Whenever we send a package or mail, delivery is not always guaranteed, even with the best shipping companies.
Sometimes our packages could end up lost, damaged, or with some items missing. This is why it’s important to get your mail and packages insured.
This article will discuss insurance with US Postal Service, the basics, and how insurance works:
Here’s What You Need To Know About USPS and Their Insurance Policy:
If you purchase insurance for your package, it would be covered for up to $5,000 in case it gets lost or damaged, or some of its contents go missing. Insurance does not guarantee expedited delivery or specific delivery date and time, but it is good to have in case something happens with your mail.
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What Insurance Do You Have On Standard USPS Packages?
Standard USPS packages are not insured, but you can get insurance for an additional cost by purchasing it online or at your local post office.
If you purchase insurance for your package, it would be covered for up to $5,000 in case it gets lost or damaged, or some of its contents go missing.
Since delivery is not always guaranteed with USPS or any shipping company, getting your package insured is highly recommended as it gives you peace of mind.
Some USPS packages already have insurance because it is included in the service. For example, all packages shipped through Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express services are automatically insured for up to $100.
However, if the item’s declared value exceeds $100, the customer must pay additional fees to get the package fully insured.
How Do I Know If My USPS Package Has Insurance?
If you shipped your package through Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express, it already has insurance because it’s automatically included in the service.
This is why these shipping options are more expensive than the rest. Apart from faster delivery, these packages are already insured. Priority Mail starts at $9, while Priority Mail Express starts at $27.25.
You will get an insurance receipt when you ship using either option. Plus, all domestic insured packages would have a barcoded label so you can easily tell that they’re insured just by looking at the box.
If you shipped your package through other USPS shipping services apart from the ones mentioned, it does not have any insurance, but you can pay extra to have it covered.
Here is the list of USPS services where insurance is available only as an add-on purchase:
- First-Class Mail
- USPS Marketing Mail
- USPS Retail Ground
- Media Mail
- Library Mail
- Parcel Select Lightweight
- Bound Printed Matter
What Happens When USPS Loses A Package Without Insurance?
When USPS loses a package without insurance, the customer may file a claim only to cover the shipping cost.
If a package is lost, the customer may search for Missing Mail to find and retrieve the package.
They may also get in touch with the facility where the package was last scanned to get some help in locating the package. The local post office would assist in these matters.
However, if the customer cannot find the package even with the help of USPS and there is no insurance in place, then they cannot file a claim to cover the value of the items. USPS is not liable for any lost or damaged packages without insurance.
The customer can only file a claim to get back the amount they paid for shipping. The claim should be made within 60 days.
How Often Does USPS Lose Packages?
It’s not very often that USPS loses packages. Out of all packages shipped through USPS, only about 1% get lost.
When a package gets lost, USPS is not always at fault.
There are several reasons that a package could get lost, and here are some examples:
- The package was delivered, but it was stolen. This is a very common reason for lost packages.
- The shipping label gets torn off, so the package becomes undeliverable.
- A bottle breaks inside a package and spills liquid on other packages, making the shipping labels smeared and unreadable.
- The customer wrote an incomplete address.
- The delivery address was written incorrectly – for example, the wrong house number and misspelled words.
Sometimes, USPS may be at fault, and sometimes, it is the customer’s fault. Other times, it is out of USPS or the customer’s control, for example, when the package gets stolen.
Generally, packages sent through Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Registered Mail, and Certified Mail rarely gets lost.
This is because they go through a lot of scanning and must be signed for at each facility. This means that these packages are closely monitored.
Are USPS First-Class Packages Automatically Insured?
USPS First-Class Packages are not automatically insured.
Since this is the cheapest way to send a parcel, starting at $4.80, it only includes the basics, such as postage and shipping fees. It does not have insurance or even end-to-end tracking.
However, you can get insurance for First-Class Packages by paying extra. Depending on the item’s value, you can get it insured for up to $5,000.
What Insurance Options Does USPS Offer, and How Much Does It Cost?
Insurance for USPS packages is available online or at your local post office.
You can buy insurance coverage for your package for up to $5,000. The cost to get your package insured depends on the item’s declared value.
This is to add protection in case your package gets lost or damaged, or some of its contents go missing. The insurance fees are computed based on the declared value of the item.
Here is how much insurance would cost based on the declared value of the item:
- Value of up to $50 – $1.65
- Value of $50.01 to $100 – $2.05
- Value of $100.01 to $200 – $2.45
- Value of $200.01 to $300 – $4.60
- Value of $300.01 to $5,000 – $4.60 + $0.90 for every $100 or fraction thereof
For example, if your item has a declared value of $40, you would have to pay $1.65 to insure them.
If the declared value is $350, the insurance costs $5.5.
If the declared value is $1,100, then you have to pay $11.8 for insurance.
Mail and packages shipped through Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express are insured for up to $100. Insurance is automatically added when you avail of these services.
However, if the item’s declared value exceeds $100, you must pay an additional fee to get the package insured.
Here’s how much the add-on fees will be:
- Value of up to $100 – insurance is free
- Value of $100.01 to $200 – $0.75
- Value of $200.01 to $500 – $2.10
- Value of $500.01 to $5,000 – $2.10 + $1.35 for every $100 or fraction thereof
When getting insurance for your package, ensure that you indicate the correct item value so that it is completely covered in case something happens.
If your item costs $2,000, you need to declare that value when shipping so that you can file a claim for that amount in the event your package gets lost or damaged.
Take note that insurance is not available for all types of packages.
Mail pieces shipped through any of the following services cannot be insured:
- Merchandise Return Service
- Priority Mail Open and Distribute
- Premium Forwarding Service
Like Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail, international packages have insurance.
International packages automatically come with Global Express Guaranteed insurance which covers up to $100 in case the package gets lost or damaged. If the declared value of the package exceeds this amount, you can purchase additional coverage of up to $2,499.
When you send a package, you’re not required to get insurance for it, but if you want peace of mind when shipping important items, we recommend getting insurance.