Phase 9 part (a) - Reefer Claims Handling
In our previous loss prevention bulletin (Phase 8), we covered the actions that the shipping line should take when they are notified of a potential loss and/or a refrigerated cargo claim. We also recommended the appointment of a marine cargo surveyor to inspect the perishable cargo and the refrigerated container and to collect all necessary and available documents and records in support of adjudicating a claim.
In loss prevention bulletin number 9, we address the Reefer Cargo Claims Handling process, the bulletin is split into two parts (A & B).
The claims handling process includes acknowledging receipt of the claim, requesting documents from the claimant, following up for any missing internal shipping company and third party service provider documents, adjusting the claim, obtaining a release and tips on reading and interpreting reefer Partlow charts and microprocessor (“data logger”) temperature downloads.
The first step in the process is acknowledging receipt of the claim, which normally involves the use of a form letter to acknowledge the claim and inform the claimant of your reference number. The letter should always end with a disclaimer that states “This claim acknowledgment is not to be considered an admission of liability or waiver of any rights or defences”.
The claim acknowledgement is a good time to request any documents needed from the claimant that might be missing from the claims package. Documents required from the claimant include:
- Claim statement showing the amount of the claim and type of alleged damage Shippers commercial invoice and packing list.
- Delivery receipt and devanning tally with reefer container seal number.
- Survey report(s) from the surveyor(s) representing cargo interests and/or marine cargo underwriters.
- Salvage receipt if the cargo was sold for salvage or auctioned away.
- Destruction certificate if the cargo was not sold for salvage
- Consumption entry if claim includes duty (i.e., paid customs entry form)
- Reconditioning or repair invoices, if applicable
- Copy of the ocean bill of lading
- Subrogation receipt if the cargo insurers filed the claim (the receipt should be properly dated and identifying the insurer).