Amazon will cut out the middleman when it comes to paying customers who suffer personal injury or property damage due to a defective product purchased on its digital store. Starting September 1st, Amazon will directly pay customers for claims under $1,000 at no cost to the seller of the product. Amazon says that claims of less than $1,000 account for more than 80% of the cases filed. Also, Amazon says that it “may step in to pay claims for higher amounts if the seller is unresponsive or rejects a claim we believe to be valid.”
As The Verge notes, this will be a significant improvement over the old process. Currently, if you want to file a claim, you’ll have to work with the seller of the product. As Amazon references in the quote above, the seller might be unresponsive, leaving the customer in the lurch.
Amazon will pay claims up to $1,000
Amazon will now facilitate the resolution of these claims between the customer, seller, and insurance provider. Starting next month, if you want to file a claim, your first step should be to contact Amazon’s Customer Service. Amazon will then notify the seller and help to address the claim. If the seller cannot be reached, Amazon will pay the claim instead. Meanwhile, Amazon will continue to pursue that seller. If a seller rejects a claim Amazon thinks is valid, the company may also step in to resolve the situation. Amazon will give sellers the ability to defend their products in these cases.
Notably, this policy applies to all products sold on Amazon.com, no matter who sells them.
Amazon says this new process will save time, money, and effort for both customers and sellers. The company also notes that this goes “far beyond” its legal obligations or what other marketplaces offer. Of course, Amazon is valued at $1.7 trillion. $1,000 here and there won’t break the bank.
Introducing the Amazon Insurance Accelerator
At the same time, Amazon is also making it easier for sellers to obtain product liability insurance. The new Amazon Insurance Accelerator is described as “a network of vetted insurance providers who will evaluate and, if appropriate, offer liability insurance at competitive rates to qualifying sellers”. If sellers use this program, they will only pay for the cost of the insurance itself. That said, sellers can continue to obtain insurance from any qualified insurance provider if they so choose.
“The expansion of the A-to-z Guarantee builds on the substantial investments we continue to make to innovate on our shopping and selling experience,” Amazon says. “We stand behind our customers, sellers, and the hundreds of millions of safe and compliant products offered in our store. With our expanded A-to-z Guarantee, we’re proud to continue providing customers peace of mind every time they shop in our store and to help our sellers increase sales and grow their businesses.”