I have been shipping watches internationally and insuring them for many years and have not had to make any claims,until now. The post office lost a package containing two watches that I shipped to Spain. Now they refuse to pay the insurance claim,stating that watches are considered jewelery,and are therefore prohibited from overseas shipping,and therefore not eligible for any insurance claims. I am appealing this,but it kinda looks like I'm out both the watches and the money I spent insuring them.
This is their quote,"The laws governing nonmailable,prohibited,or restricted items state that responsibility for mailability rests with the mailer,not the United States Postal Service. Since your claim contained prohibited items,we have no alternative but to deny your claim".
This section in the International Mail Manual lists the services which are required for mailing jewelry and watches: 134 Valuable Articles The only other restriction is a country specific restriction for Spain which shows that jewelry and "other valuable articles" are prohibited except in insured Priority Mail parcels.
My 2 cents. I have shipped hundreds of watches and 1 time only had to make an insurance claim. It was denied because it was more than 3 months since I shipped the package. Problem here was I submit the claim less than 10 days after shipping and the Post Office waited almost 3 months to process the claim. This processing time was included in the time limit. Sounds crazy, but true. I appealed the decision and did win the appeal and got my money for the lost watch. But my honest impression is they try to discourage you from following through with the claims for their own reasons, likely profit.
Lesson here was research the regulations to verify their claim and appeal the decision if you believe you are right.
Hey Michael,Yes I shipped Priority International,and that may be my only appeal. I researched all the USPS website info,and printed out all the information that pertained to this,including the requirements for Spain.
John,I am appealing the decision,and have already sent the appeal in with all the printed info from their own website. If I read it right,they have no choice but to approve my claim,but then I am dealing with the government. I will let ya know what happens if they don't wait till I die of old age before making another decision.
Hey David,just remember,the problem isn't the insurance it is the "prohibited items" that seems to be the problem. I would hate for them to lose a really expensive watch and then deny the insurance claim,like they are trying to do with me.
Francis,down at my local post office says that she may actually get in some trouble for accepting my packages all these years without informing me that there may be a problem. She says she didn't even know this might be a problem.
While I realize you guys are talking about the US postal system, I thought I'd add a Canadian perspective - and it is no better from up here.
It is very difficult to claim for anything it seems since the 'process' takes so long and appears designed to frustrate you to the point of giving up.
Frankly, I think the insurance offered by postal services - and probably other courier services - is a way to increase their own bottom line. A person has to be very persistent to get any satisfaction.
While I don't ship a great number of items I have taken the approach that 'self insurance' is probably the best. By this I look at what the insurance costs for packages, calculate what I am likely to pay in insurance fees over a year or two that I will never need to collect on and then weigh that against the odds of needing to 'collect' on the insurance.
So, yes, it is completely irritating to have an item lost/damamged in transit but if I have paid a few hundred dollars each year for insurance, I figure that I can absorb some hits. Not for everyone, though, and not if you ship a lot of very high value items.
A complete bloody scam is exactly what this insurance lark is! I won a pocket watch on E-bay and paid over $30 to have it shipped from the USA to the UK by Priority mail International. The watch arrived damaged and after filling in the required claim forms was told by the USPS that I would have to seek compensation from the Royal Mail and the Royal mail told me I would have to chase the USPS !!.......Don't bother with insurance, in fact think twice about buying anything from the USA as the delivery time is outrageous. I am still waiting for an item which I paid for THREE WEEKS AGO !!!!!!!!!!!!.
Hey Stephen, Calm down and tell us how you really feel. It isn't the USA or any country's fault that shipping is slow. I sometimes wait 20 or 30 days for shipments from the UK and other countries. Takes the seller time to post it,and depending on how it is shipped could take longer to get there,but the biggest hold up is the customs dept. If your watch was damaged in shipping,it must not have been wrapped correctly. When I ship a watch,the package will just about have to be run over by something to damage the watch inside. But,I agree with you about the insurance. Have a nice day. Cecil
Update. I have had my claim denied,and now my appeal has been denied. Reason stated,is the same as before,watches are jewelry,and therefore prohibited items for international shipping. I have sent a second appeal to the next higher up person in the postal service,with text printed off the postal service own website proving my case. If they continue to deny my claim,it will just be a case of out and out fraud on their part. Now I am waiting to hear from them again.........someday...maybe.
"quote - I am still waiting for an item which I paid for THREE WEEKS AGO !!!!!!!!!!!!."
hi Stephen; did you pay for surface or airmail? Surface means by ship not by airplane!! They use containers now,both to and from Britain. Until the container is full it is not sent. That could be in one day ,or three weeks. Then the parcel has to get to the shipping port container, again by surface shipping. For that very reason Canada Post's economical International Small Packet service requires that you wait 90 days before submitting an insurance claim. Three weeks surface to Britain,I would consider that lucky,and only if the parcel met all the various journeys along the way in the nick of time!! And that is highly unlikely!! I've had parcels from Britain take forever. I don't complain, as it's just the many trips and connections the parcel has to make before it gets to the ship,or from the ship to me. Another thing many Brits don't seem to get is that the USA and Canada are huge in size. From Vancouver to St.Johns Newfoundland is 6,676 km and across the USA is about 3694 miles. Parcels to Britain need to travel a very long distance by surface just to get to the port of departure!!! P.S. I was born in Inverness,Scotland!!!
Hey Guys/Gals, After nearly two years,and three denials of my insurance claim from the U.S.Postal Service,and three appeals from me to the U.S Postal Service,going higher up with each appeal,I am holding in my hand a check,and a very nice hand signed letter of apology from the head honcho of the U.S.Postal Service. The letter simply states that I am right,and my claim should have never been denied. It also states that Watches are OK to ship Internationally,and that this person is the highest authority to appeal. Which I take to say "Don't send us any more letters".