by Ariel Shmorak
Buying online is old-hat to most consumers. It is as commonplace as heading to the mall or to your local hardware store. However, with online shopping becoming the norm, buyer expectations are also at an all-time high. Consumers expect to receive their orders quickly, efficiently, and in one piece. Once you hand over your shipment for the journey to your buyer the rest is out of your control. Shipments are sent all over the world and are often mishandled, banged around, and sometimes misplaced. It is not the fault of the shipping carriers; it is just that with so much volume there are bound to be the occasional bumps in the road. How do you protect yourself when shipping merchandise to your buyers? The solution is shipping insurance.
The shipping carriers offer declared value protection for your shipments, but are often at a steep markup and their coverage is contingent of proving they are at fault. The best option for online shippers is to use a private shipping insurance company, such as Shipsurance. Private insurers offer all-risk coverage and allow you to ship with the major carriers while protecting your packages at a deep discount. The main benefit of private insurers outside of cost is the claims process. Most claims are processed within a week, and are done so in a paperless, online system.
Some great reasons to look at private shipping insurance companies are:
- Lower Rates – Most private insurers provide heavily discounted rates when comparing to the shipping carrier rates for their declared value coverage.
- Broader Coverage – A private insurance policy usually offers all-risk, straightforward coverage terms for all of your shipments.
- Real Insurance – The carriers declared value coverage require you to prove carrier negligence. Private shipping insurance companies are regulated and do not require proof of negligence.
- Claims – Handling and managing claims through the shipping carriers can be an interesting experience. When dealing with a private policy, the claims process can be streamlined with the entire lifecycle usually lasting less than one week. You will deal with an agent that will be courteous and helpful, without giving you the runaround. It makes it much easier to get the money back to the shipper in a timely manner.
- Integration – Insurers such as Shipsurance provide deep integration with your shipping system, such as Fulfillrite, which allows you to ship and insure in one step.
As an online seller, you have enough to worry about pre and post sales. Make sure to protect yourself when your items are out of your possession. Insuring your shipments is the best way to recoup a loss and make all parties involved whole again.
Ariel Shmorak is the Vice President of Shipsurance and has been working in the shipping insurance space for over a decade.