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Old 04-20-2019, 07:51 AM   #1
ericr
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Default what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover?

be it the post office, FedEx, or UPS, does anyone readily know what the exact coverage is? is it only the disappearance of the package? surely if the contents are broken, a shipper will claim the contents were poorly packed.


by way of comparison, an airlines lost my luggage once and it was a total nightmare to deal with....the airlines wanted me to itemize exactly what was in the suitcase, then get estimates of original cost, etc.


I realize there must be fine print on this matter somewhere but I was also interested in the reality of anyone who actually had to deal with it.
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:27 AM   #2
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover?

My experience has been that broken items require you to submit multiple pictures of the damaged box, pictures of the packing, and the broken item. Usually the shipping company denies the claim stating the item was incorrectly packaged. If you package it like they claim, it seems like the item must be double boxed or packed in foam.

The biggest issue I have encountered with missing/undelivered packages is not so much that they get lost, but more about them delivering to a neighbors or them allegedly being stolen from your property. In one instance, UPS delivered a package that was listed as "left on back porch". I was not following the tracking that closely and so a few days elapsed before I realized it was missing. When I spoke with customer service, I explained that my business did not have a back porch. Since the shipper did not request signature delivery, I lost my item and money. Another two examples has been with FedEx (-whom I feel they totally suck). Supposedly they deliver after we are closed and just leave it by the front door after-hours. Again, if they deliver it and the item is scanned as delivered, supposedly their scanner has a GPS app inside that verifies it was delivered to the correct location, so their defense is it was delivered and stolen after it was on your property. The one that recently happened that I was fortunate on is FedEx delivered a roll of two upholstery fabrics at 7:30 at night. Fortunately my security camera system alerted me there was activity in the parking lot. The issues was it was raining outside and the just laid the roll at the front door, ...which by the next morning the broadcloth would likely have been soaked with rain water.

My point is insurance is only a benefit if you 'over-pack' the item(s) and you require a signature at delivery.
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:46 AM   #3
77Birdman
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Default Re: what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover?

Fortunately ive never had to make a claim. Sounds like it is mostly useless. Brent, if your regular delivery is after your business hours, it sounds to me like you should set up a drop off spot that is under cover. I get packages fairly regular form both ups and fed ex, they both seem to have a pretty regular schedule. They usually hit my place about 3 in the afternoon. I have a porch roof so packages are 'high-n-dry' regardless of weather.
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Old 04-20-2019, 09:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover?

I was shipping a desoto bumper with ups I had paid $175.00 for the bumper at Hershey,I told the agent I wanted to insure it for that amount he said that they could not put a value like that on it because it was just my opinion.
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Old 04-20-2019, 02:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover?

In short, Brent nailed it, it will really come down to how the item was packaged.

The coverage will cover lost and damaged items, however, as Brent stated, they need to be packed very well. UPS has very strict requirements that a package must meet in order for the contents to be covered for damage. The items must have sufficient padding around and between items and at least 2-4 of padding between the items and the walls of the box. This padding should be small or large cell bubble, air pillows, expanded polystyrene peanuts or foam sheeting. Newspaper is not approved and will void the coverage. The box must be a new durable corrugated shipping box, 200# - 250# bursting strength depending on the overall weight of the package. Smaller lightweight items can utilize a 32# edge crush box. Most Home Depot and U-Haul boxes do not meet these requirements and the claim will be denied. Reusing an old beat up box will also void a claim.

When an inspection is made, all of the contents and packaging materials must be present. The inspector will examine the materials to determine if they were sufficient and met the requirements. They will also determine if the damage was caused externally from something penetrating or crushing the box, or if the damage was initiated internally from items inside moving around causing damage due to lack of materials.

As far as loss goes, if the package goes missing in transit and there is no delivery scan, they will do a lost package investigation. If the package cannot be found after 8 business days then you will be reimbursed for the declared value as long as you can prove the value. If however there is a delivery scan, then it is hit or miss. If they can prove the package was delivered and to the correct address, then the problem is considered a theft and must be taken up with local law enforcement. If however you can reasonably prove that the package was never delivered or delivered to the wrong address and not retrievable then you have a good chance for reimbursement.

I have dealt with many damage and loss claims and it really can be a crap shoot. Lower valued items, typically valued under $100, seem to have a bit more leniency. Higher value items require more of a battle. It will all come down to how well the item was packed and what materials were used to pack it.

In rocket1s case, the agent was incorrect. You can declare whatever value you want to cover an item for, however if something happens to the item, you will need proof of value. A receipt, an authorized appraisal, or comparable item, etc.. If a claim is honored and the item is repairable, you will need to prove the cost of the repair. The payout will be the lesser of replacement vs repair. Keep in mind that if the payout covers the replacement, then the item becomes property of UPS and must be surrendered upon payout.


UPS Declared Value Q and A
Preventing Claims
Packaging Advisor
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Old 04-20-2019, 04:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover?

FedEx...my experience....I had a nice original rear spring for a roadster shipped from AL to NC. Last transfer point they could determine was somewhere in IN? not exactly a straight line shipment between 2 points, but at any rate that's where FedEx lost track of it.
Shipper was refunded his shipping cost and being a stand up long time hobbiest, he refunded me the cost of the item, plus the shipping that I had pre-paid.
There is a pretty nice rear spring for a roadster kicked off to the side, sitting in some FedEx transfer dock.
yes, I had multiple address labels securely taped to the spring.
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Old 04-20-2019, 10:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover?

I have a pending claim in for damage to items shipped. Been over a month with no word yet, I have pics of the box at the PO before being shipped, and a PIC of the box crushed and destroyed when delivered. The damaged items are worth over 500.00 , They were items I have had for over 25 years, the PO wants receipts from when I purchased it. I gave them links to ebay and other sites where they can see the going price. So far it has been a frustrating experience.
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Old 04-21-2019, 08:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover?

If they are particular about the way an item is packaged, would one be better off letting the UPS store do that part? Assuming that they will put it in an approved box.
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover?

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Originally Posted by 77Birdman View Post
If they are particular about the way an item is packaged, would one be better off letting the UPS store do that part? Assuming that they will put it in an approved box.
WoW, Been there, Done that !! "NOT" I took pictures (10) of a 1928 Early Ford Script Radiator that I was sending to a well know Radiator shop to be restored and sent back to me.. I took it to the local UPS store and had them Double box it with bubble wrap & tons of peanuts along with many more pictures of the doing it along the way..Off it went with $700.00 on it..Four days later I get a phone call saying it had arrived and looked like it had been dropped out of a helicopter..The shop owner did not even open it until after had called for a UPS adjuster to come watch him do it.. Top tank smashed in and bent, core was trash, many more pictures taken by both.. Three weeks later, after several calls with nothing answered as to whats going on with claim, he is told to send it back to the person who sent it ????.. A week later I get it ?? and take it back to the UPS store and they say they can not file a claim because one was already done and was denied because of "NOT" being packed right.. This was all NEWS to me and the Radiator Shop.. Long story made SHORT, Two Months Later, Many more Pictures, Calls, Time, and a whole bunch of ^&&%%##$$@@^^ I got paid .. Reason for the Edit here is, When it was sent back to me, it was @ MY COST as they said they"DID" their job in the Delivery of it !!

Last edited by F.M.; 04-21-2019 at 09:53 AM. Reason: Add Comment
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Old 04-21-2019, 03:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover?

Like the previous poster, I had a bad experience with a radiator shipment. I later learned that radiators are shipped in boxes specifically designed for this purpose and these boxes are typically discarded by radiator shops. If you are shipping a radiator or radiator shell, go to a local radiator shop and ask for an appropriately sized box that would otherwise end up in the trash or recycle bin.
If you have any problems with damage to your shipment, the evidence of such a box should make it harder for the shipper to contest your claim.
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Old 04-21-2019, 06:26 PM   #11
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Default Re: what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover?

I sold a cast iron part from a visible gas pump recently. Although I only sent one part, the buyer received several ! Fed Ex referred me to a ton of paper work to fill out, including how I arrived at the value (I just sold it for $X), etc, etc. I returned the buyer his bid price and his shipping cost and counted it as a loss. A week later I received a check from Fed Ex for the bid price and the shipping cost. I was very pleasantly surprised.
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Old 04-21-2019, 07:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover?

I had a trim piece shipped to me. The shipper used a USPS triangular box. The package arrived with the box bent in the middle. The trim piece was damaged beyond repair. When I asked the Post office what they could do about it they asked if it was insured. I asked if insurance would have stopped the damage. They did not find humor in this.
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Old 04-22-2019, 01:24 AM   #13
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Default Re: what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover?

"what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover? "


Technically it covers what you can prove it is worth or the amount of the insurance on the item whichever is less. You can insure a nut and bolt for 10,000 dollars but unless you can show the receipt of an appraisal for the parts you will never get the 10K. same with the ultra rare NOS motometer quail accessory for the car but you only have 50 bucks of insurance.
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Old 04-22-2019, 05:00 AM   #14
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Default Re: what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover?

Much of this is on the adjuster, whether it be USPS, fedex, UPS, Greyhounds etc.


recd a cabin heater with the whole side pushed in, UPS came out for inspection and said
it wasnt packaged correctly. New guy doing the adjustment was chinese and it was his call.............didnt get paid- anything to save a buck! Greyhound lost my 57 chevy hood that I paid 100. bucks for. Guy at the terminal saw me every week and just filled out the form and handed me the 100.
no different then going to dmv where the person at the counter says NO NO NO......
same results- diff day!
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover?

Ordered a pair of door sill trim pieces from MOPAR. When picking them up I noticed something did not look right with one of the boxes. I opened it in front of the parts man only to find somewhere along the line the part was bent/damaged and someone tried to straighten it without opening the box. If I had accepted the parts and opened them at home I would have had a problem.
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:44 AM   #16
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Default Re: what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover?

99 percent of what I ship is through the US Postal Service, Priority Mail and without insurance, and small enough to fit into most mail boxes. I pack parts so they will not get broken or damaged in shipping. If it is something too large to fit into a mail box or is very valuable, say over around $300, I pay extra ($6.66) for "Adult Signature Required". That way the package can not be left on a door step. If there is no one home to accept the package, a note is left and the package will have to be picked up at the Post Office. I feel that this is a better solution than buying insurance and having to deal with the hassle of trying to collect on insurance. If a customer insists that I add insurance, then they will have to pay the extra cost.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:00 AM   #17
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Default Re: what does "insurance" on shipping actually cover?

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Originally Posted by Don Turley View Post
99 percent of what I ship is through the US Postal Service, Priority Mail and without insurance, and small enough to fit into most mail boxes. I pack parts so they will not get broken or damaged in shipping. If it is something too large to fit into a mail box or is very valuable, say over around $300, I pay extra ($6.66) for "Adult Signature Required". That way the package can not be left on a door step. If there is no one home to accept the package, a note is left and the package will have to be picked up at the Post Office. I feel that this is a better solution than buying insurance and having to deal with the hassle of trying to collect on insurance. If a customer insists that I add insurance, then they will have to pay the extra cost.
Don, If you use USPS Pri.Mail it comes with $50.00 Ins. no charge, and it does not matter what size box you use..
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