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.

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 at national and international levels. USPS improved its service to meet customers’ expectations with time, like other courier services. One important consideration when shipping, however, is insurance.

Should you purchase shipping insurance, and if so, how much will the USPS insurance cost? As consumer, you must be curious to know every minute detail about USPS insurance. Most packages will arrive at their destination as expected. Still, when a package does not arrive or arrives damaged, it is helpful to have insurance in place, whether you have FedEx shipping insurance, UPS insurance, Route shipping insurance, or any other freight insurance carrier.

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 to ship. 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 delivery of mail, it has set certain limits about the type and worth of the products. It is vital for the 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 provided by USPS.

Insured mail

You can purchase USPS insurance coverage up to $5,000 for standard mail, as well as standard mail matter 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 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 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 avail of the insured mail service, which are:

Insurance coverage – priority mail express

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

  • Insurance coverage for priority mail express 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 an accurate delivery, and it also does not require an indemnity for loss.
  • USPS will provide merchandise insurance coverage against loss, damage, or missing contents and limited to a maximum liability of $100.00. A consumer may purchase up to a maximum coverage of $5,000.00. Non-negotiable documents can be insured against loss, damage, or missing contents, up to $100.00 per piece, subject to the maximum limit per occurrence.
  • Customers may file a claim online for insured priority mail express.

Insurance coverage – priority mail

For 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 pertaining to 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 in the earlier points, additional priority mail insurance may be available to purchase up to a maximum coverage 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 service of registered mail, 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.

The fee for articles with a value of 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 value. The fees for articles valued over $50,000 include insurance up to $50,000 and increasingly higher handling costs.

Insurance can be purchased on domestic registered mail up to $25,000 at the mailer’s option. Return receipt and restricted delivery services are available for additional fees. However, registered mail 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 paper.

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 available for purchase 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 for Priority Mail pieces with included insurance upon purchasing the certified mail.

Payable claims

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 article 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.efinancial instruments payable to bearer) is not available for the reconstruction up to the amount of insurance coverage bought or included.
  1. Extra costs of gift wrapping 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 as 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 paid on articles lost or damaged.
  5. Postage (not fee) paid for sending damaged articles for repair. When sending damaged articles for repair, you must use the Postal Service; if not available, 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 prints, 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 at every doorstep in the US. The delivery generally takes no more than three days. Priority mail provides the customer with an option of sending 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 deliver 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, a United States Postal Service Corporate Account (USPSCA) is not permissible to pay for priority mail postage.
  • Forwarded or returned free of charge.

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;

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

Purchasing insurance is a step in the right direction to protect your company from loss, and 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 purchasing 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, of 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 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 that I haven’t had to claim any lost mail.

Do I need shipping insurance?

You may wonder if it is worth having shipping insurance or not. Here is your answer!

Insurance is available on items sent nationally and internationally. You must have information about the nationwide shipping insurance until now. For international shipping, there are certain item-related limitations. For example,  Global Express Guaranteed Insurance automatically covers up to $100 in loss or damage. If the value of the package exceeds this amount, USPS will allow you to purchase up to $2,499 in additional insurance.

The carrier also offers Priority Express International insurance, which includes up to $200 for merchandise at no cost for lost, damaged, or missing contents. Additional coverage may be available, but some countries may have restrictions.

When purchasing insurance, there are a few additional safeguards available that provide added protection, such as the following:

Signature confirmation

Adding signature confirmation allows you to track the delivery time of an item and the time of dispatching an item. This delivery method is available via USPS electronically or by email upon request.

Collect on delivery

COD allows customers to pay for the package upon receiving it. You also get insurance coverage up to $1,000 with this option based on the amount collected or the selected insurance coverage (whichever is higher).

Return receipt

This option allows you to get an electronic or hardcopy delivery record that shows the recipient’s signature.

Some USPS services do not offer insurance in the label price, including first-class mail, media mail, and parcel select. Additionally, when using a service that does include insurance, there are some limitations on coverage.

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 date of delivery. To receive a copy of the recipient’s signature, you need to:

  • Call USPS at the given number on their website, 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 mail receipts as first-class mail items and should arrive in two to three business days.

USPS signature confirmation limitations

While discussing USPS signature confirmation, let’s not forget a few of its limitations.

  • A signature confirmation mail is not available 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 Mail instead of Signature Confirmation.


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. 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.