Chances are, if you’ve sent or received enough packages in your lifetime, you might have had one lost or damaged. Especially when it comes time for shipping a box or letter overseas, or in busy seasons like around the holidays, human or mechanical error and negligence alike can really throw a wrench in the works when it comes to having your mail arrive when expected. Therefore, you may be considering purchasing some form of insurance for your package to try to ensure it arrives on time. Whether or not you should do so depends on what your package delivery service offers.
Some services may offer a flat insurance fee, such as a flat one time fee that promises to reimburse the person who sent the shipment for a fixed amount, which may be significantly less than the item is worth. Others will let you estimate a price for your item and charge an insurance fee to match. However, for most instances of domestic shipping, a simple tracking number can go a long way into keeping tabs on the location for your package. Common checkpoints are when a package leaves the initial facility or post office, and each time it is loaded or unloaded from a vehicle such as an international freight plane or cargo ship, a national cargo truck, or a local post office vehicle. An insured package will likely come with a tracking number as well, in order to have a good starting place to look in case the package gets misplaced. Unlike a tracked package, however, an insured package will generally promise a refund or some form of compensation for damaged or missing goods.
Therefore, in general, so long as the contents are well packaged to minimize the unavoidable damage involved with shipping, and so long as there is a tracking number. further insurance is best reserved for very expensive or irreplaceable materials. Policies will vary wildly between package delivery services, so always double check what services your shipping company offers before making a decision.