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 It's A Risky Business

Many movers make the mistake of not taking out the appropriate insurance for their move. Some think they don't have to, because they're using a credible removal company - a PMA member. Others think insurance is too expensive and not worth it and then there are those who argue that the removal company should take full responsibility for the move.

Whatever their reasons are, anyone who moves without insurance makes a very big mistake and is at the risk of a serous financial loss. You should never, ever move without insurance, even if your removal company is a PMA member. Any move involves a certain degree of risk that is beyond the company's or your control.

Besides common moving risks like mechanical derangement and accidental handling damage, there are many other risks to consider before deciding to move without insurance. In a country like South Africa, one cannot ignore the possibilities of vehicle accidents, hijackings, political riots, strikes, thefts and vandalism. And even if politics and crime don't play a role, there are still risks involved like storm, flood or fire damage and other natural disasters.

It's clear that the above-mentioned risks are not within the control of any removal company and therefore the customer can't expect the company to carry the loss or take responsibility for the insurance. It's a common practice - locally and internationally - for removal companies to move possessions at the owner's own risk.

It is therefore extremely important that you make sure you've got sufficient insurance cover before you move.

Be careful when you choose your insurance policy. Many insurance companies offer transit insurance packages that look good at a glance, but actually offer very limited coverage. This is why the PMA established an insurance policy specifically for its members and their clients.

Moving is stressful enough as it is. Don't make it harder by taking unnecessary risks. Buy an insurance policy and buy yourself peace of mind!

 Insurance: What You Need to Know

Insurance is, to many, a difficult process underlined with a lot of red tape and complicated systems. Take the pressure off by familiarizing yourself with the following procedures…

  • Assess the replacement value of the items being removed.
  • Look out for specified exclusions in the insurance document and make sure that you fully understand the insurance cover.
  • Complete the proposal form and hand it over to the removal company.
  • Ensure that your cover is validated by paying the premium promptly - at least a day before your removal.
  • Make sure that you receive an insurance certificate when you pay the premium.
  • Notify the removal company of any damage or loss after receiving your goods.
  • Ask your removal company about the exact procedure in terms of the number of quotes required to repair or replace, claim forms to be completed and retention of damaged items for inspection.
  • Follow the requirements of the insurers very strictly to avoid any possible rejection or delays in settling your claim.
  • Ensure that the quantum of your claim is correct and accurate. You will not be allowed to claim for any additional damages once the claim has been settled.
  • Submit claims as quickly as possible - policies carry a claims time bar.
  • Remember that you have recourse through the PMA if there is a dispute over the settlement of your claim. The regional offices of the PMA would be able to arbitrate on behalf of both parties.
Professional Packing

Many unprofessional removal companies - those not belonging to the PMA of course - think that packing starts and ends with the use of cartons.

Professional movers and PMA members however, know that proper and professional packing involves much more that that.

Over the years PMA members have developed a range of superior packing materials and methods. These special packing techniques actually boil don to basic common sense.

It's all about logic. If an egg is placed on its side it will easily break. When placed on its head, however, it is almost impossible to break..

The same logical rule applies to fragile items. When packing cups and glasses, any professional packer will place them upright. Plates and saucers on the other hand should be placed on their edges. These packing rules derive from the idea to reduce the area of stress and pressure. Items packed into cartons should always be wrapped with paper to reduce the effects of impact.

Where larger furniture and fragile items like pictures and furniture are concerned, these objects should always be wrapped with bubble plastic, aero-thene or cardboard flat sheets.

These materials have been tried and tested and they effectively protect furniture against dents and scratches. Fragile furniture such as mirrors, glass or marble tops and grandfather clocks are placed into wooden crates after they've been bubble wrapped.

Although the above-mentioned methods and materials have already proved very successful, the PMA is continuously researching and experimenting with new packing methods and materials. The PMA is all about excellent standards and we continue our research to upkeep and raise our standards

Right Time, Right Place, Right Move

Many people plan their move very carefully and take care of every little detail. When the day of the move arrives, however, these planners ting they've done everything and sit back and relax. This is often when a move turns into a nightmare.

It doesn't matter how carefully you plan your move beforehand, the day of the move remains crucial. There are certain things that can only be done on the actual day of the move and if you neglect to do them, your move can easily turn into a disaster. Follow these easy guidelines to prevent this from happening.


Before your moving consultant starts working, you should make sure his is properly informed. Show him everything that needs to be moved - from the corners of the cupboards to the garden shed. This will ensure that the removal company allocates the right amount of space and time for your move. Also discuss the pre-packing of small items with the company.


Check that chandeliers and stoves are correctly disconnected. Ask the manufacturer of domestic and electric appliances about the stabilization of your appliances for transport. If you don't arrange this stabilization and your appliances get damaged, your mechanical derangement insurance won't pay out.


Empty all cupboards, chests and desk drawers before the move to avoid damage. A cabinetmaker should dismantle and reassemble custom-made or extra large pieces of furniture like wall units.


Clean out bathroom cabinets and safely dispose of old medicine bottles. Tighten the lids of all medicine jars and bottles.


Jewellery, glasses, watches, money and cell phones are not covered by insurance. All these valuables as well as keys are your responsibility. Also take note that is illegal for a removal company to transport firearms, ammunition, chemicals, paints and detergents. Removal companies can also not store any food or perishables that are not tinned. Make provision for the above-mentioned items yourself. Remember to back up your computer files. Although the physical computer is insurable, computer data is not.


Remember to terminate or disconnect the following:

Newspaper or magazine delivery, telephone, water and electricity and M-Net / DSTV. Notify important institutions and contacts of your change of address.

Amongst others, these include:

The post office, bank Department of Home Affairs, Receiver of Revenue, Motor Licensing Authority, insurance companies, life assurance companies, municipality, relatives, friends and regular correspondents.


People often forget to take care of important domestic matters. Remember to defrost the fridge, dismantle outside aerials, disconnect the stove and drain the fuel from primus stoves, heaters, lamps and lawn mowers. It's also important to anchor the drum of your automatic washing machine before transporting it. You can do this by simply attaching the shipping brackets.


Before you leave, check all the rooms, attic, garden and garage t make sure you haven't left anything behind.
Turn off the geyser and all the taps. Close all the windows and lock all the doors. And finally, surrender your old house keys. Now you can sit back and relax… before the unpacking starts!








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