What To Know Before You Ship Your Next Package

NBC 7 Responds works to help San Diego mechanic receive the money he claims is owed after an insured package is lost during delivery.

You've been faced with the question when you ship a package: should you pay extra for insurance?

It's sold as a form of protection in case something goes wrong.

For Tony Gonzalez, a Bay Terraces mechanic, it was protection he ended up needing. When he's not under the hood, Gonzalez likes to makes extra money selling auto parts on eBay.  

In May, he hit a snag when he shipped a wheel lock to a man in Washington state. The package never arrived. Gonzalez paid extra to insure the package for up to $200, but when he tried to collect on the lost wheel lock, his claim was denied.

The United States Postal Service denied Gonzalez’s claim for the insured amount, and said the “Proof of Value” he provided USPS did not qualify for the requested insurance payment. Gonzalez tried a second time but his claim was denied again.

“I appealed the decision and I submitted even more documentation that proved how much was paid to me, he said. They denied it again. To see Gonzalez's story and what happened when NBC 7 Responds stepped in, watch the video above.

"Proof of Value" is a common requirement shipping companies have. Most shipping companies, including the USPS, suggest buying insurance when shipping something of value.

Here are some tips to keep in mind before you ship your next package:

  • Determine the value of what you’re shipping. If the package includes a check or cash, the value is simple to establish, but if you’re shipping an item, make sure to have the item’s "proof of value" before you mail it off. "Proof of Value" can include the receipt for an item or a statement showing how much you or someone else paid for the item.

  • Insure your package. Often times, paying to insure your package will not break your wallet.  Depending on the weight of what you’re sending, insurance rates start as low as $2 and will save you if something happens when it’s mailed. Make sure to have with you the "Proof of Value" for your package when purchasing insurance, that way the clerk insures the package for the proper amount. Always receive a receipt or insurance slip for your package and hold onto it.

  • Establish how you want the recipient to receive this package. Package thefts happen often and it’s not worth your package getting all the way to it’s destination, only to be stolen.  Request a signature from the recipient or have the shipping agency store the package at a holding facility for your recipient to pick up.

To learn more about USPS’ shipping policies and what they recommend you do before sending a package, click here

NBC 7 Responds is here to help you with your consumer issues and we want to hear from you. Submit your consumer problem through our online form by clicking here or you can call us 619-732-NBC7 (6332). Every call or online submission we receive will be answered because if you need help, NBC 7 Responds.

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