Insured shipping: why it's worth it and what you need to consider

According to the Parcel Shipping Index 2023 from Pitney Bowes, the UK parcel volume reached 5.1 billion in 2022. This means almost 14 million parcels per delivery day just in the UK. So, the likelihood of something going wrong here isn’t exactly low. There is a simple solution to protect yourself against this risk as an online retailer: insured shipping.

Insured shipping is possible up to a certain value by means of a free liability on the part of the shipping service providers, a separate higher insurance or various add-on options to the shipping insurance. In particular, shipping higher-priced goods is a challenge for many online retailers. There are many options for shipping insurance, which vary depending on the shipping service provider. But what are the differences and which add-on option is the right one for your shipping? What do I need to know about shipping insurance? And at what point is insured shipping worthwhile at all?

In this article, we clarify all questions about insured shipping. In addition, you will find a summary of the add-on options and insurance options of all shipping service providers, which make your shipping of (higher-priced) goods easier and safer.

What is insured shipping and when is it worth it?

The first question we want to answer is: what is insured shipping? In the case of insured shipping, the respective shipping service provider is liable for the loss or damage of the shipped goods. If the ordered goods do not reach the receiver, they are financially protected up to a certain sum insured – provided that the packaging guidelines have been observed by the sender. In the event of damage, both the purchase value and the respective shipping costs will be refunded for insured shipping. This allows you to offer your customers a quick and uncomplicated reshipment without having to fear economic losses. Insured shipping is therefore always worthwhile if you cannot or do not want to bear the financial loss due to shipping damage or loss. This is especially the case with higher-priced and high-quality goods.

How much does insured shipping cost with DHL, UPS, DPD and Hermes?

Insured shipping is already included as standard in the usual shipping costs for parcels with various shipping service providers, such as UPS, DHL, DPD and Hermes (Evri). However, the liability of packages without a declared value only applies up to a certain price limit and varies depending on the shipping provider. UPS, for example, you pay £6 insurance charge which makes your package insured until £1000.

To give you the bigger picture, below is a table showing how much insured shipping costs with these carriers + liability limits:

CarrierInsurance chargeInsured until
GLS4,64% of value£999

Higher insurance for shipping service providers

If the contents of your parcel exceed this price limit, additional shipping insurance or higher insurance is recommended. If the package is damaged or lost despite proper packaging, you can hold the carrier liable and claim compensation.

The offers for higher insurance from the relevant shipping service providers are listed below:

Higher insurance with DHL

If the total value of the parcel is greater than £800, then the insurance for the item is 1,5% of the total value. For example, if your shipment is £5000, the insurance charge will be £75.

Higher insurance with Hermes

Hermes does not offer higher insurance. Thus, insured shipping above the maximum liability limit of a parcel of £999 is not possible.

Higher insurance with UPS

UPS offers the option to insure the contents of a package above the above liability limits. In this case, you can declare a higher insurance value for your shipment.

Higher insurance with DPD

For parcels with valuable contents, you can take out additional insurance with DPD up to an amount of £13000 per parcel.

How do I report a lost or damaged package to insured shipping?

In case of a lost package:

If the insured parcel has been lost, the shipping service provider must first report it as officially missing. If a parcel has not moved for 20 days (national) or 30 days (international) or has not been delivered within this time, it is considered lost. Depending on the shipping service provider, there are various ways to report the lost package:

  • With DPD, UPS and Hermes, both the sender and the receiver can report the loss.
  • With DHL, only the contractual partner, i.e. the sender, is informed about the status of the tracking. Here, the sender can place an investigation order for the parcel after only six days of unchanged shipment status.

In the case of a damaged package:

In the case of damaged goods, the following rules apply: Damage to a package and/or contents must be reported in writing within seven days of delivery. In order to be eligible for shipping insurance, the packaging must not provide any information about the value of the contents of the package and must have packaging that is safe for transport. If the sender has ensured these conditions, he can submit a damage report to the shipping service provider for the complaint.

What information do I need for reimbursement of insured shipping?

In order for the shipping service providers to process your claim for reimbursement of insured shipping, they first need further information about the shipment and its contents:

  • In case of damage to the goods, you will need five photos of the contents of the package, as well as a picture of the packaging
  • If the parcel is lost, you will need a written declaration from the receiver that the parcel has not arrived
  • In both cases, the original purchase invoice from the shipping service provider, as well as a copy of the receiver’s invoice
Versicherter Versand

Additional booking options of the various shipping service providers

Insuring the contents of a parcel with higher insurance are a good measure to minimise the risks of an unsuccessful shipment. At the same time, it is worthwhile, especially when shipping higher-priced goods, to ensure that the goods arrive at the right receiver and are not forwarded. There are several add-on options for this:

Additional booking options at DHL

When shipping with DHL, the following add-on options are available:

  • Personal handover: Simple identity verification – the goods are only handed over to the receiver or an authorised representative.
  • Ident-Check: Identification-based, documented verification of identity and/or age. Delivery will only be made to the receiver personally.
  • No neighbourhood delivery: This add-on option preserves the discretion of your customers. In addition, the risk of theft is minimised, as there is no delivery attempt at a neighbour’s house or in the accessible hallway. If the receiver is not at home, the consignment will be dropped off at a post office or packing station.

Additional booking options at Hermes

Parcel shipping with Hermes offers the following options for direct delivery to the receiver:

  • IdentService: The goods will be handed over to the original receiver in person upon presentation of a passport or identity card. The original receiver must be at least 18 years old.

Additional booking options with UPS

UPS offers the following options for targeted delivery of your package:

  • Direct Delivery Only: The package is delivered directly to the receiver. It is not possible to redirect or deposit at a UPS access point.
  • Signature required: Delivery will only take place against signature. A copy of the signature will also be provided.

Insured shipping and matching add-on options with Shipcloud

Shipcloud offers you the option of additionally insuring your goods. With various add-on options, you can ensure that your shipment arrives at the right receiver. Shipcloud offers you the following add-on options, provided that you have stored your own shipping conditions:

  • Higher insurance is possible with DHL, UPS and Cargo International.
  • Identity check: With DHL and Hermes, the delivery of goods will only take place after verification of identity.
  • With DHL, delivery is only made to the receiver personally.
  • With UPS, your package will be delivered directly to the receiver or to a person from the same household. These shipments cannot be diverted.

For more information on higher insurance, please visit our Help Center.

If you have any further questions about insured shipping and shipping of higher-priced goods, please contact us!

Are you ready for your new full-service shipping and returns solution?
Talk to sales

You might also be interested in: