May 22, 2023

UPS Shipping Insurance - The Complete Guide

Shvets via Pexels

Finding an online buyer for your used designer clothes, musical instruments, high-end laptops, or anything in between is always a proud moment. But as exciting as it is, there's always a lingering worry: what if something goes wrong during shipping?

We've all heard horror stories of packages getting lost or damaged in transit, leaving both the seller and the buyer disappointed. There’s nothing worse than the sinking feeling of uncertainty as your item leaves your hands and enters the unpredictable world of shipping.

But not when you have UPS shipping insurance. The insurance will give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing you won't be left empty-handed, even if the unexpected happens.

We've prepared this guide to help you understand UPS shipping insurance, including what it covers and how to file a claim.

What Is UPS Shipping Insurance?

UPS shipping insurance is a service provided by UPS (United Parcel Service) that offers protection and coverage for the value of a shipment against loss, damage, or theft during transit. When you opt for shipping insurance, UPS assumes liability for the declared value of your package up to the specified coverage amount.

By default, UPS assumes a maximum liability of $100 for every package it ships, to cover potential loss or damage. However, you can declare a higher value for your shipments by paying an additional fee.

It's important to note that the declared value is not the same as traditional insurance. UPS explicitly states that it does not provide insurance for any item with a declared value exceeding $100. Therefore, if insurance coverage is needed for such items, you must obtain it from an insurance company.

How Much Does UPS Shipping Insurance Cost?

UPS shipping insurance costs vary depending on the declared value of the items you’re shipping. When you use UPS, they automatically provide $100 of coverage for each label without any additional charge. However, if the value of your product exceeds $100, you can pay an extra fee to insure the shipment for a higher amount.

UPS’s liability for package damage or loss can be increased to a maximum of $50,000 per shipment. Some domestic packages are eligible for a higher maximum declared value of $70,000.

If you declare a value of $100.01 to $300.00, UPS will charge you $3.90. If the declared value exceeds $300, you will pay $1.30 for every additional $100 in value, including the first $100. For instance, if you declare a value of $950, you will incur a charge of $13 (10 multiplied by $1.30).

When Should You Use UPS Insurance?

It's a good idea to use UPS insurance when shipping something valuable or important to you. If you're sending an item valued at more than $100, it's worth considering UPS insurance. While you’ll pay a little extra to insure your valuable item, the coverage is worth it for the peace of mind. It’s a relief to know that if something goes wrong, UPS has got you covered financially.

For instance, you should insure your shipment when shipping designer bags and clothes. UPS insurance is also vital if your shipment has high-end electronics such as gaming equipment, drones, fitness equipment, digital cameras, or laptops.

We also recommend insurance for shipping fragile goods, delicate artwork, or other items that are prone to breaking and require extra care. The insurance will give you financial protection if your package encounters mishaps like rough handling or accidental drops.

Who Should Use UPS Insurance?

UPS insurance isn’t just for big businesses or professional shippers. It's for anyone trying to turn your clutter into cash, including you!

Whether you're selling rare collectibles, electronics, handmade crafts, or anything in between, accidents can happen during shipping. UPS insurance will give you the financial protection you need to cover the cost of repairing or replacing the item if the unexpected happens. It’s a proactive step to protect your package and your hard-earned money.

Having UPS shipping insurance can also increase customer satisfaction. When you reassure your customers that their packages are protected with insurance, it instills a sense of trust in your resale business. This trust is vital for building long-term customer relationships and fostering a positive reputation.

If the worst happens and the package gets damaged or lost during transit, insurance can help you swiftly resolve the issue. You can either provide your buyer a replacement item or offer a refund without bearing the financial burden yourself. That's a win-win situation!

What Is Covered and What Is Not

UPS insurance covers a wide range of scenarios but also has certain limitations on what is covered. 

The insurance will cover loss or damage during transit, theft or pilferage, and transit delays caused by negligence on the carrier’s part. UPS states that it will cover most general commodities in the event of these mishaps; for example, you would be compensated for damages and losses if you were transporting clothes, electronics, automotive parts, home improvement products, and other common-day items.

However, UPS insurance will not cover you in the following scenarios:

  • Damage or loss to articles of unusual value
  • Loss or damage caused by pests, damp atmosphere, extreme temperature, and normal wear and tear that occurs during transportation
  • Damages or losses resulting from poor packaging
  •  Loss or damage to perishable commodities if the damage is caused by the item’s perishable nature or weather conditions
  • Damage or loss of fluorescent bulbs and tubes
  •  Damage or loss of human remains
  • Loss or damage caused by acts of nature or terrorism

The list is long, so it’s important to read the UPS terms and conditions before insuring your package. Knowing what the insurance does and does not cover will help you make an informed decision and avoid any surprises later on.

How to Package an Item to Make Sure It Is Covered

As mentioned above, UPS is not liable for losses and damage if you don’t pack your items properly. But what goes into proper packaging? Here are some tips to package your item effectively and increase the chances of coverage:

  • Select a strong and durable box that is appropriate for the size and weight of your item 
  • Wrap your item securely with bubble wrap, foam, or other protective materials
  • Place your wrapped item inside the box and fill any empty spaces with additional cushioning materials like packing peanuts or air pillows
  • For fragile or valuable items, consider using the double-boxing method
  • Close the box and use high-quality packaging tape to seal all edges and seams
  • Clearly label the package with the recipient's address and your return address

Remember, each item may have specific packaging requirements, so consider any special handling instructions or guidelines provided by UPS or the manufacturer for delicate or high-value items.

How to File a Claim

You can file a claim with UPS if your package is lost or damaged. To file a claim online, you will need a UPS account where you can provide details about the package; you can also use your online account access to check the status of your claim. You should file a claim within 60 days of the scheduled delivery date.

Follow these steps when filing your claim:

Provide Details

You should provide as many details about the package as possible to make it easy for UPS to resolve the claim. Include the following basic information:

  • The recipient’s contact details
  • The package’s weight
  • Tracking or reference number
  •   Pickup date
  •  A description of the problem
  •  The value of the package

State Your Role in the Claim

You should indicate how you relate to the lost or damaged package. State whether you’re the receiver, the sender, an appointed representative, or a third party.

Provide Relevant Documentation

If you’re the shipper, you should provide documentation that UPS can use to identify your package. For instance, you should provide receipts, invoices, or purchase orders that show what the item is and its value.

Documentation should also include photos of the item you’re filing a claim for, and photos of the damage, if relevant. Include images of the original box’s interior, the cushioning material you used, the shipping label, and anything else that may be relevant.

Submit the Claim

After you submit your claim, UPS will send you a notification of receipt and other pertinent information. You can access up-to-date information about the claim from your UPS account dashboard. Check the dashboard regularly to see if UPS has requested additional information to help process the claim.

According to UPS, investigating a lost or damaged package will take 8 to 15 days after you file a claim. The process might take longer if you give insufficient item descriptions or if you’re required to provide additional documentation.

Use Sella to Skip the Hassle of UPS Shipping Insurance and the Claims

UPS insurance can give you peace of mind when shipping valuable items. But let's face it: the process of purchasing and utilizing UPS insurance can be complex and a real headache. It's a maze of paperwork, rules, and potential frustration if your claim is denied.

Fortunately, you can partner with an online selling expert like Sella and make your life a whole lot easier. Our expert team does all the hard work of selling online, including item photography, listing on more than five marketplaces, negotiating with buyers, and handling shipping. Get started with Sella to experience the ease of online selling made hassle-free.