How to File a Claim
Either the person who sent the mailpiece or the person who received it may file a claim for insured mail that is lost, arrived damaged, or was missing contents. The person filing must have the original mailing receipt. Each claim must be filed within a certain time period and include proof of insurance, value, and damage.
NOTE: These instructions do not include all the details and exceptions in the Postal Regulations in the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®).
Filing Indemnity Claims (DMM 609)
Step 1: Check Filing Periods
Each mail service has a different filing period. The filing period is based on the mailing date on your receipt and whether your package arrived damaged.
Damaged or Missing Contents
If your item arrives damaged or is missing contents, you may file a claim immediately but must file no later than 60 days after the mailing date.
Lost Mail or Package
If your item does not arrive at all, file a claim in the time period for the service you used.
Step 2: Gather Your Documents
Including the right documentation with your claim helps USPS® approve it more quickly. Save all your evidence documents until your claim is resolved.
Tracking or Label Number
The tracking or label number is found on your online label record, package label, mailing receipt, or sales receipt. Tracking and label numbers are between 13 and 34 characters.
Evidence of Insurance Purchased
Any of these items show evidence of insurance:
- Original mailing receipt issued at the time of mailing
- Outer packaging showing the names and addresses of the sender and the addressee and the proper label showing that the article was sent insured
- Printed electronic online label record or computer printout from the application used to print the label and purchase the insurance
NOTE: USPS Online Tracking may not legally pay compensation for uninsured lost or damaged articles. If your uninsured mail is missing or delayed you may request a Missing Mail Search.
Proof of Value
Proof of value is the cost or value of an item when it was mailed. Any of these can be used to show proof of value:
- Sales receipt
- Paid invoice or paid bill of sale
- Statement of value and/or estimates of repair costs from a reputable dealer
- Credit card billing statement
- Receipt of costs incurred for reconstruction of non-negotiable documents
- Printouts of the online transaction identifying the purchaser and seller, price paid, date of transaction, description of item purchased, and assurance that the transaction status is completed
Proof of Damage
Photos that clearly show the extent of damage will help with your case. For damaged claims, you’ll also need to provide an estimate of the repair costs from a reputable dealer.
- Save the original packaging and everything in the package until your claim is settled.
- Do not throw out damaged items, even after you photograph them.
- Do not reship items that were not damaged. Save them with the damaged items.
- You may be asked to take the entire package to your local Post Office™ facility for inspection.
Step 3: File Your Claim
The fastest and easiest way to file your claim is online. If you cannot file a claim on USPS.com, you can start a claim process by mail. After you file, keep all your evidence documents until the claim is resolved.
To file online, log in to or create your free USPSonlinetracking.com account. Your claim case will be associated with your account.
- You will be able to save your claim to finish later if you cannot complete the form in one session.
- Once you have filed a claim, you can see it in your Claim History.
Filing by Mail
If you’re unable to file a claim online, you can have a Claim Form mailed to you.
- Call the USPS National Materials Customer Service and request a Claim PS Form.
- Complete the form and mail it, along with proof of value and evidence of insurance, to the address on the form.
Hours of Operation
Monday–Friday: 6 AM–6 PM CT
Saturdays and Sundays: Closed
Federal Holidays: Closed