The first step in correcting your mistakes is to identify what you are doing wrong. That's why this article is so important. I think we can all relate to the top 3 mistakes of working cargo claims.
1. Relying too heavily upon the carrier. The first step most 3PLs will take when they are advised of a claim is report it to the carrier and ask them to take care of it. Most of the time you don’t know these people, and you do not know how reliable they are. Yet you are willing to risk the goodwill you have with your customer to a stranger beyond your control. Cut through to their insurance company.
2. Failing to understand how the claims business works. You can hardly be faulted for not knowing how the insurance industry is structured and what their people need to feel comfortable paying a cargo claim. If you are intent upon handling your own claims, get educated about the cargo claims.
3. Failing to stay on top of claims. Most 3PLs handling customers’ claims themselves are not pro-active enough in making sure the claims keep moving along. Carriers and insurance company employees, like anyone, can be over-worked, incompetent, lazy or just plain slow. Very few people are excellent at what they do. Unless somebody is following up – being a “squeaky wheel” – claims can drag on for way too long threatening the relationship with your customer. By touching base with your customer and/or the claims examiner at the carrier’s insurance company (depending upon who has the ball at the time) every week or two, you can help insure the claim does not get lost in the wind.
The Claims Guy,
Mike Bush, Sr.