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Anyone know a shipping company in the UK that insures swords?

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Its only a few times lately that i have booked online with parcelforce to post swords. I usually go in to the post office and as much as that can be a hassle i was unaware or cant remember them saying they dont insure antiques.


Anyways, posted a sword to a friend today, did it online to be picked up today but got this email last night, so had to send at my own risk. Tried to cancel the insurance before pick up but got messed around for an hour then got told as its been picked up there will be no refund.  See below, when reading through all the details it does make me wonder WTH they do actually insure and also notice they state they no longer ship antique firearms also. I described it as "antique over 100 years old", as always.


I will point out that in the past folk have stated they wont pay insurance, as claiming for it is like getting blood out of a stone anyways.


Good Afternoon

I am contacting you in regards to an order that you have placed for collection.

We notice you have protected the item and would like to confirm that you are aware of the prohibited and we exclude from compensation items list.

We must advise you that 'antiques over 100 years old (or any item similar in description or content) can only be carried on a no-compensation basis on any service, meaning your parcel contents are not protected for loss or for damage. Such items would be sent at your own risk.

During the booking process you are asked to check your item against the prohibited and no compensation items list and antiques over 100 years old appears on the list.

You can see the list on the link below -



Providing that your goods are well packaged, I can see no reason why damage would occur.

We must remind you though, that we will not be liable for any damages caused due to insufficient packaging of the goods. Please ensure that the packaging is suitable for the weight of your goods which are being sent and there is internal packaging used to protect the goods. To help you out with this I have provided a link below to our packaging advice, here you will find useful hints and tips with regards to packing your goods for transit;


We also must confirm that you are fully aware of the service terms and conditions before the collection goes ahead. Full terms and conditions can be seen at the link below:


If you wish to remove the protection, you can do so, but this must be done before the collection takes place.

You can also cancel the order and receive a full refund if you do not wish for this to be collected.

*Please note protection and order cancellations/changes can only be accepted before order has been picked up*






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Actually Michael this is nothing new. Parcelforce have always excluded antiques from the insurance they offer. (at least they have for s long as I have shipped swords anywhere) That is why up until they banned carrying swords I always preferred to use Fedex.


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Think i have been unaware as i usually go in the post office and the folk that work there dont know the rules and just let stuff go.


Must say though, i dont ever remember them stating "antiques over 100 years old" on their website before.


As for the insurance i paid, will attempt to get it back. No one down there had a clue or the authority to give me a refund. In the end i was asked not to talk to a representative but to do an online keyboard chat with someone, which was frustrating :dunno: 




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Yes, it is possible that statement about antiques >100years was there but I always read the small font and had never noticed that. I have only once or twice shipped swords and never paid too much attention to what/:how much Parcelforce insured as that (even at their extended cover of £2500) would not have covered me. Having read the rules again, they exclude everything now - antiques, works of art, collectables etc etc 

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  • 1 month later...

I have bought a few swords from the USA this year with mixed results from shipping companies. The first four came with USPS from the USA side, Parcel Force UK picked up the delivery. According to the Parcel Force documents shipping was at my risk. I have had a further four shipments that route and with the same conditions. I have not had any problems other than stress from the UK border agency who seem impossible to contact. I have had one shipment via UPS who did offer insurance  but they were very expensive. The last and most recent was via FedEx and here I offer a  warning. I bought a 16th century Katana from an auction, it was shipped with the instructions that it was clearly antique, traditionally made and certainly more than 100 years old. UK border agency detained it but FedEx didn't notify me of this until 14 days after it was detained. UK border agency wrote to me, the letter arrived on the final day of the time allowed to question the detainment.I employed a specialist solicitor and with help from a friend and sword collector/ dealer of national reputation managed to get it passed back to FedEx for delivery. FedEx then refused to ship the sword to me stating that they don't allow shipping of any weapons and would be returning it to the sender. With the assistance of the solicitor, they agreed to allow me to collect it from their clearance department. FedEx were extremely difficult to deal with as despite presenting a UK phone number in reality the calls all routed through a call centre in the USA and I never managed to get the same person twice. Their customer support in the UK is not in the same place as their distribution centre so it's not easy to get any information to pass from one to the other. The conclusion now for me is that I will not use FedEx again.

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I recently received my two naginata (blades and poles) via Parcel2Go by the auctioneer (UK), but I believe they were covered by the auctioneer's insurance. I was then going to use Parcel2Go again to ship the poles (no blades) to Cornwall for restoration and was interested to see in their T&Cs that they do not ship weapons of any kind, so I guess the auctioneer and I got lucky. I'm currently looking at Secursus for insurance, to ship the poles (or perhaps blades/other "antiques" in future) with Parcelforce. Ideally though, I would now really prefer to deliver and collect myself if possible, hence my post in General Discussion enquiring about restorers within reasonable driving distance of London.



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