When the Moving Company Damages or Loses Your Stuff

When the Moving Company Damages or Loses Your Stuff

You trust your moving company will protect your valuables like you would.  You hope the movers you hired respect your belongings and carry them with confidence and care.  Unfortunately, mistakes may be made and accidents will happen.  Hopefully, nothing is stolen from you, either.  However, if you experienced these moving issues with the moving company you hired, there are steps you can take to, at the very least, be vindicated for your loss.

Take Moving Inventory

Before you start packing snap photos of your belongings especially anything significantly valuable that isn’t placed in storage or kept with you.  Create an inventory list, detailing what are in the boxes.  This way you have a record of what you packed and will know the state the items were in prior to moving and can compare the before and after if they end up damaged.

Hire a Reputable Moving Company

Word of mouth works as a great way to hire a moving company who has your best interests at heart.  Enlist the assistance of friends and family in that endeavor.  Remember to ask pertinent questions regarding the moving company’s policies and methods of transport.  Review any contracts you sign.  Don’t hire the first company you find or just because they’re cheaper than the competitors.

Damage Control

Although you may be convinced that your items are lost or stolen, double check that you didn’t misplace them, suggests Apartment Guide.  If anything is broken, assess the damage and investigate how much it will cost to replace said item or for a reimbursement from the moving company.  One way to estimate the value is by reviewing receipts from when you purchased the items, says WikiHow.  Otherwise, you may not receive the entire amount unless you purchased extra insurance through the moving company.

Check Out Your Insurance Policies

Included in the contract for moving services, you registered for liability insurance which covers you in case your possessions are lost, stolen or damaged.  Review those contracts upon discovering that something like this occurred and find out for what coverage you signed up.  Also review your homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policies to determine if your belongings are covered between moves.  Between the moving company and your personal insurance policies, you may be able to recover more money.  If you opted for additional coverage through your moving company, you will receive more than what’s standard reimbursement — $0.60 per pound – says Real Simple.

Contact Your Moving Company

Approach your moving company with your concerns about missing or damaged items.  Most reputable companies will work with you and see that you receive restitution.  For items that are damaged, they may want to see them.  If the items are gone, now’s the time to show them photographic evidence. However, if you failed to take photos, you must describe the missing items in detail.  Whether or not the moving company is honorable, note the times and days you contacted them and to whom you spoke.  That way if they are avoiding your calls or not taking action, you have records of your communication for legal purposes.  Make sure you save any documents relating to the move for extra protection, too.

Stake Your Claim

Sometimes, you reach a point of desperation where you must file a claim against a moving company.  When this happens you should contact them and let them know of your plans.  If they continue to hold back any type of reimbursement, it’s suggested by Real Simple to contact the American Moving and Storage Association for mediation.

  • NathMaxwell

    Yeah I agree

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  • Moving is maddening. Not only is it painful physically, it’s a mental exercise in mindfulness trying to keep everything organized as you completely uproot your whole life. If home is the peaceful place you can retreat to when the world gets hard, having to dismantle it can leave you free-floating in a sea of stress.


  • Anon

    Well this is a strange blog, considering that I did a long distance move through Flat Rate and my possessions were stolen sometime during the move. All my boxes arrived, yet specific items were missing from the boxes. Take this company’s own advice and purchase supplemental insurance so you are covered when they steal your belongings.

  • Check the equipment of the company you hire and also the insurance

  • thatgirlinnyc

    I recently moved cross country with Flat Rate. Yesterday, I started unpacking boxes and many items of jewelry were missing from my boxes. Someone went through two boxes and methodically took everything they thought looked valuable. I am waiting to find out what Flat Rate is going to do about it. I just don’t understand how this is acceptable. Damaging things in a move, even losing a box or an item, sure–it happens. But YOUR employees are STEALING your customers belongings. No business would ever stand for that.

  • fred

    Always make sure that the company your hire has a insurance policy!

  • lotielz .

    I had the same thing happen to me back in October, 2016. Premier Moving and Storage (Mayflower) went into my bins and stole specific, irreplaceable items. I am heartsick. Moving is stressful enough without adding theft by the movers into the equation. Conveniently, they are now out of business.

  • thatgirlinnyc

    I moved across country from NYC to PDX–also in Oct 2016. Your situation and mine sound so similar, I wonder if the same people were involved. My moving company was great in New York, but contracted out my unloading in Portland, which I can only describe as a sh*&%show. Where were you moving to/from? I wonder if we were on the same route, since the suspicious guys who dropped our stuff had done 11 other stops along the way… let’s compare notes! You can email me at my user name at gmail.