Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page
breaking or losing your stuff is certainly a moving nightmare come to life. A
scenario that’s even worse is when they hold your belongings hostage until you
pay them the amount they desire. The whole ordeal of dealing with such
situations makes moving so much more stressful than it already is. It’s also
one of the main reasons people are apprehensive about hiring movers.
Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can do to get decent compensation or reimbursement for items that are lost or broken during a move. We’ll get into that and share tips on how to avoid picking a fraudulent moving company. After all, it’s best to safeguard your belongings from illegitimate movers. Read about it all in our guide on what to do when movers break or lose your stuff.
CALCULATE MY MOVE
we go into the details of what you could do once movers break or lose your
stuff, let’s understand a few easy precautions that can be taken to avoid being
in such a situation.
stay on top of all the boxes you’re moving, it’s absolutely necessary to create
a master list of everything that’s getting moved. A neat and organized
inventory will help you keep track of the number of boxes and items you’re
taking along with you. Consider this a non-negotiable task that must be
completed before moving day.
Whether you choose to keep track with a physical binder or an online spreadsheet, make sure you have a couple of copies so that you can provide one to the moving company. On delivery day, your inventory will serve as a guide and tell you which boxes made it safely and which sadly didn’t make it.
Also Read: Create A Moving Inventory List To Track Your Boxes
the time of packing and creating your inventory, make a note of the expensive
items. The list could include your antiques, artwork, fragiles, or even your
TV. Once you have a comprehensive list to refer to, you can begin taking
pictures of all these items. Remember that anything that has a valuable price
tag must have various photos taken of it.
suggest that you take these pictures from different angles and save them on
your computer immediately so that you have a date and time stamp to go back to.
Upon noticing damages like a scratch or a crack, you can immediately open the
folder filled with the pictures you took. The proof gives you the upper hand
for when you wish to reclaim funds for the damage done. The photographs are
important because they serve as factual evidence and will make your
argumentative statements stronger.
packing, you have the opportunity to protect and secure your belongings in a
manner to best protect it from speed bumps. Be sure you’re using sturdy boxes
and are taping the bottom with enough tape so the items inside don’t fall
make it a point to use enough packing paper and bubble wrap when it comes to
packing fragile items. Once you pack a box, lift it to check the weight and
double check that it’s not overpacked. Leave enough buffer space at the top and
don’t forget to label even a single box. An unlabeled box could easily get
misplaced and it will probably be too late before anyone realizes it’s missing.
All professional moving companies are legally
required to provide value protection, and a high-quality moving company will
offer you different kinds of coverage options. You must choose the one that
suits you best so you have some reimbursement in case of damage to your
your moving company will offer you these two types of valuation coverage:
Value Liability Protection: As per this policy, movers
will pay you 60 cents per pound for the broken or lost item. This means that if
you have a 20-pound piece of fragile glassware that’s worth $1000, you’d just
get $12 - a very small fraction of the total value of the broken item. If you
have plenty of expensive items, this is not the ideal path to take. You’d
hardly get your money’s worth of repairing or replacing the item that was
broken or lost.
Full Value Replacement Protection: Full Value Replacement Protection is also widely known as Full Value Protection. This is the more expensive yet recommended route to approach if you have a good number of expensive items that you’re moving. With this insurance option, your movers will repair, replace or pay you for replacement for the item that they broke or lost during the move. There are a couple of conditions that allow a customer to opt for this plan. One of these is that the value of your belongings must meet a certain mark and only then can you opt for this coverage option.
All in all, you won’t get very far with Released Value Liability Protection in terms of reimbursements for damage. And in the case of Full Value Replacement, things could look more inviting but be prepared to pay a larger upfront cost. Keep in mind that the coverage offered by moving companies is not the same as insurance, and you can also opt for third-party insurance over and above paying for coverage.
Also Read: What Is Moving Insurance And How You Can Pick The Right One
the time of booking a moving company, one of your primary responsibilities as a
customer is to read and go over the Bill of Lading. This simple step can help
you understand what you’re signing up for. The Bill of Lading will state the
conditions and solutions set down by the moving company for when any issues
sure you understand the terms and all the fine print laid down before actually
putting down your signature on it. Legally, your mover is liable for when they
lose or break any of your belongings so this should be mentioned in the
contract. We suggest keeping your Bill of Lading safe because it will only make
your case legally stronger if things go south.
soon as you know that an item from the truck is lost or broken, we suggest you
begin the paperwork to file a claim against your movers. To file a claim, you’d
need to take photographs of the damaged items. Parallel to that, you’ll need to
present a picture of how the item looked prior to the move. It goes without
saying that time stamps of when the photo was taken must be prominently displayed.
to the rulebook, you’d normally have 9 full months to file a claim from the
date of delivery but it’s best to not delay the process. Upon receipt of the
claim, your mover will have 120 days to compensate you for the damages or loss
of your belongings.
must note that in case you don’t reach a satisfactory settlement with your
mover, you have the option to request for arbitration.
Is Arbitration? -
All moving companies are required to be part of an arbitration program where
disputes regarding damage claims are settled by a neutral party (known as the
arbitrator). The arbitrator will be the sole decider and have the final word on
a civil lawsuit is the other approach if you’re not happy with the settlement,
but it can be quite expensive. It’s also time consuming because it involves
hiring a lawyer and going through the various steps like the pleadings, trial,
appeal and so on. You will need to dedicate plenty of personal time from your
schedule once you go down this road.
you’re sure that you’ve just become a victim of a moving scam, it's necessary
to put out an alert about the company on certain reputable platforms. By doing
so you’d be saving someone else from falling prey to the tricks of the
simplest way to report the movers is by writing your experience with them on
commonly browsed platforms like Google Reviews, Yelp and Facebook. Writing your
experience on social media platforms will warn your friends, family and so on.
But to take things up a notch, you should also leave a review for other
customers that gives details of what happened to you on the following -
Better Business Bureau (BBB): The Better Business Bureau is a private nonprofit organization that focuses on improving trust in the marketplace. One of the marks of a reliable company is an A+ accreditation from the BBB. You can look for the profile of the moving company you hired and leave a formal complaint on the website of the BBB. It’s also advisable to check previous reviews and ratings of a moving company on the website before you hire them.
Of Transportation (DOT): Consider
filing a complaint with the US Government DOT as well. It does a good job of
keeping a record of the number and categories of complaints filed against a
moving company’s USDOT number. Head to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration (FMCSA) website to file your complaint.
The FMCSA keeps track of patterns of complaints, and this will eventually help
bring down a fraudulent moving company. Something to note here is that FMCSA
won’t individually solve the issue; it’ll instead remain in their records and
help them gauge if a formal investigation is required.
Moving And Storage Association (AMSA): The
AMSA is a nonprofit trade association that represents members of the
professional moving industry. If you wish to truly spread the word about a
company’s lack of professionalism, fill out the general complaint form
available on this platform’s website. If the complaint is critical, AMSA can
revoke the moving company’s membership thus giving a sign to other potential
customers that the company is fraudulent.
Overall, we’d also suggest that it’s necessary to refer to these 3 organizations at the time of researching a moving company. You can get enough information and insights to gauge the credibility of the mover via the Better Business Bureau, Department Of Transportation (DOT), American Moving And Storing Association (AMSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Also Read: USDOT Number - What Is It And How To Check It?
isn’t easy to see your favorite showpiece shattered into pieces or even worse,
never arrive at your new home. But mistakes happen, and filing a claim, using
the arbitration process or taking the issue to small claims court are portals
through which you get compensation for the broken or lost items. Overall, now
that you know your mover’s liability in the event of any damages and the sort
of role you play, you should be able to handle such an unforeseen event.
Do Movers Pay For Damages?
moving companies have conditions in place to pay for damages stated in the Bill
of Lading. To get reimbursed, you will have to estimate the amount of damage
done and take photos for evidence you can begin the process of filing a claim.
You will then have to wait for a reimbursement offer. Also ensure you have some
sort of coverage plan in place.
What Happens If A Moving Company Loses Your Stuff?
confirmation that your movers have lost or misplaced your stuff, you should
prepare to file a claim against the company. We also suggest that you read the
moving contract (Bill of Lading) to understand the process the company has in
place for such a situation.
A reputable company will most likely compensate for the loss of your belongings but a crooked moving company might not revert to the complaint. This is why it is extremely important to spend enough time picking a top-notch company.
Do Moving Companies Lose Your Stuff? Though not always, there certainly are several instances of moving companies losing their clients’ possessions. In fact, there are over 7,000 incidences of lost items and scam moves reported to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on average each year, This is why it’s important to get insured and to know just what to do in case this happens to you.
See also: How to Recognize Honest Nationwide Movers | What To Do If Movers Are Holding Your Things Hostage
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