If you purchased Priority Mail or Ground Advantage service, it comes with free insurance directly from USPS, so you're covered 👍 USPS includes $100 of insurance on domestic Priority Mail and Ground Advantage services, and $200 of insurance on Priority Mail International services.
For Priority Mail/Ground Advantage claims, the shipper or recipient can file a claim with USPS through their portal. Either way, you’ll need to file the claim directly with USPS at https://www.usps.com/help/claims.htm.
¿Hablo español? USPS also offers this page in Spanish, however, the actual claim forms are not translated: https://es.usps.com/help/claims.htm.
Filing a Claim
That claims page will default to Domestic Shipments by default. If you’re filing a claim for an International Shipment, you can click on that tab to see those options here:
One thing to note is that you don't want to click the link that says "Request a USPS Refund." Instead, scroll down to Step 3 and click the button "Start an Online Claim."
Here's how that looks:
Next, USPS will ask for proof of insurance. For that, all you'll need is to print a receipt showing your tracking number was for a Priority Mail or Ground Advantage service you purchased through Pirate Ship 😉
To do this, you'll just head to your Ship page and click on the label you're filing a claim for. Then, you can either take a screenshot, or use your web browser's File > Print function (Ctrl + P on Windows or Cmnd + P on Macs for a shortcut), like we've shown below:
If you’re printing this page as a receipt, the easiest way to get that to USPS is to save it as a PDF and upload it! Just select Save to PDF as the Destination after you've clicked "Print," like this:
USPS will also ask for the amount paid for additional insurance on this shipment. Since you're claiming the free, built-in insurance that USPS provides, that insurance was included in the cost of postage, and you can just enter zero ($0.00) dollars in the field under Step 3!
When you enter zero ($0.00) in this field, the section below titled 'Upload Proof of Insurance' will disappear. This is perfectly okay, and nothing to worry about 😎
When to file a claim
If your shipment is damaged, you can file your claim immediately!
However, if it looks like your package has gone missing, USPS does request some time to allow the shipment to be delivered. Depending on the service, USPS asks for different lengths of time to allow delivery, which we've listed here:
Priority Mail Express
Priority Mail International
6 months (180 days)
Priority Mail Express International
3 months (90 days)
Do note that most of USPS coverage ends after 60 days, so you’ll want to get that claim filed as soon as possible!
Does USPS cover both postage costs and the cost of my stuff?
Whether or not you receive compensation for your product(s) and the cost of your label will depend on the type of claim you file with USPS. Here's how the Postal Service pays out for both missing packages and damaged claims:
USPS does provide compensation for the postage cost along with your product cost for missing package claims.
When filing a missing package claim with USPS for Ground Advantage, Priority Mail, or Priority Mail Express shipments, 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 does not 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. Unfortunately, you can only claim the product cost in the claims process, and USPS won't provide compensation for your label cost.
How to file an appeal for a denied claim
Sadly, there are times when USPS denies an insurance claim... but, USPS does have an appeals process! If USPS denies your claim, you can file an appeal to get them to re-open it and review that case 😊 You can learn more about how that works here: Appealing a Denied Claim Decision
Sadly, USPS does consider their job done once a package is marked as "Delivered," even if your recipient didn’t receive the package. From what we’ve seen, USPS does generally deny claims if the package goes missing after it's been marked as "Delivered."
Have any questions? Click the blue button to chat with our Support Crew 😃