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Claims Tips

Receiving Tips for Loss and Damage


Damage is an unfortunate consequence of transporting goods. Carriers do much to prevent loss and damage from happening. Unfortunately, they also do much to keep from paying claims when damage occurs. If they don’t pay it is because they have determined they are not at fault…such as a shipper not doing enough to prevent it from happening (eg. packaging). While technically it is up to the carrier to prove it is not liable for loss, from a practical sense it is often up to the shipper to prove the carrier is liable.


Report and Retain


Make sure the carrier knows that the product has been damaged. And don’t mess with the “evidence.” Inspect Upon Arrival…and before signing..

  •  Count and Inspect the goods thoroughly. before signing the carrier’s receipt.

  • Open the cartons if necessary. Check the top and bottom, not just the sides.

  • Mark down specifically the pieces lost or damaged on the delivery receipt.

  • Take lots of photographs.

  •  Don’t let a driver tell you otherwise.


This helps chances of getting a claim paid. If you sign the delivery receipt and do not note loss or damage you are all but eliminating chances of getting a claim paid.


Report concealed loss or damage


If you detect loss or damage or damage after delivery,


Notify the shipper (Or 3PL)then report it to the carrier immediately. Call first and note the date and time and with whom you spoke. Then follow-it up to them via fax. The phone number is located on the delivery receipt. Time limits vary by carrier (check their rules…usually found on their website). But understand that the longer you wait the less your chances are to recover. Carrier will not accept a claim for concealed damage if they are notified more than 5 days after delivery.


Be careful if you refuse the shipment


Do not refuse unless you are absolutely sure you do not own the product.


Just because you haven’t taken possession of the product doesn’t mean you don’t own it. Sellers and buyers should confer in advance to determine the FOB point (where title transfers). In any case, don’t just ignore the situation. If the shipment is refused and neither you nor the shipper accept it, they can charge storage, and if unclaimed they sell it to cover those charges (and it is almost always for a fraction of the actual value).


Retain packaging material


The carrier has a right to inspect the product. How a shipment is packaged may need to be as part of an inspection to help them determine their liability. If you can, leave the product in the box just as it was when you detected the damage.. If you throw it away you are inviting the carrier to deny liability. If you can’t retain it, take lots of photographs and provide them to the carrier.


Retain the product The carrier has the right to the product in the event they accept liability and pay the claim for the full value of the product. If the product is damaged to a total loss (absolute no value to anyone…even the scrap man), get a written release from the carrier. Retain the product until the claim has been fully settled . If this product is useable and you have a willing buyer, notify the carrier immediately and ask them to agree to the deal if you are going to get less than full value. If you don’t do this, the carrier may be able to absolve itself from liability.

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