Claim Process Discussion

#1
Hi,

Has anyone dealt with Polaris and claims, we have a claim with them and dealing with David D and have sent him a ton of emails and vm for him to call, they refused the claim based on 3 pictures and they have yet to send in an inspector or tell there agent there is a pending claim. I email Dave Cox but his email is bouncing back.
 
#3
There agent who was delivering for them demolished our freight, there is zero left of the machine.
I called the agent and they told me that Polaris has to put in the claim.
 

Michael Ludwig

Well-Known Member
#4
Cargo claims can be tricky. You need to ask and answer a few fundamental questions.
Who owns the freight? You or your shipper?
Whose names were on the bill of lading? Yours? Polaris? The shipper? The receiver?

I don't know you from Adam, but let's assume you are a load broker. You have no ownership interest in the product. Your name is not on the bill of lading anywhere. Frankly, you have no dog in this fight, and Polaris can simply ignore your claim without recourse.
You may have put a clause in your contract to cover this very scenario, but truthfully, it's not worth the paper it was written on, nor the ink to write it. You cannot contract outside the law, and cargo claims are covered under the law very well.
On the other hand, suppose all the stars line up in your favour. You are the owner of the product, and your name is on the bill of lading. The law says it is incumbent upon the carrier to prove they did not damage your product. Assuming you are following the proper claims procedure within the appropriate time frames, and Polaris ignores your claim, you simply take them to court and win your judgement.
It's a very civil process.
 
#5
Yes our name was on the BOL and supporting documents, We are a Trucking company with a 3pl and I really don't want to take it to court and would rather deal with them like professionals so we can keep our relationship moving forward!

Thanks for you reply Michael,
 

Michael Ludwig

Well-Known Member
#6
Ahhhh ... I hear you loud and clear. Unfortunately, we don't always run into professionalism everywhere we go.
I expect as both a carrier and a 3PL, you are already aware of what you need to do, even though you really don't want to pull the trigger.
The problem is if you want to eat steak, you're going to have to shoot the cow.
 

loaders

Site Supporter
#8
As soon as I saw the word "machine" in reference to your post, the thought occurred to me that the agent Polaris is using (and most probably Polaris themselves) have in their filings, a reduced amount of liability for machinery, especially used machinery. The claim, if you are acting as a broker, must be submitted as Michael stated, in the name of the rightful owner of the goods at the time of the loss. That could be your customer, the shipper or the intended receiver..... the terms of sale will give you that information. I believe that there is a John fellow at Polaris acting as operations/general manager, perhaps try him. Unless you have an incorrect email address for Dave Cox, or he is off on holiday, I am surprised he hasn't responded, positively or negatively.
 

Michael Ludwig

Well-Known Member
#9
If you're getting a bounce back on the email, it's very likely either you have an incorrect email addy or the person is no longer there.

FWIW ... use #3 steel shot for the duck, and 1 1/2 oz slug for the cow ... LOL
 

Shakey

Site Supporter
#10
There was earlier posting today that Polaris has internet issues. I even tried there website and it is not working either so I'm sure Dave and crew are not having a lot of fun right now.
 

MikeJr

Moderator
Staff member
#11
Agreed with Shakey, website down means maybe some email issues also? The company probably has a lot of manual work to do (rating, tracing, faxing customs, etc).
All of the small claims I've had with Polaris were handled in a professional and timely manner.
First things first, gather all the tools (BOL, invoice, photos, etc) and ensure you are prepared to present all the details it would take for anyone that must to perform their investigation.

Keep well,
Mike
 

Nawk

Well-Known Member
#12
Yes... Polaris is having internet and Email issues today. Most of the building is down... there are only a few of us that are still up and running.

bcharette... Please send me a PM with your complete contact info. I will personally see that it hits Dave Cox's desk tomorrow am and is dealt with.

Thanks,
 
#13
Yes our name was on the BOL and supporting documents, We are a Trucking company with a 3pl and I really don't want to take it to court and would rather deal with them like professionals so we can keep our relationship moving forward!

Thanks for you reply Michael,
If you have to escalate the matter and have moved some volume with Polaris then I suggest you call and contact higher up on the chain, Jon Saunders...
 
#17
Cargo claims can be tricky. You need to ask and answer a few fundamental questions.
Who owns the freight? You or your shipper?
Whose names were on the bill of lading? Yours? Polaris? The shipper? The receiver?

I don't know you from Adam, but let's assume you are a load broker. You have no ownership interest in the product. Your name is not on the bill of lading anywhere. Frankly, you have no dog in this fight, and Polaris can simply ignore your claim without recourse.
You may have put a clause in your contract to cover this very scenario, but truthfully, it's not worth the paper it was written on, nor the ink to write it. You cannot contract outside the law, and cargo claims are covered under the law very well.
On the other hand, suppose all the stars line up in your favour. You are the owner of the product, and your name is on the bill of lading. The law says it is incumbent upon the carrier to prove they did not damage your product. Assuming you are following the proper claims procedure within the appropriate time frames, and Polaris ignores your claim, you simply take them to court and win your judgement.
It's a very civil process.

Hi Micheal.

how in thee= world can we explain this to our customers?

they don't want to understand the complexity of the law, they see us as their Freight provider and even blaming us for selecting the carrier (readdress how much due diligent we had done) and they want us to swallow the loss or sue the carrier, which legally we cant.

As much as we explain them our role as an intermediary, it doesn't go anywhere. they feel they have no choice. they have freight invoices deduct whatever they need to and let us deal with the carrier.

we have three claims now, in which in all of them the customers seems to be right and the carrier wrong. but the carrier is either ignoring or replying with flawed arguments and we have no power to change their behaviors. of course we paid the freight invoices (like we "always" do) and the customer is deducting. the legal route is for us to send our customers account for collections (meaning loosing the customers) or for the customer to sue the carrier (and us) in court (which mean loosing the customers)

what's the practical way out of it?

on that note, our experience with Polaris is excellent on every level. On claims, they always reply and are very professional. not always how we or our customer would like... but they are at least communicating and with reason.

it's a great company.
 
Last edited:

Michael Ludwig

Well-Known Member
#18
You, or someone in your office, needs to set out a guideline, a to-do list if you will, on how to handle cargo claims. The entire process needs to be outlined, in plain english, so anyone can understand it. The regulation does a fairly good job of this itself.
That, along with a point person contact, is something that should be handed to each customer along with their contract. It needs to be discussed, and understood, at the beginning of a relationship. Let's face it, no one is in an understanding mood in the midst of a crisis.

I always ask a new customer if they understand how to deal with cargo claims. If they don't, I send them documentation on it, ask them to read it, then we schedule a follow up call so I know they understand.
On the other hand, if you're a carrier I expect you to already know, so I don't ask.
If you are a load broker, I will never ask. I keep that as an ace up my sleeve, just in case i need it some day. Here's why; most load brokers, especially the basement dwellers and fly-by-nighters, will insert themselves in the middle of something which they know nothing about and hang themselves.

** Perfect Example ** We dorked a load of bananas. Totally our fault. Froze the little bastards solid. Receiver, who knew what he was doing vis-a-vis claims, took the load, wrote frozen on the bill of lading, and disposed of the load. The load broker gets in the middle and says they are going to deduct the cost from my transportation invoice, and bill me for the balance. I said, no, pay the transportation invoice as is and have the shipper submit a claim. The load broker replied in the negative and insisted their way was how things were going to be done and that was the end of the conversation. Two weeks later I get an invoice for the balance. I did not pay it. For 9 months I put it off. Almost a year to the day of the loss the broker called and wanted to know where the money was for the balance of the load. I told him I was not paying and furthermore I have no intention of paying it, and went on to explain why. First, they had let 9 months pass without filing a proper claim. I am under no legal obligation at this point to consider a claim. Second, they did not pay my transportation invoice. I am under no legal obligation at this point to honor a claim. I was threatened with court action. I replied that I welcomed the opportunity, would happily trounce them in court, and most likely get my legal fees reimbursed for a frivolous lawsuit. Never heard any more about it. At the end of the day I had spent about $900.00 in raw transportation cost to settle a $75,000.00 claim.
The moral of the story is don't concern yourself with things that don't concern you. As a load broker, know your place when it comes to claims. You have no dog in the fight.
What you should do, as a load broker, is offer guidance and advice in seeing the claims process through to its conclusion. Just don't speak as the claimant, where you are not the actual claimant.

FWIW ... Professional brokers are way too smart to fall for what happened above.

It is written in the law that transportation invoices and cargo claims are two separate transactions. Once everyone comes to grips with that, the process becomes very simple to understand and navigate. It is also written in the law that there is a very specific, yet simple, procedure to follow to settle claims.

The heart of the claims process relies on this simple axiom; The carrier picked it up in good condition as per their signature on the bill of lading. The carrier delivered it broken as per the receiver;s note and signature on the bill of lading. The carrier must prove they did not break it.

As to your customers "they don't want to understand the complexity of the law", then I can only reply that they are neither fiscally responsible, or very bright. These are the same people that have an intense dislike, even hatred, for transportation companies. They view transportation as a necessary evil rather than an extension of their process.

As to your 4th paragraph, by paying the carrier's invoice in full, you have actually saved your customers' collective asses. They remain on very solid ground in taking the carrier to court, and winning, provided the mandated time limits have not expired. Remember, with one caveat, you, as a load broker, have no place in the middle of the claims process.

The caveat: If your [company] name is on the bill of lading as the carrier, you're the guy on the hook for the loss. However, because you interlined (in its broadest terms) the load with another carrier, you have the legal right to subrogate part, or all, of the claims expense.

Lastly, it is illegal to contra monies owed. The person holding back the monies owed has an unfair advantage over the person owed the money. The courts will always side with the underdog in these matters.

A word of caution ... while I like to believe I am knowledgeable in the claims process, I am not a lawyer. Conduct your own due diligence, and summon your own professional advice.
 

Freight Broker

Well-Known Member
#19
Good post Michael.. only doggie we brokers have in the fight is the hand that feeds us, the shipper. The law is the law.. but the shippers nevertheless compel us to become involved and even play a leading roll in the resolution process or say bye bye to the account. I've paid small claims out of pocket simply to make the aggravation to my customer go away. I then go after my carrier.. usually things are resolved, but sometimes I'm left holding the bag. Not fair really as I didn't take a hammer to the freight.. but here once again we look at the big picture and quickly decide that paying a 4 K claim is better than losing a million dollar account. My biggest claim to date was a 40K claim.. truck overturned near Richburg, SC.. The shipper sent me the invoice for the load on 10 day payment terms, and I paid it promptly, recovering most of that from my carrier's insurance eventually. My only loss really was the deductible.. carrier wouldn't even cover that eventhough I did pay their freight invoice promptly and as required by law. I would love to have no dog in the claims fight, but the reality is that it often defaults to the broker to get things fixed and resolved. I'd had one carrier a few years back.. freight damaged..said he didn't "give a shit" about my claim before disappearing into thin air. So I picked up the tab.. small claim.. paid it.. customer satisfied, and I still have them now. And I believed that carrier when he said he didn't give a shit.. why would he? It's not his customer. Next week he goes to the loadboard and calls someone else..
 
Last edited:

Michael Ludwig

Well-Known Member
#20
That's the difference between the rule and the real. My deductible is 5K. Chances are pretty good I'm going to pay up to 10K out of pocket, if the proper procedure is followed. If it's not, I'm not paying anything.
Where you have to be a real stickler for the rules is for massive claims, and the only reason you have to be a stickler is because your insurance will not pay out if you don't cross all the T's and dot all the I's.
 

Stats

Members online
0
Guests online
36
Total visitors
36