When Stuff Get Lost in Storage

When Stuff Get Lost in Storage

Here is a situation that few people face but many fear: Before your new home is available for occupancy, you had your moving company put most of your belongings into storage. Finally, you get your new house ready and schedule the second part of your move. A few days later, your possessions arrive at your new abode, much to your delight. However, when you start unpacking, you begin to notice that a couple of your boxes aren’t there. And once you’re able to take a final inventory, you realize that several electronic items are missing as well. What should you do?

Bobby Hughes is the marketing coordinator at Philadelphia’s Hughes Relocation Services, Inc., and according to him, this type of scenario is extremely rare as far as his company is concerned. Usually, the storage system is fairly simple and well-maintained. When a customer’s stuff is placed into storage, it remains in a single unit until the company gets the call to unload it and transport it to its final destination. Since the process is so streamlined, rarely does it occur that a number of pieces end up getting lost or going missing. On the other hand, Hughes will admit that from time to time, mishaps do happen, and when they do, it’s important for customers to know what steps to take.

Contact your moving company immediately.
According to Hughes, if you come to realize that some of your stuff has not been delivered out of storage, then the first thing to do is to contact your moving company as soon as possible. Any reputable moving company will do its best to locate your items that somehow did not make their way out of storage. First, a representative of the moving company will check the back of the moving truck that transported your belongings to see if they were perhaps inadvertently left behind. If that doesn’t work, then someone will do a search of your former storage unit to see if the missing items perhaps got stuck in a corner. Remember, it’s in your moving company’s best interest to locate any items that have gone missing rather than have to deal with the claims process. So if you come to discover that some of your possessions did not make their way towards your new abode, do not hesitate to contact your moving company immediately.

Describe your missing stuff in detail.
When you call up to report your missing items, be prepared to supply as much detail as possible. If a box of kitchen supplies is missing, then try to describe how large the box was, how it was labeled, and what its contents were. And if you find that you’re missing a dining room chair from your antique set, then be sure to indicate what color wood it is made of and what its upholstered seat cushion looks like. The more descriptive you are, the better your chances are of having your items located and properly returned.

File a claim for missing belongings.
If, unfortunately, your missing items are unable to be located, then you will be able to file a claim with your moving company’s insurance policy. Most full service moving companies have an employee on staff whose job is to deal with the claims filing and follow-up process, so chances are, the burden involved in the paperwork will not end up falling on you. Although filing a claim for missing belongings is likely to result in a degree of compensation, Hughes warns that unless you paid for extra insurance, you might end up being a bit unhappy with the results of the process.

In fact, if you decided to stick with the standard, built-in insurance, then the automatic coverage that most moving companies offer generally maxes out at 60 cents per pound of property. If your box of kitchenware weighed 10 pounds and only contained plastic storage containers, then the idea of getting $6 might not seem so bad as compared to the overall value of the contents. However, if you’re missing a 15-pound dining room chair whose replacement value tops the $200 mark, you will probably be extremely disappointed when a check comes in for nine measly dollars (although your homeowners insurance policy might end up paying you the difference).

Fortunately, the right moving company can ensure that your property will remain safe while it is being stored. But if some of your stuff gets lost occasionally in storage, the best way to help yourself is to stay calm until the matter is resolved.


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