Amazon has announced a new policy to pay customers directly for claims of property damage or personal injury under $1,000 caused by defective products. The new policy begins on September 1st and will apply to all products sold on Amazon.com regardless of who sells them.
Previously, if you wanted to file a similar type of claim, you had to work with the seller — which has raised questions of who’s really at fault for defective problems sold on the platform. But when this policy kicks in, Amazon customer service will help facilitate claims between a customer, the seller, and the seller’s insurance provider.
The $1,000 figure accounts for “more than 80 percent of cases,” according to Amazon. The company won’t ask sellers for reimbursement for these payouts, though Amazon says it will keep sellers “informed at every step.” And in some situations, the company could pay more; Amazon “may step in to pay claims for higher amounts if the seller is unresponsive or rejects a claim we believe to be valid,” it says.
Amazon is also announcing the Amazon Insurance Accelerator, a new initiative to help sellers get product liability insurance, which is required to sell on the platform. Sellers don’t have to use a provider in the Accelerator, but the resource could be a helpful tool for those shopping for insurance.