By: Sean Zharfati
With so much to consider in preparing for the big move, we don’t like to think about the possibility that our belongings will be damaged. However, it is a possibility – regardless of how trustworthy our packers and movers are. There are several things that can be done to limit the possibility of damage, however, and there are other steps we can take to ensure that if something does happen to our things, we can receive rightful compensation.
First of all, when searching through the available moving companies in your area, see which ones come most highly recommended. Never just pick a company from the yellow pages; check with friends or on forums to see if any have warnings against them, and especially look to see if any of the moving companies are known for taking extra precautions to make sure your belongings arrive safe and sound.
the same goes with deciding to do your own moving by renting a truck from a company such as U-Haul etc. (and in that case you must check the insurance issue!) .
Next, do look into taking out moving insurance. There are several levels of moving insurance, so be careful which one you choose, and see exactly what it covers you for. You may find out that in order to be fully insured, the packers and movers must pack your belongings for you, as they are supposed to be trained in proper packing and be able to pack things in a way that best ensures against jostling and breakage in the moving van. Talk with a moving insurance provider and have a list of questions ready to make sure you are covered against all eventualities.
If you have particularly valuable or fragile items, you are best advised to discuss these with the movers so they can take extra precaution with them – in packing, transporting and carrying them from your old location and into your new one. You might even choose to carry such items yourself in your own vehicle, where they can remain at all times under your watchful eye.
Moving day is fraught with nerves and often happens in a big rush, so prepare for this. As items are being packed away, examine them before they go into the containers. Consider taking photographs of the most fragile belongings, so there can be no doubt that if damage occurs in transit, the packers and movers will take full responsibility for what happened. Mark the boxes with the items you are most concerned about, so that when you arrive at your destination, you can unpack those first and check to see that all the belongings inside arrived unscathed.
Now, what to do if you discover damage? Well, the best time to do so is while the movers are still present, and before you release them from the job by signing their papers. Show the movers the damage and take pictures of the damaged items. Call the moving company and report the damage immediately to your moving insurance carrier or agent. You should receive a response from the company – especially if it belongs to the American Moving and Storage Association – in no more than a month. If problems incur in being reimbursed, the American Moving and Storage Association can get involved to help settle the matter.
Chances are all will go well, and you’ll have nothing to worry about except settling in to your new home. Moving companies know that their reputation depends upon the quality of service they provide and the satisfaction of their customers; but things can happen, and it’s important that you are prepared and protected against moving damages.