It is part of the process when selecting which carrier to use and what speed you want the item shipped. There will be an option to add insurance.
While it is always possible to save a little money by NOT selecting shipping insurance, this article will look at a few of the reasons why you might want to.
So if you’re ready, let’s jump to it.
What is International Shipping Insurance?
International shipping insurance is a service that is there to offer security against an item being lost, stolen, or damaged during transportation. The shipping insurer will cover the costs of the loss.
Should you add international shipping insurance?
While package forwarding is a well-established industry with a lot of reputable providers, and the carriers used are all well known, (UPS DHL, etc), things can and do occasionally go wrong.
Millions of mail items and packages are crisscrossing around the world every day after all. That being said, you can still break down whether to add insurance by asking yourself these questions.
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1. What Country Is Your Package Forwarding Shipment Going To?
Where is your package going? If it is a long haul journey to a country where the trustworthiness of the importing authorities is questionable, insurance is recommended.
This is because although your package may make it all the way from the U.S to the importing country, there will be personnel and procedures in customs that can cause issues.
Not all countries are well known for their safety and honesty. Furthermore, the customs officers might be less careful with expensive items becoming damaged in transit.
If the country you are sending the package to gives any inkling of concern, insure the item.
2. What is the value of the item and which carrier are you using?
Carriers such as DHL, UPS, and USPS, will automatically insure your shipment for up to $100 just by you using their services.
Therefore, if your item is worth less than $100 there is very little point in adding international insurance on top of the postage. It is already included.
Also, you should take into consideration that a carrier such as DHL will have infrastructure on the ground at both ends of your package journey, (i.e they will pick up in the U.S and will be there to deliver the item once it reaches its destination).
This helps make private carriers with international reach more reliable than say using a government carrier (USPS), where it will be a local carrier taking care of delivery at the final destination.
If the item is worth a lot more than $100 or you do not trust the carrier at the delivery country and location, international insurance is advised.
3. The type of mail item and its origins
A fragile delicate item of high value should have extra insurance. This might include an expensive laptop or other electrical equipment alongside obvious delicates such as ornaments or antiques.
It is also worth thinking about where the item came from. If you are forwarding an item bought off eBay, the original sender might not have wrapped it well enough to warrant international transfer.
Conversely, buying goods from a reputable manufacturer where it has been made clear international transfer is taking place, the original packaging should be sturdy enough for transit.
The answer here is when in doubt, check. If using a mailbox provider or package forwarding service to manage the international shipping of your goods, ensure that sufficient packaging is used.
On top of that of course, you can add an extra layer of safety by opting for insurance.
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Essentially, the decision to add international shipping insurance on your goods comes down to you.
However, taking the above into account alongside whether you have any doubts and you will know whether to opt for the extra insurance or not.
I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂