Is Shipping Insurance Worth It?
With the holidays rapidly approaching, the shipping industry is already dealing with a boost in package traffic. And that boost is in the millions of cards, letters, and packages. Though the professional shipping companies understand the importance of what they’re delivering at this time of year, some may wonder if there are ways to make things go more smoothly just in case something does happen. So does shipping insurance help?
You May Already Be Covered
If your package is worth $100 or less, then it’s possible you’re already covered.
However, this is declared value coverage, not insurance. That means you have to declare the value of your package if it’s over $100. If you don’t, the carrier is only responsible for that $100, regardless of the total value. Additional coverage will cost you, though the rate for UPS is currently $0.90 for each additional $100 in declared value.1
Some Items Are Not Covered
Read the fine print when shipping. Some items—like coins, cash, and gems—are not covered. Other items are limited to a certain declared value.
Also, be aware of the restrictions for international shipping items and destinations, as well as any packaging needs necessary to meet coverage requirements.
You Will Need To File A Claim
Filing a claim is necessary when a package is damaged, lost, or stolen—the carriers rarely realize an error and contact you first. As all the major shipping companies have cutoffs for filing, do so as soon as you discover the problem, but make sure you follow their guidelines for doing so.
You’ll need supporting documentation for any claim you file, including information on what you shipped and the value of it. Photographs are key when damage is the issue, so take before and after photos.
Most carriers will make an effort to locate lost packages, cutting themselves after so many days and allowing the claim to proceed if the package can’t be found. Then it’s up to the office workers to push the claim through to a resolution, so you could wait anywhere from 10 to 30 days.
Third-party Shipping Insurance
There are third-party companies that sell shipping insurance, and sometimes at a discounted rate from the carriers. Regular shippers can find deals based on the quantity of packages over time. These companies may also insure items of higher values than the carriers’ declared value coverage. Having the same agent assigned to you from beginning to end is also beneficial.
Overall, shipping insurance is something to consider when shipping valuable items or when the risk is greater than you’re comfortable with. Investigate the carriers for their options.