Filing a Claim

If you have a problem (broken goods, exorbitant charges), this is the first step that you take.  This section will guide you by telling you how to file a claim, what are the Federal Requirements, and where you file the claim.

Claims may be filed for unreasonable delay, loss and damage, or overcharge and should be filed as soon as possible within nine (9) months of your delivery date. Below we have listed some general guidelines for filing a claim.

The procedure for filing a claim is as follows:

1. Send a claim letter RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED directly to the mover’s main office within the time limits specified in the bill of lading;

2. Sufficiently identify your shipment and any specific items at issue (i.e. shipment or bill of lading number, inventory number and description);

3. Assert that the carrier is liable for the alleged delay, loss, damage, or overcharge;

4. Assert a specified or determinable amount of money for each item/issue, and give a grand total for your entire claim.

Your mover must acknowledge receipt of your claim in writing within 30 days. Movers are allowed 120 days from the date a claim is filed to process it and respond to you, otherwise the mover must give you a written status report every 60 days after the initial 120 day period.

You can request arbitration if you are unsatisfied with the settlement offer made by your mover. Arbitration is a fair way to solve difficult disputes, and it costs much less than a traditional lawsuit. Each moving company must offer arbitration as a means of settling claims. To begin, ask your mover to send you information on the arbitration process and a fee schedule.

§378.3 Filing and processing claims.

(a) A claim for overcharge, duplicate payment, or overcollection shall not be paid unless filed in writing or electronically communicated (when agreed to by the carrier and shipper or receiver involved) with the carrier that collected the transportation charges. The collecting carrier shall be the carrier to process all such claims. When a claim is filed with another carrier that participated in the transportation, that carrier shall transmit the claim to the collecting carrier within 15 days after receipt of the claim. If the collecting carrier is unable to dispose of the claim for any reason, the claim may be filed with or transferred to any participating carrier for final disposition.

(b) A single claim may include more than one shipment provided the claim on each shipment involves:

(b)(1) The same tariff issue or authority or circumstances,
(b)(2) Single line service by the same carrier, or
(b)(3) Service by the same interline carriers.

§378.4 Documentation of claims.

(a) Claims for overcharge, duplicate payment, or overcollection shall be accompanied by sufficient information to allow the carriers to conduct an investigation and pay or decline the claim within the time limitations set forth in §378.8. Claims shall include the name of the claimant, its file number, if any, and the amount of the refund sought to be recovered, if known.
(b) Except when the original freight bill is not a paper document but is electronically transmitted, claims for overcharge shall be accompanied by the original freight bill. Additional information may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • (b)(1) The rate, classification, or commodity description or weight claimed to have been applicable.
  • (b)(2) Complete tariff authority for the rate, classification, or commodity description claimed.
  • (b)(3) Freight bill payment information.
  • (b)(4) Other documents or data which is believed by claimant to substantiate the basis for its claim.

(c) Claims for duplicate payment and overcollection shall be accompanied by the original freight bill(s) for which charges were paid (except when the original freight bill is not a paper document but is electronically transmitted) and by freight bill payment information.
(d) Regardless of the provisions of paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section, the failure to provide sufficient information and documentation to allow a carrier to conduct an investigation and pay or decline the claim within the allowable time limitation shall not constitute grounds for disallowance of the claim. Rather, the carrier shall comply with §378.5(c) to obtain the additional information required.
(e) A carrier shall accept copies instead of the original documents required to be submitted in this section where the carrier is furnished with an agreement entered into by the claimant which indemnifies the carrier for subsequent duplicate claims which might be filed and supported by the original documents.

§370.3 Filing of claims.
(a) Compliance with regulations. A claim for loss or damage to baggage or for loss, damage, injury, or delay to cargo, shall not be voluntarily paid by a carrier unless filed as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, with the receiving or delivering carrier, or carrier issuing the bill of lading, receipt, ticket, or baggage check, or carrier on whose line the alleged loss, damage, injury, or delay occurred, within the specified time limits applicable thereto and as otherwise may be required by law, the terms of the bill of lading or other contract of carriage, and all tariff provisions applicable thereto.
(b) Minimum filing requirements. A written or electronic communication (when agreed to by the carrier and shipper or receiver involved) from a claimant, filed with a proper carrier within the time limits specified in the bill of lading or contract of carriage or transportation and:

  • (b)(1) Containing facts sufficient to identify the baggage or shipment (or shipments) of property,
  • (b)(2) Asserting liability for alleged loss, damage, injury, or delay, and
  • (b)(3) Making claim for the payment of a specified or determinable amount of money, shall be considered as sufficient compliance with the provisions for filing claims embraced in the bill of lading or other contract of carriage; provided, however, that where claims are electronically handled, procedures are established to ensure reasonable carrier access to supporting documents.

(c) Documents not constituting claims. Bad order reports, appraisal reports of damage, notations of shortage or damage, or both, on freight bills, delivery receipts, or other documents, or inspection reports issued by carriers or their inspection agencies, whether the extent of loss or damage is indicated in dollars and cents or otherwise, shall, standing alone, not be considered by carriers as sufficient to comply with the minimum claim filing requirements specified in paragraph (b) of this section.
(d) Claims filed for uncertain amounts. Whenever a claim is presented against a proper carrier for an uncertain amount, such as “$100 more or less,” the carrier against whom such claim is filed shall determine the condition of the baggage or shipment involved at the time of delivery by it, if it was delivered, and shall ascertain as nearly as possible the extent, if any, of the loss or damage for which it may be responsible. It shall not, however, voluntarily pay a claim under such circumstances unless and until a formal claim in writing for a specified or determinable amount of money shall have been filed in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section.
(e) Other claims. If investigation of a claim develops that one or more other carriers has been presented with a similar claim on the same shipment, the carrier investigating such claim shall communicate with each such other carrier and, prior to any agreement entered into between or among them as to the proper disposition of such claim or claims, shall notify all claimants of the receipt of conflicting or overlapping claims and shall require further substantiation, on the part of each claimant of his title to the property involved or his right with respect to such claim.

To find out where to file your claim, you have to locate the blanket company. For interstate moving companies, they must have an office that you can serve in every state. Accordingly they have a blanket company with an office set up that you can file service on. This step is the same for both filing a claim and for small claims and litigation which is discussed later on. To find the office first go back to Company Snapshot as shown in the Background Check section.

After entering the company name/DOT#/ or MC# you will come to this page again.

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Instead of clicking on report though, click on HTML this time.  This will bring you to the carrier page.  Here you will want to click on blanket company.

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After that you will be brought to the processing agents.  From here you can just look up whatever state you are located in, and that is the one you need to file service with.

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