UPS and FedEx automatically protect each domestic package and international shipment against loss or damage up to a value of $100 without a declaration of value. If the value of your goods exceeds $100, you can declare a higher value, up to $50,000 per package. If no value is declared, the maximum liability for loss or damage to a package or international shipment is $100. If a package is lost or damaged and the value of the contents haven’t been accurately declared, it prevents the shipper from receiving a full refund.
It’s important to note declared value coverage is not shipping insurance. A declared value on a package represents a carrier’s maximum liability and allows the shipper to make a claim for the full declared value of the package in event of loss or damage, so long as the packaging meets carrier packaging and shipping standards. Declared value is valid as long as cargo is in the care, custody, and control of the carrier. On the other hand, shipping insurance generally covers door-to-door and damages that occur during carrier-defined “acts of God.”
Carriers can make you jump through hoops to verify your lost or damaged package meets their criteria. It’s a very rare circumstance that UPS or FedEx will realize an error and contact you to correct it. It’s a best practice to make sure you are as protected as possible when it comes to shipping.