How to File Insurance Claims at USPS | USPS Insurance Claim

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What is the First Step in Filing an International Claim?




The first step in filing a claim on an item that was mailed to a foreign country is to initiate an inquiry for loss, damaged and/or missing contents, or money-back guarantee service failure. U.S. senders can click on the following link:  www.usps.com/help/claims.htm to begin the process. Only registered USPS.com® account users can submit an online inquiry.

Otherwise, please contact the Customer Care Center (CCC) at 800-222-1811 and provide the CCC representative all the relevant mailing particulars. They will provide you with more information when you call.

You’ll need to have the following information about your package:

  • the tracking number that appears on the receipt
  • sender’s name, mailing address, email address, and phone number
  • addressee’s name and mailing address
  • addressee’s email address and phone number, if available
  • date of the mailing, weight, postage paid, and additional fees (if applicable)
  • description and value of contents

Note: The amount of time it takes to research your inquiry can vary based on several factors including the destination country.

If the damage and/or missing contents or loss is confirmed, an information packet and claim form will be sent to you.

Conducting international inquiry

  • What is an international inquiry?

    An International Inquiry is a request for an investigation submitted by a customer to determine if an item mailed to a foreign country has been delivered or received in good condition.

    Worldwide services include Global Express Guaranteed®, Priority Mail Express International®, Registered First-Class Mail International®, Registered Priority Mail International® Flat Rate Envelope, Insured Priority Mail International® variable weight or flat rate boxes, and items that bear a customs declaration form PS 2976-A. You can find a description of these products by clicking on the following link: https://www.usps.com/help/claims.htm.

    Inquiries can be initiated for Global Express Guaranteed (GXG)® items, Priority Mail Express International® items, Priority Mail International® (insured or ordinary) and Registered Mail™ items.

    Inquiries are not accepted for ordinary letters, Priority Mail International® Flat Rate Envelopes, Priority Mail International® Small Flat Rate Priced Boxes, or M-bags®.

  • Why do I have to submit an international inquiry before I can file a claim?

    The Universal Postal Union, which governs the exchange of international mail, requires that an inquiry be submitted before a claim can be processed. Inquiries can be submitted for Global Express Guaranteed®, Priority Mail Express International®, Priority Mail International® (insured and ordinary) and Registered Mail™ items.

    Inquiries are not accepted for ordinary letters, Priority Mail International® Flat Rate Envelopes, Priority Mail International® Small Flat Rate Priced Boxes, or M-bags®.

    The postal administration of the destination country can investigate to determine if the item was delivered and whether it was damaged.

  • Is there a charge for filing an inquiry on International mail?

    There is no charge for filing inquiries on international mail items when calling our Customer Care Center at 800-222-1811 or by clicking on the following link: www.usps.com/help/claims.htm.

  • Who can initiate an inquiry on an outbound First Class Mail International Registered Mail® item or Priority Mail International® package?

    Inquiries regarding an outbound First Class Mail International® Registered Mail item or a Priority Mail International® package can be initiated by the U.S. sender when calling the Customer Contact Center at 800-222-1811 or by clicking on the following link: www.usps.com/help/claims/htm.

    The Postal Service accepts inquiries for outbound Priority Mail International® Flat Rate Envelopes and Small Flat Rate Boxes only if the sender purchased Registered Mail® service.

  • Who can initiate an inquiry for an outbound Priority Mail Express International® item?

    Inquiries regarding an outbound Priority Mail Express International® item sent to a foreign destination can be initiated only by the U.S. sender or the sender’s agent (not the addressee). To initiate an inquiry for loss, damage and / or missing contents or money-back guarantee failure, the sender can call the Customer Care Center at 800-222-1811 and provide the customer care center agent the relevant mailing particulars. A U.S. Sender with a registered USPS.com® account can initiate an online inquiry by following this link: www.usps.com/help/claims.htm.

  • After mailing, how long should I wait to file an international inquiry?

    Please allow sufficient time for the item to be delivered before initiating an inquiry. See the time chart for information about when to file an inquiry based on the international service used.

How do I File an International Claim?




Because international claims require coordination with foreign postal administrations, they’re handled differently than domestic claims. This process begins with an inquiry.

To get started, initiate an inquiry by either calling our Customer Care Center at 800-222-1811 or clicking on the following link:  www.usps.com/help/claims.htm. Only registered USPS.com account users can submit an online inquiry.

Using this web-based application, online inquiries can be submitted for Priority Mail Express International® items, Priority Mail International® items, Registered Mail™ items, and, under certain conditions, First-Class Mail International® items and First-Class Package International Service® items. Inquiries for Global Express Guaranteed® (GXG) cannot be initiated via the online solution. All claims for GXG shipments must be initiated within 30 days of the mailing date by calling 800-222-1811. Once you are connected with a FedEx customer service representative, they will provide you with more details on how to initiate the claim.

You’ll need to have the following information about your package:

  • the tracking number that appears on the receipt
  • sender’s name, mailing address, email address, and phone number
  • addressee’s name and mailing address
  • addressee’s email address and phone number, if available
  • date of the mailing, weight, postage paid, and additional fees (if applicable)
  • description and value of contents

Note: The amount of time it takes to research your inquiry can vary based on several factors including the destination country.

How do I Appeal an International Claim?

How do I appeal an International claim that was denied?

For a denied claim, you may appeal a decision by filing a written appeal within 60 days of the date of the original decision to the following address:

ACCOUNTING SERVICES
INTERNATIONAL CLAIM APPEALS                                            
PO BOX 80146

ST. LOUIS, MO 63180-0146




In your appeal, please explain why your case should be reviewed.  Also, make sure that proof of value, evidence of mailing and insurance coverage for the article have been submitted.

How do I appeal a claim that was paid as a smaller amount?

For a check sent in an amount less than the insured amount, you may submit a check protest appeal by filing a written appeal within 60 days of the date of the check to the following address:

ACCOUNTING SERVICES
CHECK PROTEST
PO BOX 80140
ST. LOUIS, MO 63180-0140

  • What information do I need to provide in order to file an appeal on a claim? 
    • In your appeal, please explain why your case should be reviewed.  Also, make sure that proof of value, evidence of mailing and insurance coverage for the article have been submitted.
  • If my claim is denied a second time, what is the next step?
    • You may file a final appeal to the Consumer Advocate in writing within 60 days of the date of the denial. In your appeal, please explain why your case should be reviewed.  Also, make sure that proof of value, evidence of mailing, and insurance coverage for the article has been submitted.
  • Submit the appeal to the following address:

CONSUMER ADVOCATE                                                     
INTERNATIONAL CLAIMS APPEALS                                         
475 L’ENFANT PLAZA SW RM 4541                              
WASHINGTON, DC 20260-2200 

 

How do I Check on the Status of a Claim or ask Payment Questions?

USPS Claim Status

You can check the status of a claim as follows:

  • If your claim was filed online, you may check the status of your claim by signing in to your account: www.usps.com/domestic-claims. After logging into the application, navigate to the “Claims History” tab and search for the claim either using the tracking number for the item or the claim nickname you provided when filing the claims.OR
  • Contact Accounting Services at 1-866-974-2733.
    • Hours of Operation are Monday – Friday from 8:00am – 8:00pm Eastern Time (7:00am – 7:00pm CT).

Note: When checking the status of a claim the following information is required:

The following is needed when checking the status of your claim online.

  • USPS.com® log-in credentials
  • Claims nickname provided when placing the claim or Tracking number

Payment Questions

  • For questions about a payment that has been received or to check the status of a payment, please contact Accounting Services Help Desk at 1-866-974-2733.
    • Hours of Operation are Monday – Friday from 8:00am – 8:00pm Eastern Time (7:00am – 7:00pm CT).
  • Allow sufficient time for payments to be processed.

Reimbursement Information

  • Postage reimbursements will be included with the claim payment if the item was lost or totally damaged.
  • Insurance fees cannot be reimbursed. The insurance fees are the actual cost of the insurance coverage for the particular item in question.

Resolution Time Frame

  • All required claim documents must be completed and submitted. A decision regarding your claim is usually communicated within 5-10 days.

What is Proof of Damage?

Proof of damage substantiates that item(s) are damaged or missing. Upon receiving a damaged article, retain the damaged article and container (including packaging, wrapping, and any other contents received).

Follow these instructions (based on your claim situation):

  • If you are the addressee (recipient) filing the claim, you must, upon written request by the USPS, turn the materials over to a Post Office for inspection, retention, and disposition in accordance with the claims decision.
  • If you are the mailer filing a damage claim for an article still in the possession of the addressee (recipient),the USPS may require the addressee to turn the materials over to a Post Office for inspection, retention, and disposition in accordance with the claims decision.
  • If you are only filing a claim for the repair costs, you must still retain the damaged article and mailing container (including any wrapping, packaging and any other contents), along with an estimate of repair costs. The USPS may require that you turn the materials over to a Post Office for inspection, retention, and disposition in accordance with the claims decision. Once the claim is resolved, you will be asked to pick up your damaged item at the Post Office.

How Can I View the Status of Current Domestic Claims and My Claims History?

To check the status of a claim you submitted online or to view your claims history:

  • Sign in to your account (www.usps.com/domestic-claims).
  • To view your claims status or history, click the “Claims History” link. The Claims History page displays a list of all claims you have filed online. You can search for a claim either using either the claim nickname received when filing the claim or the tracking number for the item.

How do I check the Status of an International Indemnity Claim/Inquiry?

You can check the status of a submitted International Inquiry by:

  • Calling 800-222-1811 and speaking with a Customer Care Center agent.
    • At a minimum, you will need to provide the following information:
      • Your name
      • Case Number or Article number (for more information about article numbers, click here)

You can check the status of an International inquiry submitted online by:

  • Logging onto your USPS.com® registered account by clicking on the following link:  https://www.usps.com/help/claims.htm.
    • At a minimum, you will need the following information:
      • USPS.com® log-in credentials
      • Article number (For more information about article numbers, click here)

You can check the status of an International Claim by contacting the Accounting Helpdesk at 866-974-2733. Hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm ET (7:00 am to 7:00 pm CT).

  • At a minimum, you will need to provide the following information:
    • Your name
    • Article number (for more information about article numbers, click here)
    • Original mail date

What happens after I initiate an international inquiry?

The U.S. Postal Service® will review and investigate your inquiry. If the damage or loss is confirmed, an information packet and claim form will be sent to you. Complete details about the international inquiry and international claims processes, including appeals, can be found in the International Mail Manual: Chapter 9 Inquiries, Indemnities, and Refunds.

What is Proof of Value?

Proof of value substantiates an item’s value and any required repair costs. Either the mailer or the addressee must submit acceptable proof to establish the cost or value of the article at the time it was mailed. If you are filing your claim online, evidence may be uploaded (as digital pictures or scanned documents) or mailed in with your claim.

Examples of proof of value include:

  • A sales receipt, paid invoice or bill of sale, or statement of value from a reputable dealer.
  • Paid repair bills; if the claim is for partial damage, you will need estimates of repair costs or appraisals from a reputable dealer. Repair costs may not exceed the original purchase price.
  • Receipt or invoice for the costs incurred to buy a surety bond required to reissue a lost item.
  • Receipt or invoice of costs incurred for the reconstruction of nonnegotiable documents.
  • A copy of a credit card statement or other documentation indicating the amount paid.
  • For Internet transactions conducted through a Web-based payment network that offers payment services through a stored value account, provide a computer printout of the online transaction identifying the purchaser and seller, price paid, date of transaction, description of item purchased, and assurance that the transaction status is completed. The printout must clearly identify the Web-based payment network provider through which the Internet transaction was conducted.

What is the Timeframe for Filing a Domestic Insurance Claim?

When to File a Domestic Claim

Claims for damage and/or partial loss may be filed immediately, but no later than 60 days from the mailing date. You must retain the damaged article and mailing container (including wrapping, packaging, and contents). The USPS® may require you to turn the materials over to a Post Office™ for inspection, retention, and disposition in accordance with the claims decision.

  • Note: A claim can also be filed immediately on a mailpiece that arrives without contents (empty).

Claims for the complete loss of the mailpiece (mailpiece not received) must be submitted within these time limits from the original mailing date:

Important:

  • Read this information about time limits before filing a claim or inquiry.
  • Damaged or Missing Contents is defined as any mailing that has been received but some or all of the contents are damaged or missing.
  • Lost Article is defined as any mailing that has not been received and returned to the sender.
Mail Status Domestic Mail Type Or Service When To File (In Calendar Days from Mailing Date)
No Sooner Than No Later Than
Damaged or Missing Contents You should file all claims for damaged or missing contents immediately, but must file no later than 60 days from the date of mailing.
Lost Articles Insured Mail (includes Priority Mail®)

15 Days

60 Days

Collect On Delivery (COD)

15 Days

60 Days

Registered Mail

15 Days

60 Days

Registered Mail COD

15 Days

60 Days

Priority Mail Express®

7 Days

60 Days

Priority Mail Express COD

15 Days

60 Days

APO/FPO/DPO Priority Mail Express Military® Service 21 Days 180 Days
APO/FPO/DPO Insured Mail and Registered Mail (Priority Mail, First-Class Mail, Space Available (SAM), or Parcel Airlift (PAL))

45 Days

1 Year

APO/FPO/DPO Insured Mail (Surface Only)

75 Days

1 Year

What is Evidence of Insurance?

Mail™ service was purchased for the mailed package. For a detailed list of acceptable evidence, check the General Filing Instructions in the Domestic Mail Manual.

Examples of evidence of insurance include:

  • If you purchased insurance at a Post Office™ or through a rural carrier, you will need the original mailing receipt received at the time of mailing. This can be a sales receipt or a postmarked receipt for Insured Mail, Registered Mail™, or COD.
  • If you purchased insurance at a self-service kiosk, you will need the self-service kiosk receipt showing the purchase of insurance.
  • If you purchased insurance online, you will need a printed electronic online label record or a computer printout from the application where the label was printed and insurance was purchased. (If you are the mailer and you purchased insurance online through the Click-N-Ship® application, you don’t need to submit evidence of insurance. The File Insurance Claims system is integrated with the Click-N-Ship application and the USPS® has an electronic record of your insurance purchase.)The computer printout must clearly identify all of the following information:
    • Extra service number / USPS Tracking number
    • Total postage paid
    • Origin ZIP Code™
    • Declared value
    • Insurance fee paid
    • Mailing date
    • Delivery ZIP code™

    If you filed a domestic insurance claim online, you may upload evidence of insurance as digital photos or scanned documents. While it’s not required, this may expedite your claim. Provide a brief description of any uploaded evidence. Files uploaded must be in JPG or PDF format, and must be less than 2MB in file size. If you need technical help with the document upload process, please email the Internet Customer Care Center at: uspstech[email protected].

Note: If only the outer packaging (which shows insurance fee, postage paid, names, and addresses of the mailer and addressee) is presented as evidence of insurance, indemnity may be limited.

How do I Appeal a Domestic Claim that was Filed Online?

If your original claim was submitted online at USPS.com®, you may also submit your appeal online using your customer account.

Sign in to your customer account at http://www.usps.com/domestic-claims, go to the “Claims History” page, and then click on the claim nickname or article number for the specific claim you wish to appeal. Once you are on the “Claim Status” page, click the link titled “Appeal Claim.”

Complete the online appeal form, providing as much information as possible. Some of the data, including the article number, from your claim will pre-populate the appeal form. You will need to enter your reason for appeal in the free-form text box provided.

Suggestions:

  • It is helpful to create your letter in a word processing program, then copy and paste it over to this text box in online claims.
  • If you have any supporting documentation not included in the original claim, you can upload it on this page also. It must be in PDF or JPG file format and must be less than 2MB in file size.

The last requirement on this page is to read the Customer Certification statement. Check the box if you agree and click “Submit Appeal.”

If you need technical help with the document upload process, please email the Internet Customer Care Center at: [email protected].

 

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