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avoid liability for damaged goods

How to Avoid Paying for the Cost of Damaged Goods

Have you ever gotten excited to receive an order only to realize that you paid for damaged goods? What can you do? Who is responsible? Is it you or the seller? Unfortunately, this is a common situation so we want you to know how to protect yourself if it should ever happen to you.

As A Buyer What Can You Do?

Here are precautions you can take to avoid liability for damaged goods:

  1. Always insist on inspection at delivery.  Make sure the carrier has inspections prioritized as a core part of their role.
  2. Sign the POD (proof of delivery) with “Pending further inspection.”
  3. Have your staff start inspecting the minute the delivery arrives.  You can’t make the driver wait for you to inspect, but you can encourage them to give you more time to inspect.
  4. Hold your staff accountable for checking the damaged goods.  If they don’t catch it at delivery, you may be stuck with the bill.
  5. Take pictures as soon as you discover hidden damage to support your claim
  6. IMMEDIATELY contact the carrier when you discover a damaged product.


Who Pays for the Cost Of Damaged Goods?

When products arrive damaged or incomplete, it’s instinctive to call the distributor immediately. While the distributor will attempt to resolve the issue, FOB or “Freight on Board” means the seller is not considered legally liable for products damaged after the shipping company picks it up.  So if a shipment arrives damaged, most distributors will submit a claim with the carrier on the customer’s behalf, but almost always, the buyer assumes the title of the goods as soon as the product leaves the distributor warehouse.

What is the claim process?

 It is extremely inconvenient when you have to take the time to file a damaged freight claim.  These claims have various requirements, terms, and conditions based on the carrier:


Freight Quote


Carriers insist on proof of damage at the time of delivery, yet delivery drivers rarely give the customer much of an opportunity to inspect deliveries.   Taking the precautions outlined can help alleviate the painstaking process of trying to prove your case.

Americover’s Cause to Care

At Americover we take extra steps to ensure that the shipping companies we use are aware of the sensitive shipments they are delivering to our clients. It’s important that we provide you with high-quality items that uphold their structural integrity so that they can help you do your job. Though we can’t always control what happens once the shipment leaves our warehouse, we will always make a thorough effort to ensure successful delivery by using additional labeling, longer cores, specific pallet wrapping, and shipping instructions. 


Trusted by Growers, Builders, and Distributors

Americover is the smart source for plastic and polyethylene sheeting. Trusted by contractors and distributors across construction and agriculture industries, our American-made products combine reliability with quality and innovation. 

As an Americover customer, you will receive the personalized support of a dedicated account manager to simplify the ordering process and ensure the best solution for every one of your projects. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is here to answer your questions and fulfill orders Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. If you would like to speak with a representative, call us at 760-388-6294 or contact us.