Noted and Accepted DamageWritten by Neal Willis
For noted damage claims where an item was accepted but noted as having damage, call and/or email the carrier with notification that you’ll be filing a damage claim for the shipment. Take note of who you speak with, as you may need to reference them at a later time. Ask if the carrier would like to perform an inspection. Inform the carrier of the value of the item and provide them with a contact name and information for reaching you should they choose to have an inspection performed.
Due to costs associated with a third party inspection, carriers will sometimes waive their right to an inspection, especially when a shipment is valued at one-thousand dollars ($1,000) or less. If the inspection is waived, save confirmation of it being waived from the carrier. If you are not sure of the actual damage amount at the time you file the claim, you may choose to provide the carrier with the full invoice amount until the damage can be properly assessed by an authorized party to determine the true measure of damage (repair cost). If it’s going to cost just as much to repair as it will to replace it, then it’s considered a total loss and the shipper should proceed with filing for the original full value. If it’s going to cost less to repair, then the claimed amount needs to be amended to reflect the repair costs.
It’s very important to notate accepted damage on the delivery receipt, so there is no question as to when the damage occurred, and it’s extremely important that the entire packaging from the shipment is saved until the claim is settled. Failure to save the packaging may result in denial of a full settlement, since the inspector will not be able to clearly determine if the damages were in any way a result of poor or insufficient packaging per the NMFC guidelines. Taking pictures of the shipment before, during and after uncrating/un-packing is recommended and, to help maintain the fact that damage occurred before delivery, do not use the item(s) and do not move the shipment from where it was delivered without express written permission/consent from the carrier.
The item(s) need to be stored somewhere out of the way along with the packaging until the claim is resolved. If the carrier offers a settlement, it could be entitled to the goods and may request that they be made available for salvage pickup. If the items are not available to the carrier and/or have been disposed of before having the opportunity to pick up as salvage, then a settlement offer from the carrier could be compromised.