It happens to many Americans every year: something is lost or broken during their move to a new home. When that something is a cheap vase, it’s not a huge deal. But when it’s a significant portion of your clothing lost in the move, or a broken family heirloom? That’s a big problem. What next?
First off, your moving company should have insurance to cover exactly this kind of incident. In your contract, it should have specified this insurance coverage. Talk to your moving company about next steps for cashing in on insurance if your items can’t be located or fixed. The vast majority of certified movers and accredited moving companies have this kind of insurance to cover both their workers and yourself. If the moving company you’re looking to hire has no such insurance, you might want to look elsewhere.
If you think something has been intentionally stolen, you can file a police report. There’s no guarantee anything will be done about your case. But say you are missing some fine jewelry. If you file a police report, there’s a chance that jewelry could show up in the local pawn shop, get passed to authorities, and wind up back in your hands.
As for entire lost sections of your belongings, retrace your steps. Perhaps something was left in a relative’s car or in the back of a closet at your old home. Occasionally items are mistakenly brought to the home of another customer of the moving company. Moving companies do their best to respect your belongings, but mistakes happen! If you’re certain the fault lies with the moving companies involved in the move, work with them to track down the issue.
If you separate out items you know are a risk for going missing or getting damaged during the move, you can keep better track of them. Self-storage is one method of separating out valuable, expensive, or fragile items. You can deposit the items in self-storage before moving day, move all the rest of your belongings, then carefully work on taking the stored items to your new home so you can give them special attention in transit. The quality of self-storage units varies, so make sure you find a secure facility. The cost of renting a unit for a month or shorter at a quality facility may be a bit higher to ensure security. That being said, many people trust their valuables to self-storage; it’s a $36 billion per year industry in the United States.
In a nutshell, you can plan ahead to reassure yourself that your most precious belongings arrive safely at your new home.