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Submitting Shipping Insurance Claims: 6 Things You Need To Know
By Peter Parcell on October 15, 2014


You’ll be glad you paid a little bit extra for shipping insurance if your package gets lost or damaged in transit, because frankly, it does happen.

Packages don’t get lost or damaged very often, but when they do, having shipping insurance is the best and a huge relief.

If your package did get lost or damaged in transit, you’re going to have to go through the process of filing a claim with your carrier to be compensated. It can be a tedious process, if you’re not prepared.

So, I’ve put together a little list of 6 things that you’ll need to know about filing shipping insurance claims to make the process run as smoothly as possible.

1) Coverage Type

What sort of coverage do you have? If you provided your courier with a declared value, you were likely charged for the courier's standard coverage, which doesn't always cover everything. While you'll be covered if your item is lost or severely damaged in transit, you'll have a harder time being reimbursed for products that simply don't work on arrival, or for damaged goods that aren't covered according to the courier's terms and conditions. This can often include things like glassware, or even computers. You can choose to buy third-party insurance coverage from a number of different providers, in the case of special requirements or extra caution. Always be sure to research your chosen courier's terms and conditions surrounding loss or damage coverage!

2) Documentation

Most carriers offer an online claim form which provides the details for all the information that is required to file a claim properly. When filing a claim it is important to have all of your documentation that relates to the shipment in order. Generally, you’ll need a tracking number, receipts proving the value of the items, an insurance or account number to prove that you bought insurance, and the addresses of the shipper and receiver. Always keep these documents on file incase something unfortunate does to happen to your package, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time.

3) Photographs

It is encouraged by the carriers to take photographs of your packaged goods before they are sent out. In a circumstance where the goods are damaged in transit, photographs can provide supportive evidence to help you prove that your items were properly packed, and the fault does not lie with you. It has been shown that correct labeling and packaging can substantially reduce claims.

4) Timeframe

There is a certain window that is given for filing a claim, each carrier has a slightly different window so check with your carrier to determine exactly what it is. For a lost package, you shouldn’t file a claim right away, it might only be delayed and not lost. On the opposite end, you shouldn’t wait too long either, because you may void your insurance agreement completely. The recommended timeframe to file a claim is generally between one week and 180 days after your package has been lost or damaged, but it ultimately comes down to your carrier’s policies, so look into it.

5) Responsibility

It is usually the responsibility of the shipper to file the claim, so if you’ve received a damaged package or nothing at all, contact your shipper. If the item is damaged and not lost, the receiver should be instructed to return the package to the shipping company, so that the company cannot refute the insurance claim.

6) Reimbursement

When it comes to being reimbursed for your lost or damaged goods, the advice that is most given is to be patient. A carrier must first initiate an investigation into the claim which could take anywhere from one week, to a month or more to be processed. Not until this investigation is fully complete, will you be issued repair or replacement costs.

By remembering these few things, you’ll make the whole process of filing insurance claims a lot easier on yourself, or potentially avoid it altogether and save yourself a lot of hassle.

Tip: If you ship with ShipTime, a lot of the stress goes away. Filing a shipping insurance claim with ShipTime is easy. We keep all of your important documentation and information secure in our database for you. If the need to file a claim comes up, we’ll send it to the carrier on your behalf. Just give us a call and we’ll help you through the process. Ready to start shipping and saving with ShipTime?

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