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Insurance rates are usually based on loss rates. Insurance rates for packages sent USPS, UPS or Fed Ex are high enough to suggest alot of damage or loss is happening in transport. Does anyone know is this the case or are we just being gouged for insurance on packages.

Are there alternative ways to insure a package that are less expensive?
 

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Shipping insurance is a topic that resurfaces from time to time, since there are so many guns being shipped now due to internet gun purchases.

I hear not too much good stuff about shipping insurance being worthwhile when items get damaged or missing. Collecting sounds tough and arduous and unsuccessful. I’d like to hear that some good insurance stories if someone did come out to the good from shipping issues.
 

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I suspect that we are being gouged. In addition to that, I stopped getting insurance on most packages when I saw reports on other web pages that shippers almost never pay unless you can prove that the packaging met the shipper's standards, and you usually cannot prove that unless you paid the shipper to do the packaging.
 

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FedEx and UPS don't offer insurance.... ask them. They ask for and you pay for a "declared value". If something happens THEY have the option of repairing, replacing or offering you a settlement. Try explaining that a 100 year old gun is worth $10,000,00!:bang_wall:
 

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FedEx and UPS don't offer insurance.... ask them. They ask for and you pay for a "declared value". If something happens THEY have the option of repairing, replacing or offering you a settlement. Try explaining that a 100 year old gun is worth $10,000,00!:bang_wall:
AND only if they declare it's their fault It was damaged. I had a rifle broke in half, UPS said no pay Not my fault!
tdennis
 

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I guess I got lucky with UPS insurance. I bought a rifle from a nice member here. He took it to his FFL to ship it. That guy put it in a flimsy box and when my FFL called to come pick it up, it was bad news. The box and a major crease in the side. when we pulled out the rifle, the stock was cracked at the wrist. I was worried but that FFL said not to. He said "they usually make it right", and he's a gun dealer in his 70s. I did the report, the phone interview, and the delays. But eventually got a check for more than enough to get a new stock and get it all fitted and fixed. I will always insure from now on. At the time I was wondering if I should, but glad I did.
 

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I’ve wondered about this, I’ve spent probably 1k recently on insurance selling off part of my collection. None lost so far, think that’s the real issue with insurance. Had one small issue only so far, buyer said they didn’t pack right (my FFL). Hammer came through side of box, small hole but was an old Colt box numbered to gun. My FFL said they packed it right, thought I was taken, should have had it returned. Buyer was more than gracious to accept a hundred (his request), so I just ate the hundred and moved on. To be fair, if I was on buyers end and happened as stated, I’d probably want 200-300 back. I’m an original box man tho too. What hurt was I paid like $40..??? Insurance and couldn’t use it. Buyer said not USPS fault and seemed resistant to me even pursuing it. Not complaining, so far, only eating a hundred and no other issues is a blessing. Also I think since that instance, they taking extra care packing my items.
 

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Many dealers self insure-collect the insurance and just eat any damage themselves.
I add at least 500 insurance on handguns(value up to 2500) with USPS,if the customer wants more and pays I will add more.Any gun over $2500 I go with registered-very slow. My long guns go FedEx and I double bubble wrap and double box and end up paying at bit more then the buyer pays me but so far its worth it.
I know of dealers that have had USPS pay and one that FedEx pay did for damage but its still gouging and hard to collect.

Best "insurance" is to pack well,then over pack again,never put "Gun" or "Sport" or anything that looks like it might be a gun in the package on the address label to the gun dealer your shipping to and hope for the best !
 

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FedEx and UPS don't offer insurance.... ask them. They ask for and you pay for a "declared value". If something happens THEY have the option of repairing, replacing or offering you a settlement. Try explaining that a 100 year old gun is worth $10,000,00!:bang_wall:
I've been down that route with FedEx. Package was delivered requiring signature. I wasn't home so driver left on door step. Package stolen. After a little back an forth with FedEx I said show me who signed for it. Driver signed (electronic signature) "no one home". Package was valuable Leica film camera (no longer made), then we argued about value vs "declared value" vs "insured" valued (the amount you think your insuring for).

Wife mailed USPS priority package automatically insured for $50.00 (worth about $75.00) July 23th 2019. Still trying to collect.

Best advice for very high dollar items is overnight shipment. Expensive but not really anymore expensive than so called insurance.
 

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I asked a friend who is a FFL here is AZ. and sends high dollar 1911's all over, he said sending them in a certified box with the brown tape reduced insurance costs as they were signed by the PO everywhere they went and locked in a secure locker. I wanted to send a engraved Model 1862 that was appraised years ago above $10,000 but was afraid to do so without insurance and theft issues. I had him do the pictures and saved me from having to send it out.
 

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FedEx and UPS don't offer insurance.... ask them. They ask for and you pay for a "declared value". If something happens THEY have the option of repairing, replacing or offering you a settlement. Try explaining that a 100 year old gun is worth $10,000,00!:bang_wall:

UPS offers extra insurance services to customer accounts through UPS Capital. Claim approval is 99% compared to about 30% through the regular UPS insurance, while the cost is about the same. Big auction houses often carry their own insurance from a different company since UPS has a $50,000 limit. I had recently shipped a factory engraved Colt SAA made in 1879 that is expected to sell for over $250,000.
 

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I asked a friend who is a FFL here is AZ. and sends high dollar 1911's all over, he said sending them in a certified box with the brown tape reduced insurance costs as they were signed by the PO everywhere they went and locked in a secure locker. I wanted to send a engraved Model 1862 that was appraised years ago above $10,000 but was afraid to do so without insurance and theft issues. I had him do the pictures and saved me from having to send it out.
The USPS has a service called Registered Mail. The package is signed for every time it changes hands and is locked in a Postal safe every night. it's the only way my watch repairman will return my watch from service. No insurance needed. However, he's in Washington (state) and I'm in North Carolina. The package takes at least three weeks to travel across country.
 

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Insurance rates are usually based on loss rates. Insurance rates for packages sent USPS, UPS or Fed Ex are high enough to suggest alot of damage or loss is happening in transport. Does anyone know is this the case or are we just being gouged for insurance on packages.

Are there alternative ways to insure a package that are less expensive?
Not sure about price gouging by these three outfits.

I think that UPS is horribly high on insurance, and they also have a reckless track record. For example, they left a $3000 Colt SAA at my door with "Adult Signature Required" in big red letters on the box. I called the sender and said "If I was dishonest, I could call three weeks from now asking were is my Colt SAA"? I told him to demand a refund from UPS.

FedEx insurance rates seem to be fair, but I wonder what happens if there is a claim? The reason for my hesitance is that the first time I took a package insured for $5500 to a Kinko FedEx, serious problems surfaced. It was a 1st Model Win 1873 rifle. The high insurance amount caused the agent to ask "What is this"? I told him a rifle made in 1874. The agent then said "You cannot ship a gun without being a FFL dealer"! So I created a FedEx account and only "drop off" packages and get my receipt. No more questioned are allowed. But again, what happens if there is a loss?

Now for USPS. I ship all guns Registered Insured. The cost of insurance is the lowest in this country, and those packages get gentle handing too (not thrown around like trash). On transfer from person to lockup cage to person, employees must sign a log. Examples of insurance: A $3000 item insures for $25.10, A $25,000 item insures for $56.20. A $50,000 item insures at $97.45, and this is the maximum coverage available.

I can wrap a Registered Package with no problem. But I find that most gunsmiths are "Terrified" at having to return a finished gun by Registered Insured mail! Sure, it requires starting with a clean (no plastic tape box), and the use of a water wet paper tape. I use 2" wide paper tape with what must be 30 Lb fishing line criss-crossed within it, so the package is also hell for strong! Apply the wetted paper tape and immediately smooth it down with a wadded dry paper towel. The address label must be glued down to the cardboard box (no clear tape on top). The "no plastic tape" is required so that every package joint and shipping label can be hand-cancelled to insure that no one changed that address, and no one got into the package. A SIMPLE Concept. But I have yet to find a gunsmith that will return by Registered Mail. Why? They don't want to bother to get the simple supplies and learn. So on a $5,000 item I get charged $81 for the old blue-form insurance. And there is a larger chance for loss.

If you mail a backstrap and trigger guard from a factory engraved Colt SAA to someone to make ivory grips, you Damned Sure want to get your straps returned. Send it by USPS blue form insurance at $5,000 max amount allowed? I don't think so. Get questioned by FedEx because of $30,000 insurance. Not desirable either.
 

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I asked a friend who is a FFL here is AZ. and sends high dollar 1911's all over, he said sending them in a certified box with the brown tape reduced insurance costs as they were signed by the PO everywhere they went and locked in a secure locker. I wanted to send a engraved Model 1862 that was appraised years ago above $10,000 but was afraid to do so without insurance and theft issues. I had him do the pictures and saved me from having to send it out.
Your FFL friend is actually sending by USPS Registered Insured Mail. That is what I prefer too. Good post!
 

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I guess I got lucky with UPS insurance. I bought a rifle from a nice member here. He took it to his FFL to ship it. That guy put it in a flimsy box and when my FFL called to come pick it up, it was bad news. The box and a major crease in the side. when we pulled out the rifle, the stock was cracked at the wrist. I was worried but that FFL said not to. He said "they usually make it right", and he's a gun dealer in his 70s. I did the report, the phone interview, and the delays. But eventually got a check for more than enough to get a new stock and get it all fitted and fixed. I will always insure from now on. At the time I was wondering if I should, but glad I did.
I sometimes sell on GunsInternational. I don't have an FFL or C&R license. On guns made after 1898, twice I had an FFL "dealer" package and ship. Both times were nearly a disaster. The first time that dealer shipped to the wrong address, and the second time a dealer listened to a USPS goon who insisted that a special overnight box for guns had to be used. It took two weeks to get that "special" box! I almost lost the sale over this.

Now I say "Never again"! If the receiving FFL dealer will accept a gun shipped from me, that is fine. Most of them only require that a copy of our driver's license be enclosed in the package.

I am a NRA Member, and have been for 60 years! Maybe my patience has run short thru the years, but I Expect the NRA to Fix all of these problems with shipping OLD guns (50 years or older). These guns should ALL BE TREATED as the "sacred" pre-1898 firearms. And Knock off with the InFighting -- NRA!!!

'scuse me for venting....
 

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This is good info. Subject has come up before. The BEST thing about insurance is hoping you NEVER have to use it. In almost 50 years of moving a few guns,I’ve never had one lost. UPS did manage to break a SA 6 Million serial number Garand stock at the wrist and never paid despite the insurance. Fortunately at the time a proper replacement stock was easy to find.
 
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