Unfortunately, even the best moving companies have accidents from time-to-time. So, although you saved yourself the stress, energy, and physical strain that come with a self-move, you may find yourself a little emotionally weary dealing with lost or damaged items during a move. Being familiar with how to handle such an occurrence will come in handy should you be put in this situation.
One of the easiest ways to avoid any question whether the movers caused damage is to take photos ahead of time. This includes your valuables, but also large items more prone to getting scratched, ripped, and dropped. Your television, dresser, dining room table, and oversized sofa are good examples. If damage occurs, you will have proof that the item was in good condition prior to the move. Ideally, you will snap the photos the night before or morning of the move. Include a time stamp or hold a newspaper with the date showing in the photos. This way, no one can say the photo must have been old and the damage was there prior to moving day. It should go without saying that you should also take a photo of the damage as soon as you notice it.
Know What to Look For
Many people do not even file a claim because they don’t notice the damage right away and assume it is too late to file when they do notice it. Grant it, there is a lot going on during a move, but you have to take the time to inspect items. Keep in mind that damage does not only include your belongings; property damage can be a concern, as well.
Examine wood furniture for scrapes, check the sofa for rips in the fabric from when it was pulled through the door, and open and evaluate items in any boxes that look damaged. Around the house you want to look at door frames and doors, walls, and hardwood floors.
Filing a Claim
The first thing you will do is note any loss or damage on the Bill of Lading. Do not accept a cash offer to settle. You will need to contact the agent who handled your move and request appropriate paperwork to file a claim. Do not assume the driver or mover will handle this for you; you need to do it.
It’s also important that you keep damaged items until after an inspector has been sent out by the moving company. Obviously, if you are dealing with a broken glass table or television, you will clean up anything that could be hazardous to your family and pets.
If the damage or loss affects every day living, in some cases your mover might expedite a replacement item before the written claim is complete, but this depends entirely on the company. A crib for your baby would be a good example.
Should you miss damage on moving day, don’t panic. You have up to nine months to file a claim. If you booked your move through Unpakt, please contact email@example.com as soon as you notice something is damaged, and we can help arbitrate the situation.