What Are My Rights If A Removals Company Damages My Stuff?

Expertise is one of the most persuasive reasons to choose a professional removals company over a man with a van on your local Facebook group. The pros are highly trained, with years of experience in quick, efficient moves. They know exactly how to pack and move your stuff so that it doesn’t get damaged.

However, accidents can and do happen. You may also choose a moving firm without doing much digging into their reputation, only to find that they treat your belongings carelessly.

As a customer paying for the services of a removals company, you have certain rights. You expect the service you pay for to be carried out with a certain degree of care and skill, by a competent person or team. Removals companies are also legally responsible for your belongings during transit. If the service falls below expectations and an item is damaged because of it, you could have a claim against the company.

It’s unlikely that you will end up in a dispute with a removals company over damage. However, it’s best to take precautions when choosing a firm, as well as knowing how to manage and minimise the risk of damage to your stuff.

A spokesperson for London removals firm Kiwi Movers, a removals firm who also offer long-term and self-storage in London, has this advice.

Check that the removals company has insurance

If your removals firm is fully insured, this is great news. With public liability insurance, plus cover for breakages or damage, you’ll have peace of mind that you’ll be covered financially if any bumps do occur.

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Of course, an insurance claim wouldn’t be much help in the case of an irreplaceable family heirloom or antique. To protect these items, follow the tips below.

Proper packing

One of the best ways to ensure that breakages don’t happen is to pack and prepare your items carefully before the move. Many removals companies offer a professional packing service, or you can do it yourself using these tips:

  • Don’t overload boxes – they are likely to bust open at the seams
  • Don’t use boxes that are too large – unless they are filled with lightweight stuff (i.e. bedding or clothing), they could also burst if overfilled
  • Bubble wrap breakables – from kitchenware and crockery to paintings and other valuables, proper padding is essential to prevent damage
  • Seek specialist help for specialist items – for valuable artwork, old furniture or bulky items like pianos, it’s best to seek assistance from the experts. You don’t want to risk doing it yourself.

Make an inventory

Before the move, it’s a smart idea to list everything you’re moving. If time is short, focus on the most valuable items. This way, if anything is damaged or lost, you’ll be able to spot it immediately and contest any losses with your removals company.

An inventory can also be a useful tool when organising your move. You can list what’s in each box, making it easier to unpack and find everything on the other side.

You should also take photos of valuable items before they are loaded. Snap some shots from different angles, so the condition of the item can clearly be seen. If you do spot damage after the move, your photos will be able to prove that it happened during the move and not before.

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