Priority Mail from the USPS is actually their best-selling mailing services. Yes, you read that right – Priority Mail is even more popular a mailing services than traditional First Class mail (to the surprise of many). Providing domestic delivery all over the United States (including in Alaska and Hawaii), there’s a lot to like when it comes to Priority Mail. Affordable, fast, and reliable – not to mention consistent – it’s not hard to see why so many people like to ship things through the USPS via Priority.
At the same time, plenty of folks are concerned about whether or not their shipments are going to be protected with insurance when they choose this method. That’s easy to understand, too. Especially when you consider just how affordable this shipping option is. Is Priority Mail insured? Do I have to pay extra for insurance? Is any of the insurance available enough to cover replacing something that gets lost or stolen? We cover all of that (and more) in this detailed breakdown.
What is Priority Mail?
Priority Mail, available from the United States Postal Service, is about as simple and as straightforward a delivery service as it gets. Promising to get people’s packages to their ultimate destination within 1 to 3 business days (often much faster than other shipping partners), this amazing service is a whole lot more affordable than most competing options, too.
On top of that, the Priority Mail service allows customers to take advantage of flat rate shipping and package options that cut costs even more. Combine that with 100% free packaging materials available directly from the USPS (with no real hard limits on how many of these packing materials you can take advantage of) and Priority Mail becomes a bit of a no-brainer. Customers using this shipping method will be able to send up to 70 pounds in an individual box to any state in the US (including Hawaii and Alaska) at the exact same price. You’re just not going to find that kind of service anywhere else, and it’s a big part of why Priority Mail has established itself as the most popular services from the USPS today.
Priority Mail Guidelines
As far as guidelines are concerned, you really don’t have a lot to worry about when it comes to “will it or want it ship via Priority Mail” types of questions. Like we mentioned a moment ago, you can send up to 70 pounds in each individual box with Priority Mail and not have to pony up any extra money. As long as the package itself fits specific guidelines – a maximum combined length and girth number that doesn’t exceed 108 inches – you’ll be able to stuff that in the mail, drop it off at a post office, or arrange for pickup at your home or office and you’ll be good to go. It really doesn’t get a whole lot simpler than that! Best of all, you can get your hands on 100% free packing materials and packaging options directly from the USPS as well.
Think about that for second. You’ll be able to mail pretty much anything you want (up to 70 pounds) at a flat rate to any address in the United States, with delivery within 1 to 3 business days, all without having to pay a skyhigh premium along the way – and you get all your packing materials free, too. That’s a real value!
Priority Mail Speed of Delivery
We’ve mentioned this a couple of times already, but Priority Mail guarantees delivery within 1 to 3 business days (and is generally much faster than most people expect). The USPS even provides a really simple tool for estimating exactly how long packages are going to take to get to their final destination when using Priority Mail. You’ll find this tool on their website at www.usps.com/priority-mail/map, a 100% free to use tool perfect for estimating when your packages are going to arrive. All you’ll need to do is punch in your originating ZIP Code into the tool and let it handle the rest of the heavy lifting for you.
The internal algorithm from the USPS system will work to find out what your delivery range is for single day, second day, and third day delivery windows. Everything will be shown to you are a fully zoomable map (you can get really granular or look at the entire nationwide delivery window, if you’d like), too. This lets you get a real feel for exactly how long your packages are going to be in transit.
Don’t be surprised if you discover that your first day and second day delivery windows are a lot bigger than you expected originally. Unless you’re sending something clear across the country (or to some really far-flung locales in very remote regions of the United States) the chances are good that your package is going to get to its destination faster than you thought. And that includes to places like Alaska and Hawaii!
Is Priority Mail Insured?
Anytime you send something through the mail you run the risk of it getting lost in the shuffle, it getting misplaced with a delayed delivery, or even your package being stolen out right somewhere along the line. Thankfully this kind of stuff happens a lot less today than it ever did in the past. USPS has gotten a whole lot better about making sure that packages get to their final destination without any issue, with a deliverability rating that is right up there with the very best of the best in the business.
At the same, some things are totally out of the control of the USPS. Sometimes things go a little bit sideways and packages get misplaced, mismanaged, or are stolen. It’s an unpleasant reality to be sure, but it’s reality all the same. Luckily, though, when you choose Priority Mail you won’t have to worry about getting “left in the cold” as far as insurance is concerned. Almost every single package that ships via this delivery service is going to qualify for insurance – free insurance – directly from the USPS.
Insurance ranges from $50-$100 (for Commercial Plus customers), but there are other insurance options available for USPS customers of every kind to take advantage of, too. For example, Priority Mail Express (lightning fast domestic delivery services that include overnight delivery to most US locations) includes up to $100 of insurance coverage on every single order – totally free of charge and without exception.
Individuals and businesses using Priority Mail that want to further ensure their packages can do so, too. Insurance is available to be purchased as a separate “add-on” for most at a USPS service. Priority Mail is no exception. It isn’t tough (or expensive) to add a lot of extra insurance protection to your deliveries, either. In fact, most postal service customers are shocked to learn just how affordable it is to get up to $500 (or more) of insurance for their packages at almost cut rate prices.
Is Priority Mail insured? You bet it is – and there’s extra insurance are available, too.
How Much Does Priority Mail Cost?
Priority Mail pricing is based almost entirely off of the sizing of the package being sent via the USPS. It’s also important to remember that there are “non-flat rate” and “flat rate” packing options to pick and choose from, too. Non-flat rate boxes shipping via Priority Mail started about $5.05. Flat rate shipping options being sent through the USPS Priority Mail are going to start at $5.25, jumping up to $11.30 for medium-sized boxes before getting to $15.80 for large-size boxes.
As always, is a good idea to pop down to your local post office (or jump on the USPS website) to get a better feel for what the current pricing structure is for these non-flat rate and flat rate Priority Mail choices. At the end of the day, though, you are almost always paying for the items you are shipping through the mail – not for the extra speed, not for the extra insurance, and not for the reliability consistency of deliverability, either. That’s a huge bonus!
Is Tracking Included with Priority Mail?
Tracking information will be included with every Priority Mail purchase, just like every other package that gets sent through the USPS. As soon as you drop your package off (or have it picked up) you’ll find your tracking information is ready to go right on your receipt or your packing label. All you have to do from there is simply punch that code into the USPS tracking area on their website (or into any major search browser) and you’ll immediately get information about your package straightaway.
You can also send that information on to the recipient of your package so that they can track it moves through the Priority Mail system, too. Just remember that with Priority Mail you’re going to be able to get your packages to your intended recipients within 1 to 3 business days. Don’t be surprised if the tracking information moves all lot faster than you expected – especially if you are used to using much slower delivery services!
What are the Biggest Advantages of Using Priority Mail?
There are a couple of big advantages that Priority Mail brings to the table, another least of which is the almost insane delivery speed. If you were to take advantage of 1 to 3 business day shipping with most other shipping partners you’d be spending a mountain of money, and may not even get guaranteed delivery within that window of time. With USPS Priority Mail, on the other hand, this is standard across the board.
Secondly, the non-flat rate and flat rate shipping options available for Priority Mail make better understanding your upfront costs whole lot easier, too. There’s not a lot of guesswork here. You can ship pretty much anything up to 70 pounds to any address in the United States with lightning like speed when you choose this shipping services – and it isn’t going to cost you a fortune.
Finally, the extra insurance that you get right out-of-the-box for your Priority Mail package can’t be overstated. It’s nice to know that you have some protection should something go sideways with your package, even though the odds of that happening are slim (and getting slimmer all the time). Having that buffer zone of protection, that guaranteed extra insurance available free of charge with your Priority Mail delivery is a big bonus. There’s a lot of peace of mind there – not just for you, before your intended recipients as well.
What are the Biggest Drawbacks?
Truth be told, there really aren’t a lot of drawbacks to using the Priority Mail services from the USPS. This service really only becomes a headache or hassle if you have packages that are larger than what the USPS allows to be sent via Priority Mail. As long as you stay under that 70 pound weight limit, though, you really shouldn’t have anything at all to worry about.
Outside of that, though, there’s really nothing to be disappointed with here.
US Global Mail – A New Way to Modernize Your Mailbox
US Global Mail offers a lot of the same benefits that Priority Mail does – fast, consistent, reliable, easily tracked mail solutions – through their Virtual Mailbox, but this time for incoming mail. Providing all customers with a permanent, physical street address to use for all of their mailing needs, US Global Mail has changed the mailbox game completely (and has been doing so for 20 plus years).
Not only do you get that private, secure physical street address for your mailing address, but you also get:
- Real time updates about every piece of mail and every package that hits your Virtual Mailbox
- Digital mail scanning of your packages and envelopes so that you know exactly what you’ve received and when
- Fantastic digital record keeping of all your mail so that you don’t lose paper documents anymore
- Mail forwarding options to almost any address on the planet at up to 80% off of traditional retail prices
… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
To learn more about everything that the industry leader in Virtual Mailboxes has to offer, check out the US Global Mail website right now.