Pre-Existing damages

Pre-existing damages are the minor imperfections that accumulate in household goods from regular wear and tear. Before an interstate shipment is loaded, the crew must inventory each and every item to describe its condition. An item’s condition is a listing of any damages, defects, or idiosyncrasies that are present in the item. Typical examples of pre-existing damages on HHG include, soiled, worn, or torn upholstered furniture, scratched, marred, or chipped finished furniture, or dented, rusted, or bent metal furniture to name a few. 

The crew will use shorthand codes for the type of damage and its location on the item. Typical damages and their shorthand abbreviations include Broken (BR), Scratched (SC), Bent (BE), Soiled (SO) etc. The locations use numerical codes between 1 and 16 that include Arm (1), Bottom (2), Corner (3), Front (4), etc. The legend for the abbreviations and codes is listed on the top of every inventory page for ease of translation.

The carrier is obligated to move the items without adding any new damages during the process, otherwise this will result in a claim. If no exceptions are entered at origin, the item is not assumed to be perfect, but rather, assumed to have “normal wear”.  The exact definition of normal wear is very subjective and can lead to great discrepancies from crew member to crew member, To alleviate this issue, Arpin of RI teaches their crews to document every single defect, regardless of its origins.