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Moving can be a stressful time. You have had to pack up, cleanup, move and then unpack again. Therefore, what do you do when you have hired a company to assist with moving only to find out that some of your items have been damaged? Do not panic! Be comforted in knowing that you have recourse in recovering some of the value of the damaged goods.
Prior to moving, an inventory list of items being moved should be done. Take pictures of items being moved. This helps to document the condition of items prior to the move. The moving company will provide a Bill of Landing for you to complete before accepting the items. The bill of landing serves as receipt of services signed by both the moving company and yourself. It will detail any pre-existing damages on items prior to the move. This helps to determine if the damage had already been incurred or happen during transition.
Upon delivery, a thorough inspection of inventory should be done. If there are new damages found, it is important to note the new damages on the bill of landing. Noting the new damages immediately will help in the claims process. However, even if you do not discover the damages until later, the claims process can still happen.
Preparing the Claim
Prior to filing your claim, you should make a detailed list of items damaged and take pictures. Providing visual proof of damage is important especially if the item damaged is property that is utilized on a daily basis. For example, if a couch was damaged, taking a picture of the damage that you are addressing will help to separate any other damage they may occur from everyday wear and tear. If the items are not essential to daily use, it would be advisable to place them in a separate area for inspection down the line.
Filing the Claim
Once you are ready to file your claim, you need to contact the company directly. The company will provide a claims form for you to complete and return. At this time, you attach any documentation (photos, completed Bill of Landing) for them to review. Retain a copy of this form for your personal records. Once received, a claims adjuster will contact you to come out and inspect the damage property. The claims adjuster works to assign a value to the property damaged, whether it is replacement or repair. Also, note that you may not get full replacement value of the items damaged. The process may not be swift depending on the extent of the damage; however, a good company will want to make the process as smooth as possible.
Once a monetary value has been assigned to the damaged property, the company will either offer cash settlement or repair the items damaged. In either option, before signing any final paperwork, make sure that you are satisfied with the offer. If you are not satisfied, you have the right to negotiate a better settlement. Remember, know the rules and remain polite.
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