You trust your moving company will protect your valuables as you would.  You hope the movers you hired respect your belongings and carry them with confidence and care.  Unfortunately, mistakes may be made and accidents will happen.  Hopefully, nothing is stolen from you, either.  However, if you experienced these moving issues with the moving company you hired, there are steps you can take to, at the very least, be vindicated for your loss.

Take Moving Inventory

Before you start packing snap photos of your belongings, especially anything significantly valuable that isn’t placed in storage or kept with you.  Create an inventory list, detailing what is in the boxes.  This way you have a record of what you packed and will know the state the items were in prior to moving and can compare the before and after if they end up damaged.

Hire a Reputable Moving Company

Word of mouth or official moving reviews works as a great way to hire a moving company that has your best interests at heart.  Enlist the assistance of friends and family in that endeavor.  Remember to ask pertinent questions regarding the moving company’s policies and methods of transport.  Review any contracts you sign.  Don’t hire the first company you find or just because they’re cheaper than the competitors.

Damage Control

Although you may be convinced that your items are lost or stolen, double-check that you didn’t misplace them, suggests Apartment Guide.  If anything is broken, assess the damage and investigate how much it will cost to replace the said item or for reimbursement from the moving company.  One way to estimate the value is by reviewing receipts from when you purchased the items, says WikiHow.  Otherwise, you may not receive the entire amount unless you purchased extra insurance through the moving company.

Check Out Your Insurance Policies

Included in the contract for moving services, you registered for liability insurance which covers you in case your possessions are lost, stolen, or damaged.  Review those contracts upon discovering that something like this occurred and find out for what coverage you signed up for.  Also, review your homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policies to determine if your belongings are covered between moves.  Between the moving company and your personal insurance policies, you may be able to recover more money.  If you opted for additional coverage through your moving company, you will receive more than what’s standard reimbursement — $0.60 per pound.

Contact Your Moving Company

Approach your moving company with your concerns about missing or damaged items.  Most reputable companies will work with you and see that you receive restitution.  For items that are damaged, they may want to see them.  If the items are gone, now’s the time to show them photographic evidence. However, if you failed to take photos, you must describe the missing items in detail.  Whether or not the moving company is honorable, note the times and days you contacted them and to whom you spoke.  That way if they are avoiding your calls or not taking action, you have records of your communication for legal purposes.  Make sure you save any documents relating to the move for extra protection, too.

Stake Your Claim

Sometimes, you reach a point of desperation where you must file a claim against a moving company.  When this happens you should contact them and let them know of your plans.  If they continue to hold back any type of reimbursement, it’s suggested by Real Simple to contact the American Moving and Storage Association for mediation.