A guide to postage insurance for valuable goods

If are an online retailer, whether selling through your own website or through an eBay store, you have probably pondered the subject of insuring your goods when sending them. For most, standard cover feels plenty, if it's even needed at all. But for those sending higher value items such as fitness equipment, tech gadgets, or even car parts, making sure you and your company aren't out of pocket should something unforeseen happen to your parcel is important.
What's more, offering insurance on your products will give your customer peace of mind too - and it will act as a valuable trust signal, giving you a leg-up over some of your competitors.
Many delivery companies such as ipostparcels offer extended cover for items of high value. This is easy to add on when you are booking your collection but is only available when parcels are sent with the signature service. This means your package cannot be left in a safe spot or with a neighbour. If your customer misses their delivery then they will need to arrange for it to be redelivered.

Be aware of restrictions

It is essential when adding insurance to cover expensive goods that you first check the carrier's restricted and prohibited list. Obviously, items on the prohibited list cannot be sent at all, but in some cases you will find that there are everyday items which may be sent but only on a no-compensation basis. This means it is sent at your own risk and if the item were to go missing you'll not be able to claim for it.
Check out the ipostparcels full list of restricted items here.

Choosing the correct liability

ipostparcels offers several tiers or bands for levels of cover, which will be dependent on the cost of your item. It is important to choose this carefully, making sure that your item fits into the value of cover you declare for it - else you may find that in the event of a mishap your insurance is void.
Standard default cover is £25.00 and doesn't cost any extra. The majority of parcels are of low value, therefore this is seen as a reasonable level of liability. If, however you are a etailer looking to send higher value items such as games consoles, tech gadgets or musical instruments then it's likely £25 cover is just not going to cut it. 
Thankfully there's the option to opt for higher levels of liability. While each courier will have its own levels of cover, ipostparcels offers the liability options as set out below - more detailed information can be found on the terms and conditions page. It is worth noting that the maximum value an item can be insured for is £1,000 and it is up to you as the sender to make sure that you do not send packages worth more than this amount.

Band Liability Limit 

A To the value between £25.00 and £75.00 
B To the value between £75.00 and £250.00 
C To the value between £250.00 and £500.00 
D* To the value between £500.00 and £1000
* Please note that Band D may not be available if you are using Our Services through an Authorised Agent. Please check the documentation provided to you by the Authorised Agent.
Insurance will add a nominal amount to your postage costs - up to £7 for the highest level of cover when sent through ipostparcels. Remember, as an eBay seller or website owner you can choose to incorporate this cost into the shipping price on your listing, so it needn't cost you any extra.

What about international parcels?

One great benefit of the internet is how it has broken down the borders of mail order. Now, even the smallest business can be global, receiving orders from far-flung corners of the world. If you need to send a parcel internationally then extended cover is still available. As with a domestic parcel, be sure to select the right level, though.

Third party insurers

For sellers managing a bigger enterprise, further peace of mind could come with the option of insuring goods through a third party. You may find that a separate insurance company can provide a wider level of cover, providing liability for items that are not covered by delivery companies. 
It can be fairly straight forward too, as often it can even be integrated into your eBay store. Some even offer the option to insure against the shipping cost, just be prepared to present all of your shipping documents. 
Making sure you're covered by choosing the correct band of liability is the best step you can take to protect your high value items.
It's also worth remembering that you should always package your goods carefully, with plenty of padding to protect them from any possible bumps in the road. More information on packaging valuable goods can be found here.

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Copyright © 2016 UKMail Group PLC. All rights reserved. Read our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. (v4.8.0)

Please note if you do not select the “signature required” delivery option, UKMail will not be liable should your items be subsequently lost or damaged after the delivery (see clause 11.7 of the Terms & Conditions). *We define a “Parcel” as a package with dimensions up to 80cm x 80cm x 80cm and a weight of up to 25kg.

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