What to do in case of breakage, loss or damage during a move

November 24, 2014

Moving companies usually cover the customer if their belongings get lost or damaged. Still, accidents occur. What should you do in case of breakage, loss or damage during a move?
File a damage claim

In theory, the company is liable for all damages that may occur during a move. Depending on the deal you chose, your items may be packed, loaded, transported, unloaded and unpacked — all opportunities for loss, damage or delayed delivery. The customer assumes responsibility to take certain steps to seek compensation from the professional when something untoward happens.


Once delivery is completed, it's necessary to ensure that the furniture arrived in good condition, and to verify if anything was lost. If this is the case, you must make a declaration statement on the delivery note. Information must be accurate and as detailed as possible to prove the damage was incurred during delivery.

Letter of complaint

The next day or as soon as possible, send a formal letter of complaint. It’s recommended that you take before and after pictures of the damage, and retain all relevant documents. Unfortunately, breaks and losses do occur, however companies generally compensate the customer quickly and without issue.

Amicable settlement

If the company still refuses to pay compensation, you have several recourse options. You can first seek an amicable agreement without going to court. Should that prove ineffective, then you'll have to move to the next step.


If no settlement or agreement can be reached, you should go to small claims court and/or the Consumer Protection Office in your province or territory. While this is a tactic of last resort, if may be your only option.

How to avoid such problems
1. Choose a reputable mover

  • Do your research and ask friends and family for recommendations.
  • Check out the business profile and see if any complaints have been made.
  • Only deal with a company that has a commercial storefront.
  • Check with the Canadian Transportation Commission to know if the company is registered as owners and operators of heavy vehicles.
  • Ask how many trucks the company has in its fleet. If it has only one, a breakdown or delay could leave you in trouble.

2. Sign an agreement

  • Ask to be sent a written contract which includes: the name, address and telephone number of the business; the address for the pick-up and destination; the date and time of the move; the hourly rate; the number of movers; the number of their insurance policy (if going through their insurers); and any other relevant information.
  • Ask what the terms of payment are.

3. Learn about insurance

  • Ask the mover if they have insurance to cover your property. Ideally, get the name of their insurance provider and the policy number in order to verify this information for yourself.
  • Check to see if your homeowners insurance covers your belongings during a move.
What to do in case of breakage, loss or damage during a move
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