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Managing the Insurance Issue

A complaint from a buyer can occur when their purchase is lost or an item receives damage in shipment, and this event initiates, for the very first time, an email from the shop owner to inform them that since they did not specifically request insurance coverage for the package, nor pay for it, no insurance was provided.

Here is the specific set of circumstances:

- A shop quotes cost of shipping.
- The buyer pays this amount, assuming they have been quoted an amount that includes the cost of insurance.
- An insurance claim arises. It is revealed at that time there is no coverage.
- Shop tells buyer, too bad. You should have told me you wanted the package insured.
- Buyer has now lost money, the item they bought, and time.
- Buyer now, understandably, loses patience and temper.
- Buyer contacts Ruby Lane and files a complaint.
- Ruby Lane now pays customer support personnel to manage complaint.

It isn't unusual for these types of complaints to cost everyone involved.

A customer who honestly thought insurance was supplied when they paid the shipping fee will feel they have nothing to show for their shopping experience on Ruby Lane but lost funds and a damaged or missing item.

Keep in mind that some buyers may be completely new to purchasing on the Internet. They may not know to even ask, or to check a seller's Terms of Sale, in order to assure themselves that package insurance is being provided. Not all shops will provide insurance automatically. But, not all buyers will know this, if they are inexperienced. On the other hand, shops should be aware that insurance can be an important consideration for any shipment. Knowing this, they should be professional enough to ask, in advance, if insurance is desired.

If your terms of sale do not make it clear that insurance is never going to be included in a quote for shipping costs and that a buyer must specifically ask for it, then sooner or later you can expect to have a complaint to manage. When a buyer is paying a shipping fee under the innocent assumption that the amount quoted automatically includes insurance coverage, it is not they who are making the decision to ship their purchase without it. The shop's owner ends up making that decision for them.

Those shop owners who do not currently use wording that addresses the subject of insurance coverage might want to consider modifying their Terms of Sale to state that insurance on all shipments will be included, unless the customer specifically requests it not be purchased. This should help to generate contact from those customers for whom insurance is just an added expense that is not desired. The shop owner will then usually receive an email to that effect that can be retained until the transaction is complete.

We understand that not all transactions are likely to involve a great deal of money and for either the customer or the shop owner in these instances, the added cost of insurance may not be a welcomed expense. But, while it is true that some customers prefer not to pay the added cost of insuring a package, it is also true that some shop owners only assume this is the customers elected choice.

To prevent misunderstandings in the event of a damaged or lost package, shop owners should make sure that the customer clearly understands that their package is being shipped uninsured, prior to shipping it. This will allow any customer who has perhaps made an incorrect assumption about insurance the opportunity to indicate that they do indeed want it and to send payment to cover its cost.

Insuring all packages automatically, unless the customer refuses it in writing, is a good way to help prevent later claims to Customer Service that insurance was purchased but the shop owner failed to supply it.

Shop owners should take the time to become familiar with Ruby Lane's site wide return policy. If you haven't read it or have become less than familiar with it over time, please review it once more *click here*

Please note that the policy contains our recommendation that all shipments be insured. If a buyer requests that an item not be shipped insured, in writing, the shop owner is then not responsible for loss or damage to that item in shipping.