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Shipping Tips & Solutions

How to Protect Your Packages with First Class Mail Insurance

Protecting your shipments against loss or damage is very important as a business. Explore First Class Mail insurance costs and limitations at Easyship.com.
How to Protect Your Packages with First Class Mail Insurance
Jules

By Jules

 

March 17, 2020

Key Points:

  • All letters or parcels sent through First Class Mail are insured against loss or damage
  • USPS First Class Mail offers up to $5,000 of shipping insurance for its customers
  • First Class Mail insurance can go a little further in helping you recoup the cost of replacing damaged or lost items, which means you’ll be better able to protect your items

As a savvy online retailer, you probably already know that insurance gives you peace of mind when sending packages to customers. Having “just in case” coverage ensures you’re protected if your packages go missing or get damaged. Most courier services offer some type of protection, but First Class Mail insurance gives you a little something extra. Here’s what you need to know about how this particular service covers you, its limitations and costs, and how to file for claims should the need arise.

Table of Contents

Is First Class Mail Insured?

Yes. All letters or parcels sent through First Class Mail are insured against loss or damage. Should the worst happen, you’ll be covered. However, there are a few caveats you should be aware of:

  • You shouldn’t insure your items above their value.
  • Liability fees will be applied.
  • Postage fees will also be levied.
  • You’ll have to present the insured package to a retail employee at a specified post office or carrier store.

Which Couriers Offer First Class Mail Insurance?

Most of the major carriers offer some type of insurance for their First Class mail services. The exact type, though, will depend on different factors. Below, you’ll find more details of getting insurance for First Class Mail products with three different couriers.

USPS

This American carrier’s First Class Mail service has long been the most popular and cost-effective way of sending light packages, letters, envelopes, and postcards within the US. The insurance coverage for this service can be up to $5,000, but the exact amount will differ depending on which particular service you use and the value of your package. For example, USPS Priority Mail Express offers up to $100 coverage, while Priority Mail shipments can only be insured for up to $50.

FedEx

Another popular choice for domestic First Class Mail and First Class Mail International insurance, FedEx’s offerings are geared towards helping customers offset the costs associated with the loss, damage or theft of a package. They offer basic coverage of $100 for all packages, but you can purchase additional insurance for higher-value shipments. Before you ship, though, you should be aware of the following:

  • You need to let the courier know the total value of the shipment.
  • The first $100 of coverage is free for most FedEx services.
  • Keep all your receipts in case they’re required as proof for claims.
  • The insurance you choose should tally with the value of your package.
  • Broken items that can be repaired will not automatically be replaced.

DHL

This global courier also offers First-Class Mail insurance products that cover the total value of each package. However, you should also know that:

  • Customers are offered financial protection against damages or loss of packages due to external causes.
  • Under DHL Express, packages are covered from the point of shipment to the point of delivery.
  • DHL doesn’t bear liability for damages as a result of unsuitable or insufficient packaging.

Third-Party Couriers

While you can, of course, use the First Class Mail international insurance coverage provided by your chosen courier, it’s important to remember that you can also choose to organize your insurance through reputable third-party providers. For example, Easyship offers its customers insurance coverage of up to $5,000 and also deals with most claims within a week, which is faster than most other couriers.

How Much Does The Service Cost?

They say you have to be in it to win it, and that’s certainly the case with insurance. It’s likely that you will have to pay a little extra to ensure your package is covered throughout its journey. Each courier calculates these costs differently, but it’s usually a combination of product value, destination, mode of transportation, and service. Below, you’ll find a brief cost breakdown for different types of First Class Mail insurance.

USPS

  • Merchandise of up to $50:  $2.10
  • Merchandise of up to $100: $2.60
  • Merchandise of up to $200:  $3.30
  • Merchandise of up to $300: $5.50
  • Merchandise of up to $400: $6.75
  • Merchandise of up to $500:  $8.00
  • Merchandise of up to $600: $9.25
  • Merchandise of up to $1000: $9.25 and an additional $1.25 per $100 value or fraction thereof over $600 in declared value

FedEx

  • SameDay and SameDay City: $3 for shipments worth up to $300; additional $1 per $100 value for items valued over $300. Maximum declared value is $2,000.
  • U.S. Express Package: $3 for shipments valued up to $300; additional $1 per $100 for shipments valued over $300.
  • U.S. Ground: $3 for shipments valued up to $300; additional $1 per $100 for shipments valued over $300.

DHL

This particular courier offers its customers the option of limited shipment insurance. Some of their rates include:

  • Up to $25/kg for shipments being transported by air
  • Up to $12/kg for shipments being transported by road

You can also find out more about its shipment insurance right here.

8 Steps to Making a First Class Mail Insurance Claim

If you make a lot of shipments, you’ll inevitably have a few parcels that get lost or damaged in transit. It’s at this trying time that a solid understanding of how to file a First Class Mail insurance claim comes in handy. If you find yourself in this unenviable position, here’s how to get through it in one piece:

  1. File your tracking or label number.
  2. Prove the value of your package with a sales receipt.
  3. Provide a paid invoice or paid bill of sale.
  4. Get a statement of value or an estimate of the cost of repairs from a reputable dealer.
  5. Try and get a credit card billing statement.
  6. Get printouts of all online transactions bearing the purchaser’s name, seller’s name, price, item descriptions, transaction dates, and proof of transaction.
  7. Provide proof of insurance, which includes original shipping receipts or printed online records.
  8. Prove any damage with clear, detailed photos.

Don’t forget that for almost all insurance claims for damage, you’ll need to show the original (damaged) package and hold onto it until the claim is settled.

Protect Your Shipments (And Yourself) with First Class Mail Insurance

You may not think it’s important, especially for shipments of products that aren’t particularly valuable. But, insurance can be a life-saver if things go wrong. First Class Mail insurance can go a little further in helping you recoup the cost of replacing damaged or lost items, which means you’ll be better able to protect your bottom line.

Easyship offers a range of insurance options, from courier solutions to its own third-party option, and best of all, you can even select how to calculate exactly the insurance you need so you’ll never pay more than you have to.