USPS insurance coverage for sent items

B. Jara

Oct 30, 2005
There has been a discussion on another thread in regards to the evidence of value that the USPS needs in order to pay out on a claim.

I totally get that USPS needs proof of value...but a receipt may not always be available or for the amount the product was worth. If insurance is purchased for the value of the item, then that amount should be paid if it was lost or stolen while in USPS care.

I researched it on and found this information. I hope that some can find it useful if and when they ever need to file a claim for a lost or stolen package from ebay.

(I am posting this late at night...and I won't have computer access for 10 days starting in the I will check back as soon as I can if I need to respond){5a5060f0-8e18-11de-d7fd-000000000000}&event=1&view()=c{d59f8a60-1d52-11de-dd9c-000000000000}&objectId=&eksObjectId=&objectType=Case&isJumpEnabled=false&isContentJumpEnabled=false&vendorKey=&objTitle=&versionId=2381&searchProperties=undefined&naturalAdvance=false&allStr=&phraseStr=&anyStr=&noneStr=&keywordStr=&tTitle=&topicFromSub=&topicsORSubUrl=&report(0000)=p{8e8226c0-6974-11dd-e6c4-000000000000}&bcobjectId={409592d0-6974-11dd-e6c4-000000000000}&search=insurance%20claim&topicAndSubtopic=About%20USPS$ALL#EvidenceValue

Please see bolded areas. ;)

What is Evidence of Value?

Evidence of value substantiates an item’s value and any required repair costs. Either the mailer or the addressee must submit acceptable evidence to establish the cost or value of the item(s) at the time the article was mailed. If you are filing your claim online, evidence may be uploaded (as digital pictures or scanned documents) or mailed in with your claim.

Examples of evidence of value include:
· A sales receipt.
· An invoice or bill of sale.
· Copy of a cancelled check or money order receipt.
· A credit card billing statement.
· A final, completed transaction page indicating the amount deducted from an Internet account and identifying the following:
o The purchaser and seller, price paid, date of transaction, description of item purchased, and proof that the transaction status is completed.
o The web-based payment network provider through which the Internet transaction was conducted.
· A cost statement (receipt or invoice) for replacing documents sent via Express Mail.
· Receipt or invoice for the expenses incurred to buy a surety bond required to reissue a lost item.
· Picture from a catalog showing the value of a similar article (only if a sales receipt, invoice, or statement of value from a reputable dealer is not available). The date and place of purchase must be included.
· Paid repair bills. If the claim is for partial damage, you will need estimates of repair expenses or appraisals from a reputable dealer. Repair expenses may not exceed the original purchase price.
· Other documentation indicating the amount paid:
o For item(s) valued up to $100, you will need a statement describing the lost or damaged item(s), including the date and place of purchase, the amount paid, and whether the item was new or used. If the item(s) mailed are hobbies, crafts, or handmade, your descriptive statement must include the cost of the materials used. Be sure to describe the item(s) in sufficient detail.
o If the item(s) are valued over $100, you will need to provide an official appraisal or copy of receipt of goods sold.

Note: If the item(s) are antique family heirlooms, for which you have no receipt, you may obtain an appraisal from a reputable dealer (at your own expense) to establish the value. **I would think that an appraisal from Carol would suffice in this instance??**
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Sit. Stay. Shop.
May 17, 2007
If you are talking about an eBay sale, the sales price IS the market value at that point in time. You (hypothetical you) "agreed" to that value by accepting the buyer's payment. Insurance is to make you whole. You're only out the amount you need to refund the buyer - the bag already left your possession for that amount.


Dec 31, 2007
Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia USA
It's definitely good info to have B. Jara! The main thing I think customers should be aware of is that they will need to provide proof of value when filing a claim. An extreme example just to make a point - You can't take a rock out of your yard, ship it with $500 worth of insurance and expect that they will pay the claim if it gets lost. On the other hand, if you were to sell that rock on Ebay for $500 than they would have to pay out, you've proven value and the Ebay invoice counts as that. That and they will not pay replacement value for your item, they will reimburse you only so far as you paid for it. So if you get a great deal on a bag, let's say $250, if you insure it for it's retail value $600 because that's how much you feel it will cost to replace it chances are your claim will be denied. I see from what's quoted about that you can give them a picture out of a catalog of a similar item but read also next to that what is not bolded, "the date and place of purchase must be included". USPS will investigate each claim and I'm sure the higher the claim is the more attention will be devoted to investigating and approving it. It used to be that smaller claims were handled through your local post office but not every single one is going to a main office for processing. The above of course is just to the best of my knowledge and based on my own experience in helping customers file claims. Luckily they are few and far between. : )

I personally think the USPS is reasonable in their claims process and I can understand that they'd require proof of value before paying out a claim.



Labrador Lover
Oct 4, 2006
Also for event tickets you are only covered for the cost of the ticket - I sell football tickets and they go for more than face value. I am only covered for face value even if the buyer paid 3x the ticket price. And you have to use Express Mail to ensure delivery before the event.
Aug 14, 2009
wow, thanks for this thread. it was helpful reading all the responses.

i just mailed off something with insurance coverage, and the rep there was very helpful. i still have original receipts and everything for the bag, tags and stuff, but he says the invoice also works as proof of sell when filing a claim if the package is lost. so he says if my package is lost and i show the invoice, claim it, and after investigation, i would get my 900.