My Parcel Delivery Blog

How to...protect yourself and your parcel

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Choosing compensation cover to protect against lost or damaged parcels

Waving goodbye to your parcels as they start their journey with a courier is, nine times out of ten, a stress-free process.

Parcel courier services are now a thoroughly affordable and efficient way of sending parcels both in the UK and abroad – whether you are a consumer or running a growing e-commerce business.

But, in shopping as in life, things don’t always go to plan.

The volume of parcels in circulation has mushroomed with the boom in e-commerce, eBay and Amazon online selling, and that means millions of extra packages in transit. And along with a greater number of parcels, the delivery process is now more automated. Overall, this means accidents can occur. But how well protected are the contents of your parcels if the worst happens?

Parcel senders, when booking a delivery, can choose to include compensation cover for parcel contents lost or damaged en route to their destination. The cost to protect goods is calculated at 50 pence per £10 of value by most couriers and My Parcel Delivery provides customers up to £20 automatic compensation cover (subject to terms and conditions) when they book.

However, when looking at what our customers did in a typical month (in fact, May this year) we found that only 15% had opted to protect the value of their sent items. For the remaining 85%, they had sent collectively nearly £1m worth of goods without any additional compensation cover. And overall less than one third of the total value of parcel contents sent had compensation cover. Obviously, it’s a risk that many people are willing to take but it’s worth thinking again when you book parcel delivery about the possible cost to you if anything does go wrong.

The old saying “better safe than sorry” has a lot of truth in it and, for a relatively modest compensation premium, consumers and businesses can give themselves both peace of mind and the chance to get their money back.

Which parcel contents to cover and when to cover them is clearly up to you. If consumers or businesses are sending a lot of low value items to individuals, it probably doesn't make sense to take out compensation cover for every parcel sent. But choosing to use compensation cover when the parcel value is high enough for you to need to protect it could prevent you from being left out of pocket.

To coin another old saying, "prevention is better than cure" and you can prevent possible damage to parcel contents by using the correct type and quality of packaging. To help you with this, My Parcel Delivery has produced a comprehensive "Do's and Dont's" guide.

If you are ever in the unfortunate position of having to make a claim for lost or damaged parcels, we’ve also put together a handy checklist:

  1. Check your item is covered under our compensation scheme - prohibited and restricted items are not covered under our compensation cover policy.
  2. Check that the timescale for submitting your claims has not been exceeded. We must receive your claim and all the documents within seven calendar days of the scheduled delivery date.
  3. Check that you have all the documents necessary for you claim to be submitted. These include a suitable proof of value - website screenshots are not accepted
  4. Additional documents are then needed depending on what type of claim you are making:

For a damage claim you will need:
Proof of repair/quote
Photos of the damage
Photos of the internal and external packaging that was used
You will also need to ensure the item is available for collection should it need to be investigated.
For a claim for loss you will need:
A proof of loss. This needs to be a signed and dated letter from the receiver confirming they did not receive the parcel.

In the vast majority of cases, your parcel will arrive at its destination safe and sound. But please don’t be left trusting to hindsight if what’s in the parcel is too valuable to be travelling without compensation cover.