A Complete Guide to USPS Insurance

Author: Matt Bohn
January 08, 2024

Whether you ship one package per day or a hundred, every shipment reaching its destination is paramount to your customer happiness and business growth. Generally, you can rely on your carrier to transport your goods without issue. Still, accidents happen. And that’s where shipping insurance comes in.

Shipping insurance is your protection against the unknown and your countermeasure for when packages go missing, arrive damaged, or suffer any mishap that would harm your customer experience. 

The United States Postal Service (USPS) processed 44% of the world’s mail in 2022 and, as such, is one of the premier shipping services in the nation. To understand their insurance policies, we’ll provide a full breakdown of USPS coverage, claims, and benefits in this article.

What is USPS Insurance?

USPS shipping insurance is an optional layer of protection you can apply to your packages to recover costs in case of damages, missing shipments, and accidents in transit.

In some cases, packages you send with USPS include an amount of free coverage, but generally, insurance fees depend on the value you declare for the item.

Additionally, USPS may offer advanced delivery measures for your insured packages, such as signature confirmation, return receipts, and proof of ID from the recipient upon delivery. These supplementary steps can help ensure a successful, verifiable delivery to protect against stolen or missing goods.

Instant Free Shipping Audit


USPS Insurance Cost

Depending on your USPS shipping method, your package may automatically come with up to $100 worth of free insurance coverage. Additional coverage may be available for purchase upon request.

USPS shipping insurance only covers the actual value of the package’s contents. The limit for indemnity coverage is $5,000. For coverage for more valuable goods, use Registered Mail to insure items of value up to $50,000 at any USPS location.

  • Standard Mail – Insurance fees start at $2.70 for up to $50.00 worth of merchandise. The topmost range of coverage ($600.01 – $5,000) is priced at $12.15 plus $1.85 per $100.00 or fraction thereof over $600 in declared value. Remember that additional services, like signature confirmation, cost an additional fee.
  • Priority Mail Express & Priority Mail – Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express include up to $100 of insurance coverage for free. Additional insurance is available for purchase in increments up to $5,000 of coverage. Purchase additional coverage at your local Post Office or online.
  • USPS Ground Advantage – Similar to Priority Mail, shipping with Ground Advantage comes with up to $100 of coverage for free. You may purchase incremental coverage up to $5,000 at your local post office. 
  • Private insurance options  – Shippers with many packages requiring insurance should also consider private parcel insurance options.   Lojistic has developed partnerships with some of the industry's leaders, so please contact us if you need help finding a best-in-class provider.

Coverage Details

Insuring your mail with the USPS provides you with a mailing receipt as proof of your insurance, but the USPS doesn’t keep a record of insured mail at their offices. While the USPS keeps insured mail delivery records for a period, keeping your mailing receipt for additional security is recommended.

Not all packages are eligible for USPS insurance. Items too fragile to withstand regular handling are ineligible for coverage. Similarly, the USPS only covers items adequately packed enough to withstand normal handling in the mail, so proper packing is still required.

How to Purchase USPS Insurance

To purchase additional insurance on your packages in person, visit your nearest USPS office and confirm the coverage you need with a mail handler.

Purchasing coverage online is easy, too. Select your coverage amount when creating shipping labels through your preferred online postage solution, such as PC Postage, Click-N-Ship, or eBay. 

There are no extra forms needed to buy insurance online. Online labels come with USPS Tracking by default, so you can still check delivery status online. Insurance fees are the same whether you pay in person or online.

Understanding the USPS Insurance Claims Process

If you’re considering purchasing USPS insurance, ensure you understand the claims process to retrieve your compensation swiftly and hassle-free.

To file a claim:

  1. Visit the USPS Claims site. You can file immediately if your item arrived damaged or without its contents. If your item is lost and hasn’t arrived, you must wait several days after the mailing date to file a claim. For example, Priority Mail shippers must wait seven days after the mailing date to file. In both cases, file before 60 days from the mailing date.
  2. Gather your documents, including your tracking number, evidence of insurance purchased (such as the original mailing receipt), and proof of the value of the items when they were mailed, such as a sales receipt. If your items were damaged, you’ll also need evidence of damage, such as photos of the packaging, damaged items, and packing materials.
  3. File your claim. Keep track of your claim in your Claim History in your USPS.com account and make an appeal if necessary. Claim decisions usually process in 5-7 days.

Benefits of USPS Insurance

Not only does USPS insurance help to mitigate losses financially, but purchasing coverage can also provide peace of mind so you can focus on other aspects of your business. 

USPS insurance offers optional enhancements to control your delivery by requesting a return receipt or requiring signature confirmation. If your delivery needs that extra care and documentation, a USPS insurance option could be just what you need.

Lojistic: Smart Solutions for Reliable, Cost-Effective Deliveries

USPS insurance ensures the security of your shipments and protects your business from the unpredictable effects of loss, theft, and accidents. With different incremental levels to match the values of your shipments and a simple claims process, USPS insurance is easy to navigate for all individuals and businesses.

If you ship goods regularly with USPS, UPS, FedEx, or a combination of carriers, Lojistic is the one-stop-shop platform for managing all of your logistical needs. Designed to cut your costs and save you time by leveraging innovative automated technology, Lojistic’s high-tech suite of features optimizes your business so you can focus on the big picture.

Create a free account today and enjoy immediate benefits like a comprehensive shipping history of all your carriers and modes, automated shipping invoice audit, custom reporting and more.

Sources: 
USPS. Size and Scope. https://facts.usps.com/size-and-scope/

Author

Matt Bohn

Matt Bohn

Director of Parcel Rate Services

Matt is the Director of Parcel Rate Services for Lojistic, a technology-driven firm that leverages innovative software solutions to control and reduce shipping costs.

Prior to his role at Lojistic, Matt held significant positions in the industry, including his tenure as Senior Pricing Advisor at FedEx. Matt analyzed pricing programs and wrote pricing contracts for some of FedEx’s largest e-commerce and retail shippers. He also managed projects for the FedEx Global Pricing Approval Systems and Strategic Account Executive Inputs.

Matt earned a BS in Computer Engineering and an MBA in Finance from the Joseph M. Katz School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.
Facebook Icon Youtube Icon Linkedin Icon Lock Icon Arrow Symbol Arrow Symbol