Survey of the Postal Service's Practices and Procedures for Resolving Insurance Claims on Lost or Damaged Parcels

GGD-77-84: Published: Aug 8, 1977. Publicly Released: Aug 8, 1977.

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Results of a survey conducted at the St. Louis Postal Data Center and other postal locations in the Central Region revealed opportunities for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Postal Service's practices and procedures for resolving insurance claims on lost or damaged parcels.

The survey results indicated that: insurance claims are not paid in a timely manner due to a cumbersome followup system; unnecessary claims are filed because customers are allowed to file loss claims 15 days after mailing, even though delivery and retention standards allow for a 31-day turnaround period for parcel delivery; and the St. Louis Data Center is not providing all the information it could to control the claims process. The Chicago Post Office had erroneously denied insurance claims on parcels mailed from self-service postal units. The efficiency and effectiveness of the insurance program could be improved by: speeding up claims processing time by ensuring that postal employees always obtain signed delivery receipts and conduct more timely searches for these receipts when on file; revising the minimum filing times for loss and duplicate claims to reflect more realistically the time required for parcel delivery and claims processing; and determining the feasibility of assigning an identifying number to each claimant and recording this data in the computer database to use in identifying sources of multiple claims and investigating potential fraud cases.