Cargo Loss Claims Attorneys
How Do I File A Cargo Loss Claim?
Every now and then you find yourself in a situation that only an attorney can handle, such as a cargo loss claim. Filing a claim can be a confusing and anxiety-ridden process. That’s why you need to contact insurance dispute attorneys with the Law Offices of Michael B. Brehne, P.A., to help you through the process by answering your questions and ensuring the insurance company takes your claim seriously.
There are three significant timelines Florida insurance companies must follow:
- Notify your insurance company about the lost cargo or property damage within 14 days. It’s imperative to speak with a live representative at that time because the company must contact you within 14 days. This same timeframe also applies to any subsequent and nonspecific communications, such as update inquiries.
- One of the most important documents you’ll need to submit is a proof of loss form, sheet, or list within 10 days of the loss occurrence. This document displays proof of the loss, estimates of the damage, and compensation needed to recover. When the insurance company receives the proof of loss document, they have 10 days to start an investigation to determine the amount of the losses.
- When the investigation is complete, the insurance company has up to 90 days to notify you of a denial or acceptance regarding the claim. An insurance company often wants to find any way possible to reduce the amount of coverage. If your claim is denied and the reasons for that decision are unclear, or not given at all, the insurance company may be operating with bad practices. If you believe the claim was denied due to an insurance company acting in bad faith, contact our law firm immediately.
Common Reasons Cargo Carriers Decline Liability
The demand for fast and efficient cargo services is prominent in the freight industry. While most cargo shipments are picked up, transported, and delivered on time and undamaged, damage and loss still occurs. When carriers receive a claim of cargo loss, they must prove they weren’t negligent to avoid legal liability. Legally, carriers can also decline liability for cargo loss with defenses including:
- An act of nature;
- An act of the public enemy;
- The fault of the shipper; and
- Defects in the goods themselves.
The sheer complexity of cargo loss claims makes it all the more important to contact an experienced insurance attorney. If you’re presented with a cargo claim denial, contact the insurance dispute attorneys with the Law Offices of Michael B. Brehne, P.A.
How To Avoid Denied Cargo Loss Claims
Cargo loss claim denial can happen for a variety of reasons; the best way to ensure claim approval is by taking preventive measures.
Submit Adequate Documentation
A common reason for cargo claim denials is inadequate or incomplete documentation. When a claim is denied for incomplete or inadequate information, generally shippers are invited to reopen the claim by providing additional paperwork. To avoid denial, make sure all documentation is completed accurately and meets insurance and regulatory requirements.
Use Appropriate Packaging
Carriers often deny claims for cargo loss or damage when a shipment is packed insecurely or with materials that don’t adequately provide protection from damage or loss. Take the time to ensure each piece is packaged according to industry standards before it’s shipped.
Pay Freight Charges
The approval of a cargo claim depends on payment of freight charges. Payment for the cargo, as well as prior and concurrent freight services, is important for securing claim approval.
Inspect Cargo Thoroughly
Once the cargo is delivered, the receiving party must take note of any losses or damages prior to signing delivery forms. Without added notations outlining damage or loss, the shipper can claim no liability for shipment damage or loss. To avoid this, ensure the receiving party inspects the cargo thoroughly before signing delivery forms.
Mitigate The Damage
When claims for damaged or lost cargo are filed, shippers are legally required to mitigate costs to help carriers minimize monetary losses. However, if the claimant isn’t able to recuperate because the cargo didn’t arrive, has no scrap value as-is, or would cost more to repair than to replace, the claimant can submit a detailed report of why mitigation isn’t possible and request the full claim amount. For more information on mitigation requirements and cargo loss claims, contact the Law Offices of Michael B. Brehne, P.A., in Orlando, FL for a free consultation.