Ask the PDC Adjuster: The Importance of Timely Claims Reporting

Crashed semi flipped on its side on roadside


On-time reporting of physical damage claims allows Great West Casualty Company to begin the investigative process while all of the details are still fresh in the minds of those involved. Prompt claim reporting is important for several reasons, including downtime and claim processing. If the Property Damage Cargo (PDC) Adjuster can respond in the first 24 hours, he or she can take steps immediately to minimize the insured’s downtime, assist with towing, control costs, and get the equipment back on the road more quickly.

Additionally, on-time reporting can affect the severity of a claim. Great West’s PDC Adjusters work with wrecker services and body shops every day. They specialize in resolving claims promptly to minimize losses and reach a fair and accurate settlement. Experience shows, however, that the longer it takes to report a claim, the higher the claim’s cost.


On-time reporting of cargo claims is even more critical. Let’s say your driver is at a dock delivering fresh produce when the receiver decides that maybe the temperatures are a little off, or maybe the strawberries do not look as bright as the receiver thinks they should. As you know, produce is a perishable commodity. If you wait to call Great West for a day or so to give the receiver a chance to decide what he’s going to do, you could limit or prevent our ability to show that the cargo is not damaged or mitigate a loss. In some situations, timely reporting can help prevent a loss. Also, you are obligated under the terms of your policy to timely report claims.

For motor carriers who transport building materials, coils, paper rolls, dry goods, chemicals, food products, ingredients, and livestock, the PDC Adjuster can, in most cases, assist with salvaging these types of cargo to mitigate the loss when legally permissible. Great West also employs the services of independent adjusters to inspect the cargo, assist with the investigation, and help control costs. Again, reporting the claim promptly allows the claims team to resolve the claim quickly and fairly.



  • Train all employees on accident reporting procedures.

  • Train drivers on the proper use of an accident kit.

  • Review insurance coverages with employees so they understand the benefits.

  • Track claims internally and hold staff accountable for late reporting


Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.

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This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Joe Morten & Son, Inc. does not provide legal advice to its insureds or other  parties, nor does it advise insureds or other parties on employment-related issues, therefore the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds or other parties. Legal advice should always be sought from legal counsel. Joe Morten & Son, Inc. shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein. Reprinted with permission from Great West Casualty Company.