To Claim or Not To Claim?!

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So we did it.  We made it from Fort Campbell to Dallas.  The moving truck came and went.  The movers weren’t particularly confidence inspiring, but to be honest we’ve only had one set of movers that we believed in.  Which of course leaves us with the same old question:  To Claim or not To Claim?!

First: Make Sure You Have Realistic Expectations

Having my stuff boxed up is never that big a deal to me.  I always set aside the super important stuff so that we can deal with that ourselves. Watching movers load and unload the truck is a whole different story.  That sends my anxiety through the roof.  The massive game of Tetris they play with my belongings makes me want to throw up.

There are some items that never make it through… Ever.  Backyard Grill? HA! King Sized box spring, yea right! Then there are other things that you have to wonder if they’re TRYING to mess it up… 1200 LB gun safe that’s rated to withstand the apocalypse?! Thompson Movers can dent it, Just give ’em a week!

Second: Remember that Just Because You Won’t Replace it Now Doesn’t Mean You Won’t Replace it Ever, So Claim It!

When we first started this little military journey of ours, we only claimed major issues.  Seriously damaged furniture, multiple broken dishes etc.  Over time we realized that most of the time things don’t get seriously damaged.  They’re scuffed, nicked, rubbed or chipped.  We weren’t necessarily going to run right out and replace everything, but if we continued down the path we were on we’d find ourselves surrounded by shabby belongings without the monetary means to replace them.  That’s when we started to claim damn. near. everything.  If it cost us more than $20 dollars and it’s damaged in any way, we claim it.

Third: Weigh The Effort of the Claim Process vs. the Reward

At first it seemed insane.  Do we really need to claim the cowboy hat that no one has worn in 7 years?!  We’d research the brand and validate the cost we requested.  That’s all we did.  Prove it cost as much as we said and send pictures of the damage.  Now its a much longer process.  They send someone out to the house to check on any larger items that you claim (furniture, tools, purses etc) to validate that they need replacing and not repair.  You’ll still get compensated if a repair needs to be made, but they’ll research repair shops  and only give you the amount it would cost to fix it.  That whole process can take up to 2 months from the day you first complete the online claim form.

Yes, it takes a long time.  Yes, the government websites including Move.Mil are incredibly frustrating, but it doesn’t really take much effort.  Once you file your initial claim and submit your substantiated documentation (receipts, current cost at retailer etc) there’s really no effort on your end.  It can mean the difference between hundreds (or THOUSANDS) of dollars in your pocket.

To Claim or Not To Claim

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13 thoughts on “To Claim or Not To Claim?!

  1. Oh moving can be such a pain. It would be nice if it ended when the boxes got unpacked but it never does! Moved to TX 3 years ago and I feel we are still getting settled LOL Glad you guys made it safe!

  2. Wow! You’ve survive the challenge and make it all the way. It is very hard to move to a place you’ve gotten used to.

  3. Moving is always a pain in the butt, seems like no matter what something vanishes without a trace or gets broken.

  4. I have moved several times and I think I filed a claim once as a solo mover and my husband filed once. The movers broke my glass table top so there was no real arguments with them there. Fortunately, the table was still in stock so it was easy for them to replace. Then the same table top was broken by a bookcase falling on it while I was at work — don’t ask me to explain that one! That table top was a jinx!

    1. I think everyone has that one item that is doomed to not survive! I used to think it was our backyard grill (I swear that thing had a death wish)!

  5. Good to know that you have made that step. I have only moved twice in my entire lifetime and I would be so upset if any of my belongings got lost or damaged. Filing a claim is always a long process but at least we are looking forward to being compensated for someone else’s carelessness.

  6. This is a great money saving tip! Although it might be a long process with plenty of inconvenience, at least we can still get some form of compensation back…. 🙂

  7. Luckily our last PCS from Alaska to Florida went very smoothly but the transfer to Alaska left us with so much broken (and I mean completely wrecked) and damaged furniture. We sent in all of the claims to be processed and checked-in and they didn’t pay us a penny. Looking back, we should have fought harder because we had picture evidence of the before and after and everything. In the end, we had to replace several large pieces and you were right, it cost us thousands out of pocket!

    1. It’s insane! Sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you get completely screwed! That’s why we started claiming EVERYTHING! That way we don’t feel completely left in lurch. I’ve fought over some pretty trivial stuff before 😂

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