File a Claim

Don’t panic! Follow these easy steps to a quick resolution.

In the unfortunate circumstance that you need to file a claim; immediately inspect each package and take proper notation of all delivery receipts with respect to the damaged property. Contact our Marine Insurance department as quickly as possible to report the incident. If you think that the damage is greater than USD $5000, WSSA will schedule a surveyor to inspect the damaged goods. Print the Cargo Loss Procedure check list below .

Cargo Loss Procedure

In order to preserve your rights of action against any delivering carrier as required by the insurance covering your shipments upon receipt of every consignment:

  1. Make immediate inspection of each package.
  2. Take proper exceptions on all delivery receipts in respect to all loss or damage existing at the time of taking delivery and during transit. It is most important that exact exceptions be taken in writing on the delivery receipt as to the condition of the consignment and a copy of the delivery receipt be retained for your claim file.

Further to protect your rights under your insurance:

  1. Promptly report loss or damage to WSSA, TOLL FREE, 800-368-3167 or 207-805-1664, to permit assignment of a surveyor, or such other action as may be necessary. When calling in the claim, give the following details:

    IMPORTANT: Save actual seal removed from container.

    1. Report type of loss/damage
    2. Extent of damage, value
    3. Name of vessel/voyage number; railcar/number
    4. Bill of lading number, date
    5. Port of shipment/port of discharge
    6. Seal number on container upon arrival
  2. Preserve packing for examination by surveyor.
  3. Immediately file claim in writing against carriers. If more than one carrier is involved (Ocean-Air-Truckman-Railroad), a claim must be filed against each. Note: Claim to carrier should be positive, not merely expression of an intent to claim.
  4. Collect complete documentation in support of your insurance claim. When submitting claim to WSSA for consideration include the following:



    1. Copies of all original ocean, air and inland Bills of Lading covering the entire shipment including paid freight bills.
    2. A copy of the supplier’s original commercial invoice and packing list(s).
    3. Copy of WSSA Marine Insurance Declaration, submitted to WSSA for shipment involved(even when short-shipped, you must insure total shipment value in order to ensure coverage).
    4. Duty Consumption Entry Report from U.S. Customs bearing Entry Number.
    5. Copies of all delivery receipts with proper exceptions in respect of loss or damage noted thereon, as well as any other exceptions or bad order slips and carrier inspection reports which may substantiate loss or damage.
    6. With regard to non delivery claims, written confirmation by the carriers involved attesting to their inability to make delivery.
    7. Copies of written claims against carriers or others, with their reply when available.
    8. An itemized Claim Statement on your letterhead/invoice, describing damage/loss, amount involved and how that amount was calculated, or of a shortage, describe the total cases short-shipped, the dollar value and how that amount was calculated.
    9. Letter from Overseas Supplier, on their letterhead (or if by fax, it must have the complete heading, showing that it came from overseas) attesting that the goods were loaded in full.
    10. Estimates, invoices with supporting documents substantiating the recovery, and relabeling cost of the damaged goods.
    11. Any correspondences or other reports or information relevant to the transit, loss, damage or coverage.
    12. Original of survey report if it has not been sent directly to the Company by the surveyor;

The foregoing will normally suffice, but circumstances may require additional information or special action. In order fully to protect your rights, always act promptly and prudently to preserve and safeguard your shipment.

You can find more information in our Cargo Essentials presentation, which helps to outline marine coverage services and claims. 

Download the Cargo Loss Procedure Poster for easy reference to the above steps and tips.