USPS Insurance Cost

Amidst the fastest courier services, USPS protects your shipment with added insurance. Read more to know about USPS insurance and its cost.

When choosing which shipping firm to utilize for your business’s shipping requirements, several questions arise. Which is the most economical? How soon will the client receive their shipment? How trustworthy is the carrier, too? USPS is a well-liked choice, carrying 5.7 billion parcels in 2017. To manage their “last leg” of delivery with improved efficiency, other top carriers like FedEx and UPS are increasingly turning to the airline.

But insurance is a crucial thing to think about before exporting. Should you get shipping insurance, and how much will it cost you if you do? Most items will reach their destination as anticipated, but insurance is beneficial if one doesn’t or does so in a damaged state. This applies whether you have shipping insurance from FedEx, UPS, route, or any other freight insurance provider.

The United States Postal Service is an independent federal agency responsible for postal service nationally and internationally. It follows a mandate to deliver express mail to every mailbox in the country. United States Postal Services (USPS) provides mailing facilities and connects friends and family nationally and internationally. Like other courier services, USPS improved its service to meet customers’ expectations with time—one important consideration when shipping, however, is insurance.

USPS insurance will cover the cost of postage and your items as long as your claim doesn’t exceed the total value of the maximum coverage. For example, if you have $100 of Priority Mail insurance, a package costs $10. Suppose you are shipping a $50 doll, which puts your total claim at $60 ($50 + $10). In this case, the $100 is your built-in insurance coverage.

USPS insurance is a reliable and cost-effective option. If you need to know more about USPS insurance costs, keep reading!

What is the maximum insurance for USPS?

USPS has different criteria for every sort of mail. To ensure the quickest and safest mail delivery, it has set certain limits about the type and worth of the products. It is vital for people to know their item’s value and have the necessary information to start the process. For your understanding, let’s give you an overview of different types of mail and the maximum insurance coverage USPS provides.

 Image Source: Small Business Trends
Image Source: Small Business Trends

Insured mail

You can purchase USPS insurance coverage up to $5,000 for standard mail and traditional mail matters mailed at the Priority Mail or First-Class Mail rate. For articles insured for more than $50, a recipient signs the delivery receipt and files it at the delivery post office. The service providers suggest not insuring your packages for more than their value. The insurance coverage for the loss will be the actual value, less depreciation. You will have to provide the receipt of the purchase for claim settlement. Cost varies according to the value of the item.

There are two main points to keep in mind when it comes to availing of the insured mail service, which is:

Insurance coverage – priority mail express

 Image Source: Shipping School
Image Source: Shipping School

USPS offers insurance coverage of priority mail express against loss, damage, or missing contents, subject to the following standards:

  • Insurance coverage for priority mail expresses Open & Distribute shipments end on receipt at the destination postal facility. USPS treats the content of each priority mail express container as one mailpiece for indemnity coverage.
  • All priority mail express signed for by the addressee (or agent) constitutes an accurate delivery and requires no indemnity for loss. For priority mail express items not requiring a signature, a delivered scan event includes a precise delivery and does not require an indemnity for loss.
  • USPS will provide merchandise insurance coverage against loss, damage, or missing contents, limited to a maximum liability of $100.00. A consumer may purchase up to a full range of $5,000.00. You can protect non-negotiable documents from loss, damage, or missing contents with insurance coverage. Each piece can be insured for up to $100, and there is a maximum limit per occurrence.
  • Customers may file a claim online for insured priority mail express.

Insurance coverage – priority mail

 Image Source: USPS
Image Source: USPS

Priority mail pieces containing an Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) or USPS retail tracking barcode can be insured against loss, damage, or missing contents, up to a maximum of $50.00 or $100.00, subject to the following:

  • USPS provides insurance coverage against loss, damage, or missing contents about the maximum liability limit of $100, when the priority mail pieces bear an Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) and if the mailer pays commercial plus prices.
  • Insurance coverage is available against loss, damage, or missing contents to a maximum liability limit of $50 when the priority mail pieces bear an IMpb or USPS retail tracking barcode, and the mailer pays retail or commercial base prices.
  • Following the insurance coverage mentioned earlier, additional priority mail insurance may be available to purchase up to a maximum range of $5,000.
  • Priority mail pieces meeting the given requirements though not supported by a shipping services file, must have a complete acceptance scan to qualify for automatic insurance coverage.

Registered mail

Registered mail is the most secure option provided by the USPS. It offers added value for valuable and important mail. USPS keeps registered mail under tight security from mailing to the delivery office. It incorporates a system of receipts to monitor the movement of the mail from the point of acceptance to delivery. Registered Mail provides the sender with a mailing receipt, and upon request, it also provides electronic verification of delivery of an item or that a delivery attempt was made.

Upon availing of the registered mail service, the customer can obtain a delivery record (including the recipient’s signature) by purchasing a return receipt at the time of mailing. Customers may direct delivery of Registered Mail only to the addressee or, in some cases, the addressee’s authorized agent using Registered Mail Restricted Delivery.

 Image Source: Pinoy Bisnes Ideas
Image Source: Pinoy Bisnes Ideas

The fee for articles valued at least $0.01 up to a maximum insured value of $50,000.00 includes postal insurance. Postal insurance is not available for articles with no deal. The fees for pieces valued over $50,000 include insurance up to $50,000 and increasingly higher handling costs.

Insurance can be purchased on domestic registered mail for up to $25,000 at the mailer’s option. Return receipts and restricted delivery services are available for additional fees. However, registered correspondence to Canada is subject to a $1,000 indemnity limit. For other foreign countries, the indemnity limit is currently $42.30. Moreover, domestic registered mail requires First Class or Priority Mail postage.

Further, a registered article’s face (address side) must be at least 5 inches long and 3-1/2 inches high, regardless of thickness. You can not acquire registration if:

  • Sent as business reply mail or in a business reply envelope.
  • Addressed to a post office to which the delivery is unsafe.
  • Prepared improperly or packed inadequately to withstand normal handling.
  • Tied or secured with one or more articles unless enclosed in the same envelope or wrapper.
  • Presented for mailing in a padded envelope; envelope or mailer manufactured of spun-bonded olefins, such as Tyvek; plastic envelope or mailer; or envelope or mailer made of glossy-coated

Certified mail

Certified mail provides a mailing receipt, and delivery records are available at the recipient’s post office. A return receipt to provide the sender with proof of delivery can also be purchased for an additional fee. Certified mail service is available only for First-Class Mail or Priority Mail. Certified mail is not available for international mail. For valuables and irreplaceable items, use insured or registered mail.

USPS does not offer insurance coverage except Priority Mail pieces with included insurance upon purchasing the certified mail.

Payable claims

 Image Source: USPS
Image Source: USPS

Below presented are the payable insurance claims for lost, damaged, or missing contents of insured mail or Registered Mail within the amount covered by the fee paid or within the indemnity limits for Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail service:

  1. Claims are available for the actual value of lost articles at the time and place of mailing.
  2. Cost of repairing a damaged article or replacing an irreparably damaged article, not exceeding the actual value of the report at the time of mailing.
  3. Reasonable costs incurred for duplicating documents, including the following:
  • Copying services.
  • Notary fees.
  • Bonding fees for replacement of stock or bond certificates.
  • Reasonable attorney’s fees if required to replace the lost or damaged documents.
  • Other direct and necessary expenses or costs, as determined by the Postal Service.
  • The face value of negotiable documents (i.e financial instruments payable to the bearer) is not available for the reconstruction up to the amount of insurance coverage bought or included.
  1. Extra gift wrapping costs if the gift-wrapped article was enclosed in another container when mailed.
  2. The cost of an outer container if the outer container was designed and constructed for the article sent.
  3. The value of collectible items is supported by one of the following:
    1. Sales receipt.
    2. Paid Invoice or paid bill of sale.
    3. Statement of value from a reputable dealer.
  4. Federal, state, or city sales tax is paid on articles lost or damaged.
  5. Postage (no fee) paid for sending damaged articles for repair. When sending damaged reports for repair, you must use the Postal Service; if unavailable, you may include other reasonable transportation charges.
  6. Costs of film stock or blank tapes for photographic film, negatives, slides, transparencies, videotapes, laser disks, x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) prints, computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan images, etc.
  7. Cost of bees, crickets, or baby poultry or birds destroyed by physical damage to the package or delay for which the Postal Service is responsible.
  8. For bulk insured articles, the lesser of (1) the actual value of the article at the time of mailing or (2) the wholesale cost of the contents to the mailer.
  9. For currency or bullion, a maximum of $15.
  10. Exception: For items sent by Registered Mail service, the Postal Service provides payment for the included insurance coverage, based on the declared value, up to the maximum amount of $50,000.
  11. For a firearm mailed by a licensed firearms dealer (under DMM 601.8.0 and Publication 52), the dealer must submit a PS Form 1508, Statement by Shipper of Firearms, with the claim.

USPS priority mail

USPS priority mail provides a fast and affordable way to deliver mail to every doorstep in the US. The delivery generally takes up to three days. Priority mail allows customers to send mail based on weight and dimension or via flat-rate envelopes or boxes. Post offices can allow all first-class mail items over thirteen ounces. A customer can also request mail content less than 13 ounces be sent at the priority mail price.

Features of priority mail

Following are the features of priority mail that you may want to know about:

  • It delivers six days a week and does not charge to pay on Saturday.
  • You can send priority mail items from any local post office facility. You can also hand your prepaid packages to your letter carrier at the time of your regular mail delivery for no extra charge.
  • USPS tracking is available for priority mail items without any additional charge.
  • Package pickup and pickup on-demand services are available.
  • Postage may be paid for by stamp(s) or postage meter. However, the United States Postal Service Corporate Account (USPSCA) cannot pay for priority mail postage.
  • Forwarded or returned free of charge.

Comparing shipping insurance prices

It is crucial to have sufficient insurance coverage when your firm relies on shipping. Despite careful packing and handling, goods can get lost or damaged in transit. Optional shipping insurance is available. Ensure your commercial shipments are adequately insured to guarantee total client delight.

When selecting the best choice, you should consider the cost of shipping insurance. Discover the precise price and what would be covered before purchasing insurance. Here is a breakdown of the coverage provided by various carriers and instructions on choosing the best insurance for your needs.

Comparing insurance coverage for shipping services

Your coverage through the delivery provider is constrained whether you select FedEx or USPS. Learn how to submit a claim and what documentation is necessary to support the item’s worth. Several factors, such as the insurance type, the provider you choose, and whether you send local or international shipments, affect the claims procedure. Additionally, the type of delivery you select affects the claims procedure.

If your shipment is lost, damaged, or stolen during delivery, remember that insurance via a carrier does not promptly resolve your concerns. Lack of adequate insurance protection impacts you and your company, mainly if you send goods to clients locally or internationally.

 Image Source: LoadStop
Image Source: LoadStop

Suppose a delivery is lost, stolen, misdirected, or damaged. In that case, you should replace the item as soon as you can to guarantee that you are giving your customers the best customer care experience. You must ensure you have the appropriate insurance coverage to safeguard your interests and compensate you for your losses if you want to minimize your loss.

UPS insurance cost

Pricing is an essential consideration for purchasing shipping insurance. The fee to purchase additional insurance is minimal; however, it is necessary to consider the risks and costs when shipping heavy or oversized packages.

The USPS insurance cost depends on the “declared value” of the package.

Declared value states the worth of all contents, which proves helpful when you need to file an insurance claim, and the USPS will require proof of that value. Here is a quick summary of what to expect for pricing based on the stated value of the package. The pricing below is for postal service options that don’t offer no-cost insurance, so you’re footing the entire bill.

  • Value up to $50 is $1.65
  • $50.01 to $100 is $2.05
  • $100.01 to $200 is $2.45
  • $200.01 to $300 is $4.60

The price per additional $100 of insurance, valued over $300 up to $5,000, is $4.60 plus $0.90 per each $100 or fraction thereof;

USPS’s services, such as Express Mail, include the first $100 coverage at no cost. Pricing for additional insurance consists of the following:

  • The first $100 of value
  • Value over $100 up to $200 is $0.75
  • $200.01 to $500 is $2.10
  • $500.01 to $5,000 is $2.10 plus $1.35 per each $100 or fraction therefore

Purchasing insurance is a step in the right direction to protect your company from loss; in most cases, you will not need to use it. In some rare cases, you need to know what to expect and what documentation is required to purchase insurance.

USPS allows you to purchase shipping insurance up to $5,000 to protect against potential loss. The fee for buying insurance varies based on the declared value of the package (more on this shortly). Some USPS services already have insurance costs included in the product pricing, for which you do not need to pay extra.

For example, USPS priority mail express offers up to $100 of insurance, and priority mail shipments include up to $50. If the value exceeds this amount, you may need additional insurance. An insurance comparison guide is available at USPS’s site to help guide that decision.

USPS insurance is worth it

USPS insurance provides smooth delivery for people who cannot afford expensive courier services. When there is a blue insurance tracking barcode sticking onto your package, the USPS personnel give extra attention to the parcel to ensure that it goes to the correct bin, conveyor belt, delivery truck, and address, starting from the counter clerk down to the handler, sorter, and mailman.  So definitely worth it. I’m happy to say I haven’t had to claim any lost mail.

Depending on how much you ship and what your things are worth, shipping insurance may or may not be worthwhile. A typical letter or package has a very low likelihood of being lost or damaged. However, shipping insurance will pay for itself if you send many expensive things.

 Image Source: Positively Osceola
Image Source: Positively Osceola

Time shippers

Unless the products are incredibly costly, the ordinary individual rarely needs shipping insurance while mailing a letter or package.

The shipper for business

On the other hand, business shippers frequently send valuable things. A higher order volume will eventually result in some of your packages being lost or damaged. You stand to lose more money the more expensive your items are. Sending insurance can be a no-brainer for e-commerce companies sending expensive goods.

Take out shipping insurance if you’re unsure. The same advice applies to both casual and professional shippers: If you believe you might require shipping insurance, purchase it. The possible reward justifies the tiny expense if something goes wrong if your cargo is valuable enough that you’re contemplating insurance.

Do I need shipping insurance?

On some things transported abroad, insurance is also an option. For instance, Global Express Guaranteed Insurance instantly pays for losses or damages up to $100. If the package’s worth exceeds this, USPS will let you add an extra $2,499 in insurance. The shipper also provides Priority Express International insurance, which covers lost, damaged, or missing items for up to $200 in free products. Some nations could have limits, but more coverage might be available.

There are a few extra measures you may take to increase your protection when buying insurance, such as the following:

Confirmation of a signature

You may track when an item was delivered and when an effort was made to deliver it by adding signature confirmation. Upon request, this delivery option is accessible online through USPS or email.

Pick up at delivery

Customers can pay for packages using COD (cash on delivery). Depending on the amount collected or the chosen insurance coverage, up to $1,000 with this choice.

Receiving a refund

With this choice, you may obtain a delivery record that includes the recipient’s signature in print or electronic form.

Some USPS services, such as first-class mail, medium mail, and parcel select, do not include insurance in the label price. There are also certain restrictions on what is covered when utilizing a service that does contain insurance.

USPS signature confirmation

USPS signature confirmation provides the date and time of delivery or attempted delivery and the name of the person who signed for the item. You can request a printed copy of the signature. You can easily use signature confirmation to verify your receipt of the mail piece. USPS Signature Confirmation is available only with shipping labels.

How to Get a Copy of a Delivery Confirmation Signature

The USPS keeps delivery status and signature available for one year after the delivery date. To receive a copy of the recipient’s signature, you must:

  • Call USPS on their website’s given number, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM to 8:30 PM Eastern Time.
  • You can request that a copy of the signature be faxed, mailed, or emailed without an additional fee.
  • Faxed receipts’ processing completes within two hours, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • USPS sends receipts as first-class mail items and should arrive in two to three business days.

USPS claim submission

 Image Source: Reddit
Image Source: Reddit

It is simple and possible to submit a claim to USPS  online. The following steps are part of the online insurance claim procedure, enabling you to upload files with any supporting documentation:

  • Check out the USPS website: Enter your USPS account and password to access the online claims systems. You can create an account online if you don’t already have one.
  • Include information about the packages: The insurance claim form on the website will ask for information such as the USPS tracking number, label, mailing date, address, and other claim specifications.
  • Choose a justification for making a claim: For instance, are the contents of the delivery missing when it arrives, or are the packages lost or stolen? Tell us what happened to the shipment and why the claim is being made.
  • Upload a value proof: When you buy insurance, you declare the value, but when you submit a claim with USPS, you’ll need to provide documentation, such as a proper receipt or invoice.
  • Upload your insurance documentation: Keep your purchase receipt safe since you might need to upload it as proof of purchase. It’s also crucial to remember that USPS does not maintain a record of who obtains insurance, making it impossible for them to dig up this data.

Keep the damaged item, packing, and any other package contents until the claims are settled if the item was damaged, U.S. Postal Service claims:

“The addressees must save the mailing container, together with any damaged items, any packing, and any contents that were receipted, if a claim is made because part or all of the contents are missing or damaged. The recipient must provide this proof to the nearby post office for examination, retention, and disposal in line with the judgment of the claim upon written request from the USPS. The claims will be denied if this is not done.”

Receiving money is swift once a claim determination has been made. Payment is typically provided seven to ten business days after a claim judgment.

Additional points to consider

The insurance is not too expensive per delivery, but if your organization sends many items, the prices quickly increase. Therefore, it’s crucial to be aware of any unique insurance issues so that you can plan. Here are a few things to consider if getting additional insurance is your best action.

Depreciation may apply to the payment

Only the item’s depreciated worth will be paid out by USPS. Your claims “may be denied if your lost or damaged items were procedure used, or if you no longer have the purchase receipt.”

You might need to take pictures of the damaged objects

 Image Source: Twitter
Image Source: Twitter

During the claims procedure, images could be required if the item was damaged. To guarantee that you can recoup from the loss, request that the customer take photographs of the item immediately.

Packing your stuff is crucial. As previously said, packing is essential

Payment of the claim may be impacted if USPS finds that the item was poorly packed and that this contributed to the damage. Request that the consumer save the packaging and take pictures until the claim is settled.

Claims must be lodged promptly

USPS allows you 60 days instead of UPS’s nine-month claim period. Furthermore, you are not permitted to file before a specific amount of days. For Priority Mail Express, for instance, you cannot make your claim until seven days have passed since the item was lost, damaged, or stolen. When the claim period is available, gather the necessary data and documentation if the client has a complaint.

It is possible to omit fragile things

Following USPS DMM 609, “Filling Indemnity Claims for Loss or Damage,” USPS is excused from paying insurance claims if the “fragile nature of the article prevented its safe carriage into the mail, regardless of packaging.” verify whether delicate products are not covered if you are shipping them.

When consumers sign for a shipment, they formally acknowledge that it is in good condition. Ask the client to thoroughly check the package for damage before signing if the recipient is required to sign for the delivery. Recovery becomes more challenging once the buyer signs for the shipment because they practically accept it in its current state.

The original insurance slip should be kept

If the title is recovered, it may be easier to establish that coverage was acquired since USPS does not maintain computer records of post-office insurance purchases.

It is efficient to ship several products, but this has consequences

When a consumer buys many things from your business, you could send them all at once to maximize efficiency. However, remember that a $100 insurance policy will cover the complete bundle; thus, the coverage might be less comprehensive. For insurance reasons, you might split up shipments or acquire additional coverage.

USPS signature confirmation limitations

 Image Source: USPS News Link
Image Source: USPS News Link

While discussing USPS signature confirmation, let’s not forget a few rules.

  • A signature confirmation mail is unavailable to APO/FPO or diplomatic addresses or locations in Palau, Micronesia, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Marshall Islands.
  • In some limited cases concerning legally essential or valuable documents, the USPS will request to send the mailpiece with Certified Mail or Registered critical of Signature Confirmation.


How much does shipping with insurance cost?

The carrier and the value of the things being sent will determine this. The accompanying table includes the shipping insurance prices from each leading carrier and postal service. Additionally, there is independent shipping insurance that is frequently more affordable than the large carriers.

How does shipping insurance operate?

When a shipment is reported as lost or damaged, submit a claim with your carrier or insurer for compensation. You will be required to provide proof of the item’s worth. If a product is missing or stolen, the carrier may have to conduct a search, which might take up to ten days. Otherwise, processing claims usually just require a few days.

How much does $100 of UPS insurance cost?

USP charges $1.05 for parcel insurance for every $100 you are mailing.

Do 3PLs manage insurance for shipping?

While others don’t, specific third-party logistics (3PL) companies do. Additionally, some 3PLs offer insurance but demand that the seller handle the claim independently. At ShipBob, we may file claims with the carriers on the client’s behalf and seek up to $100 in retail goods value in every confirmed incidence of loss or damage.


USPS insurance protects the shipments against loss due to theft, fire, or other stated in USPS’ shipping standards. Consumers pay for USPS insurance costs to mail their items safely nationwide and internationally. By paying USPS insurance costs, customers will deliver more economically to residential addresses for delivery. However, certain limitations help USPS and customers to avoid any loss. This American carrier’s First Class Mail service has long been the most popular and cost-effective way of sending light packages, letters, envelopes, and postcards within the US and internationally.

John Otero

John Otero

John Otero is an industry practitioner with more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has held various senior management roles both in the insurance companies and insurance brokers during this span of time. He began his insurance career in 2004 as an office assistant at an agency in her hometown of Duluth, MN. He got licensed as a producer while working at that agency and progressed to serve as an office manager. Working in the agency is how he fell in love with the industry. He saw firsthand the good that insurance consumers experienced by having the proper protection. John has diverse experience in corporate & consumer insurance services, across a range of vocations. His specialties include Major Corporate risk management and insurance programs, and Financial Lines He has been instrumental in making his firm as one of the leading organizations in the country in generating sustainable rapid growth of the company while maintaining service excellence to clients.

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