Today, many businesses are run completely online. And without a brick and mortar storefront, these e-commerce sites sell products that must be shipped through the USPS or other shipping carriers. Protecting valuable merchandise while in transit is a top priority for any business.
While the majority of shipments sent through the postal service get to their destinations without issue, the possibility of theft, loss or damage still exists. When this happens, it can be upsetting to the customer and the shipper. It's especially frustrating to the seller who has little to no control once the package is shipped. That is why you should always insure your shipments and be sure to find the best shipping insurance for you.
Best Ways to Insure Your Shipments With usps
There are a few ways you can go about protecting lost packages or damage to your shipments. You can insure your shipments through the USPS, or you can find parcel insurance through a third-party insurance provider.
If you are mailing packages up to 70 lbs, insuring your shipment through USPS is an option when you're registering your packages. You may choose to register mail when using First Class Mail, First Class Package Service or Priority Mail. Registered mail will require the recipient to sign for the package or letter. As well as adding security measures such as protected transport using locked cages, safes or sealed containers. Registered mail also provides a chain of custody by obtaining electronic or physical signatures at each USPS facility along each stage of delivery. The first $100 of coverage for parcel shipping is included, after which you may buy additional coverage up to $25,000. Even though this an affordable method, it is very slow and can take up to several weeks to arrive. This is often not an option when it comes to e-commerce and the high demand for fast shipping.
First Class Mail with Insurance
Another way to insure your shipments through the USPS is by adding insurance coverage to your First-Class Mail pieces. First Class Mail is an excellent option for small packages, large envelopes or postcards. The caveat is that in order to send mail first class, it must weigh under 3.5 oz for envelopes and 13 oz for parcels. You can add insurance up to $5,000 for shipments. You may also add Registered Mail for additional protection.
Filing a Claim for Lost or Damaged Items with the USPS
If your shipment with the USPS has been lost or damaged, typically the shipper will need to file a claim. The USPS claim process requires you to fill out a claim form as well as produce evidence of insurance. Along with those documents, you must provide proof of the value of the lost item. Acceptable documentation includes a paid invoice or sales receipt showing the value of the item when it was shipped. You may submit these items to your local post office, and the claim process is not a quick one, so be prepared to wait. Like a visit to the DMV, filing a claim is filled with paperwork, rules and regulations, and most claims are rarely accepted.
Shipping with Third Party Insurance
Aside from obtaining coverage through the USPS or other carrier you may be using, you can insure your shipments through a third-party insurance company. While most carriers provide coverage for packages, it's typically on a declared value basis. Third party insurance companies can offer real protection with parcel insurance and in some cases up to 90% less than other carriers. By utilizing an open policy for shipments, third party insurers can significantly reduce insurance costs. With an open policy, you can sign up once and it covers all your shipments for a specified time frame. This type of protection is perfect for e-commerce businesses that are shipping products out daily.
Other benefits of a third-party shipping insurance include insuring packages for a higher value. For example, if the USPS will only cover an item for $5,000, a third-party insurance company may protect it for $10,000. In addition to the higher values, dealing with a third-party insurance company is easier. When calling, you will speak to the same representative rather than multiple people, which is beneficial when dealing with a claim. They also have a faster claims process than going through the USPS or other carriers. Filing a claim with Cabrella shipping insurance for under $20,000 takes less than 30 days to complete. In addition, Cabrella insures USPS International, unlike most other third party insurers.
When deciding how to insure your shipments through the USPS, you should consider the following. If you are only shipping a few packages here and there, with low monetary value, insuring your shipments through the USPS will work just fine for you. If you are dealing with multiple shipments daily and items that are higher in value, you may want to seriously think about obtaining shipping insurance through a third-party insurance company. Of course, you can ship Priority Express Mail and still purchase insurance, but this is extremely expensive and not a cost effective option.
With Cabrella's third party shipping insurance, you can save up to 90% on shipping insurance costs. Our API integration allows us to work with almost any carrier and our user-friendly software allows you to keep track of all your shipments in real time. Click the button below to find out how much Cabrella can save you!