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Shipping insurance

Hi All. I’m starting a new thread on this because I didn’t get a
good answer to my question.

If I insure a box for $100 and it gets lost, I think the insurer
should pay $100. My personal logic tells me that the contents of the
box should be irrelevant. The “value” of the shipment to me and my
customer includes my labor and creativity, not just the cost of the
raw materials. If it’s the shipper’s fault that the box is lost, how
can they fairly rationalize paying less than the amount it’s insured
for? Anything less suggests that there is no way to really insure
something for the amount the customer paid. The shipper is saying
that I can pay whatever amount of insurance I like, but if a claim
is filed, they will determine the amount paid. Isn’t paying for
insurance essentially a contract?

Other than writing this off to greedy corporations, how can this be


You need to use an insurer for tge jewelry industry. I use
ParcelPro. They are great.

Amery Carriere Designs

Hi Allan

All it means is that you have to be ready to support your claim if
requested by the insurance company. In other words you need a copy
of the bill you sent to the client and maybe a copy of the payment
you received. In rare instances the insurer might ask to see other
prices of your goods but that is very rare in my experience. Usually
you have insured the goods for the same amount that you have received
from the client. Where it gets dicey are the instances where you are
shipping something (say a display cabinet for you yourself to use in
a show instead of taking it yourself in your own vehicle) and there
is no invoice to a client – maybe you had this piece made, then you
might have a bill - but maybe you made it yourself – here, the value
of the display cabinet would perhaps be a matter that could be up for
dispute. Not all the items shipped in the world are in fact shipments
by a buyer to a seller – this of household contents being shipped
overseas, or a family pet being shipped to a new home. Insurance
contracts have to be written for all types of situations. Oh my but
we are getting way out there because of a lost shipment.

Hoping that all the shipments made by all members of the Orchid list
arrive intact and on time, Barbara on a very snowy storm day on PEI
when sirens were going off all over

Regarding Allan’s dilemma with shipping and insurance.

The PROFESSIONAL GUIDELINES has a document that will guide you step
by step through an insurance claim.

The title is Claims for Damaged Work.

This document can also be found on the SNAG web site under
Professional Guidelines.

While a Claim for Damaged work is more complicated than an insurance
claim for shipping, it is essentially the same process.

It takes work to make a successful claim.

The insurance is what you purchased, but it doesn’t guarantee that
you will be paid the whole sum. You must provide prove that the lost
or damaged items were worth the value stated on your claim. That is
just the way it is.

For the shipping loss, you need to provide some evidence for the
lost items.

I suggest scanning or photographing the item before it is put in the

While the photo quality isn’t that great, it will be good enough to
document the contents of the box.

Next you need to provide some kind of documentation for the value of
the item(s).

IF your background, professional skills, and
documentation/description for the item is clear and substantive that
may be all you need.

All letters for insurance claim need to sound like you are a
professional. You must be an “authority” or expert.

IF you sell or repair items of similar value, then you could show
how much similar items sell for in your line of work.

Or find similar items for sale on line or in stores to support your
claim for the value of the item(s).

If the lost work was a one of a kind, then you need to show that you
sold similar work for that specific price or price range.

When I sell high value one of a kind items, I often photocopy the
check…so that if I ever have to make a claim for similar work, I
have proof that I was paid a stated price.

You could always ask another gallery, or store that sells your work
to establish the items wholesale/retail value.

Harriete Estel Berman


Unfortunately it must be a case of there is nothing rationally fair
about it. It boggles my mind as well. I suppose there are lines of
fine print that spell it all out somewhere, but they don’t go into
that when you purchase the insurance.

As frustrated as anyone,

Ken Moore

To me you should have an invoice or something else that shows what
you insured and the amount. We use ParcelPro for shipping our FedEx
boxes and everything we ship has an invoice. I am hoping I never have
to find out if there will be any problems in collecting for an
insured box that goes missing, but from everything I have read about
ParcelPro there should not be a problem. I think a lot has to do with
who is doing the insuring. We have all heard/read the horror stories
of people losing their house and/or possessions due to a fire, theft
or other natural disaster and then have to fight the insurance
company to be paid what their items were worth. You say that your
possessions to replace would cost “x” and the insurance company says
"y" and you fight it out. I would like to think that with shipping
insurance it would be different, but depending on the insurer it may
have many of the same issues. I went back and found the post about
paying for $700 and getting in return $600…was a bit confusing to
me as was stated:

The items that I had fabricated were also priced on my invoice at
about $600.00. They paid me about $600.00. So, I lost everything
that I had coming to me, plus more. 
I learned that they will not pay for service pieces that you do
not have receipts for and they will not pay for service. I also
learned that if you insure for $700.00 and you can only prove a
value of $600.00 they only pay you $600.00. 

I am curious as to what “proof” was needed and what was the
difference between $600 and $700. The person for whom the repair was
done must have insured their pieces when shipping and they would
have a value for the items. It would make sense to insure repaired
items for the value of the item and if you want to add in what your
repair added to the value (essentially you repair cost) that might
get covered then.

Mrs. Terry Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts, LLC

Allan - It might be that the opportunity for fraud is the reason for
the policy.

When I’ve put a lot of work into a piece, the value includes my
labor. So insurance that deals with the whole value - metal, stones,
and labor - is what works for me. I state the value to be exactly
what I bill the customer. I personally use a private insurance
company - Their fees are quite reasonable.

I suppose since I joined MJSA, I should look at their deals on

Judy Hoch

The "value" of the shipment to me and my customer includes my
labor and creativity, not just the cost of the raw materials." 

Janet says: In my shipments, the value of the item (and consequently
the insured amount) is equal to the amount on the attached sales
receipt. The value of an item is, in fact, whatever someone out
there is willing to pay for it, and the formal receipt is the proof.

Janet in Jerusalem

Hey all.

I have been selling jewelry on line for fifteen years. Products from
$50 to $15,000.

You will not ‘learn’ about the shipping problems, until you have
things lost and TRY to collect. Regardless of whom you use, your
chance of collecting is 50/50 at best.

Shipping precious metal jewelry is subject to the USA Patriot Act,
enforced by Homeland Security. In addition there is the EU
Anti-Terrorist Funding Act and is pretty much the same worldwide.

The LIMIT any of the three USA carriers will pay is $500 for
jewelry. You have to read the very fine print. Jewelry is excluded
unless you notify them at shipping and take out a special shipping
and/or rider. For instance anything valued at over $500 cannot be
shipped on Thursday unless it is overnight to arrive Friday or
Saturday. If it sits in the truck over the weekend or distribution
center and disappears, good luck collecting.

If the item is over $300 PayPal and most credit card processors
REQUIRE signed delivery. You won’t learn until someone ‘claims’ it
never arrived. The first thing you have to do is prove you shipped it
and it arrived. Delivery notification does not count.

Shipping to an address other than the billing address of PayPal or
the credit card. Good luck contesting the charge back and the
insurance loss. It is also a violation of the FBI Directive of 2006
when the national database of physicians in the USA was 'compromised’
with all personal and credit cards were made and the
purchases were made in person by the fraudster. NJ & NY jewelry
stores got hit very hard for Rolexes and high value diamond rings. I
could call you at your business and make your caller ID point to a
physician’s office and ask to ship it to this address as it is a
surprise. Many of you may remember Circuit City. What you may not
know is they had a national credit card fraud task force as the
techniques were so good that the card holder could not contest the
charges. CC accepted the chargeback’s for as long as they could to
save their name. I got hit with a very organized fraud ring, the same
as they and how we collaborated.

The big boy x carriers. Read the fine print. You are NOT buying
insurance. You are buying a ‘declared value’ so you can file for
insurance with your insurance company. They will accept your payment
for insurance for a $10,000 piece, will accept the extra $4 for photo
ID signature, and then when it disappears or they give it to someone
they will tell you it is the driver’s discretion whether they will
ask for a signature. They will NOT pay out the claim. I did 25-30
thousand dollars a year with x carrier only to lose a $10,000
bracelet as the person rerouted it to an office store and picked it
up there. No ID, no security camera, no anything for a Declared High
Value Package through the special account set up for JEWELERS
through one of our national organizations. I had three similar losses
all happened and handled the same way in one month. Almost $30,000
plus the loss of the inventory and the bank chargeback’s. Anyone else
dealing in fraud knows that two in a 30 day period is the magic
number as the third gets very expensive.

The safest way is through the USA Post Office Registered. It has to
be packaged properly. Will insure up to $50k and cost $15-25. It is
carried under lock and key and every mail person that touches it has
to sign for it. If you ship overseas the safest is Express Mail as it
can be tracked as required by Customs and can be insured. I’ve had
product arrive in Russia within three business days. Collecting a
loss will be difficult as the USA Post Office liability ends once it
clears customs and is turned over to the other country. Some are
private. The only loss I have had with them is to Germany where the
mail system is handled by three different private companies and they
do not cooperate with each other.

For a loss you do have to prove what was in the package. A copy of
the sales invoice is enough, although pictures, description and
weight does help. UPS lost a bracelet once that was about $5,000,
once I supplied color images, the weight to the tenth of a gram it
was found and delivered within two days.

You will have to prove it was packaged securely and protected
against loss or damage. If the package says jewelry on the return
address or to where you are shipping, it is a red flag and they can
deny it due to improper addressing. Jewelry is like writing Steal ME
if you can on the outside. During the holidays package theft is
subject to the shake and takers and return address name recognition.
All mine are now shipped with a return address of my personal name
and a PO Box.

The last thing is if you work with law enforcement to set up a sting
with a fraud ring, the merchandise you were kind enough to ship will
be entered as evidence. You do not get it back until the case is
closed. Restitution is $50 a month for the rest of your life for
people that are caught. We had over $30,000 stolen off the porches
when a high value photo ID required package was left. The carrier
would not cover it, the shipping company’s private insurance would
not cover it, and the manufacturer would not replace the goods until
I paid for the first shipment. More than twenty custom wedding sets
for the Christmas weddings. What could I do? My name is worth more
than a $30 loss.

There are people that buy mail order/internet and know the rules
better than the banks. They do not consider it stealing, but getting
something for free. If you do not take a physical swipe of the credit
card, they can contest the charge on any condition and the merchant
loses. Look at the fine print of your merchant account agreement. A
wife using her husband’s card, he can contest it. A secretary using
her bosses card, he can contest it. I have had three jewelry stores
place large orders with the owner or store card. Only the store did
not order the merchandise, a dishonest employee did. Contested and I

Sorry for the book but email privately and I can give you details if
you are having frauds or shipping losses.


Charlie, have you used other methods?

I have had things go missing via the US Postal service, even with
registered, believe it or not!

Please do your research and compare Parcel Pro to the US Post
office, don’t take our word for it.

I do not work for them, nor do I get a commission, I am just a very
happy customer. Ever try to call the Post Office to get even a
question answered? At Parcel Pro I never have to talk to UPS- ever. I
have a rep at Parcel Pro, direct line AND email. They are my liaison
with UPS or fed-ex. I’ve never lost anything with them, but I do lose
(or is seriously seriously delayed) about 30% of my packages with
USPS, and I ship 99% with Parcel Pro, so you do the math.