• Important NMFC Changes to Freight Claims
  • Effective April 18, 2015, the NMFC amended certain provisions within NFM 100-AO as they pertain to governing the investigation and disposition of Freight Claims for Loss or Damage. These provisions may affect you and your shipments with Motor Carriers.  Below are the provisions that may directly pertain to you.

     A – Filing of Claims

    • Claims for damage must be submitted to the carrier in a written form no more than nine (9) months from the date of delivery.
    • Claims for loss must be submitted to the carrier in a written form no more than nine (9) months from the date of the Bill of Lading.
    • Value for the loss or damage must be clearly specified and supported with proper documentation.
    • Shipping containers or packaging showing any external damage when received by the consignee must be noted on the delivery receipt, and all packaging must be retained by the consignee for inspection.
    • When the delivery receipt is signed with no exceptions or damage noted, it is considered prima facie evidence that the carrier has successfully discharged its obligations under Section 14706 of 49 USC
    • A Civil Action must be filed within two (2) years from the date the carrier provided a written or electronic notice denying or disallowing all or part of the claim.

     B – Inspection and Processing Claims

    • Each carrier shall acknowledge the receipt of a claim in writing or electronically to the claimant within 30 days after the date of its receipt.
    • Each claim shall be promptly and thoroughly investigated.
    • Claims shall be paid, declined or an offer of compromised settlement must be made within 120 days after receipt of the claim.  If, however the claim cannot be paid or settled within that time, the carrier shall provide a written explanation of the delay every 60 days until final disposition is made.

    C – Reporting Concealed Damage

    • When damage to a shipment is discovered that could not have been determined at the time of delivery, it must be reported to the carrier upon discovery, but within 5 business days of delivery.
    • If more than 5 business days pass before the consignee reports the loss, it will be incumbent upon the consignee to offer reasonable evidence that the loss or damage did not occur after delivery of the shipment by the carrier.
    • The consignee must request the carrier make an inspection of the damage and all shipping containers, materials must be retained and made available for inspection in the condition they were in when the damage was discovered.  The carrier will perform an inspection within 5 business days after receipt of notification of loss.
    • If a clear delivery receipt is available on the shipment, i.e. no damage or loss is noted, the claimant must provide documentation showing the damage or loss occurred prior to delivery.

     D – Special Circumstances

    • The carrier must be permitted access to observe loading and/or unloading of each shipment at time of pick-up and/or delivery.  In the event the carrier personnel is not provided access to observe, carrier personnel shall note this on the shipping papers clearly documenting that the carrier was unable to verify the condition and quantity of the goods tendered.  This notation must be done prior to the carrier personnel signing the shipping papers.

    NFM 100-AO is currently being updated, but these provisions are documented in Supplement 1 to NFM 100-AO.  To view the complete supplement to learn more.

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