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What to do when your belongings are damaged during your move

Moving can be stressful enough as it is, but it's even worse when your prized possessions are damaged or lost during transit. It can be hard to choose removalists that you trust, and it’s worse if they don’t handle your belongings with the care that you would. If you do have the misfortune of ending up with damaged or lost belongings during your move it is good to know what to do to get compensation for your losses.

1. Take photos and document any damage

When your goods arrive at their destination, your first step should always be to check if everything is there and if anything has been damaged or broken. Make sure you took photos before your belongings were packed up so you have proof of their original condition, and then take photos of any damages to your belongings when they arrive.

2. Contact your removalists

As soon as you discover that any items have been damaged or lost you need to immediately contact your removalists. Before you jump to any conclusions, ask them if they know what happened and use before and after photos to show them the damage that has been done.

3. Find out your rights

In Australia, if your belongings are damaged or lost during your move then the removalists may be in breach of Australian Consumer Law. This is particularly the case if there were delays that weren’t outside of the removalists control that caused damage to your belongings. If you’re not sure what rights you have you can always contact the relevant department in your state to find out if you’re entitled to compensation.

4. Ask for compensation

If you believe your goods have been sufficiently damaged to entitle you to compensation then ask your removalists for this. Many removalsits are reasonable and will be happy to provide you with compensation if there is proof that there are damages. You may also seek compensation through your insurance company if you have taken out moving insurance.

5. If they refuse

If the removalists refuse to compensate you but you still believe your are entitled to be reimbursed, you should contact your state’s Consumer Affairs office. They will be able to help resolve the issue for you and ensure you get any money you are entitled to. You can also take it up with your insurance company.

It may seem like a hassle to have to sort out compensation when your belongings are damaged or lost, but in the long run it will be worthwhile. If you’re entitled to compensation then it is worth fighting for your rights. You don’t want to lose money because you didn’t want to speak up and find out what you were entitled to.

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