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  1. #1
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    Default USPS Won't Pay Insurance Claim for Lost Jewelry

    Hi - Can you please tell me where I can look at the case you mention in your post #4? It seems I may have a similar situation. I mailed a fully insured package (costume jewelry) from NY to Canada last July and the package is lost (you think USPS is horrible? Canada Post has nothing on them). Long story short, insurance claim was denied because they're saying jewelry is a prohibited item. I questioned this at the time of mailing, the clerk AND the supervisor said it was okay because it was costume jewelry, not precious metal or stones. I'm in the process of appealing it now. Very interested in reading up on the other case.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How Can I Sue USPS for Lost Insured Item

    I suggest using the forum search function to look for other threads. That's how I found this.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How Can I Sue USPS for Lost Insured Item

    Quote Quoting Dorina5
    View Post
    Hi - Can you please tell me where I can look at the case you mention in your post #4? It seems I may have a similar situation. I mailed a fully insured package (costume jewelry) from NY to Canada last July and the package is lost (you think USPS is horrible? Canada Post has nothing on them). Long story short, insurance claim was denied because they're saying jewelry is a prohibited item. I questioned this at the time of mailing, the clerk AND the supervisor said it was okay because it was costume jewelry, not precious metal or stones. I'm in the process of appealing it now. Very interested in reading up on the other case.
    Thanks!
    odd to state jewelry is a prohibited item since they list it, specifically, in this list:

    Can I purchase insurance with Registered Mail?
    You must declare the full value of the mailpiece when presenting it for mailing. Registered Mail may be sent without postal insurance only if the item has no value. Postal insurance is available in values of $0.01 to $25,000.00. The declared value of an item can be determined using the table below:
    Item
    Maximum Replacement Value
    Merchandise Market Value
    Money / Cash / Currency Full value
    Nonvaluables - Matter not having intrinsic value such as letters, files, records, etc. Considered to have no value. If postal insurance coverage is purchased, the customer will only be reimbursed for the replacement expense of the documents (See Additional Notes on Indemnity Limits).
    Negotiable Instruments (Documents) - Instruments payable to bearer, including stock certificates and money orders endorsed in blank. Market value (all values based on value at time of mailing).
    Nonnegotiable Instruments (Documents) - Registered bonds, checks, money orders and drafts made out to specific recipients; deeds, wills, and similar documents. Stock certificates are considered nonnegotiable unless endorsed in blank. Considered to have no value. If postal insurance coverage is purchased, the customer will only be reimbursed for the replacement expense of the documents (See Additional Notes on Indemnity Limits).
    Jewelry, Gems, Precious Metals Market value
    Top of Page


    http://faq.usps.com/eCustomer/iq/usp...eType:embedded

    It is also addressed, specifically, in this q and a from the USPS:

    http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm100/examples.htm


    These examples show how mailing services can be combined to meet your needs.
    Example 1: Sending a Valuable Item
    Jane’s niece is getting married next month, and Jane wants to send a piece of heirloom jewelry to the bride. The jewelry has a lot of sentimental value, so Jane wants to be sure that it will arrive safely. Jane identifies three possible options:
    Option A - $$$ - Express Mail
    Express Mail automatically includes insurance up to $100 and guarantees delivery to Jane’s niece in 1 to 2 days. Additional insurance may be purchased. Jane will also receive a mailing receipt and confirmation that the package has been delivered, if requested, and has been signed for by her niece.
    Option B - $$ - First-Class Mail Package with Registered Mail
    First-Class Mail offers delivery at a low cost and can be combined with Registered Mail, a service that provides the highest level of mail security during transit. Insurance can be purchased for items up to $25,000 in material, but not sentimental, value.
    Option C - $ - First-Class Mail Package with Insurance
    First-Class Mail offers delivery at a low cost and can be combined with insurance for up to $5,000. Insured mail will cover the jewelry’s material value should the piece get lost or damaged, but it cannot cover its sentimental value.
    Jane's Decision
    Jane decides that speed is less of a priority than security. Jane chooses First-Class Mail, and, because the jewelry has greater sentimental than monetary value, she decides to add Registered Mail service so she can feel confident that her heirloom will be as secure as possible during transit.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How Can I Sue USPS for Lost Insured Item

    Is this claim with the USPS or with Canada Post? From what I can see, Canada post caps claims for jewelry at $500, but I would expect insurance coverage purchased through the USPS to be paid under USPS rules.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How Can I Sue USPS for Lost Insured Item

    Thanks for the quick reply.
    I've done a quick online research and found some case law that has not been favorable to the individual mailer. But its from the mid-2000s so I need to dig a little deeper to see what's current. Given the current financial state of the USPS, even if precedent has changed, they probably don't have the money to pay claims anyway. I'm going to appeal but am not very optimistic.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    odd to state jewelry is a prohibited item since they list it, specifically, in this list:

    Can I purchase insurance with Registered Mail?
    You must declare the full value of the mailpiece when presenting it for mailing. Registered Mail may be sent without postal insurance only if the item has no value. Postal insurance is available in values of $0.01 to $25,000.00. The declared value of an item can be determined using the table below:
    Item
    Maximum Replacement Value
    Merchandise Market Value
    Money / Cash / Currency Full value
    Nonvaluables - Matter not having intrinsic value such as letters, files, records, etc. Considered to have no value. If postal insurance coverage is purchased, the customer will only be reimbursed for the replacement expense of the documents (See Additional Notes on Indemnity Limits).
    Negotiable Instruments (Documents) - Instruments payable to bearer, including stock certificates and money orders endorsed in blank. Market value (all values based on value at time of mailing).
    Nonnegotiable Instruments (Documents) - Registered bonds, checks, money orders and drafts made out to specific recipients; deeds, wills, and similar documents. Stock certificates are considered nonnegotiable unless endorsed in blank. Considered to have no value. If postal insurance coverage is purchased, the customer will only be reimbursed for the replacement expense of the documents (See Additional Notes on Indemnity Limits).
    Jewelry, Gems, Precious Metals Market value
    Top of Page


    http://faq.usps.com/eCustomer/iq/usp...eType:embedded

    It is also addressed, specifically, in this q and a from the USPS:

    http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm100/examples.htm


    My package was sent Express Mail International. I told the clerk I wanted the package to go fast, traceable and fully insured. She suggested the method and told me I needed to purchase addl insurance which I did. The back of the mailing slip states jewelry is a prohibited item and I questioned the clerk on this. She looked something up on her computer and told me the restriction applied to precious metal/stone jewelry, not costume. I asked to speak with a supervisor to be sure and she confirmed what the clerk said. I presumed they knew what they were talking about and let the package go.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How Can I Sue USPS for Lost Insured Item

    mid 2000's would generally be considered current. Unless there is contrary case law since the cases reviewed, a decision from the mid 1800's is considered to be current. But a case less than a decade old is generally considered to be quite recent. It is not likely you would find contrary decisions this recent to the decisions you found. It generally requires a change in the law itself or a renewal of thought to find what appears to be opposing decisions. You generally do not have the change of opinions in this short of a time so if the law hasn't changed, it is likely the decisions you have found still stand as current.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How Can I Sue USPS for Lost Insured Item

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    Is this claim with the USPS or with Canada Post? From what I can see, Canada post caps claims for jewelry at $500, but I would expect insurance coverage purchased through the USPS to be paid under USPS rules.
    The claims with USPS. I tried calling Canada Post but they wouldn't talk to me, they said they would only deal with the USPS. The USPS told me they made numerous attempts to contact Canada Post but they have been non-responsive.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How Can I Sue USPS for Lost Insured Item

    Quote Quoting Dorina5
    View Post

    My package was sent Express Mail International. I told the clerk I wanted the package to go fast, traceable and fully insured. She suggested the method and told me I needed to purchase addl insurance which I did. The back of the mailing slip states jewelry is a prohibited item and I questioned the clerk on this. She looked something up on her computer and told me the restriction applied to precious metal/stone jewelry, not costume. I asked to speak with a supervisor to be sure and she confirmed what the clerk said. I presumed they knew what they were talking about and let the package go.
    Ok, so it isn't that jewelry is prohibited by the USPS but only concerning the specific type of mail system used. That makes a huge difference.



    134 Valuable Articles

    134.1 Service Options

    The following services can be used to send the articles noted in 134.2:

    1. First-Class Mail International service with Registered Mail service.
    2. Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelopes with Registered Mail service.
    3. Priority Mail International Small Flat Rate Priced Boxes with Registered Mail service.
    4. Priority Mail International service with insured service.

    Note: Neither Express Mail International service nor ordinary (uninsured) Priority Mail International service can be used to send the articles noted in 134.2.
    134.2 List of Articles

    The following valuable articles may be sent only with the services noted in 134.1:

    1. Coins, banknotes, and currency notes (paper money).
    2. Instruments payable to bearer. (The term “instruments payable to bearer” includes checks, drafts, or securities that can be legally cashed or easily negotiated by anyone who may come into possession of them. A check or draft payable to a specific payee is not regarded as payable to bearer unless the payee has endorsed it. If not endorsed, or if endorsed in favor of another specific payee, it is not regarded as payable to bearer.)
    3. Traveler’s checks.
    4. Manufactured and unmanufactured platinum, gold, and silver.
    5. Precious stones, jewels, jewelry, watches, and other valuable articles.Note: The term “jewelry” is generally understood to denote articles of more than nominal value. Inexpensive jewelry, watches, such as tie clasps and costume jewelry, containing little or no precious metal, is not considered to be jewelry within the meaning of this section and is accepted under the same conditions as other mailable merchandise to any country. Inexpensive jewelry is accepted to countries that prohibit jewelry, but only at the sender’s risk.

    134.3 Prohibitions

    Individual countries prohibit or restrict some or all of the valuable items listed above. See the “Prohibitions and Restrictions” section in the Individual Country Listings.
    It specifically excluded costume jewelry as being prohibited. The only issue that would remain would be if you are attempting to claim what would be considered a value inline with real jewelry (as opposed to costume jewelry).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How Can I Sue USPS for Lost Insured Item

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    Ok, so it isn't that jewelry is prohibited by the USPS but only concerning the specific type of mail system used. That makes a huge difference.



    It specifically excluded costume jewelry as being prohibited. The only issue that would remain would be if you are attempting to claim what would be considered a value inline with real jewelry (as opposed to costume jewelry).
    The item was a vintage Chanel necklace, goldtone chain with poured glass. I paid $900 for it as evidenced by the original receipt (note my mailing to Canada was a return of the merchandise) and thats what my parcel was insured for. Both the clerk and the supervisor were aware of this because I discussed the additional insurance amount with both of them.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How Can I Sue USPS for Lost Insured Item

    sorry but that doesn't help me help you. I know no more than what I provided you. To me though, that $900 would suggest it was more than costume jewelry and as such, prohibited. You may be able to argue the point on this:

    Inexpensive jewelry, watches, such as tie clasps and costume jewelry, containing little or no precious metal,
    if it contains little or no precious metal (or stones I presume would somewhere come into the discussion), it falls under the exception to the prohibition against jewelry. Of course, as I said, to me, $900 is not what I would think of as inexpensive jewelry. Granted, it isn't the Hope diamond but nor is it a Cracker Jack prize either.

    I would continue to appeal your denial based upon the info I listed and the discussion with the clerk and, especially, the supervisor. The discussion should be considered the USPS position on how your jewelry was classified. If they deemed it to fall under the exception, then that is what the USPS should be held to. Do you have the supervisor's name? I would surely attempt to get it if you don't. It might be important in your endeavor.

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