UGH! You’ve been waiting for delivery confirmation on the package you sent weeks ago, and now it looks like USPS lost it. Even worse, you can’t remember if you bought insurance.
Now what are you supposed to do? If you’ve got a lost or damaged package and aren’t sure what, if any, insurance you have, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to find out about filing a claim with USPS without insurance.
Can You File a Claim With USPS Without Insurance?
Unfortunately, if your delivery wasn’t insured, you can’t file a damage claim. You can, however, initiate a missing mail search for a lost package. Additionally, Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail include insurance coverage in the purchase price. If you mailed a package through one of these services and it was lost or damaged, you can file a claim.
Keep reading if you’re still not sure if your package was insured, as well as learn what to expect when filing a claim with USPS.
Are USPS Packages Automatically Insured?
Insurance is automatically included on some USPS packages, but not others.
First-Class mail, which is mainly used to ship small parcels weighing 3.5 ounces or less, does not offer a default insurance option.
If you want to insure your First-Class mail (letters, thick envelopes, lightweight packages), you’ll need to purchase insurance separately.
While First-Class mail does not include insurance in its pricing, Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail do come with automatic insurance.
With some exceptions (more on those in a bit), Priority Mail domestic includes up to $50 worth of coverage in the price of service. Priority Mail Express domestic includes up to $100 of insurance in the shipping price.
If your package’s value exceeds the built-in insurance prices (i.e. if your Priority Mail shipment is worth more than $50 or your Priority Mail Express package is worth more than $100), then you may want to buy additional coverage.
“Non-mailable” material and extremely fragile items, even if sent through Priority Mail Express or Priority Mail, do not qualify for the included insurance.
Moreover, articles that are not adequately packaged to withstand normal shipping and handling will not be covered.
In addition, insurance coverage is not available for Priority Mail pieces mailed through the following services:
- Merchandise Return Service
- Priority Mail Open and Distribute
- Premium Forwarding Service
A final thing to note is that Domestic Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail must have a USPS tracking barcode to qualify for the included insurance.
Are International USPS Packages Automatically Insured?
Just like domestic Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail, international packages sent through USPS come with insurance.
Global Express Guaranteed insurance covers up to $100 in loss or damage. If the value of your package exceeds this amount, USPS will allow you to purchase up to $2,499 in additional coverage.
USPS also offers Priority Express International insurance. This covers up to $200 for merchandise that is lost, damaged, or missing.
Additional insurance may be available, but coverage is restricted by country. It’s best to check with your local post office to find out if your package’s destination has any restrictions.
What Do You Do If USPS Damages Your Package With No Insurance?
If you sent your package First-Class and didn’t purchase insurance, then there’s not much you can do about your damaged package.
That being said, if you are the recipient of a damaged package that was sent First-Class, it may be worth your time to contact the individual or business who mailed the package to see if they can resend the damaged items or refund your purchase.
As mentioned previously, Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail automatically include insurance coverage.
So even if you don’t remember purchasing insurance, you have up to $100 coverage for the former and up to $50 for the latter.
You can file a claim online. If approved, USPS will reimburse the value of the damaged items. There are a few things you can do to improve your chances of having your claim accepted.
First, make sure to hold onto your original shipping receipt (this is your proof of insurance).
In addition, it’s helpful to keep any documents attesting to the value of your items. This could be a receipt, a credit card bill or a printout from a website.
If your items were worth more than the maximum insurance values and you didn’t buy extra coverage, then you’ll be reimbursed the maximum amount allowed by the plan.
Depending on the value of your package, this could represent a substantial financial loss.
What Do You Do If USPS Loses Your Package With No Insurance?
In the case that USPS loses your package and it’s not insured, there’s not much they can do for you. Still, you can start by completing a help request form online.
After receiving your request, your local post office will try to locate the missing item. If they find your package, they’ll send it to the address provided.
If your package is still missing after 7 business days, you can file a Missing Mail request on the USPS website. You’ll be asked to provide the following items:
- Sender mailing address
- Recipient mailing address
- Size and type of container or envelope you used
- Identifying information such as your USPS Tracking number(s), the mailing date from your mailing receipt, or a Click-N-Ship® label receipt
- Description of the contents including the brand, model, color, or size, if applicable
- Pictures to help USPS recognize your item
If your package still can’t be found and you didn’t insure it, there’s not much else you can do, unfortunately.