Yes, You Can Still Move Home Despite Lockdown
If you have been worrying about moving home during lockdown, or wondering if you are even allowed to do it, the fact is that your plans may have been halted temporarily, whether you were already going to move or were looking for a new home in the not too distant future.
Well the better news is that, as of May 13th, the government has made it clear that those who wish to move home can now do so provided that the move can be carried out safely. This means that there may be some changes to the usual procedures. The removals industry is not barred from working, provided the company can do so in accordance with government guidelines. Some removals companies may or may not be open or business, depending on how they feel about meeting the guidelines and their own assessment of whether or not it is safe to operate.
It is anticipated that there may now be some pressure on some removals companies, as people who have been unable to move can do so now that the restrictions have been eased, and they just want to go ahead and do it.
Under normal circumstances, the removals company would send a consultant to your home in order to assess the number and size of items to be moved, whether there are any access problems, what needs to be done in the way of handling fragile items, or those such as an expensive piece of antique furniture or perhaps an original painting. However, in order to cut down on the physical contact, some removals companies are now prepared to carry out the pre-move survey remotely. They may be able to provide online inventory forms so that you can produce your own lists of items to be moved, room by room.
The removals company may also be prepared to carry out a video survey with you which can be done on most smartphones or tablets using the BuzzSurvey app which is available to download on android or iPhones. You would make an appointment with the removal company and then at the appropriate time you can connect with one of their consultants and show him or her around your home and the items in each room using the app. You would need to have a tape measure on hand so that you can measure anything that the consultant asks you to and be prepared to answer his questions as you go around each room. Don’t forget the garage, outhouses, sheds, and so on. You would also need to point out things that may be fragile or need special handling or packing and you should check with the company about their insurance for such things. It is very likely that they won’t have cover for expensive items because they would have to pay a much higher overall premium, and such cover would only be needed very occasionally. They may offer additional cover over and above their normal limit if you pay for it as an additional item. Alternatively, we can insure such things for you at The Insurance Broker to cover the actual transport of the item from your home to your new residence.
Apart from Coronavirus, video surveys can be useful when you live in a remote area or perhaps need an out of hours appointment for someone to visit. Some removals companies will already be set up to conduct video surveys, and they can be just as accurate as a physical survey.
Of course, if you are looking for a choice of quotes for your move, you will have to carry out the appropriate number of surveys. You should start to book them now, because going forward it is expected that removals companies will be very busy, partly because of all the people who have been wanting to move but have been unable to do so and partly because we are now moving into what is the busy season for removals. In addition, some removals companies may not yet be open for business, so there could be extra pressure on those that are.
Some removals companies may also be able to accept provisional bookings for later dates. This will mean that the removal van and crew will be reserved for you for that date but that if things change you will be able to alter it nearer the time.
Of course, one thing that you do need to consider overall is home moving insurance. You probably have contents insurance for your belongings, but many contents insurance policies do not cover removals at all, although some may do so. A lot of people probably believe that the removals company that they choose will have insurance cover, and it is true that they certainly should do. However, removals companies look at insurance in many different ways, and while they may be covered it can mean that you may not be, or at least not covered in full.
Removals companies will pay a certain premium to their insurers for a certain level of cover. However, if you think about it, they cannot possibly allow for everything. If you have a rare piece of china or an expensive painting, it could be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, and they could not allow for that because their removal rates would have to be much more expensive, so they limit their liability.
This is no problem, because at The Insurance Broker we can provide additional cover for anything that you need that is over and above any cover that the removals company may provide. Removals insurance is not really very expensive, and it will give you that extra peace of mind when you know for sure that you have enough cover for your move.