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Do Movers Pay for Damages? Ensure Solutions

With years of experience, I ensure movers are obliged to pay if any damage occurs during the move by them. 

Based on my findings, a report of STB (Surface Transportation Board) mentioned that a moving company is considered ‘responsible’ if it loses or damages a customer’s household belongings during the move.

Finding the right balance between a smooth move and possible damage takes knowledge and planning ahead. You must worry that the movers will damage your valuable items, break things, or lose them while moving. 

A mover holding a damaged box

Knowing when movers pay for the damage is very important, from little dents that happen by mistake to bigger ones that should have been avoided or controlled.

Let’s delve into this blog to explore the little details on whether movers pay for damages, how much they pay, and what if they refuse to pay.

When Movers Pay for Damages?

Starting a move is exciting, but worrying about what might go wrong is hard to avoid. It is essential to know the situations in which movers take responsibility. 

With first-hand experience, I noticed and many reported, including FMCSA claims, that less than half of moves were unsuccessful. Also, it had complaints about damages and losses.

Source: FMCSA

Situations in Movers Pay for Damages

As a professional mover, I’ve mentioned that policies are essential. If the movers’ policy states compensation for damages, then we are bound to pay for the loss. 

Let’s go through the situations when movers pay for damages:

Liability Coverage: What You Need to Know

Liability coverage is a key part of figuring out how much movers like me will pay for damage. Find out about the different levels of service and what we mean. 

You’ll know how to protect your things by navigating this part, which includes basic coverage and thorough plans.

Released-Value Protection vs. Full-Value Protection vs. Limited Liability Protection

Released Value Protection is free but doesn’t offer much protection. Think of it like the bare minimum. If your mover breaks something, you only get paid 60 cents for every pound it weighs. 

So, that expensive TV? Lost or smashed, you’d only get $16 back. To access this option, you have to sign a special agreement accepting these low payments.

Ava, I worked for her 2 years back when she was moving from Midtown to Gramercy. Her $70K worth of Steinway & Sons piano broke from my teammate. I mean he broke one of the legs of the piano. 

So, we need to pay around $58K as she signed the agreement of released value protection.

If you do not select Released Value Protection, your shipment will automatically be transported at the Full Value Protection. Each state may have its own rules and regulations governing moves within the state. 

It’s always a good idea to check with your state, county, or local consumer affairs agency or state moving association if you’re moving to a new location within the same state.

The last one is Limited Liability Protection. It will be applicable only if it’s proven that the damage occurs because of the mover’s laxness. You may get $0.1 – $2 for a pound of weight of the moving company damaged property.

Your Rights as a Customer: What the Law Says

When you file a damage claim, knowing your rights as a customer gives you power. 

Learn about the laws of BBB, FMCSA, Attorney General of your state that administer moving services and how they affect the responsibilities of moving companies. 

With this information, you can easily handle possible disagreements and make sure everyone is treated fairly.

Damage Moving Claims must be Timely

When it comes to damage claims, time is of the essence. As an expert in this field, I warn you that filing a claim quickly

and effectively, increasing the chances of a good outcome. If possible, take the step within 3-4 days of your moving.

I worked for a client, Enara. She claimed that 10 months after she moved that, we broke her gas grill. And she was unable to give any proof. 

So, I declined her claim by mentioning the timing that it has been 9 months since your moving, and I can’t help her according to the law.

Sufficient Evidence

To make a strong case, you need enough proof. Look into the different types of proof that will help your case, such as written records, photos, and thorough listings. 

Knowing what “compelling evidence” is can help you get the money you’re owed and protect your valuable things even more.

When Movers Refuse to Pay for Damages? Know the Hide and Seek

Insurance companies for moving companies usually pay for damage, but sometimes they might not. Understanding these situations is essential for dealing with problems that might come up. 

I faced several times that the client came to us for damages around a year after the move, or sometimes they didn’t have enough proof to prove the claims. I didn’t take those incidents into account.

So, I suggest looking into reasons that movers might reject or events that weren’t their fault.

Follow your guts and claim what you deserve for your loss without hesitation. Cases when movers can refuse to pay for damages-

If Damage wasn’t Documented Beforehand

Hassles arise when damage is not recorded before the move, as experienced in many cases. That’s why pre-existing condition reports are crucial and help you get paid. 

Without detailed records, movers may argue about where the damage came from, which makes the moving claims process more difficult. Try to keep the movers receipt.

If Claim Deadline was Missed

In the world of damage claims, meeting/ informing schedules is vital. When you miss the date for submitting a claim and moving companies, get the power to deny claims, as I did with Enara.

We might have helped her if she had contacted us a few months earlier.

If Damage Exceeds Liability Limits

You may get a single type of protection, including released value protection, full value protection, and limited liability protection. 

But with a limited requirement. Such as, you can’t claim your lost jewelry. Because movers aren’t bound to take responsibility for these items. So, they have the right to refuse to pay.

If Damage Occurred Outside Their Handling

When the damage isn’t the movers’ fault, figuring out who is responsible is vital. Look into situations like natural tragedies or accidents caused by other people. 

Knowing the limits of movers’ responsibility in these situations can help you get through situations and look into ways, such as insurance, to get paid.

People Also Asked

Do Homeowners Cover Moving Damage?

If a homeowner can show that their moving company caused damage, they don’t have to pay for it as I can say as an expert.

If movers break your home’s furniture, gadgets, or other things, you should file a claim with your responsible moving company to get your money back.

How Long Can Movers Take to Deliver Your Items?

As an eyewitness of the move, and according to the sources, it may take 3/4 days to half of a month. That depends on service quality, location, and the complicated route. 

Moving short distances may only take one day sometimes, but moving long distances or cross-country can take days or weeks. Weather and logistics could make arrival times different.

Set the arrival window with your moving company ahead of time so everyone knows what to expect.

There’s no doubt that moving is a big job that can cost a lot of money. Even though moving isn’t inherently dangerous, mistakes happen and sometimes damage things. If you hire a responsible moving company, your things will be safe during the move. If you hire, they might be more careful with your things and more reliable in the long run, even if they charge more than your friends and family or an illegal mover.

Yes, movers are obliged to pay if any damage occurs during the move by them. According to STB (Surface Transportation Board), a moving company is considered ‘responsible’ if it loses or damages a customer’s household belongings during the move.

Brandon Pollard

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