24 CFR 17.46 - Claims involving carriers or insurers.
In the event the property which is the subject of a claim was lost or damaged while in the possession of a carrier or was insured, the following procedures will apply:
(a) Whenever property is damaged, lost, or destroyed while being shipped pursuant to authorized travel orders, the owner must file a written claim for reimbursement with the last commercial carrier known or believed to have handled the goods, or the carrier known to be in possession of the property when the damage or loss occurred, according to the terms of its bill of lading or contract, before submitting a claim against the Government under this subpart.
(1) If more than one bill of lading or contract was issued, a separate demand should be made against the last carrier on each such document.
(2) The demand should be made within 9 months of the date that delivery was made, or within 9 months of the date that delivery should ordinarily have been made.
(3) If it is apparent that the damage or loss is attributable to packing, storage, or unpacking while in the custody of the Government, no demand need be made against the carrier.
(b) Whenever property which is damaged, lost, or destroyed incident to the claimant's service is insured in whole or in part, the claimant must make demand in writing against the insurer for reimbursement under the terms and conditions of the insurance coverage, prior to the filing of the concurrent claim against the Government.
(c) Failure to make a demand on a carrier or insurer or to make all reasonable efforts to protect and prosecute rights available against a carrier or insurer and to collect the amount recoverable from the carrier or insurer may result in reducing the amount recoverable from the Government by the maximum amount which would have been recoverable from the carrier or insurer, had the claim been timely or diligently prosecuted. However, no deduction will be made where the circumstances of the claimant's service preclude reasonable filing of such a claim or diligent prosecution, or the evidence indicates a demand was impracticable or would have been unavailing.
(d) Following the submission of the claim against the carrier or insurer, the claimant may immediately submit his claim against the Government in accordance with the provisions of this subpart, without waiting until either final approval or denial of his claim is made by the carrier or insurer.
(1) Upon submitting his claim, he will certify in his claim that he has or has not gained any recovery from a carrier or insurer, and enclose all correspondence pertinent thereto.
(2) If final action has not been taken by the carrier or insurer on his claim, he will immediately notify them to address all correspondence in regard to his claim to him, in care of the General Counsel of HUD.
(3) The claimant shall advise the General Counsel of any action taken by the carrier or insurer on his claim and upon request shall furnish all correspondence documents, and other evidence pertinent to the matter.
(e) The claimant will assign to the United States to the extent of any payment on his claim accepted by him, all his right, title and interest in any claim he may have against any carrier, insurer, or other party arising out of the incident on which the claim against the United States is based. After payment of his claim by the United States, the claimant will, upon receipt of any payment from a carrier or insurer, pay the proceeds to the United States to the extent of the payment received by him from the United States.
(f) Where a claimant recovers for the loss from the carrier or insurer before his claim under this subpart is settled, the amount or recovery shall be applied to his claim as follows:
(1) When the amount recovered from a carrier, insurer, or other third party is greater than or equal to the claimant's total loss as determined under this part, no compensation is allowable under this part.
(2) When the amount recovered is less than such total loss, the allowable amount is determined by deducting the recovery from the amount of such total loss.
(3) For the purpose of this paragraph (f) the claimant's total loss is to be determined without regard to the $6,500 maximum set forth above. However, if the resulting amount, after making this deduction, exceeds $6,500, the claimant will be allowed only $6,500.