Browse Month by January 2016
Real Estate

Learn More About Household Removals and Insurance

Moving home may, even for a short time in transit, significantly change your risk profile.

That means you need to be thinking about your insurance cover when you first start talking to furniture removals companies. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on this subject.

Will my household goods be insured in transit?

There are two potential sources of insurance cover for your items when you’re moving home:

• Your existing household contents policy

• The cover provided by your household removals company.

Some household contents cover will continue to offer protection for your goods if they’re in transit between old and new addressees. Some might not though – so there’s no alternative but to ask your insurance provider to confirm.

Your removals company will have certain types of insurance in place as part of ‘the price’ but check with them to find out what that covers and how much protection it provides.

So, I should be covered then?

Well, no, not necessarily!

It depends upon what you consider to be the ‘risks’ involved.

For example, let’s assume your removals vehicle arrives at your new address only to find the road is closed due to flooding or a landslide. The vehicle then has to depart and come back another day, having stored your items in the interim. That’s going to incur a lot of cost for you and a typical household policy won’t cover that sort of thing.

So, you may wish to consider specific removals insurance.

What happens if my removals company drops something of mine and breaks it?

Typically you will be able to claim against them and their insurance.

Note that they may limit their liability to certain specified amounts and there may be the traditional new-for-old or market valuation replacement debates. Ask them in advance just what their cover includes.

Would that apply if I drop and break something?

It’s unlikely your removals company will accept liability for your accidents!

However, your own removals insurance (if you have it) or possibly your household contents cover MAY have accident protection included. Once again, you’ll need to check.

Will my valuables be covered in storage?

A lot will depend upon what they are and just how valuable they are as part of that.

For example, some insurance may exclude altogether certain types of goods from their cover if in storage. Things that come to mind might be jewellery, highly valuable antiques, very valuable collections (e.g. medals) and so on.

In other cases your policy might apply a maximum limit to a claim for any one item being stolen, lost or damaged of say $1,000.

Yet again, the only way to be sure is to check the specifics of your policy.

A special note here is that some policies may not offer cover for goods in storage unless the facility concerned meets certain minimum standards for things such as security and environment protection. Just depositing your goods in an open warehouse might cause your insurance provider some serious concerns and that could leave you financially exposed without insurance cover.

Real Estate

IT Equipment As Part of Your Office

In one sense, moving IT equipment as part of office relocation is straightforward.

You can usually just unplug things and put the box or boxes concerned into a carton and then onto a vehicle. Of course, some things such as server racks may be heavy but that’s usually manageable.

What can sometimes catch the unwary out though are things related to the software and risk reduction. So, here are a few top tips:

· Some IT equipment needs to be ‘parked’ by software or otherwise told it’s about to be moved before you do so. It then takes steps to ensure that its components are made ready for a little physical shaking up. Be clear whether this is required for the equipment concerned.

· Although IT equipment, particularly that which is mobile such as a laptop, is theoretically location independent, some isn’t. Some may have anti-theft devices in them that need to be dealt with before they’re moved or they may detect your new location when switched on and promptly switch themselves back off again.

· On a related subject, remember to notify your various service providers on the net or Cloud that you’re planning to move. Sometimes a change of geography can cause some confusion for software and telecoms services if the provider isn’t aware what’s going on.

· If a piece of IT kit wasn’t specifically built to be mobile, then moving it a significant distance is always cause for caution. Specialist packing is highly advisable and don’t be tempted by the “chuck it in a box” approach just because you’ve heard that modern IT equipment is ‘robust’.

· In situations where your installation generates and uses fast internet and/or other volume telecoms systems, it’s possible that your comms provider will have installed special higher-capacity equipment locally to cope with your load. That might be invisible to you. So, if you want the same service at your new location, check this well in advance rather than make assumptions or go forward on hope alone. If given enough notice, your provider should be able to make similar arrangements (if they’re not already in place) for your new location. Be warned though, moving from city-centre or urban locations to rural or suburban ones can sometimes cause difficulty in this respect – so prepare well in advance.

· Although not usually a problem these days, even so, take electricity supply issues into consideration. Some locations may have protected power supplies and power spike smoothers and others might not. Check to make sure your new location can both accommodate the load and protect your equipment from spikes and outages.

Real Estate

The Best Tips to In a New Office

Moving to new office premises is rarely an activity that’s going to leave you relaxed and smiling.

For the typical business owner, it can be stressful and fraught – and that’s even when things go well! If you have problems, it can become a virtual nightmare.

So, here are a few top tips to help your removals day and those immediately following it, go that bit more smoothly.

1. Be clear that all the utility services are switched over into your name at the new premises. More importantly, make sure they’re connected and ready to go from the moment you move in.

2. Get an IT expert with comms knowledge to verify that all will be well. Local networks and lines will need to cope with your arrival if you’re a large user of IT. Get them to check also that there are no issues that need resolution with your ISP.

3. Don’t forget to do whatever it takes to make sure that your office removals company can park their vehicle somewhere convenient for offloading. This sometimes goes badly wrong and if they can’t unload due to being unable to park then you won’t be able to get your business started.

4. If your new premises are on the upper floors of a building, liaise with the building’s management to make sure that a lift/elevator is reserved for your use while moving in. If you can’t get that, your removal could drag out while the removals team keep waiting for the lift to arrive.

5. If your employees and colleagues are helping, restrict their activities to unpacking and don’t let them participate in heavy lifting or moving boxes between the vehicle and office. That’s because you may have insurance issues should they be injured while doing so.

6. In situations where you’re moving in on a Saturday and into a shared building, make absolutely certain that your building will be open. It’s far from unknown for removals vehicles to arrive only to find that the building has been locked up for the weekend.

7. Successful unloading and unpacking is often fuelled for everyone by tea and coffee! You and your colleagues may be very busy, so consider getting in a caterer or helper to make drinks while the physical work is underway – and also keep cups and other related supplies to hand as the first box that comes off the vehicle.

8. Try to ‘switch off’ your business operations while the move is underway. It can be difficult or impossible to keep an eye on things and help if trying to deal with customer phone calls and emails at the same time. Brief your customers well in advance and they’ll be sympathetic.

9. Make sure that all your boxes and items ‘loaded up’ are numbered and tagged. Have someone check them off the vehicle and into your office. This is particularly important if your items have been stored or transhipped (moved from one vehicle and another) in between uplift and delivery.

10. Finally, make sure your floorplan has been designed in advance and that all your colleagues know exactly where their desk/seat is going. Squabbling and a free-for-all ‘land grab’ can happen in new premises where that hasn’t all been sorted out in advance. Ill-feeling can flare up in a second over things like window seats and views – and that’s the last thing you’ll need on what’s likely to be a stressful day anyway!


Real Estate

How To Make Your Next Move Smart Than Before

In the process of packing up your old home and preparing to move into a new one, you should take some time to pare down to the essentials. This can save you a tremendous amount of cash and it will also help you get a clean, fresh start in your new home. Following are several strategies for making your next move a smart and stress-free one.

One general rule about moving is that it is probably best to get rid of any items that you haven’t used in a year or more. This doesn’t include keepsakes and mementos that have obvious sentimental value. Instead, you should consider tossing out board games, toys, textbooks, stored newspapers and things that you’ll probably never go back to. This way, you can use the storage space in your new home far more efficiently and you’ll have less items that need to be transported.

Get rid of furnishings that are starting to break down, even if these items still look good. This refers to items that are being held together with wood glue rather than the hardware they initially came with. Desks and chairs with wobbly or missing pieces should be tossed out, given away or donated. These items are only likely to sustain more damage in transport. It will cost more to have movers haul them than it will to eventually replace them.

Go through your clothing and consider hosting a yard sale. This is a great time to clear out items that no longer fit your current style or that you no longer fit. With the money that you earn from these endeavors, it will be possible to offset your moving costs.

Find out whether or not there is a recycling community in your new area. These are groups that swap items that they no longer need. These are great communities to join as they can help you replace items you’ve had to toss out while also giving you a free way to get rid of your unwanted but still usable stuff.

Contact a furniture rental company in your area. You can use these entities to load up on essentials that you no longer have after you have tossed your broken items out. They might have rent to own items available as well. Using these services will allow you to cheaply get everything you need so that you can replace broken items gradually, rather than rushing to buy everything at once.