What Every Mover Should Know About Common Claims and How to Avoid Them

October 07, 2022

By Casey Myers

There are several types of insurance claims that we see time and time again. Many of them haven’t changed in years. Here are some of the most common ones and solutions you can implement easily to avoid them.

The Top 20 Most Common Claims

The most common claims in order of frequency are as follows. Vehicle A refers to the mover’s truck, Vehicle B refers to the other party.

  1. Breakage and marring of customer goods
  2. Vehicle A hit overhead object
  3. Employee slip, trip or fall
  4. Employee struck and/or struck by an object
  5. Internal property damage of residence
  6. Vehicle A collided backing up
  7. Vehicle A rearended vehicle B
  8. Vehicle A other claims
  9. Vehicle B hit vehicle A
  10. Vehicle A hit parked vehicle
  11. Back strain while lifting
  12. Employee cut or puncture wound
  13. Vehicle A hit vehicle B
  14. External property damage to residence
  15. Glass / Windshield Damage
  16. Vehicle B rearended vehicle A
  17. Vehicle B hit parked vehicle
  18. Employee straining arm or shoulder while lifting
  19. Vehicle A hit stationary object
  20. Vehicle A collided changing lanes

Since household goods are transported and broken, it makes sense that breakage and marring of items is at the top of this list.

How to Avoid or Diminish Common Claims

Here are a few ways your business can minimize damages. If you would like more guidance, we will be happy to work with you and provide additional information from our Loss Control Department.


Avoiding Auto Liability and Property Damage Claims


  • Vehicle hit overhead objects - measure truck height and look for road signs indicating bridge heights, request assistance from a spotter for house and neighborhood limbs and signs. Use clearance stickers inside the truck cabs to remind the driver of the truck height so he/she can be prepared to stop and detour when needed.


  • Internal property damage claims during move - we recommend and have field-tested Polynite floor sheets to reduce claims for inadequate floor protection.


  • Vehicle backing into vehicle behind truck - implement a policy requiring spotters utilized by drivers.


Avoiding Workers Compensation Claims


  • Slips, trips and falls - ensure walk boards have slip-resistant floor paint applied to allow for proper grip. Get rid of boards that are cracked and slick. Use pins and traps to secure walk board to trailer.


  • Employee struck by object - to better avoid dropping household goods on feet and legs, employees should ask for help from fellow workers for heavy items and pack boxes tightly.


  • Back strain while lifting - educate employees and remind them frequently of the importance of using proper lifting techniques, including using their legs and not their backs. Encourage them to take breaks to allow for recovery between loads as appropriate.


Avoiding Cargo/Inland Marine Claims


  • Breakage/Marring - use two personnel for heavy items. Transport items by holding them tightly to their chest. Have customer identify during initial walk through all high-value and/or fragile items and add more protection if needed.


  • Missing Items - walk through with customer to ensure all items are checked off using Inventory Control Forms. Utilize a Utility Carton for small accessory items (remotes, etc.). Ensure all items that do not fit in storage vaults such as ladders and exercise equipment are located and accounted for.


  • Water Damage – conduct annual roof inspections and monthly warehouse walk throughs. Have warehouse sprinkler heads inspected annually by a third-party vendor. Never load wet or damp pads into vaults to reduce mold and mildew claims.


While these are the most common claims, they are certainly not the only ones. If you have specific situations and would like to talk more about them, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Casey Myers is an insurance industry veteran with more than 16 years’ experience. As vice president for Champion Risk & Insurance Services, she specializes in providing insurance coverage and guidance for moving and storage clients. Prior to joining Champion Risk, Casey worked for Paul Hanson Partners. She is well-versed in industry trends, challenges and changes facing the household goods industry and serves as an associate board member for the California Moving & Storage Association (CMSA). When she isn’t working, Casey enjoys cycling, running and spending time with her husband Diego and their dog Chance.