What You Need to Know About Declared Value Coverage

Mistakes happen and sometimes what you ship doesn’t make it to where it’s going. Be sure you know the options for how to deal with a lost or damaged package.

Declared value coverage is not shipper’s insurance. If you have been told declared value coverage is a version of insurance, you are not alone. Many shipping providers urge shippers to “add extra coverage for just a few dollars” and give them the impression they’re paying for insurance for their package. But, what they’re getting is really declared value coverage. Declared value coverage allows the shipper to declare the value of the shipment in order to raise the financial legal liability of the carrier above their limitations. Declared value coverage does not increase a carrier’s scope of liability, but instead allows for the shipper to pursue a higher recovery. The details for a shipper’s declared value coverage can be found in their tariff or Bill of Lading.

For shippers desiring to maximize their recovery options for high-value shipments, Pak Mail offers declared value coverage. Declared value coverage can be added to both domestic and international shipments. Domestically you can declare up to $50,000 and internationally you can declare up to $25,000. The key factors in determining liability and whether or not an item needs to be repacked to obtain liability are:

  • Weight and Density - An item with a high weight and/or density will require a strong container.
  • Size - Size limitations will affect the carrier selection and determine the shipping environment the package will encounter.
  • Value - The value of an item will affect both the packaging and carrier selection. Items with a value over $1,000 should be given consideration for crating. Higher value items should also be considered for air shipment over ground transportation.

Without coverage, Pak Mail’s liability for lost or damaged shipments is limited to zero on shipments with no declared value. That means that if you don’t declare value and the package is damaged or lost, there’s no liability to Pak Mail. That’s why it’s so important and beneficial for you as the customer to declare a value.

Declared value coverage is different from shipper’s insurance because it does not provide door-to-door coverage. Instead, declared value coverage is only in effect when the item is in the care, custody, and control of the shipping provider. In addition, in order for a declared value coverage claim to be valid, the shipper must prove that the carrier’s negligence directly resulted in the loss or damage of the shipment. Finally, declared value coverage does not provide for the reimbursement of freight charges, packing expenses, forwarding fees, and other similar costs.

When shipping items of large monetary value (such as equipiment, electronics, and art) or items of sentimental value (such as family pictures and videos, childhood memories, and other family heirlooms), be sure to take as much caution as you can. When shipping with Pak Mail, you always get our best, but declared value coverage provides a bit more peace of mind. Be sure you are able to provide proof of the value of your items to ensure the declared value coverage is valid.

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