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Dealing with Lost or Damaged Property when Moving

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Moving from one home or one city to another can often be accompanied by more headaches and stress than you’d prefer, for a variety of reasons.  While many people move to a new city with a new home already waiting for them, some do not, and finding a place to live in a city with which you’re not familiar can cause a great deal of anxiety.

Other moving stresses could include packing and preparing your belongings for relocation, taking care of transporting pets and small children, both of which require greater care and attention during the transition, and finding the perfect moving company to trust with your possessions.  Choosing a moving company that you can trust with your items is a decision that shouldn’t be undertaken lightly, and even if you receive guarantees and assurances regarding the safety of your property during transit, there is still the potential for the unexpected to occur.

While you can anticipate nearly any eventuality that may occur with packing and moving your belongings, it can still be a shocking surprise when something does happen, like your belongings becoming damaged during transport or getting lost altogether.  How can you handle this type of scenario in the most effective and efficient way?

Handling the loss or damage of your property at the hands of a moving company you have entrusted them to is something that you should prepare for before you even make the choice of which company to use.  A detailed inventory of your items should be taken and maintained as you pack and prep your property.  You should also make notes regarding the condition of those items, especially larger items like furniture or more valuable items like antiques and family heirlooms.  This list can be invaluable when determining what, if anything, has been lost or damaged.

When you’ve ascertained that something has been lost or damaged, the first step you should take is to make a list of those things that are missing or damaged.  It is recommended that you also review any contracts or other documentation provided by the moving company to review their policies regarding lost or damaged items.  If you signed an agreement that states the company is not responsible for loss or damage, or there is a financial limit for compensation, or claims for loss have to handled a certain way, you need to be aware of these terms and conditions before taking the next step.

After reviewing your documents or contracts, you should then contact the moving company as soon as possible and speak with a manager or high ranking staff member; someone who has the authority to make decisions and take action on the behalf of you, as the customer, and the company itself.

At your meeting with the company representative you will want to remain calm, speak clearly and concisely, and be prepared to provide your original list and the list of damages or losses.  If any items were insured, a copy of the insurance policy should also be on-hand for reference purposes.  Determine what resolution would be satisfactory to you before you speak with the company representative, and give the respect that you’d like to receive when you start discussing the situation and the options available to both you and the company.

Dealing with the loss or damage of personal property while it was in the care of a moving company can be a stressful or frustrating situation, but you can be proactive in minimizing the negative impact by being prepared to deal with the situation in the most professional, logical, and thorough way.

April 21, 2015 |

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