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How Much Does USPS Insurance Cost?

by EasyPost

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is one of the largest and most reliable shipping carriers in the United States, delivering 23.8 million packages each day. 

If you ship high-value or fragile items to customers through USPS, you may want to make sure your shipments are covered in case of loss or damage. Let’s look at how USPS insurance can help. 

What is USPS insurance?

USPS insurance provides coverage against loss or damage during shipping, as long as you’ve packaged and addressed shipments properly. Like other carriers, USPS charges a fee to insure a package, which you pay when purchasing a shipping label. When a package gets damaged or lost, you can file a claim. If USPS approves your claim, they cover the cost of the lost or damaged item(s) up to the amount of coverage chosen.

Note: The information in this article relates to domestic shipments. Insurance fees and coverage limits differ for international shipments.

How much does USPS insurance cost?

The cost of USPS insurance varies based on the declared value of the item you’re shipping. Insurance fees for 2024 range from $2.75 to $12.25 for goods worth up to $600. For an additional fee, which varies based on an item’s declared value, you can insure packages worth up to $5,000.

Any packages sent via Priority Mail Express®, Priority Mail®, or USPS Ground Advantage™ include up to $100 of insurance coverage in the base postage cost. For this coverage to be valid, you may need to require signature confirmation of delivery. 

The USPS insurance costs below are effective January 21, 2024.

Coverage / Merchandise Value (USD)
Fee (USD)
0.01 - 50.00
50.01 - 100.00
100.01 - 200.00
200.01 - 300.00
300.01 - 400.00
400.01 - 500.00
500.01 - 600.00
600.01 - 5,000.00
$12.25 plus $1.90 per $100.00 (or fraction thereof) over $600 in declared value

For a lower-cost alternative to USPS insurance, use the EasyPost Shipping Insurance API and get coverage for just 0.5% of a package’s declared value.

Benefits of USPS insurance

USPS insurance is available to, and helpful for, people selling things occasionally on platforms like eBay and Facebook Marketplace. But it’s even more powerful for ecommerce businesses. When you ship high volumes, or when your products are high-value, insurance can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. 

Adding shipping insurance to your USPS packages protects valuable or fragile items, brings increased peace of mind, and shows customers that you care about their delivery experience.

  • Protection for high-value items. If you’re selling expensive products like jewelry, electronics, or collectibles, insurance is practically a must. Paying just a few dollars can save you hundreds of dollars on a lost or damaged item.
  • Protection for fragile items. No matter how well you package fragile items, they could still get damaged during shipping. If your products are made of glass or other breakable materials, consider adding insurance. 
  • Peace of mind. When you’re running a business, you have a lot on your plate. Package insurance can ease some of your concerns, helping you know that shipping issues will be resolved quickly and easily.
  • Customer confidence. Offering shipping insurance demonstrates that you take responsibility for the last-mile shipping process. By showing customers that you care about them, you’ll build trust and confidence in your brand.

What does USPS insurance cover?

In order to get the most value from USPS insurance, you need to know what products or circumstances are excluded from coverage. Understanding all the rules and restrictions will help you ship more wisely and save as much money as possible.

What’s covered by USPS insurance

USPS insurance generally covers package loss and damage. This includes the following scenarios:

  • An item is broken or damaged due to mishandling
  • A package is missing all or part of its contents
  • A package gets lost during delivery 

What’s not covered by USPS insurance

USPS will deny claims if they believe your business is responsible for the shipping issue. For example, problems resulting from poor packaging or incorrect addresses won’t be covered by USPS insurance. 

The following items, materials, and situations are also excluded from coverage:

  • Illegal or hazardous materials
  • Perishable items
  • Live animals
  • Losses due to delay or inconvenience
  • Packages stolen after delivery has been completed

To protect packages from post-delivery theft, or porch piracy, you’ll need to consider other insurance options

Find a full list of non-payable claims here.

Packaging items well matters

USPS insurance covers shipping damage—but don’t assume that they’ll pay for every damaged item. As mentioned in the section above, if your business doesn’t package products securely, you’ll be responsible for any damage that occurs. 

For a shipment to qualify for insurance coverage, it needs to meet USPS’s packaging guidelines. Make sure to place items in sturdy boxes with proper cushioning, seal them, and label them with the correct delivery addresses.

How to file a claim

You’ve purchased USPS insurance, shipped your package, and received word from the customer that the product was damaged upon arrival. What happens now?

Your business is responsible for filing a claim with USPS and then reimbursing the customer or sending them a replacement. The steps below lay out the claims process from start to finish.

1. Check the filing period

Before filing a claim, check the filing period. If the contents of a package are missing or damaged, you can file your claim immediately and must file within 60 days

If a package never arrives, you’ll need to file your claim within a certain window. This window differs based on the shipping service but is usually between 7 and 15 days. For example, if you ship with Priority Mail, you must wait 15 days from the estimated delivery date before filing an insurance claim with USPS.

2. Gather documentation

To ensure your claim is approved quickly, gather the documents listed below. This information proves that you’ve paid for shipping and insurance and that the declared value of the product is accurate. 

  • Tracking or label number. These numbers, which are between 13 and 34 characters, are found on your package label, mailing receipt, or sales receipt.
  • Evidence of insurance. As proof of insurance, you can use your mailing receipt, a label indicating the package was insured, or a printed electronic online label record.
  • Proof of value. Proof of value can take several forms, including a sales receipt, paid invoice or bill of sale, statement of value from a dealer, credit card billing statement, or printed online transaction records.
  • Proof of damage. If an item was damaged, make sure to include photos as proof. Instruct the customer not to throw the damaged item away until the claim is processed.

3. File your claim

You can file a claim online or through the mail. If you choose to file online, simply log in to your USPS account here

If you’d rather file by mail, call the USPS National Materials Customer Service at 1-800-332-0317 and request a Domestic Claim Form. Once you’ve filled it out, mail it—along with all your supporting documentation—to the address listed on the form. 

4. Wait for the decision

After reviewing your claim, USPS will make their decision. Possible outcomes include:

  • Paying the claim in full
  • Paying the claim in part
  • Denying the claim

USPS will update you about their decision within 5-10 days. Keep in mind that claims for damage usually go faster than claims for lost items. 

If your claim is approved, you’ll be reimbursed within 7-10 days. If it’s denied, USPS will explain why, and you can appeal within 30 days.

Does USPS insurance cover porch piracy?

No, USPS insurance does not cover porch piracy (package theft that happens after delivery has been completed). USPS only takes responsibility for damage or loss that results from their sorting or transportation processes. Like most carriers, they place responsibility on customers to retrieve their packages once delivery has been successfully completed.

If your customers are experiencing high levels of porch piracy, consider using third-party shipping insurance. EasyPost’s insurance covers loss, damage, and package theft, so your customers will be protected if packages are snatched from their doorsteps, mailboxes, or porches.

Protect your customers from porch piracy with EasyPost.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether to use carrier-provided or third-party insurance. Both options have pros and cons, and the best choice for your business will depend on your products, shipping volume, and budget.