The Basics

When you ship merchandise via air, ocean, or rail, there always lies the possibility of having your items lost or damaged while in transit. This is true for shipments sent via UPS, FedEx, The US Postal Service, trucking companies, or any other method of transit. To protect yourself, you purchase shipping insurance, otherwise known as cargo insurance or transit insurance. Some of the shipping companies provide free coverage while others provide no coverage. Shipping insurance is also available by private insurance companies such as Shipsurance. If you do find yourself in a situation where there is loss or damage to your items, you have come to the right place.


What To Do If You Have Shipping Insurance Losses?

Below is a step-by-step guide to managing transit claims. Please make sure you follow these
instructions as they will help you with your shipping insurance claims process.

  1. Once you receive your shipment make sure to inspect it for damage BEFORE the driver leaves. If you find anything wrong with the outer package or the contents, make sure to notate damage on the BOL or with the driver.
  2. Notify the shipper immediately of any damage.
    • If the shipment has not been delivered and you fear it is lost, notify the shipper, as well. This way they can contact the carrier and hopefully track down the shipment. The sooner you notify them the more likely the item will be found.
  3. File a claim with the carrier or insurance provider. The sooner you do this, the sooner the process starts.

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  4. Document everything. Take photographs of the item and packaging. If a repair estimate is needed, do so as soon as possible.

DO NOT SHIP THE DAMAGED MERCHANDISE TO ANOTHER LOCATION! This can lead to additional damage. Try to keep the entire inspection process local.

If you take care of all the steps and the shipment was actually damaged in transit you will be made whole again.


Why Would My Transit Claim Not Be Paid?

Most shipping insurance or declared value programs have specific exclusions or conditions. If you do not abide by these rules, there is no coverage.


What Amount Should I Expect to Get Paid On a Claim?

It is bad logic to believe that if you paid for insurance you will receive the full amount you declared. I.E. If you ship a used computer and declare a value of $2,000.00 you should not expect to receive payment for $2,000.00. A used computer has depreciated and is only worth the current replacement cost for like kind and quality. Remember, insurance is not a charity. It is only a means to make oneself whole again. The best piece of advice is to think "What would I have done with the items(s) I shipped if I did not insure them?". If something can be repaired at a lower cost, that is what insurance will pay. If it is a total loss and you have a recent invoice stating the value, that is what the insurance will pay.