For Shannon Bent and Taylor Odgers, moving was supposed to offer a fresh start. A new job in a new province had the two Victoria-based roommates packing up their lives on Vancouver Island into boxes in February.
The two friends were told it’d take four to six weeks for the movers to get their belongings from Victoria to Toronto. As of April, they’re still missing items like family heirlooms and important documents.
“It had been a full 10 days after the accident until they notified us of what was going on. They gave us an accident incident report number but no further information,” said Odgers.
Cargo Movers, the company they’d hired to move their personal items, had been involved in a fatal accident just a few hours outside Thunder Bay. Ontario Provincial Police are not releasing details on the victim.
“We are…suffering as a company,” Cargo Movers told CHEK News in a statement.
During the police investigation, the roommates say their belongings sat on the side of a snowy highway for 10 days, before some of their items were salvaged and stored outside at a nearby tow truck yard. Many priceless items though, were missing.
“My baby blanket, like a quilt that my grandma knitted me, family photos, all our legal documents,” said Bent. “I know Taylor had her birth certificate and her social insurance card. I had mine as well.”
They estimate the value of their belongings totals around $200,000. Odgers and Bent signed a standard insurance policy, but they’re told it doesn’t cover missing or damaged items. When they asked the company for a refund, they say the company declined, saying the move was 95 per cent completed.
“They’re not taking a lot of accountability for it, or even communicating it with us, or giving us a straight answer,” said Odgers.
Albertan-based Cargo Movers didn’t answer any of CHEK News’ questions, instead telling us in an email they didn’t believe CHEK has any “jurisdiction covering this” and that “Future communication…will be ignored.”
For Bent and Odgers it’s an extremely difficult situation: trying to navigate compensation in the midst of a tragedy.
With their belongings gone they don’t know what the future holds but they do know they want to warn others about purchasing proper insurance, especially when it’s for coverage of everything you own.