I know filing a claim with a carrier is a painful process and can be extremely annoying, but it is just part of the business and inevitable. When you file a claim with a carrier there are a handful of things that you need to make sure that are done. Follow along to make sure that you don’t shoot yourself in the foot.
First step into processing a claim is supposed to happen before the order is even picked up. Make sure that all of your products are itemized on the BOL (Bill of Lading) in specific detail. The more info you include the better. A few things to include in the description would be the commodity, and also try to include the model number and any other kind of unique information to make it very clear of what is being sent.
Secondly, make that you not only put the pallet count on the BOL, but also put the total piece count as well. By doing this you are letting the carrier know exactly how many boxes or cartons or whatever the piece type is, you are making it know exactly what quantity is being shipped. We see it happen often when customer will just put pallet count and not a quantity count. This is for your protection in case a claim ever needs to be filed. This gives the carrier one less thing to make you prove.
The next step, by far the most important step out of all. This is the one that is most overlooked and always the biggest problem when it comes to claims being denied. PLEASE, ALWAYS make sure you notate any sign of damage, anything you think might be missing, anything you can think of that might be an issue. Most people just sign for it without making any notations on the delivery receipt, even if there is noticeable damage. Usually the person signing for the delivery is not the person who is responsible for the actual freight, meaning if a claim needs to be filed it isn’t their problem. This kind of information and specific instructions need to be relayed to the consignee (delivery location) and make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Now let’s assume that all of the above has been followed, then we can proceed to the next portion of a claim.
For whatever reason, if the shipment was not signed for damaged or any notation of anything missing, you have 5 DAYS to report it from the day of delivery, and it has to be in writing. . After that, you are out of luck.
Another thing, you MUST make sure that all damaged items be retained in packaging received until the claim is resolved entirely. Disposal without written permission from the carrier will most likely result in an instant declination.
Now all that is left is to fill out our simple claim form and your claim can now be submitted. Some things the carrier might also request is photos of the damage, address of where damaged freight is currently located, and any other pertinent information. You have 9 months to file your claim from the date of delivery