Gift cards are a great way to surprise family and friends, whether it is a holiday or other special occasions. However, once mailed, they may be delivered to the wrong addresses or misplaced and retrieving them is quite a tiring process.
For this reason, insuring a gift card is an important consideration. USPS, FedEx, and UPS are the biggest shipping companies that immediately come to mind, and understanding their insurance policies for gift cards is imperative.
USPS clearly states within its policies that, no matter the worth of the gift cards being shipped, or how many they are, a claimant can only get back $15 if the gift cards should be wrongfully delivered or misplaced. It, therefore, makes no sense to consider USPS to insure your gift cards, if you are using Express Mail.
4.3 Nonpayable Claims
Indemnity is not paid for insured mail, Registered Mail, COD, or Express Mail in these situations: […]
r. Negotiable items (defined as instruments that can be converted to cash without resort to forgery), currency, or bullion valued in total at more than $15 per shipment sent by Express Mail, except under 4.2c
FedEx clearly states that they do not offer insurance for gift cards on their Ground or Express shipping options. In fact, gift cards are listed under prohibited items. If you take this as a shipment company, please take all necessary precautions to ensure that the gift cards are delivered to the right destination.
The statement says “Stocks, bonds, cash letters or cash equivalents, including, but not limited to, food stamps, postage stamps (not collectible), traveler’s checks, lottery tickets, money orders, gift cards and gift certificates, prepaid calling cards (excluding those that require a code for activation), bond coupons, and bearer bonds.”
Clients can consider using Registered mail to ensure that the shipment is delivered. This is done through offering a mailing receipt, or electronic verification upon request.
UPS will cover the declared value of the package if it is more than $100. However, this means that the company will only pay for the piece of plastic. Just like USPS and FedEx, UPS does not offer actual insurance for the value of your gift card.
“UPS covers the loss or damage, at no extra cost, for up to $100.00 on shipments with no declared value. If the value of your goods exceeds this amount, you can declare up to $50,000 per package (subject to terms and conditions) by entering the declared value when you create a shipment on ups.com. Please note that these prices are in U.S. dollars.”
A direct quote from their page states that “In no event shall UPS be liable for the face value of the check(s). UPS’s liability for a package containing a phone card, gift certificate, or gift card is limited to the cost (which shall not include any amount of the value attached to the card or certificate) of replacing the physical card(s) or certificate(s), not to exceed $100 per package. In no event shall UPS be liable for the face value of any phone card, gift certificate, or gift card.”
What Should I do?
The three biggest shipping companies will not offer you insurance for your gift cards. This means that extra care has to be taken before signing off on a shipment to ensure that the package gets to its destination. Here are a few tips you should keep in mind.
Write down numbers at the back of the card before shipping. Additionally, keep the card number and pin safely, in the event of misplacement during delivery. Most brands will offer replacements for gift cards if proof of purchase is given, and therefore, it is important to take advantage of this situation. This might be the reason why shipping companies do not offer insurance for gift cards, to avoid double reimbursements to clients.
The brand may not offer a reimbursement, especially if you bought the card second hand. However, if you bought it directly from the brand, you may have a higher chance. Unfortunately, if your gift cards fall into the wrong hands, and the person decides to use it before you get a replacement, the brand cannot offer a replacement. The only option, in this case, would be to file a police report and the process would be difficult to follow through.
If the card is usable online, you could purchase something with the remaining balance instead of making a full loss. You may also take the card number and pin to the store, or try a manual entry of the card. Unfortunately, there are no assurances.
Unfortunately, there exists no proper insurance policy for shipping gift cards. Neither USPS, FedEx, or UPS offer reimbursements for misplaced gift cards. This means that proper measures have to be taken to ensure that the gift cards arrive at the preferred destination. Follow up to ensure that the shipment goes to the correct recipient.