Because moving involves packing everything from a house into a truck and moving it long distance, items sometimes sustain damage. No one is happy about this. There is a claims process that you should initiate. In that case, claims adjusters will look at the inventory sheet, your valuation coverage, and the damage claimed. Leave damaged items untouched, and do not throw them out, until the claim is resolved. The claims process can take several days or several weeks, depending on your move, where you live, and when you moved.
The resolution you receive may depend upon several factors. First is the type of valuation of coverage you have. If you chose the more economical coverage, Release Valued, you have minimal protection against damage. You will be paid $.60 per pound per article lost or damaged. That means that a damaged piece of furniture weighing 75 pounds, no matter its age, condition, or resale value, would receive a settlement of $45.00. While this coverage costs nothing, it in no way would cover the value of most family’s belongings.
Full Extra Care Protection, also know as “full replacement value” or “full value protection,” offers more comprehensive coverage. However, you will need to inform your movers if you have high value items, like pianos and fine works of art, as these may require additional coverage.
A second factor is whether damage or lost items were noted at the time of delivery. Your movers will complete an inventory as they load the truck; you’ll need to check that every item on the inventory sheet is both delivered and damaged, and note what’s missing or damaged before you sign off on the shipment. Moves are considered final when the inventory sheet is signed, so do not sign until you are certain that items are accounted for and undamaged.
Other items that may impact claims resolution include the condition of an item at the time of the move. When we live with items every day, we may not see the dings, scratches and other minor damage. The moving crew will note condition of items as they load, and damage noted on the inventory sheet will not be covered.
Whether or not the damage is repairable is another factor affecting settlements. When possible, we are happy to have it repaired rather than replaced, as items often have sentimental value.
Finally, be mindful that there is a time limit for submitting claims. You should do so as soon as possible after the move. Keep your moving paperwork until your claim is resolved.