Moving and relocation

New employees are responsible for confirming removal grant eligibility with their dean or hiring manager, making arrangements with service providers, and submitting expense reports for reimbursement. The moving company you select will process an order for your move and arrange all required scheduling, coordinating and expediting. 

UVic is not able to pay moving companies directly. UVic's Relocation Assistance Policy explains who qualifies for the program and how much funding is available.

If you require financial assistance to cover the approved relocation costs you may apply for an Accountable Advance. Contact Theresa Bourque at 250-721-7041 or via . UVic's Relocation Assistance Policy explains who qualifies for the program and how much funding is available.

As a member of the Canadian Association of University Business Officers, an association representing over 100 universities and affiliated colleges in Canada, UVic has access to special rates and value-added services from certain moving companies. 

These suppliers have been vetted and selected through a competitive procurement process and offer preferred rates to university faculty and staff. For more information, please visit the CAUBO Member Discounts for Moving website.

Planning for your relocation

During this policy revision process, Purchasing Services has put together a guide for faculty and staff about to go through a relocation.

Please note this guide is for information only; any questions or concerns should be directed to your dean or the head of your department.

Timing

The majority of faculty and staff relocations happen during the late spring and early summer months, and this is typically the busiest time of the year for moving companies. There are many days during which every moving van and service crew will be fully booked, so it's important to contact moving suppliers as early as you can so that quotations can be prepared and to allow enough time to consider each option before making a decision.

In some cases the destination arrangements may not even be confirmed, such as finding a home in the new city. Despite this, it's still better to be in contact with the moving companies to get the process started, so that moving dates can be arranged as soon as the destination arrangements are confirmed. In our experience, moving companies rarely have the capacity to handle last minute requests.

The in-home survey

In order to obtain a guaranteed price quote, you'll have to allow a surveyor from the moving company to visit your home and complete a review of all the goods that will be shipped.

It's important to make sure that you tell the surveyor about all the items you wish to move. If there are items that you'd like to include in your move that are off-site, or if you have an office or lab to be included, be sure to inform the moving company.

You may have decided to sell some of your possessions in a yard sale or give things away, and hence do not include them in the quotation - however, if these items are added to the move thereafter, then the moving company may adjust the price.

It is common to opt to have your moving company provide insurance coverage. Any higher value items should be disclosed to the surveyor, and in some cases the surveyor may request that an independent appraisal must be completed in order to have an item covered for insurance. Expensive jewelry is not included in most household moving coverage policies. We highly recommend that you request free replacement cost insurance.

Confirming your preferred dates

It's important to be aware of exactly which services are covered and included in the quotation you get. Not all quotations from moving companies are guaranteed to within 10% (providing there are no additions to the items to be moved that the estimator from the moving company is unaware of).

It's a good idea to be aware of the limitations in the services that you will be provided, and understand any obligations that will be your responsibility to arrange before, during and after a move. In some cases the allowances for moving expenses will not cover the entire cost of a relocation. You'll also want to make sure you fully understand the coverage you're entitled to, and be prepared to pay for any costs that will not be covered by UVic.

Keep in mind that you will be required to pay the relocation costs of your move at time of delivery. Firms will not off-load your possessions prior to payment, so we highly recommend you make arrangements for funds to be available at time of delivery up to the approved amount. 

Once you have made the decision on which company you will be using for your move, be sure to contact them as soon as possible to confirm the dates for the packing, loading, and unloading at the destination city. Your moving company should be able to provide you with a delivery spread, which is a number of days that your goods could arrive in the destination city and still be considered on time. This spread will not include holidays or Sundays.

You'll want to make sure you're available in the destination city from the first day of the delivery spread in order to accept the delivery. The company will give you a phone call with 24-hours notice to plan for the delivery when the truck arrives with your goods. If you are unable to accept delivery at that time, the driver may choose to unload your goods into a local warehouse and carry on to another destination, and this will result in additional charges for storage and warehouse handling.

Cross-border and international moves

If your relocation originates from another country, you will have to clear customs before the moving company can complete the delivery into your home. Goods arriving in Canada are held in bonded storage until customs releases them.

You'll be given 24-hours notice once the truck or shipping container arrives in the destination city, and then it becomes your responsibility to appear at the nearest customs office to have your documentation reviewed before customs clearance will be completed. If you don't appear within that time, additional fees will be charged for storage.

Canada Customs agents may decide at their discretion to detain any shipment for inspection, and this will also involve additional charges that are added to the cost of your move. The moving company has no control over the inspection process and the charges will not be included as part of your original quote. About 10-25% of all shipments are inspected by customs agents.

Shipping vehicles

If you have vehicles that you wish to ship during your relocation, the best option is to have them delivered separately by a third party supplier. This will involve having the vehicle shipped in a car carrier and may result in the vehicle arriving before or after the rest of your household goods. You may opt to have the vehicle loaded directly into the same truck or container as the household goods, but that option will be much more expensive.

Packing, loading and unloading

Once you have agreed to dates for the loading and unloading, the moving company should call you to confirm the day before each occurs. It's important that you are prepared to ensure that everything will be done in the time that's been allotted. If you're having the packing completed by the mover, inform them of any specific items you don't want to have packed and included in the shipment. You are usually welcome to stay and oversee the work completed by the moving crews. Packing and loading doesn't include home cleaning services.

If you have not opted for packing to be completed by the mover, all of your goods should be ready to ship by the loading day. All large furniture must be disassembled before it can be loaded. Anything that is not packed and ready, or that has been packed unsafely, will be packed by the moving company and additional charges may be assessed. We don't recommended that you ship house plants, wine or liquor, and if they are included, they won't be covered by insurance. Each item included in a move will be accounted for and documented on an inventory list, which you will have the opportunity to review and sign for.

At the destination, each item will be unloaded into the appropriate room in your new home, and all furniture that was disassembled by the mover will be re-assembled. It will be your responsibility to unpack the individual boxes once they have been placed in the correct rooms. You'll be required to sign an inventory list to authorize that the move has been completed correctly.

Insurance claims for damaged or missing items

In a perfect world everything in your home will be moved and unloaded in the same condition it was packed. However, the duress that your goods are subjected to in transit will often result in damages. As you unpack, carefully note any damaged items. Items you fear might be lost are often discovered in other boxes, so wait until everything is unpacked before reporting any lost items.

If you handled the packing yourself, damages considered to be due to improper packing will not be covered by the insurance company. You will be required to contact your moving company within a reasonable amount of time to notify them of any claim, and you should be careful to find out how long you have to file one from the company you choose. You will then be asked to document the damages on a claims processing form, and an adjustor may be sent to visit in order to determine the extent of the claim. The company will then provide you with a settlement as per the terms of the insurance agreement.

The moving companies that are preferred suppliers under UVic's agreement have been selected on the basis of their ability to provide a high level of service, and a motivation to respond quickly and fairly to resolve any issues that may occur during a move. However, some degree of inconvenience and disruption should be expected during the relocation process, and not every complaint will be deemed to be reasonable or the fault of the mover.

It is fair to expect that the moving company will be able to provide a documented explanation for any dispute that may occur during the process, and that they will respond quickly and respectfully to any inquiry. If you are not satisfied with the process, contact the company representative that you booked your move with. See if they are willing to make a satisfactory adjustment to your settlement. If you wish to obtain more details please contact UVic Purchasing Services at 250-721-8326.