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How to File Insurance Claims

Here’s how you can recover the value of your lost or damaged mail.


If your insured mailing, whether purchased online or at a Post Office, has been lost or damaged in transit you can recover the value of your articles by filing an insurance claim at any Post Office™.
  Frequently Asked Questions
Learn more about claims.
Go to Insured Mail FAQs

When to File
For Damage or Partial Loss of Contents: File immediately, but no later than 60 days from the date of mailing.

   For a Complete Loss: File within the time limits in the chart below.

  Filing Period
(Number of Days After Date of Mailing)
Type of Service

Earliest Date

Latest Date

Insured Mail

21 days

180 days

Collect on Delivery (COD)

45 days

180 days

Registered Mail™

15 days

180 days

Registered COD

45 days

180 days

Express Mail® (including insured)

7 days

90 days

Express Mail COD

45 days

90 days

APO/FPO Insured (First-Class Mail®, Space Available Mail (SAM), Parcel Airlift (PAL), or COD)

45 days

180 days

APO/FPO Insured (Surface Mail)

75 days

180 days

Where to File
Claims for all services, except Merchandise Return Service, can be filed at any Post Office. Merchandise Return Service claims can only be filed at the Post Office where your merchandise return permit is held.

Locate a Post Office- Find the Post Office nearest you!

What You’ll Need
Claims Form
Download and complete the customer portion of Form 1000, Domestic Claim or Registered Mail Inquiry and take to any Post Office, or request a copy and complete it at the Post Office.

Claims Form, PS Form 1000, Domestic Claim or Registered Mail Inquiry.

Evidence of Insurance
Submit evidence that Insured Mail, Collect on Delivery (COD), Registered Mail™, or Express Mail® was purchased for the mailed package.

  • For insurance purchased at a Post Office or through a rural carrier, you will need the original mailing receipt that you were given at the time of mailing. This can be a sales receipt or a postmarked Insured Mail, Registered Mail, or COD receipt.

  • For insurance purchased online you will need a computer printout from the web-based application where the label was printed and insurance was purchased. The printout must clearly identify all of the following information:
    • Delivery Confirmation™ or Signature Confirmation™ number of the insured item
    • Total Postage Paid
    • Origin ZIP Code™
    • Declared Value
    • Insurance Fee Paid
    • Declared Mailing Date
    • Delivery ZIP Code

    For example, in Click-N-Ship® a copy of the Online Label Record or of the Shipping History Details page provides evidence of insurance.

  • For a detailed list of acceptable evidence check the General Filing Instructions in the Domestic Mail Manual.

Evidence of Value
Submit evidence - such as a sales receipt or invoice - showing the value of the article when it was mailed. For a detailed list of acceptable evidence check the
General Filing Instructions in the Domestic Mail Manual.

For Internet transactions conducted through a Web-based payment network, provide a computer printout of the online transaction identifying the purchaser and seller, price paid, date of transaction, description of item purchased, and assurance that the transaction status is completed. The printout must clearly identify the Web-based payment network provider through which the Internet transaction was conducted.

Depending on the type of claim you'll need to provide...

Proof of Damage or Partial Loss of Contents for unnumbered insured, numbered insured, and all items insured online.
If the article was damaged - or if some or all of the contents were missing - take the article, box, wrapper, and all packing materials to your local Post Office immediately with the required documentation.


Proof of Complete Loss

  • For unnumbered insured items and items insured online for $50 or less:
    • If the article was never delivered a written and signed document from the addressee (such as a letter) dated at least 21 days from the date of mailing (15 days for Registered Mail), that states the addressee did not receive the article. The statement, or a copy of it, must be attached to the claim.

  • For numbered insured, Registered Mail, COD, Express Mail, or items insured online for more than $50:
    • Proof of loss is not required
When to Expect Payment
A properly completed and supported claim is usually paid within 30 days.

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