What To Do If Movers Damage My Property

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante
Credit: Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images

Most people hire movers to make their moving experiences less stressful. Movers handle most of the hard work, so you can organize your new home and handle your business. It doesn’t always work out that well, however. You’re not alone if you ever wondered what to do if movers damage your property.

Take pictures if movers damage your property, so you can support your claim with the moving company. Contact the movers, request a claim document, file it, and send pictures to highlight the property damage. They may send one of the movers or consultants to your home to verify the damage, or they may approve the claim right away.

The moving company must honor the claim if it is verifiable and goes along with the contract you signed. If not, you can contact a lawyer and take the moving company to small claims court. Follow along as we explore what to do if movers damage your property.

What To Do If A Moving Company Damages Your Property

Nobody wants to suffer property damage when they hire movers, but it happens every day. Movers try their hardest to protect your belongings, but accidents happen. However, you must prepare yourself to do whatever you can to get reimbursement when movers damage your property, such as:

1. Document The Damage

Take pictures of your damaged property as soon as you notice it. This will come in handy when you let the moving company know about the damage. Take several pictures of the damaged property without moving it.

The moving company can claim the damage was your fault if the pictures show that you moved your belongings. Take several pictures from different angles with bright lighting. Your goal is to prove that the damage was their fault, not yours.

Some people photograph their belongings before the moving company shows up to move their property. That is a great idea because your before and after pictures will leave nothing to the imagination. Pictures of the damaged furniture should be enough to support your claim if that’s all you have.

2. Make A Case

You can make a case against the moving company now that you have pictures. First, you must look into the insurance plan you chose for your move. Most moving companies offer both release-value and full-value insurance coverage.

Full-value insurance covers the full price of any damaged or lost item that the movers are responsible for. Release-value insurance only covers some of the damage, and it’s not very helpful for expensive items. Carefully read the contract to make sure your insurance plan covers the damage.

Take notes and even highlight phrases in the contract to reiterate them to the movers when you call the company. Your understanding of the contract paired with your photographic evidence will come in handy.

3. Call The Moving Company

Call your moving company once you make your case and compile several pictures of the damaged property. You can email them as well, just make sure to include the pictures. Remember to be polite without being a pushover.

After all, this is your damaged property, and it’s important to get compensation. Explain your understanding of the insurance coverage and let them know that you documented the damage. They will likely ask you to file a formal claim.

That is the standard protocol for most moving companies, so you have nothing to worry about. Moving companies typically require formal claims for the sake of records.

4. File A Thorough Claim

Now, it’s time to file a formal claim. The process can be slow, so try to stay patient. Most moving companies have damage claim templates for you to fill out.

This is your chance to explain the details of the property damage. Include pictures if that’s an option, or simply send them in a separate email if need be. You may also need to prove the value of the property that got damaged.

That’s much easier with items like couches, tables, and guitars than something like a wall. You may need to go through your financial records or find the prices online. Carefully review your claim before you submit it to make sure it’s strong and thorough.

5. Contact The Better Business Bureau

How did the moving company handle your claim? Contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) if the movers won’t uphold the insurance agreement. The BBB holds businesses accountable based on customer feedback.

Businesses get ratings based on how positive or negative the customer feedback is. People often report unethical practices and contract violations to the BBB. Keep in mind that you should only contact the BBB if you can prove that the moving company had unethical practices.

A negative BBB rating can impact a business’s reputation, so you should only make accurate claims. It may encourage the moving company to honor your damage claim. At the very least, your BBB review will let others know about the moving company’s practices.

6. Leave A Review

Google reviews help guide future customers toward new businesses. Many people use Google reviews similar to the Better Business Bureau. For example, you may find several moving companies with negative reviews regarding damaged furniture.

Furniture damage is common, but people mostly get upset when moving companies refuse to do anything about it. That warrants a bad review, and it may get the moving company to take you seriously.

7. Involve Your Lawyer

Is the moving company refusing to honor your claim? If so, you should bring your evidence to a lawyer and let them handle the situation. Sadly, some businesses simply won’t take the word of someone who claims damages.

Your lawyer can help de-escalate the situation and get you reimbursed for the property damage. This should be a last-ditch effort if the moving company won’t acknowledge your damage claim. However, it is expensive to hire a lawyer and take a moving company to small claims court.

The process will significantly reduce how worthwhile the reimbursement for the damaged property is. Your lawyer may recommend that you also sue to have them cover your legal fees. This can become overcomplicated and stressful, so only contact a lawyer if the movers have been quite disrespectful. Many moving companies want to do the right thing, so it hopefully won’t come to that.

Summing It Up

Take pictures if movers damage your property and send them to the company when you file a claim. Review your insurance coverage plan to make sure you are eligible for reimbursement. Call the movers, file a claim, and wait for reimbursement. Contact a lawyer right away if the movers refuse to honor your insurance agreement and withhold payment.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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