The Arbitration Program ensures that our members comply with the federal requirement that they must have a formal arbitration program available to resolve their customers’ disputes regarding loss and damage claims.
If you have a dispute with your mover regarding loss or damage that occurred to the articles in your shipment, you should first file a claim with your mover. Then, if your mover denies your claim or provides a settlement offer that you are not satisfied with, you may elect to use arbitration to have your claim resolved.
The arbitration program operates under federal guidelines and is limited in the type of cases that may be arbitrated. Under the program, disputed loss and damage claims up to $10,000 are subject to mandatory arbitration if no settlement can be reached; claims over $10,000 may be arbitrated if your mover agrees to do so.
The National Arbitration Forum (FORUM) administers our arbitration program. FORUM is an independent, non-governmental organization that is not affiliated with AMSA or with any household goods moving company. FORUM maintains a panel of independent and neutral arbitrators that include law professors, attorneys and former state and federal court judges to resolve the disputes. FORUM will charge an administrative fee to arbitrate your case. The administrative fee, which is divided between the parties on a prorated basis (unless your mover agrees to pay all or a portion of your share of the fee), is paid to FORUM; AMSA does not receive any portion of the administrative fee. The parties to your proceeding will be you and your mover with FORUM acting as the neutral program administrator. Neither AMSA nor any of its employees takes any role in the arbitration proceeding or has any influence in the outcome of the arbitrator's decision. (AMSA serves only as a clearinghouse to make sure that your mover properly addresses your initial request for arbitration as required by the Federal statute.)
The decision of the Arbitrator that you receive from the National Arbitration Forum will be kept confidential. Federal law (Section 14908, Subtitle IV, Title 49 United States Code) specifically prohibits an interstate carrier or its agent from disclosing any information about your shipment without your permission, except in response to legal process issued under authority of a court of the United States or a State or to an officer, employee, or agent of the United States government. Therefore, AMSA respects your right to privacy in such matters and will keep the results of your arbitration case confidential.