Are you among the many people moving this week? What happens if your furniture is damaged in the move? Here’s some info that may be of help.
Generally, the moving company is responsible for furniture that’s damaged or lost during a move.
You don’t have to show that the company was negligent. If your furniture was damaged, the company must compensate you for the damages.
You have the right to be compensated even if the company took all reasonable steps to protect your furniture, such as packing everything well.
A clause in a contract with a moving company saying that the company is not responsible for any damages is generally not valid. A company cannot avoid responsibility in this way. You have the right to compensation despite such a clause in the contract.
What can you do?
You should make sure to inspect your furniture both before and after the move. If possible, keep a record of their approximate value. If you notice something was damaged during the move, you should notify the moving company in writing as soon as possible.
You have 60 days from the date of the move to send this notice. If you miss this deadline, you may lose the right to compensation. It’s best to send the notice by registered mail, or some other means that provides a proof of reception.
In the notice, you should describe the damage to the furniture and ask the company for compensation. You could include photos of the damaged furniture.
You could negotiate with the company and try to reach an agreement. If this proves impossible, you have three years from the date the damage occurred to sue the company. If you are claiming $15,000 or less in damages, you can file your claim at the Small Claims Court.
How can you avoid such headaches?
Choose a company that has insurance covering damage caused to furniture during a move.
You could also inform the company that provides your home insurance that you’re moving. Your home insurance policy may cover this sort of damage. If you’ll be changing insurance companies at the time of your move, make sure you are covered as of the moving date.