7 On Your Side: How to file claims with the US Postal Service

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015
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Many gifts will be shipped over the holidays, so if that package arrives damaged, 7 On Your Side has these tips on how to file a claim.

BRENTWOOD, Calif. (KGO) -- The holidays are here and soon many will be shipping gifts to family and friends, but what happens when that package arrives damaged. 7 On Your Side looks at how to file an insurance claim with the U.S. Postal Service.

A Brentwood couple knows how to file this type of claim all too well. Unfortunately for them, the process was not a smooth one.

Bob Morris loves his trains. The Brentwood man has been fascinated with trains since he was a little boy. Now retired, he has built a second career of buying and selling trains on consignment. Unfortunately, one train he sold arrived to the buyer damaged.

"It was damaged pretty bad," Bob said.

Bob's wife, Sandy, says not only was there physical damage, there was also damage to the train's engine. She said, "It was inoperable. There was no way that you could run the engine or get the parts to fix it even."

Sandy filed an insurance claim with the postal service. When filing a claim, you need to include a photo of the package, the tracking number, proof of insurance, and physical evidence of the damage. The claim should be filed at the post office where the package was mailed from or online. You must also submit it within 60 days of the damage.

"We complied within literally minutes or within an hour of everything they asked us to do," Sandy said.

Six weeks later, the claim was denied. The post office said the Morris' had filed their claim too late. Bob and Sandy knew that wasn't true, but couldn't get anyone to listen so they contacted 7 On Your Side.

"We were so frustrated because we were getting nowhere," Sandy said.

We contacted the post office which admitted to us it made a mistake.

"It got a little derailed between us and us getting it to accounting services," Post Office spokesperson Augustine Ruiz said.

Insurance claims are handled at the local level then forwarded to accounting in Minnesota. The post office admits it filed the claim too late.

"We took full responsibility for that in the delay. So she did everything right," Ruiz said.

The Morris received a check for $600 for the damaged train.

"Thank you, you guys really came through," Sandy said.

Information on how to file both insurance claims and an appeal for an insurance denial:

USPS Insurance

USPS insurance denial appeal