Can You Insure Your Jewelry with the US Post Office?
Recently, one of the Bead Society newsletters (I won't embarrass them)
Apparently one or both of the authors of the notice had a bad experience along these lines. The article has been picked up by other bead society newsletters and reprinted.
It is correct on one point, but in error in its conclusion. The postal worker who spoke to the person involved was misinformed.
I discussed this with our local post office. Fortunately, I have an excellent rapport with the staff. The postmaster told me that he thought all one would have to do was to write up an invoice, showing the prices of the items in the jewelry piece and time (and value of the time) needed to construct the piece.
I said that I would visit the Post Office's web site and he promised to check his "Postmaster's Manual." From the web site (emphasis mine):
Step 2 - Evidence of Value
Submit evidence to show the cost or value of the article when it was mailed. Evidence of value, other than those listed, may be requested to help make an accurate determination of the value.
One or more of the following are acceptable:
a. Sales receipt.
c. Statement of value from a reputable dealer.
d. Your own statement describing the lost or damaged article. Please include date and place of purchase, amount paid, and whether the article is new or used (only if a sales receipt or invoice is not available). If the article is handmade, include price of materials and labor used. Describe the article in sufficient detail so we can determine whether the value claimed is accurate.
I would give you the URL, but it is unbelievably long. Just go to the US Post Office web site and input "insurance claims" in the search box.
From the manual (emphasis mine):
a. Sales receipt, invoice, or statement of value from a reputable dealer.
b. Customer's own statement describing the lost or damaged article and including the date and place of purchase, the amount paid, and whether new or used (only if a sales receipt or invoice is not available). If the article is handmade, the statement must include the price of the materials and labor used. The statement must describe the article in enough detail to determine whether the value claimed is accurate.
There follow four more options, such as a picture from a catalogue for a similar item, receipt of the cost to buy a surety bond needed to reissue a lost item, and so on.
In short, yes a "manufacturer's invoice" is required to collect an insurance claim for a mailed piece of jewelry you made, but as the manufacturer, you can draw up the invoice yourself.
The Post Office stands vindicated. You can ship with them with complete confidence. They rarely lose insured packages (or packages of any kind) in any case.
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