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Does Pirate Ship offer insurance?
Does Pirate Ship offer insurance?

How to add extra insurance to your package

Updated over a week ago

Some USPS® services (Like USPS Ground Advantage®, Priority Mail®, Priority Mail Cubic® and Priority Mail Flat Rate®) include $100 of insurance from USPS for free. On the other hand, each UPS® service includes $100 of carrier liability for labels you buy on Pirate Ship* 😉

*Note: UPS® Ground Saver packages may be handed to USPS for last-mile delivery. UPS carrier liability only applies to the portion of the journey when UPS has the package.

Pirate Ship also offers additional 3rd party insurance that can be added to any service. Learn about each USPS and UPS service here.

To add third-party insurance to any service, simply select the “Insurance” check box and enter the declared package value:

The amount you enter in the "Declared Package Value" field applies to our 3rd-party insurance provider. For USPS and UPS services that include coverage such as Priority Mail® or 2nd Day Air®, the amount you enter in this field will add 3rd-party insurance to the built-in coverage you automatically receive from your label.*

For instance, if you're sending a Priority Mail package worth $300, you can choose to enter $200 in the "Declared Package Value" field, since Priority Mail labels on Pirate Ship come with $100 of built-in insurance already.

*Note: In the event that you have to file a claim, you will have to prove the value that you declared.

How much insurance costs

Here's the breakdown of how much insurance costs on Pirate Ship:

  • Domestic Shipments: $0.75 for up to $50, then $0.80 per $100

  • International Shipments: $1.35 per $100

  • Limit: $5,000 per shipment

Keep in mind that insurance amounts aren't prorated, and are instead added in increments of $100 in declared value. For example, if you want to insure your package for $150, you'll still be charged for $200 of declared value ($0.80 plus $0.80 = $1.60 of total insurance cost). So, we always suggest rounding up to the nearest hundred-dollar amount when declaring your package value!

3rd party insurance can stack on top of carrier insurance

Third-party insurance that you purchase on Pirate Ship can be "added on top" of the built-in USPS insurance and UPS carrier liability... but you can also choose to insure your shipment solely through Shipsurance.

When purchasing additional coverage for your shipment through Shipsurance, you have two options:

  1. Insure the full value of the product you're sending by entering its full value in the "Declared Value" field (this is what we recommend)

  2. Underinsure your product with the expectation of filing a separate claim with the carrier (like in the above example of sending a Priority Mail package worth $300 and entering $200 in the "Declared Value" field)

With the first option, the process is streamlined through Shipsurance. At times, they may still ask you to file a claim with the carrier... but for the majority of claims, the process stays with Shipsurance. That's why we recommend this option; you only file one claim!

With the second option, you will file claims with both Shipsurance and with the carrier for the remaining value of the product.


  • Domestic USPS Ground Advantage and Priority Mail labels come with $100 of included coverage

  • Priority Mail International labels come with $200 of included coverage

  • All UPS labels come with $100 of built-in coverage

  • Media Mail and Simple Export Rate do not have included carrier coverage

  • Always include the cost of postage if you will look for that to be reimbursed if/when a claim is needed

Are my postage costs covered along with my product costs?

When purchasing third-party insurance through Shipsurance, you should always include both your product cost and the cost of postage. The cost of postage isn’t automatically included in insurance through Shipsurance and should be added to your total declared package value, as seen here:

What USPS and UPS cover for insurance claims is different from Shipsurance, depending on the type of claim you need to file. Here's what you need to know:

USPS claims:

USPS will provide compensation for the postage cost for missing package claims. When filing a missing package claim with USPS, there will be a field available in the claims form to declare your postage cost. There, you'll need to enter the value you paid for postage in Pirate Ship, and must use your Shipment page as proof of payment.

For claims for damaged packages, USPS won't provide compensation for the postage cost. This is because USPS has fulfilled the underlying service that was paid for (transit and delivery of the package), even if the contents were damaged in the process. So, you can only claim the product cost when filing an insurance claim with USPS.

UPS claims:

UPS carrier liability includes up to $100 in coverage for your product cost, and the postage cost is also refunded outside of that.

For instance, you could claim $100 in product costs and receive a total payout of $110 if your label was $10. This coverage is included with all UPS labels, regardless of the service type.

Are taxes reimbursed with insurance claims?

Shipsurance includes coverage for taxes in their claim payouts 🎉 That said, this depends on the invoice value of your package, and whether the taxes are included in the order invoice. If taxes are included on the order invoice, Shipsurance will include them in their claim payout as long as you purchased enough coverage for them (i.e. whether you included the taxes in your Declared Value).

However, if you are filing a claim for an order that took place on either Etsy, eBay, or Reverb, Shipsurance will not include taxes in the claim payout. This is because these three platforms reimburse taxes directly once you (the seller) refund the buyer through the platform.

UPS carrier liability does not cover taxes and fees. Therefore, those amounts won't be paid out with the $100 of carrier liability when filing a UPS claim.

International shipments

We generally recommend adding insurance for all international shipments, because the postal services in other countries aren't as good as the USA... and for high-value shipments that would be a huge loss if they're damaged or go missing.

*Pro Tips*

  • You can and must include the value of postage and/or packaging in your declaration if you want compensation for the postage and/or packaging in the event a claim is made with Shipsurance.

  • For insurance claims to be valid, Shipsurance requires proof of a USPS or UPS acceptance scan. Note that for USPS labels, End-of-Day SCAN Forms and scans from the self-service kiosks at Post Offices aren't considered proper proof in this case.

  • The amount you paid for insurance is not reimbursed to you when Shipsurance pays out a claim. If you get your postage cost along with the item cost refunded from Shipsurance (if you added it to your declared value), you won't also get the insurance premium back.

  • Shipsurance will cover whichever is the greater amount: the shipping cost displayed on your order invoice, or the actual cost of the label you purchased on Pirate Ship. For instance, if your shipping label costs $5 but you charged your customer $50 for shipping, Shipsurance will cover the $50 but not the $5 label.

  • Keep in mind Shipsurance's guidelines around Signature Confirmation. If one item in a package requires a signature and the label you bought doesn't include Signature Confirmation, the entire shipment is void from coverage.

Shipsurance Terms and Conditions

Before you ship, we strongly suggest familiarizing yourself with the Shipsurance Terms and Conditions. Shipsurance doesn’t provide coverage for all items or situations, so it’s best to read these terms in full to make sure your shipment is covered!

UPS Terms and Conditions

There are some types of items that UPS will provide coverage for when shipping directly through them that they won't cover when you purchase UPS labels through platforms like ours 🙈

So, when shipping with UPS, we highly suggest checking out the UPS Carrier Liability Terms and Conditions, as well as the list of items that UPS prohibits (both in general and on Pirate Ship).

Contacting Pirate Ship's insurance team

If you purchased insurance when shipping with Pirate Ship, our customer support will take care of the claims process for you. Just chat with us using the blue button on the bottom right of the screen, or send an email to to get started 👍

Once we file a claim on your behalf, Pirate Ship's insurance team is only available to contact through email. Our live chat support crew doesn't have access to claim information, so if you'd like to request an update, please reply to the original email you received notifying you about your claim. Our insurance team will proactively email any claim updates once we receive them from our third-party insurance partner.

Additional Resources

Any questions? Chat in with our Support Crew - we're here to help 😃

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