Beltmann Movers / North American Van Lines - Denied Claim

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May 11, 2018
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#1
I moved from Dallas to North Carolina last June which cost nearly $7,000 and I selected $100,000 in insurance using Beltmann Movers of Dallas / North American Van Lines. Most of my Waterford crystal was broken. I had packed it myself very carefully (3rd long distance move). I was told I had 9 months to file a claim, which I did right before the 9 month mark and included photos. A claim was submitted and was denied, they said 1) because I didn't mark any boxes as damaged when movers were here and the 2) another response was that they don't cover what they don't pack. They delivered 100+ boxes and the boxes weren't damaged -- it was the contents. It is correct that the boxes were not flagged as damaged upon receipt in North Carolina since they stacked the boxes in a large storage area and I discovered the damage only when I uncrated the Waterford; the crystal was very clearly marked as fragile with large labels and heavy boxes were stacked on top of them. The damage was to the contents, not the box. My sales rep and his assistant were unable to help and could not provide any other contacts for appeals. Beltmann is a private company so I am having difficulty finding other contacts for appeals. North American Van Lines handled the claims. I've read the forum and used a very respectful request for assistance, I'm not sure how to find other contacts. Any assistance appreciated.
 
Last edited:

Neil Maley

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#2
This is tough. How can they guarantee what they don’t pack? They don’t know how well it was packed or not packed if they didn’t do it. I can totally understand that.

What did your contract say about packing your own items? This must have been stated somewhere in what you signed about what the insurance will and won’t cover.
 

AMA

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Dec 11, 2014
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#3
I've moved many times and moving companies NEVER guarantee fragile items that they don't pack themselves. In fact I''ve had to check a waiver box on contracts absolving them of breaking my dishes, which I pack myself. What does your contract say?
 
Nov 27, 2017
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#6
I would have to agree with Neil and AMA. Whenever a moving company is involved, they will not guarantee anything that isn't packed by them. There is no way of knowing how it was packed and they will normally have a running list of what was packed. I am curious to see the contract also.
 
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May 11, 2018
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#7
I have the contract with redacted information to upload. I'm getting a server error and message to try again later. If this is the case, I surely wish the sales rep had told me rather than losing $1600 worth of crystal.
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#9
I think your biggest challenge will be that the boxes showed no damage. If contents are damaged without the box showing any damage, it's almost by definition an issue with the packing. If you still have the boxes, I'd suggest taking pictures of any crumpling etc that would be evidence that the movers were excessively rough when transporting them.
 
#10
I sent them a photo showing how the movers stacked boxes on top of boxes clearly marked fragile with large red stickers. They said I probably stacked them that way which is insulting. I'm not dishonest nor am I stupid. I still can't upload the bill of lading showing insurance.

I am probably out of luck on this. I would have jumped on it sooner but the day the movers left I was diagnosed with breast cancer in both breasts so my focus was elsewhere. I couldn't have packed them more carefully but not a lot one can do to prevent damage when the movers stack very heavy boxes on top of them.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#11
Can you make the contract into a lower resolution jpeg and post it?

I would dispute them in writing.

I have had boxes delivered that look absolutely fine from the exterior and open them up and find that glass has shattered, so the exterior means nothing.
 

Neil Maley

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#12
Did you put the claim through Beltmann or North American Van Lines? I see nothing on North American Van Lines website that says anything about them needing to pack your boxes.

“Since all damaged items are subject to inspection, please do not proceed with any repairs and do not dispose of any damaged items. A "comments" section has been provided at the end of the claim form should you need to provide further explanation for any items or issues referenced in your claim.”

Can you quote anything in the bol that mentions they must pack the goods to be covered by insurance?
 

jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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#13
I am so sorry to read your post, it must be devastating to lose those valuable pieces. I agree with my colleagues, it all hangs on the wording of the contract you signed. I hope you are dealing with the cancer as well as can be expected, that is surely more devastating. Hopefully a jpeg file will work so we can have a look.
 
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#14
Thanks for input, tomorrow I'll have sales rep point out on contract where they have to pack to have it covered. Jpeg wouldn't upload nor would a tiff or pdf; it's only 350 kb so not sure what the issue could be. This was really a lousy move, the movers didn't bring computer boxes they were to pack up and they put my two corporate 27" Mac computers in an open top box and shipped them that way with no padding. They swore they would pack them properly when they got back to the warehouse in Dallas since they had forgotten the boxes. They claimed the sales rep underestimated weight and size of shipment so they were very mad at him. I was astonished they arrived in perfect condition.
 

Neil Maley

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#18
Sales rep has yet to identify the language on the contract that prevents payment of loss as I requested.
That’s a good thing for you.

I suggest if they have nothing in your contract, if they still refuse to consider your claim you file a complaint with your State Attorney General.

You might see if they are members of the American Moving Association - you can file a complaint there also.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Moving_&_Storage_Association
 
Jan 30, 2018
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#19
OK. Having 48 years in the moving biz, the first thing I learned was we are not responsible for damage in PBO cartons (packed by owner). Second, if the carton was not noted as damaged on delivery, no excuses, inside contents are not covered for damage. I happen to know the people at Beltmann, huge competitor of mine in the day, and you are completely on the wrong side of your claim. And, yes, the claim should have been filed with NAVL,and it would have been denied as well.
 
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Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#20
OK. Having 48 years in the moving biz, the first thing I learned was we are not responsible for damage in PBO cartons (packed by owner). Second, if the carton was not noted as damaged on delivery, no excuses, inside contents are not covered for damage. I happen to know the people at Beltmann, huge competitor of mine in the day, and you are completely on the wrong side of your claim. And, yes, the claim should have been filed with NAVL,and it would have been denied as well.
That may well be but whether or not is was disclosed in the contract is what needs to be determined. If it was- then she’s out of luck. If it wasn’t- she may have a case.

I happen to agree with what you say but the disclosure is what matters here.