When you ship a FedEx package to a customer or client, the last thing you want is for it to be lost or damaged. If that does happen, it’s reassuring to know that there's some type of insurance on your delivery.
While there's no specific FedEx insurance, the company does offer limited reimbursement up to a certain amount if your package is lost or damaged in transit. You must pay an additional fee for FedEx insurance, which is known as “declared value.” Actually getting reimbursement requires you to be compliant with their shipping policies and undergo a claims investigation.
What Is FedEx Shipping Insurance?
FedEx handles insurance differently than you may expect. It doesn't deal at all with insurance but limits its liability to $100 for a damaged or lost shipment. For shipments valued at $100 or less, you simply declare the value and won’t be charged any additional fees. Although still not insurance, FedEx will increase its liability for valuable shipments with a fee-based concept called declared value liability.
FedEx declared value liability only kicks in if the packages you ship were packed by FedEx team members at a FedEx location. You can't get FedEx insurance on packages you’ve packed and shipped yourself, whether through FedEx or another means.
If you plan to ship packages with valuable content via FedEx, be sure to have them packed and shipped at a FedEx location. Failure to do so may mean losing your right to make a claim.
What FedEx Declared Value Means
With declared value, FedEx reimburses you for costs incurred to repair or replace merchandise up to the declared value. However, there's an additional charge for this service, as well as maximum value limits. For most shipping methods, the highest value you can declare is $50,000 per package.
FedEx only permits a maximum declared value of $1,000 for shipments that include:
- Precious metals.
- Plasma screens.
- Stocks, bonds, cash letters or cash equivalents.
- Collector’s items, such as coins and stamps.
- Certain musical instruments.
- Scale models, including dollhouses.
If you fill out the FedEx declared value paperwork and claim a value that's more than the allowable minimums, your ability to recover any amount disappears.
FedEx declared value also comes into play when packages are accepted for delivery. Shipments with a declared value of less than $500 don't require a signature to be delivered. A signature is required, however, for shipments with a declared value of $500 or greater.
How Much Does it Cost to Insure a Package?
What you pay to get declared value on your package depends on the type of FedEx shipment and the value of what you ship.
For FedEx SameDay, there's a maximum declared value of $2,000. The costs for declared value are $2.70 for shipments valued between $100.01 and $300, and 90 cents per $100 of declared value for shipments valued more than $300. Declared value isn't allowed for FedEx SameDay Freight shipments.
For FedEx SameDay City, the maximum declared value is $2,000. The costs for declared value are $3 for shipments or runs valued between $100.01 and $300, and $1 per $100 of declared value for shipments or runs valued more than $300. A direct signature is required when there's a declared value of $500 or more.
For FedEx International Next Flight, International Express Package or International Express Services, the cost is $1 per $100 of value that's more than $100, or $9.07 per pound, whichever is greater.
For U.S. Express Package Services, U.S. Ground Services and International Ground Services, the cost is $3 for shipments valued between $100.01 and $300, and $1 per $100 of declared value for shipments valued more than $300.
For U.S. Express Freight Services, the cost is $1 per $100 of value that's more than $100, or $1 per pound, whichever is greater.
If you have multiple packages in a shipment, each may have a different declared value.
It’s a good idea to know the value of your items before you go into a FedEx store to have them packaged. If you know what the actual cost of each item is, even better, as you don’t have to make an educated guess. On the off chance your shipment gets lost or damaged, you know you’ll be fairly reimbursed.
How to Insure Your FedEx Package
Making use of the FedEx declared value option may sound more complicated than it is. Just take your item to FedEx to have it packed and shipped, and fill in the declared value section of the shipping form. If you have multiple packages, you must include the declared value for each package.
Remember that, if your package contains items worth less than $100, you don’t need to do anything to insure your FedEx package. Your package is automatically protected up to that amount.
If your package contains items worth more than $100, you may have to do a little bit of math to figure out what you actually owe. You’ll need to calculate both the shipping cost and the declared value cost to get the total amount you’ll need to pay. A FedEx customer service agent can help you if you're unsure how to do this.
Although FedEx doesn’t require proof-of-value at the time of shipment, you'll need to supply this information if or when it becomes necessary to file a claim.
Making a FedEx Insurance Claim
If you purchase FedEx shipping insurance and your package does indeed go missing or get damaged, there are steps you must take to make a claim.
The claim must be submitted online, via email or faxed to the FedEx claims department. If you choose to file a claim online, you can get updates on your claim via email. If you're filing an international claim, that must be done by mail or fax.
Once you submit your claim, you must call the FedEx customer service department to get a case number for your claim and complete a print copy of the claim form.
It may be necessary to submit supporting documentation along with your claim. Because of this, it’s a good idea to keep all of your receipts from any FedEx transaction in case you need them in the future.
If you're making a FedEx shipping insurance damage claim, you must keep the box, packaging materials and contents handy. They may need to be inspected by the FedEx claims department to substantiate your claim.
You must be sure to file a claim within the allowable window. Any FedEx Express U.S. damaged or lost package claims must be made to FedEx within 60 days after the shipment is sent. For FedEx Express international packages, claims must be made within 21 days of the shipment date.
FedEx Ground claims for lost or damaged packages must be made within nine months of the delivery date, though a lost or missing package must be reported within 60 days of the delivery date.
Claims made outside of the stated time periods won't be investigated. Most claims are resolved within a week of submission.
If FedEx approves your claim for a lost or damaged package, you'll be reimbursed the amount of the declared value. Any fees you paid to use the declared value feature are also reimbursed. Transportation charges may also be refunded.
Leslie Bloom has worked in upper-level management positions in both publishing and the mental health field. In addition to years of business and management experience, she has more than 20 years of experience writing for a variety of online and print publications, including Metro Magazine. She holds degrees in both journalism and law.