If you love well-designed, quality furniture, and have spent time and money filling your home with it, the last thing you want to do if you need to move house is to risk it being damaged or broken in transit when you move house. The trouble is that moving house for anyone with more than one room in a share-house to pack up will always involved help from other people. And those people may well mess up, even if they are seasoned professionals with experience of packing up and moving many other people’s homes. When that happens, it can be distressing and expensive. If that precious piece that you saved so hard for, and admire so much, is damaged in a move, it is hard to feel much charity towards those who caused it. So, what can you do to prevent this from happening? And if it does happen, what can you do to get some compensation for your loss?
Choosing a Removal Firm
The first thing to think about is where you get your moving quotes from. If you have any particularly expensive or delicate items to be moved, then you may find some firms which specialise in doing so. Remember to get quotes from a few different firms, rather than just settling for the first one you call. It is important to look at more than just the financial part of the quote. The price is, naturally, important, and you know what budget you need to stick to. However, you also need to look at exactly what the removal firms you get quotes from are prepared to offer. Ask them for their policy (in writing) on damage to your items. Also ask them if their staff have training in how to move fragile items, and what precautions they take to ensure that such items survive the journey intact. Such questions should be fairly revealing about how they will treat your favourite pieces.
If the worst does happen, and even with the best care in the world, it may do, what can you do? Any reputable firm will have public liability insurance which should cover any such eventuality. In order ensure that you will be able to get back the cost of your furniture, check before booking any firm that they do have such insurance. If they don’t, do not even consider using them. Apart from the actual problem that you’ll have if they do cause damage, it is likely such a firm will be cutting corners elsewhere too (regard any particularly low quotes with a degree of healthy suspicion for this reason). If you need to make a claim on their insurance, then you’ll need to liaise with the removal company to do so. It’s best in these situations to keep calm and be reasonable. Of course, you won’t get your antique dresser or designer mirror back, but as long as the company (and you) have taken all reasonable steps to ensure that they were protected, you have to accept the breakage. Human error will always occur. The aim of making an insurance claim is to get compensation for your loss with which you will be able to at replace it with something similar, even if it’s not the same.
You could also consider taking out your own insurance. If you have a really valuable item to transport, then it might be worth thinking about doing so. Sometimes, your home insurance policy will allow you to insure particular items as an extra even when they are out of your home (although of course, if you are moving home you will need to make sure the insurance applies to your new home too). Generally, a removal firm’s insurance should be all you need to cover your goods, but your own insurance might give you extra peace of mind.
The Last Resort
If the worst comes to the worst, and you have booked a removal firm who don’t have insurance, and they have then broken or damaged your prize possessions, then the best option available to you is to pursue them through the small claims court. Remember, they are in the wrong, and should have had insurance, so you have a reasonable claim to make. Of course, if your broken item is more of sentimental value than financial, it may be best just to lick your wounds and learn your lesson, but otherwise? Make sure you get your money and buy something even more fabulous!
Author: Izzy A. Woods