Reporting Damages To Your Mover
Despite your best effort, you cannot ensure that everything goes smoothly during a move. Sometimes things will break, couch fabric will tear and some paint will be peeled off your walls. Whether it was due to carelessness or by sheer accident, there is a proper way to report damage to your mover without causing a ruckus. Here are the steps to take in order to get a remedy.
The only way you can prove that your furniture or other valuables were not damaged before the move is if you take pictures before the movers start loading. Be sure to capture every angle especially with couch, cabinets and fragile items. You should also take photos of the items after they have been damaged so they can be compared with the ones you took before. It’s very important to inspect everything as it is being unloaded from the truck so you can notice any damage.
File a claim with the moving company
Every reputable moving company has procedures in place to deal with damage claims. If you notice any damage on your items, note them down on the bill of lading and inform the movers. You should also call the moving company and ask for the necessary paperwork to file a claim. Some companies will request to come and inspect the damage themselves which shouldn’t be a problem. Make sure you file the claim as soon as possible even if you have up to nine months to do so. The company together with their insurance company will work with you to get the items either repaired or replaced as fast as possible.
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Make a copy of all documents
Everything you are required to go through and sign should also be scanned and copied before you give back to the movers. This is especially important for the inventory and bill of lading where you have noted that certain items have been damaged. If possible, save also any communication you have with the moving company including dates and time.
Get a response within 30 days
Some of the best moving companies will respond to you immediately after you call them and file the claim. However some will wait for the legally stipulated time frame which is 30 days to pay for your damages or deny the claim. If the company has not responded in 120days, you can go ahead and report them to higher authorities like Department of Transportation and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Consider a small claims court
Sometimes, the company’s insurance company can pay you back an amount that is way less than the value of the damaged item. This happens mostly when your coverage was done on distance instead of value. In this case, you can file a small claim in court suing the carrier to pay you the full amount of the damaged item. There is a long process involved and you have to wait for many months to get your compensation but it’s usually worth it if you have enough evidence.
Filing a damage claim is the last thing you want to do after a very exhausting move. However, if you find yourself in such a predicament, these steps together with a lot of diplomacy will help you to recover the value of your damaged items.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.