I’ve ordered a lot of expensive things online (probably every major purchase except houses and cars…) and have never had a problem with delivery. Well, scratch that. I’ve had plenty of problems, but I’ve never had an issue that hasn’t been corrected by the shipping company or the company I’ve bought the item from. I’ve even been contacted by both before an item has even arrived to let me know it was potentially damaged and to reassure me they would take care of it.
I’m sure it’s a good idea to photograph the opening and all that, because it doesn’t really require much of you, but I don’t think you’re screwed if you don’t. First and foremost, signing for an item doesn’t negate your ability to file a claim for damaged goods - it negates your ability to claim a package never arrived.
Photos are good, but if your item is broken you need to keep all of your packaging. Some shipping companies want to inspect the remnants of shipping materials and item before paying. So, dont throw anything out, including broken fragments and glass. If it’s broken when you open it, just put it all back in the box until it’s resolved.
But mostly, glowforge is expecting some stuff will break, and they’ve budgeted for it. The shipping company is expecting stuff will break, or be lost, and they’ve budgeted for it. In my experience, dealing with the selling company is way easier than dealing with the shipping company, so if something is wrong I’d contact glowforge and they will file a claim, if they’re so inclined, with the shipping company.
It will really suck if something arrives broken or not working, but I don’t think glowforge will say ‘tough luck, you’re on your own’. I think, from my experience, the more frustrating situation is when something doesn’t arrive at all, as you’re left waiting for the shipper to try and locate it, and that can sometimes take weeks and weeks. But even in that situation, I’m sure glowforge will make it so you aren’t $2-5k poorer with no laser forever.
I nearly forgot to add that insurance is for the party shipping the item, not the recipient. If the laser you get is ruined by the shipping company, the shipping company will pay glowforge, who will either refund you or replace the item. I’m not even sure the recipient of a package can even file an insurance claim; I think it has to be the sender. But that might not be right.
But that’s just for US. I’m sure lasers confiscated and destroyed by customs, for example, might be a totally different situation.