Arriving at your destination and discovering that you’ve lost your luggage along the way is no fun – even for the most experienced traveler.
Luggage can be lost en route, it can be stolen from the airport baggage carousel, it can fall overboard as it’s being loaded onto the cruise ship, it can even be nabbed from the back of your taxi cab or hotel room. When your bags go missing, it’s important to understand how travel insurance covers lost luggage.
Travel insurance coverage for lost luggage is slightly different depending on whether your bags are permanently lost or temporarily lost.
The airlines have strong limits on what they will pay for lost luggage and it can take days, or even weeks, before an airline will decide that your bag is permanently lost. When your carrier loses your bag, travel insurance picks up the slack. Plus travel insurance coverage for lost luggage follows you everywhere you go on your trip – they’ll even replace the bag itself.
Travel insurance claims for lost luggage have limits placed on them by the traveler’s travel insurance. While every travel insurance plan varies slightly, there are some common limits placed on lost luggage claims. It’s important to understand:
To fully understand your travel insurance coverage limits, be sure to look at your plan and read the section on baggage and the exclusions.
Many travelers carry credit cards with travel benefits and some of those include coverage for lost luggage. Of course, those trip protection benefits will also come with limits similar to that offered by travel insurance plans, but sometimes the coverage a traveler has with their credit card plan is better than the luggage coverage they have with their travel insurance plan.
If you do have to make a claim for a lost bag, it’s a good idea to look at all the coverage you have. You may make a claim first on your credit card travel benefits and then with your travel insurance plan. If you what you lost was valued at more than what you recovered through your credit card plan, a secondary claim on your travel insurance benefits for lost luggage just might make up the difference.
See credit card protection vs. travel insurance for details.
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.