Whether you handle your claim in-house or use a third party claims service like CSI, your inventory sheets are frequently as important as your BOL when analyzing a claim. For interstate carriers, it is required to prepare an inventory of the shipment and to list any damage, or unusual wear to any items. The purpose is to make a record of the existence and condition of each item before it is moved.

After completing the inventory, both you and the customer must sign each page of the inventory. When the shipment is delivered, both you and the customer must sign each page of the inventory again. So why should you spend time on notating exceptions in the first place? It turns out that settlement amounts are lower when the condition of items at origin are accurately notated.

Notating Exceptions

Your ability to recall and manage any loss or damage may depend on notated exceptions made on inventory sheets. Our data shows that claims which have the inventory properly notated, result in lower settlement amounts. This is because notations are then used to analyze the claim more accurately and claimed damage is often linked to the condition at the origin.

One of the challenges of analyzing claims is when the exceptions notated on the delivery documents are not done correctly and accurately. For example, when every item in the inventory is marked as damage, including boxes, the exceptions lack the authenticity and lose the legitimacy of being valid. Exceptions must be truthful. Remember, the goal is to make sure you stay compliant.

Staff Training

Train your drivers and staff members on how to properly fill out the inventory documents, add appropriate notations next to each item, and get signatures both at the origin and destination, and reap the rewards of higher customer satisfaction, higher accountability, and lower settlement payouts.

To summarise, you should see keeping accurate inventory records as an asset and a major management tool that has multiple legal, operational and financial benefits. Train your office and claims department to work together to make sure your inventory documents are in compliance.

To learn more about household goods compliance, training and to learn about required legal documents, send us a note or call us.