Halloween is many people’s favorite holiday, and it’s also become a major e-commerce shopping holiday. As a matter of fact, total spending for Halloween is expected to reach $9 billion this year. It’s up to you to do everything possible to meet their expectations. That means we need to discuss the topic of shipping insurance.
Sometimes things happen in the course of shipping that threatens to ruin your customers’ Halloween fun. You don’t want to end up stuck covering the reimbursement expenses when things go wrong, not to mention ruining a customer’s Halloween. Failing to obtain proper protection for your product deliveries with shipping insurance can make a bad situation even worse.
What Actually CAN Go Wrong
What can go wrong will go wrong, particularly during a time of year when the weather is in constant flux. Some companies don’t account for these types of events and the havoc they can wreak on shipping. That oversight can cause customer service nightmares and loss of future business.
You may think you’re saving money by not taking advantage of shipping insurance. Or you may just be relying on the amount of insurance included with certain carrier services, even if it doesn’t completely cover the cost of your products. In the long run, this may end up costing you money and business.
Let’s take a look at some of the things that can and do go wrong when shipping, and if/how shipping insurance helps to cover you in those instances.
1. Shipping Delays and Tracking
Though shipping delays aren’t covered by insurance, they are essential to note from a customer service perspective. Fall weather varies depending on the region where you live. Some areas experience snowfall as early as October. Others remain in a constant state of worry about the heavy rainfall and flooding that comes with tropical systems.
It’s quite common that you’ll run into issues causing delays in package delivery, and your customers may get antsy. This is why it’s important to make sure they always have tracking information sent to them once a package leaves your hands. This will offer peace of mind to a customer and help them follow along without coming to you assuming a package is lost or stolen when delayed. Tracking comes standard with many of the most popular shipping methods, such as USPS Priority Mail.
Shipping software like ShippingEasy automates this process, sending tracking information to your customer as soon as you ship a package, avoiding issues and questions.
2. Damaged Packages
You can only hope the shipping carrier you use does their best to watch out for packages in their care. Accidents still can happen during the shipping process, however. Sometimes it’s hard to know anything’s wrong until your customer receives a package containing a broken or damaged product.
Trying to track down what caused the damage to your package can be a difficult task. You’re ultimately who the customer thinks of when it comes to making this right. Multiple incidents like these can end up costing you repeat business and your reputation.
Shipping insurance can help cover you in these instances. When an item arrives damaged, you can file a claim and recoup the cost of replacing the item for a customer. You get to provide great customer service in a lousy situation without taking the hit of replacing an item that arrived damaged.
When an item is delivered damaged, you will need to provide proof; be sure your recipient understands your specific insurance provider’s requirements for this before receiving the package, as in some cases the damage must be reported when the package is signed for by the recipient. Also, the recipient should
not discard the damaged item until the claim is paid. It’s always important to know the specifications when purchasing shipping insurance on packages.
3. Packaging Mix-ups
Mix-ups with packages can happen, particularly if you’re manually processing orders or your current shipping software isn’t up to the task of handling your order volume. One mistyped or wrongly copy/pasted shipping label or tracking number can end up creating a very unhappy customer. This is especially true during the holidays.
Shipping insurance doesn’t cover human error (or technological error) from your end. This is why it’s vital to properly automate and streamline the shipping process as much as possible. When you can avoid these types of mix-ups before a package leaves your facility, you minimize the risk of creating poor customer experiences.
4. Lost or Stolen Items
Losing track of packages can happen for any number of reasons.
- An invalid tracking number
- Packages getting stored incorrectly in a shipping warehouse
- Items falling out a truck
- Delivery people taking packages to the wrong address
- Thieves targeting packages left out on doorsteps
It’s not fun letting customers know you have no idea what happened to a package they were expecting. It is important to note that if the item is not delivered, proof of pickup from your facility should be all that is required to file a shipping insurance claim. If the item is stolen after the carrier can prove delivery, however, you may not be covered—be sure to understand your insurer’s policy on this. Many third-party insurers will also only insure “trackable” packages.
5. International Shipments
The extra business brought in by international customers can be a big boon to an e-commerce business. With that comes the expenses involved in sending shipments overseas, and different rules when it comes to providing shipping insurance.
Some carriers apply limits to what you can file shipping insurance claims on if you end up with misplaced international merchandise. It’s important to know the ins and outs of the shipping insurance provided by the carrier/method you typically use for international shipping, and whether you should or can supplement that. The chart below sums up some of what each carrier and method includes.
ShippingEasy helps streamline the process of getting deliveries out to your customers, and partners with Shipsurance to make it just as easy to add shipping insurance to your packages. Make sure you’re covered for whatever comes your way this holiday season by starting your FREE 30-day trial now. Just click below to get started.