I hear from both movers and brokers that many claims sent to an insurance company for settlement are just not handled to their satisfaction. The adjusters are too slow or just don’t understand all of the issues.

What can you do to make this process work better?

  • First, what is your own authority for claim settlement? Some insurance companies allow movers to settle some claims up to a certain amount over the deductible – for example, your deductible + $250 or $500. Your own customer service people can generally settle smaller claims where there is no personal injury – but they should always get a claim release form signed by the customer.
  • Make sure that you have all the facts and documents before you send a claim into your insurance company – Bills of Lading or Warehouse Receipts, completed claim forms, repair estimates, statement from the driver or crew chief about the incident or circumstances leading to a claim, names of witnesses or others who could corroborate the facts. Without all the facts, the insurance adjuster may come to the wrong conclusion.
  • If the insurance company claim person just doesn’t understand the issues (an interline situation, van line or military claim, warehouse lien, etc.), get help! Ask your insurance broker, your moving association people, an attorney, or a consultant to review the claim and perhaps help explain the claim situation to the adjuster.

Ultimately, not all claims may be covered by your insurance, so have a good understanding what your insurance provides. The circumstances of each claim are different, so don’t assume that a claim will or will not be covered.