Through EasyPost, you can insure every package you send with standard, full coverage for a low, fixed rate. While we offer fast, efficient processing for damage, loss, and theft claims, some claims aren't eligible for payment because of simple mistakes users make during the packing and sending process. Streamline your claim process by following these five best practices for insuring a parcel.
1. Gather the Facts
Before you move forward with adding insurance to a shipment, we recommend learning as much as possible about what you are sending through the mail. Think about the item, and determine what perils it may face if left in a variety of conditions. As millions of parcels travel through carrier warehouses, the items may face unregulated temperatures, rough handling, and accidental falls.
If your item is delicate, perishable, or valuable, it's important to customize your packing appropriately, and to consider the amount of loss you stand to sustain if the worst were to happen. Find out the value of the item, either by reviewing invoicing, recent appraisals, or resale value.
2. Review the EasyPost Insurance Policy
EasyPost shipping insurance is designed to offer comprehensive coverage for many items, but there are some exceptions to the rule. For instance, per our insurance policy, we do not extend coverage to certain items, such as "Coins, bullion, loose diamonds or stones, jewelry, rock slabs, stocks, bonds, currency, deeds, evidence of debt, travelers checks, money orders, gift certificates, calling cards, lottery tickets, event tickets, or any other negotiable documents." We also do not offer coverage for items shipped on consignment, or parcels damaged during a customs seizure, amongst other things.
Prior to adding insurance to your shipments, carefully review our policy to ensure that your parcel does not fall within the criteria of something we wouldn't be able to offer coverage for. Oftentimes, you may be able to purchase other types of insurance policies for your item, such as policies through the individual carrier or manufacturer.
3. Pack Items Appropriately
Because of the unpredictable nature of shipping, it's important to wrap and box your items very carefully. Every carrier has their own guidelines for appropriately wrapping and packaging parcels, so it's smart to review these instructions before proceeding to prevent shipping damage. Here are some shipping guidelines for some of our most heavily used carriers:
Additionally, follow these helpful tips for careful packing.
- Items should not be able to move within your box. Items should be wrapped and padded carefully to prevent movement within the box during shipping, as unnecessary movement often causes shipping damage.
- Never re-use shipping boxes. Cardboard boxes are designed to withstand impact and trauma, but even the best boxes can become damaged. Used boxes may be more prone to burst open, tear, dent, or cave, which can damage your items. Please note that manufacturers boxes are not intended for individual parcel shipping, but are made to sustain shipping in a palletized shipment. Because of this, they are prone to the same issues as used boxes.
- Use custom boxes when appropriate. Certain items, including electronics, live plants, posters, and musical instruments are far easier to ship when you use boxes and wrapping designed to protect those items. For instance, electronic boxes may come with an anti-static wrapping to prevent electrostatic discharge that could harm the device.
4. Document Everything
During the insurance claims process, you will be asked to provide documentation for your lost, stolen, or damaged parcel. To streamline your claim, maintain documentation for your item, including the invoice and any communication you have with your customer. Take photos of your item before you ship it, along with photos of the wrapping, packaging, box, and label. If you are concerned about your item being damaged during transit, make sure to take dated pictures of the item from all angles, along with careful pictures of the wrapping, padding, and box used. Store these photos electronically until the item has been successfully received by your customer.
5. Report Issues Within Proper Timelines
Whether your customer reports that they never received the package or that they received the shipment damaged, it's important to let us know so that you can start the claims process. To start filing a claim, email us at email@example.com along with an identifying shipment ID or tracking number for the parcel in question.
There are certain statutes of limitations when it comes to filing an insurance claim:
- Damage claims need to be reported to EasyPost within thirty (30) days of shipping label creation.
- Loss claims should be reported at least 30 days after shipping label creation, but not more than 60 days past label creation for domestic shipments and 90 days past label creation for international shipments.
When you write in, our team will furnish you with the paperwork you need to move forward with a claim.
Here at EasyPost, we are committed to making shipping easier. If you have any questions about shipping insurance policies or best practices, please feel free to visit this page to send us a message.