broken moving items

What Should You do if Your Moving Company Breaks an item in Transit?

You are all geared up for the move. It was stressful, but it is finally over. It’s time to unpack and get settled into your new place. You think that the worst of it is over until you find that your moving company has broken an item in transit. What do you do?


First Things First

Make sure that there are no other items that have been damaged. Do a quick inventory – if you decide to lodge a claim, it is best to lodge it for all items at the same time.


Assess the Damage

It is galling when you discover that damage has been done. After all, they were supposed to look after your items while in transit. But before you get too annoyed, it is a good idea to assess the extent of the damage.

Say, for example, the item was a cheap cup that got cracked or chipped. Maybe it is worth a couple of dollars. Is that worth raising a claim over? In principle, you are entitled to claim, but when you add up the cost in terms of time wasted, it won’t really be worthwhile.

If, on the other hand, the cup was part of an heirloom china set worth a pretty penny, that’s a completely different story.

For me, it is important to weigh up the potential financial compensation against the amount of work it will be to put in the claim. If you decide to claim, here’s what will happen.


Legally Speaking

Interstate moving companies are legally required to buy insurance for every pound of the goods that they transport. As a result, there should be some insurance coverage. Your first step is to let them know that you are filing a claim.


Read the Fine Print of Your Contract Carefully

Do go through the contract and see what the procedure for making a claim is and if there are any limitations to cover. In most instances, the mover will ask for an estimate of the value of the whole shipment and will limit the maximum claim to that amount.

So, say you initially said the shipment was worth $15 000, and you are now claiming that the cup is worth $10 000, you are probably not going to be successful in your claim.

Now Gather Evidence

You would have had to compile an inventory of your goods before the movers went to work. Using that list, mark the damaged items and take pictures of each item showing the damage. Put them away carefully in case the company demands to see them in person.


Keep Records

Keep copies of each piece of correspondence that you have had with the company. Keep every email, fax, and copies of documents that you completed as well.

Get the Dollar Value

If possible, show proof of the cost of the purchase and cost of replacement of items. Receipts that show what you paid for the item in the first place is likely to be necessary. It will also be a good idea to get written quotes for the replacement of the same items.

Most insurers will only pay actual value, though.

You should file your claim within nine months of the move, but obviously, the sooner you file, the better. The company has thirty days to respond to your claim – i.e., payout, make a counter-offer or decline the claim.


What if They Don’t Pay

Should they refuse your claim within 120 days, you are then able to sue them for the money.


A lawsuit is not the ideal solution for anyone. Make sure that you follow all the correct procedures and do be fair when it comes to assigning value, etc. Most companies will settle reasonable claims fairly quickly.

You can learn more about our residential and commercial office moving services here.

licensed movers

Should Movers You Hire Be Licensed?

The answer to that question is, it depends. What does it depend on? Are you willing to take a chance should something go wrong? If they are not licensed, are you sure they are legitimate? Are you sure that they are qualified?


Why a License is Important

A mover having a license is not a guarantee that they are going to act professionally, but it is a step in the right direction. If they are licensed, it means that they would have had to comply with some professional standards in order to maintain and renew their license.

Having a license also means that they have more to lose if something goes wrong. After all, with an unlicensed company, what’s the worst you can really do? A bad Yelp review?


Licensed Movers are Federally Required to Insure Items

Legally speaking, a licensed moving company is federally required to insure every pound that they move. Which means that if something happens during the move, and an item is lost or damaged, you will at least get something back.

Now, let’s say that the federally-mandated insurance is not sufficient as it may not be for high-value items. If something goes wrong and you want to claim against your own insurance, how well is the fact that the mover was unlicensed going to play?


Saving a Few Bucks Could be Costly

It’s not only in the insurance area that you are taking a chance. How do you even know that you are dealing with a legitimate moving company without a license? Sure, you need to check out more than just that – like checking with the Better Business Bureau, but why would a company choose not to become licensed?


That is automatically a red flag. Here’s a cautionary tale that we heard from one of our clients. She was moving to another district and decided to give a new company a chance. They agreed on a price and that the goods could be moved in two loads.


The first load went fine. She got a bit nervous, though, when the foreman said, “We won’t take it inside.” She objected, so they did – but what kind of moving company doesn’t actually put the items in the house?


She was about to find out with the second load. Most of the big items had gone. All that was left was the garden swing and a couch. The mover insisted that these be loaded last, despite her objections. Everything else would have fit in her car, but he had the small stuff loaded first.


Surprise, surprise, he then told her that she would have to pay for a third load. She had to be out of the house that day so what alternative did she have. You would think that would be the end of the horror story, but, as she found out later, her treadmill was broken during transit.


The mover told her it was too bad and she could sue if she wanted. Needless to say, she ended up paying for the mistake, and that’s why she now only uses licensed companies that she has thoroughly checked out.



Did that sound like a big, bad story made up to scare people? If only it was made up, and if only it wasn’t something that we hadn’t heard hundreds of times before. Do yourself a favor and make sure that your mover is licensed at the very least. Otherwise, your moving adventure could become a nightmare.


local movers

Is It Worth It To Hire A Moving Company To Move Locally?

Okay, so hiring a moving company when you are crossing a state line is a no-brainer, but what if you are just moving across town? Is it worth hiring a professional local moving company to haul your goods for you when you could hire a U-Haul and load it up yourself?

In some instances, the costs of getting a professional in to complete the move aren’t worth it. And, sometimes, like when it comes to your treasured collection of action figures, you don’t want to. But, before you negate the idea of getting in a pro completely, think about the following.


How Much Stuff You Have

Sure, you will need help with the bigger items like the sofas, and cupboards, etc. but what we are talking about here is the stuff that you can box up and carry yourself. Carrying a box isn’t all that hard anyway, is it?

No, the first box won’t be, but what about the fourth or fifth box? When you have a lot of stuff to move, the carrying becomes tedious.


How Many Trips Will You Need to Make?

You might think that you are saving money by loading up your car and driving the stuff yourself. But how much are you saving if you have to make several trips? How much longer is your move going to take as a result?


How Far Will You Have to Carry the Boxes?

Take it from someone who lived in a fourth-floor apartment, a box of books gets heavier with every step you take. And that was downstairs. If it had been upstairs, it would have been a whole lot worse.


The Safety Aspect

Another thing that few people consider is that it can be something of a safety hazard to drive with your backseat loaded with boxes. If you cannot see out of your back window, you could have serious problems.

Also, if your car is loaded up, it will be heavier than normal, which can affect the way it handles. If you hit someone else’s car or a person, what kind of liability could you be opening yourself up to?

When it comes to that, will your items be insured if they are out of the house?


Do You Have All the Right Gear?

It sounds funny to ask a question like that until the time comes for you to find thirty boxes, packing tape, etc. And, how will you protect the items that could get scratched during the move? Professional moving companies will often place a layer of blanketing over everything to ensure that it is covered.

Have you got enough blankets to cover most of your furniture?



It irks to pay more money than you absolutely have to when moving, but it does make sense to get movers for a local move if you want things done as quickly, easily and professionally as possible. A professional moving company has all the right equipment, personnel, and skills to make things go smoothly.

If there is a problem, they have insurance that will cover you. Is it really worth putting yourself through all that back-breaking work?