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What to do if Movers Lose Your Stuff

When moving, it is always possible that your items could become lost. With so many moving parts to your move to a new home, things can get lost in the shuffle, even with professional moving companies. Pittsburgh’s Gardner Moving has put together some tips on what to do if your items are lost during a move.

Steps to Take When Dealing with a Lost Item

Look for the Item in All Possible Places

When you realize you are missing an item, we first recommend that you go through all your boxes. We understand this can be an agitating experience but take a deep breath and take the time to double-check that the item is missing. It may not be missing but may have been placed in the wrong room or has other boxes stacked on top and was overlooked.

There is also a chance that the box was wrongly labeled or that the item was placed in the wrong box. If you can, once you search at home, go back to your old house, and look there. You may also be able to call an old neighbor, a friend, or your real estate agent to look for the item.

Ask the Moving Company to Track Your Item

If checking your old home and all your boxes turns up nothing, you can reach out to your moving company. Many moving companies will have a process in place for tracking down lost items. It’s possible that your boxes were misplaced and delivered to the wrong home. Allow your movers a day or two to track your items and make sure there wasn’t a mix-up.

In the meantime, be sure to gather details about the item, such as a detailed description, receipt, or a photo you may have of the item to make it easier to retrieve the item.

File a Claim for the Item

If none of the steps above have helped you find the item, then the next best step is to file a claim with the moving company to be reimbursed for the item. This is where the detailed description of your item comes into play, helping the moving company replace the item.

The law requires you to formally file a claim to be awarded compensation. When you speak with the moving company, they will give you a filing process to follow and can help you with the details of determining your item’s replacement value. Sometimes this process can be done online depending on the moving company you are working with.

It’s important to remember that you must file your claim within nine months of the movers delivering your items. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires your moving company to admit the claim within 30 days. They will then have 120 days to deny your claim or make an offer. If you don’t accept their offer, there are other actions you can take.

Check Your Moving or Renter’s Insurance

If you have moving insurance, check to see if the entire replacement cost of the item is covered. If not, you can check with your renter’s insurance to see if it covers the items lost in your move. Depending on the policy, it may cover the remaining balance.

Arbitration Through the AMSA

The AMSA’s Arbitration Program, overseen by The National Arbitration Forum, is also an option if you are dissatisfied with how your lost item situation was handled. This is a neutral, non-governmental agency that is not affiliated with any specific moving company or AMSA.

Keep in mind that arbitration requests are not free and will cost you and the moving company a $225 fee. In some cases, the movers can decide to pay part of the fee or the entire fee. When determining if arbitration is worth it, consider the value of the item.

Work With the Experts at Gardner Moving

At Gardner Moving, we will take care of all the details surrounding your move and will work diligently to ensure the security of your items. If you’re preparing for a move, be sure to work with Gardner Moving for efficient, expertly executed moving services. Contact us today to learn more!

January 25, 2022


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The movers at Gardner Moving will take care of all the details surrounding your move. If you're ready for our movers to get to work, please give us a call today. We will be happy to provide you with a free, no-obligation in-home estimate.