Insurance Claim Denied for $1000 Spinning Wheel Lost in Mail

A Clinton woman is frustrated with the United States Postal Service (USPS) after her spinning wheel, worth $1,000, was lost in the mail and her insurance claim was denied.

Crafts enthusiast Taylor Chona, who is an avid knitter, funneled her passion for spinning yarn from wool, silk and banana fibers, into refinishing spinning wheels themselves.

Over the years, Chona purchased, refinished and sold several wheels painted with different designs. She found a buyer for her latest work online at, a web forum for knitting, weaving and crochet aficionados.

Her buyer agreed to pay $1,000 for the spinning wheel, plus the cost of shipping and insurance through USPS. A few days after mailing the package, Chona checked the tracking information online and was surprised to see it stopped in Tennessee, short of its destination in New Orleans.

Chona said she called USPS and was informed the package had been lost. She filed an insurance claim but said her claim and subsequent appeal were both denied almost immediately.

"They said I needed to submit more proof of value," Chona said. 

She filed a second appeal, but she said, "It didn’t go anywhere. I waited two to three weeks and nothing happened with the claim."

After NBC Connecticut Responds reached out to the postal service, they reviewed the case and approved her claim for $1,042.

A spokesperson for USPS provided this statement advising those who buy insurance for valuable items they want to mail that, “it is important for the mailers to remember that they must be able to prove the value of the items mailed with appropriate documentation of their value.”

The spinning wheel, featuring Chona's irreplaceable artwork, remains missing, though she said the USPS informed her they are looking for the package. In the meantime, Taylor is moving forward and already started painting her latest design on a new wheel. She told us she might sell when she’s finished, but said, “ I don’t think I’d put it through the mail again. I think I’d sell it locally.”

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