapped by the moving company. The reason for this is that the company must be able to assess the condition of the items before moving it. If the customer packs items into a box or wraps a piece of furniture, there is no way for the moving company to verify that those contents were in good condition or even existent prior to being moved. 

What Does Fully Insured Mean?

The term “fully insured” means that the moving company has vehicle insurance, liability insurance, and basic cargo insurance required by law. While it sounds good, it actually means very little for the customer as their belongings are essentially uninsured against damage unless the moving company specifically states otherwise.  

Won’t My Homeowners Policy Cover Damages?

You should never assume that your homeowner’s policy will cover damages to your property or belongings during the move. In most cases, the loss needs to be related to a peril that is listed in your policy, such as theft. In order for damages during a move to be covered under a homeowners insurance policy, the home owner often has to request and pay for a “goods in transit” rider.  In either case, it’s important to find out what is covered and what the coverage limits and deductibles for each include. If the limits are low and the deductibles are high, you might have to pay out of pocket for any damaged items. Also consider that, your premiums may increase if you make claims through your own insurance. For this reason, it is always best to choose movers who include “replacement value” insurance in their rates.

Are There Additional Insurance Options?

If the company only covers the minimum and you would like more coverage for your valuables, you’ll need to ask your insurance company to purchase additional coverage for you. However, some companies already offer better coverage options. Here at First Rate Movers, for instance, we offer Full Replacement Value Insurance included in our rates, which is the most comprehensive insurance that is limited only by the maximum dollar value of the policy – giving you complete protection. 

What Should I Ask Before Hiring A Mover?

You should never assume that a moving company has the proper insurance coverage in place. Some companies are not “fully insured” and most of the ones that are will only cover the bare minimum amount which is useless for any valuable items. You should always ask the movers what their insurance policy covers specifically and only agree to ones that offer replacement value insurance (not “protection”). 

At First Rate Movers, we include $1,000,000 of full value insurance in our rates for all full-service moves. Only companies that are 100% confident in their employees can afford to offer this type of coverage as it makes them liable for far more than most movers. Our employees are also bonded and insured through WSIB to provide you with the ultimate protection during your move. Contact us today!

Consolidated Moves Between Cities Can Save You Money

Consolidated Moves Between Cities Can Save You Money

Looking for a way to save on your long distance moving costs? You should consider a consolidated move. If you’ve never heard of this option before it’s because many moving companies keep this option secret unless you ask. Why? Because they have no problem filling half a truck and charging you full price. At First Rate Movers, we offer the option of consolidated moving to our customers. To learn how consolidated moves between cities can save you money, read on!

Save When You Share

A consolidated move combines two or more moves into one full shipment. It’s the perfect option for students and those with smaller moves. When moving from Ottawa to a location along the 401 corridor, we can coordinate your move as part of a shared (consolidated) trip. That means that you share the truck space and a portion of the cost with another party. When you share, you save!

Save When You’re Flexible

Not everyone can pick their move date, but when you do have the option of being flexible, you can save hundreds of dollars in moving fees. By aligning your move with another move going to or returning from your destination city, you can share the most expensive part of the move (the travel costs) with another party. For example, you can save up to $600 off the travel charge when booking a consolidated move from Ottawa to the Toronto. To find out how you can save on your inter-city move, call First Rate Movers today.

Don’t spend money on truck space you don’t need. Instead, put that hard-earned money back in your pocket and save by using our consolidated moving option. By choosing First Rate Movers, your personal belongings will get where they need to be quickly, securely, and affordably — just like it should be. To save on your next move, contact us to get a free estimate today!

Furniture Hoisting – Leave it to the Pros

Furniture Hoisting - Leave it to the Pros

If you have large and heavy items that require hoisting during a move, it’s important that you never attempt to perform this on your own. If there were ever a time to let the professionals handle something – this is it! Whether it’s your china hutch or your extra large sofa, when you have a large piece of furniture and a small, tight staircase to contend with, it’s time to call the pros to handle it. Furniture hoisting without training, experience, and the proper equipment (including safety harnesses) can be dangerous and simply isn’t worth the risks involved.

So if you’ve been contemplating how to get those clunky items out of your home, here are a few good reasons why you should always leave it to the professionals.

Safety First

The process of moving can involve a lot of different obstacles and circumstances that can easily lead to injury if you’re not properly trained and experienced. Having the correct footing, knowing how to position yourself, and being experienced at manoeuvring items through awkward stairwells and windows is so crucial for avoiding injury. Hoisting furniture should never be attempted without using the proper safety harnesses. Balcony railings are not meant to support the combined weight of two people and a large piece of furniture. Railings can give way, causing serious injury and/or death. Always consider your safety first and the benefits of leaving this kind of work to the pros instead.

Damaged Furniture

You want your furniture to arrive in your new home in one piece and without any damage. The likelihood of damage occurring drastically increases once you combine inexperience with the job of furniture hoisting. Professional movers will wrap/pad furniture prior to hoisting it and use professional straps and harness to ensure that you furniture makes it into your home in one piece and without damage.

Damage to Property

As well as the possibility of damaging furniture or injuring yourself or others, hoisting items can also cause significant damage to the home if not done properly. Consider the surroundings in the area where the hoisting will take place. Are there windows nearby or a porch with railing below that balcony you are hoisting to? One wrong move could end with that couch you were hoisting smashing through a window or breaking those porch railings, leaving you with a hefty repair bill.

Insurance Coverage

If an accident does occur, you want to ensure there’s adequate insurance to cover any damages. With a professionally qualified moving company like First Rate Movers, you can rest assured since they have the necessary coverage in case of any related incidents.

When it comes down to it, taking on the heavy burden of furniture hoisting on your own or with inexperienced buddies, just isn’t worth it, for both your safety and the safety of the items and property. Contact the pros at First Rate Movers, and we will gladly take care of it and your entire moving process for you.

How to Protect Yourself from Moving Scams

How to protect yourself from moving scams

Relocating to a new home can place a great deal of pressure and stress on anyone making that big decision. Between the worry of damaged items to packing and sorting through a life’s worth of stuff, the last thing anyone one wants to have to endure is a moving scam.  But as we become wrapped up in the whirlwind of the moving process, it’s one of those things that sometimes we just can’t see coming.

So before you embark on your big move, here are some ways in which you can protect you and your valuables from moving scams.

Ask Around for Word-of-Mouth Recommendations

Of course, before signing with any moving company, you need to do your homework ahead of that decision. But the reality is that although you have the ability to hop online and sift through company reviews, those reviews aren’t always as genuine as they appear. It’s not unheard of for companies to have employees or other related individuals that are connected to their company write gleaming reviews about it. It’s a deceiving, dishonest tactic, but sadly many companies are willing to stoop to that level to try and secure your service.

Ask around with your neighbours, family, friends, and co-workers for word-of-mouth recommendations.

Low Estimates, Given Over the Phone

If you’ve received an estimate by a company that seems to be surprisingly low compared to other estimates that you’ve been given, chances are that it’s too good to be true. This is one of the ways in which scammers can hook you into signing for their services, while dishing out some very different prices that become pinned on other “unforeseen factors” that hike up that cost significantly.

While you can request an estimate online, over the phone, or in-person, be cautious about any estimate that seems too good to be true or isn’t based on specific factors. A proper moving estimate will account for your furniture, appliances, boxes, specialty items etc. in great detail (moving a small children’s bed is very different from moving a king-size canopy bed).

Large Advance Deposits

If a company requires you to provide any large deposits of cash in advance, you can bet that this is a scam. A good, reputable company will never demand this. Some reputable companies will require some form of deposit to secure the moving date, but this should not be close to the final price.

Thoroughly Read Over All Documentation

When you’re in the throes of moving, it’s always a chaotic, hectic time. And many scammers will take advantage of this fact. So always be alert and thorough, especially before signing any documentation. Some scammers may often leave forms within those documents blank or unsigned.

Stay on top of your moving process by asking around for personal recommendations for reputable companies like First Rate Movers. Follow these essential tips, and always be thorough about receiving contract details and any documentation in order to minimize your chances of being scammed.

Questions to Ask a Prospective Moving Company

A sketch of a moving truck and the words: Moving Tips!

Moving your entire home and everything within is not always an easy decision. First you have to choose if you want to move alone, with the help of friends, or with the assistance of movers. Even if you choose movers, there is a big difference between a couple of guys with a pickup truck and a professional, reputable Ottawa moving company like First Rate Movers.

You want to find a moving company that is reliable, will take good care of your possessions and not leave you with a gaping hole in the bank when all is said and done. When the stressful woes of moving day arrive, you need to feel confident that the process – and your belongings – are in good hands.

Doing a little research beforehand and asking the right questions can help guide you in finding Ottawa movers that you can trust. Here are some crucial questions that you should ask prospective moving companies in Ottawa before making that final decision.

Insurance, Liabilities, Rights and Responsibilities

• Is the company insured? Can they provide the insurance name and policy number?
• Can the company provide you with a written outline of mover and customer rights, responsibilities, and liabilities for damaged or lost items?
• Does the company abide by the terms of the Good Practice Guidelines for Canadian Movers?
• Who will be providing all of the services – unpacking, storage, equipment – and what sub-contractor companies are being used? Can they provide their records and references?

When it comes to a reputable moving company, they should be able to provide you with a good answer to all of these questions. The most important factor is to ensure your items are protected, along with your rights for any lost or damaged items.

Quote for Services

• For long distance moves, do you provide a quote based upon a visitation and assessment of my belongings?
• Can you provide me with a written estimate, including delivery date and specific individual names that I’ve spoken to?
• Can I have the detailed information about the movers that will be handling the process out of the country?
• Can you provide me with the number of hours that a local move will take?

For a quote of services, any reputable company should schedule a visit that includes an assessment of your belongings for long distance moves in order to provide you with an accurate quote. Always give accurate information about your destination address and always get a copy of the estimate and hours in writing.

The Finer Details

• What are the terms of the Replacement Value Protection policy? What’s the deductible? Can I have that in writing?
• How is payment handled? Is a deposit required? Will it be placed into a trust? Is it refundable?
• Should I seal and label my boxes?

You always want to cover your own bases, and that means not only inquiring about their insurance and replacement policy, but also inquiring about your own. And remember, always get as many details as you can and have them provided in writing. Do you have any questions about the moving process? Get in touch with First Rate Movers; we’d be happy to discuss our services and answer any questions you have about moving.

5 Ways Professional Movers Can Simplify Your Life

Two people wear moving boxes with smileys drawn on on their heads

Moving can be a challenging experience. With nearly 5 million Canadians moving every year, the question of whether or not to get professional movers is often left undecided until the very end. If you are currently debating as to whether or not you should get professional movers, then the following is for you. Below we list five ways professional movers can simply your life and make up for their cost. Let’s begin.

They Bring Moving Materials with Them

Many movers will bring packing materials with them. Their moving materials can include things like sheets, blankets, and other buffering objects that will keep everything in place and secure during transportation. With a professional mover, you may not have to go out and get the moving materials yourself, and never again do you have to worry about running out of tape or bubble wrap.

Some Moving Companies Can Pack For You

Packing is a service some moving companies offer. If you need assistance or are too busy to pack, then have a moving company do it for you. They will pack and label your belongings as requested, providing you more time to handle other aspects of the moving process. If nothing else, they will be able to use their considerable experience moving to pack things away as requested.

They Do This For a Living

You have a day job, and (presumably) you’re good at it. You’re well trained and take pride in your work. Quality professional movers are the same. They take pride in moving your belongings safely from one place to another. Do not choose a company that does this as a side business or hires part-timers. Choose a professional moving company that treats their employees well, offering high salaries, WSIB coverage, overtime, holiday pay, vacation pay, and other benefits. If you aren’t sure, check whether they are certified by the Canadian Associated of Movers.

Experience Transporting Challenging Objects

Along with being able to do the move in fewer trips, a professional moving company will have the necessary experience to transport challenging objects. For example, are you versed with the correct moving techniques for a piano or 72” television? Along with physically moving the objects for you, a moving company will lend you their talent and experience to delicately move even the most challenging objects.

One Less Thing To Think About

In the grand scheme of things, so much of what you will have to consider has nothing to do with physically moving your belongings. There is setting up the new home you will be moving into, there are considerations with work and life, etc. Provide yourself with one less thing to think about by going with a professional mover.



Make Your Move Easier with Short-Term Storage

A storage locker door

These days, we are all so busy and, sometimes, the process of moving is hard to integrate into our daily lives. For example, if you aren’t taking time off from work in order to move, you may want to facilitate the moving process by using short-term storage in order to prepare. This will make the process of moving less stressful and more organized.

At First Rate Movers, we offer up to ten FREE days of short-term storage to our moving customers. A lot of people begin packing up early and then store packed belongings at short-term storage facilities. When moving day rolls around, our professional moving crew will move the packed belongings from short-term storage into customers’ new houses, condos or rental units. Our short-term storage is much more convenient, flexible, and affordable than storage options at other facilities. After all, you can’t beat free!

Some people just don’t realize how useful short-term storage is when moving time is approaching. Renting short-term storage is an excellent way to take the pressure off, without needing to spend an arm and a leg. Having your belongings in storage will give you a more flexible timeline and this is definitely a key advantage of making a move easier with short-term storage.

First Rate Movers Storage

We are happy to provide our customers with FREE short-term storage (up to ten days), subject to availability. We also offer up to 60 days of storage for our customers, at or below cost. This is the most convenient and stress-free option for customers who have a delay between selling their home and taking possession of the new one. Our storage containers are weatherproof, rodentproof, and located in a secure, gated facility with high-security locking systems and video surveillance.

Short-Term Storage in Ottawa

It’s also great to move into a place that isn’t cluttered with a ton of boxes and packed belongings. During your first days in a new place, you’ll be able to enjoy a more streamlined and peaceful environment if you want to, and this may allow you to adjust to your new surroundings faster. Once you’re ready to, you may move items from your short-term storage facility to your new place. It may all happen at your preferred pace.

Life is busy. Moving is hard. When you bring short-term storage into the mix, you’ll make things easier for yourself. Our professional movers will move the items into storage, and back out to your new home, with no effort or stress on your part.

Writing a Helpful Review Following Your Move

Two movers unloading a truck

Think about the process you went through when you were trying to find the best movers in Ottawa. You probably asked friends/family/neighbours which company they used for their last move. You also probably searched online and read a few reviews and went with the company with the most persuasive/believable reviews from real customers.

Now that your move is over, you can return the favour by sharing your first-hand experience with other people planning a move in the near future. When writing your review, simply think about what be helpful to you if you were looking for a moving company. A 5-star review that says “they were great” is wonderful for the company, but does it tell you much as a potential customer? Include the details and facts that you would want to see as a potential customer.

Step One: The Location, Date, and Time of Your Move

When writing a review, do mention where you were moving from and where to so that people will have an idea of the distance. There is a difference between a simple inner-city move and a cross-country move. Also mention the weather because it plays a huge part. A winter move under 3 feet of snow will have different complications than an easy, breezy move in May. You do not have to give the exact dates of your move, but details about the season and weather can be very helpful to potential customers.

Step Two: Talk About Customer Service

The number one thing people desire when hiring help is good service. That goes without saying. So be sure to mention the attitude and friendliness of the movers. Did they listen and comply with your requests? Did they do the task as per instructions? Were they careful with fragile objects? Did they damage anything? If everything went smoothly, say so. If a crew member stood out, mention them by name! If there were any mistakes (they happen), how did the movers address them?

Step Three: Talk About Punctuality

Another thing that is important is punctuality. Were the movers on time? How fast they working and how many movers were there? Did they deliver on schedule? During a move, there can be factors out of the control of the movers, like a traffic jam or bad weather. How did the movers work around these issues?

Step Four: Talk About the Money

Moving chargers is the concern of many. So be sure to mention as the details related to money. Did they provide good value for money? Were there any unexpected charges on the final bill?

And lastly, wrap the review up well. Would you or would you not recommend the movers you used? Would you use them again? Or do you know of some other moving company that offers a better service?

First Rate Movers has over 6000 happy customers and a 99% referral rate. Visit our Testimonials page to read the positive experience that hundreds of real customers have enjoyed with our Ottawa moving company.



5 Ways a Moving Company Will Take the Stress Out of Your Move
5 Ways a Moving Company Will Take the Stress Out of Your Move

Moving can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. Here are just 5 ways a moving company will take the stress out of your move.  Moving Large, Bulky Items So You Don’t Have To Have you ever tried to lift a big screen TV, sofa or piano? It’s not an easy task, even with Read More…

Everything You Need to Prepare for Your Ottawa Move
Everything You Need to Prepare for Your Ottawa Move

If you’re planning to relocate in the near future, chances are you may be starting to feel those flutters of stress that often come along with this process. But even though moving is a relatively big undertaking, with a little prep and organization ahead of time, you can eliminate your stress for a completely hassle-free Read More…


5 Ways a Moving Company Will Take the Stress Out of Your Move
5 Ways a Moving Company Will Take the Stress Out of Your Move

Moving can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. Here are just 5 ways a moving company will take the stress out of your move.  Moving Large, Bulky Items So You Don’t Have To Have you ever tried to lift a big screen TV, sofa or piano? It’s not an easy task, even with Read More…

Everything You Need to Prepare for Your Ottawa Move
Everything You Need to Prepare for Your Ottawa Move

If you’re planning to relocate in the near future, chances are you may be starting to feel those flutters of stress that often come along with this process. But even though moving is a relatively big undertaking, with a little prep and organization ahead of time, you can eliminate your stress for a completely hassle-free Read More…

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