Importance of the Bill of Lading
A bill of lading is a detailed list of a shipment of goods in the form of a receipt given by the carrier to the person consigning the goods at pickup and at delivery. It is often abbreviated as just “BOL”.
When it comes to auto transport, it is used to record any existing external damage before transport as well as any new which happened during transit that is marked at delivery. For that reason this is the most important document for insurance claims.
The Procedure for Pickup and Delivery:
At Pick Up
- Before loading your vehicle, you and the trucker carefully inspect your vehicle for pre-existing scratches, dents and other damage.
- On the bill of lading form there is an image of the vehicle. The truck driver marks all pre-existing damages in the correct area of the image. Here’s an example of the Vehicle Section of a Bill of Lading for demonstration purposes:
- It is highly recommended to tell the truck driver to record the current mileage of your vehicle’s odometer. It’s also highly recommended to several take pictures of the vehicle at pickup and again at delivery.
- Both the truck driver and you sign the document and each must keep a copy of it.
- If you disagree with what the truck driver is marking, please call Montway for assistance at the time of pickup. Our number is easy to remember, 1-888-MONTWAY.
- At the time of delivery, the truck driver must allow you to carefully inspect your vehicle again.
- If there are any NEW scratches, dents or other damages to your vehicle you MUST mark them on the bill of lading in the proper area of the image and write down in the field for exceptions/comments an exact description of the NEW damage. Just as at pickup, taking pictures at delivery, especially if there is new damage, is highly recommended.
- Only AFTER the inspection, both the truck driver and you should sign the document and each must keep a copy of it.
- After the inspection, if there is a balance due for your shipment, legally you still must pay the trucker even if there is an issue with the vehicle. An insurance claim and payment of freight charges are two entirely different transactions.
- At the time of delivery, if there is a disagreement or the trucker insists that the process is done differently, please call Montway so we can assist you. Our number is easy to remember, 1-888-MONTWAY.
Please remember that:
(a) It is your right to inspect your vehicle properly at the time of delivery.
(b) It is your right to mark on the bill of lading any issues you find with your vehicle.
(c) After inspection is done, legally you still must pay the trucker the transport fare, even if there is an issue with the vehicle. An insurance claim and payment of freight charges are two entirely different transactions.
Damages are not an expected part of the shipping process, but they can happen. In the event they do, properly filling out this important document can save you a lot of time and stress and can help ensure a successful insurance claim. If you have any questions or concerns please call Montway at 1-888-666-8929 and our friendly agents will assist you and ensure you have peace of mind.