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Does Travel Insurance Cover Lost Baggage?

Young woman wearing hat sits on train platform with train behind her. She's looking at a map with her travel bag on the platform beside her.

Dec. 28, 2018. Lost luggage is a common worry when leaving for a trip. What should you do if your suitcase isn’t at your destination when you arrive? Does travel insurance cover lost luggage? What is the process for getting your belongings back or how can they be replaced without adding stress to your relaxing getaway? There are some important points to keep in mind when planning your next trip.

What to do if your baggage is lost

If you arrive at your destination and find that your luggage hasn’t joined you there, the first thing to take care of is to inform the airline and see what they can do for you. The time you have to make a claim is limited and you need to let them know where to send your bag to once it has been found. Next, notify your insurance provider and make sure you know exactly what is covered by your plan and how it works. Then buy what you need until your suitcase is found, or for the duration of your trip if necessary, but keep the receipts.

Airlines have limits on what they cover

Most airlines will compensate you for essential items while they attempt to locate your luggage and for your luggage once they decide it has been lost. However, there can be strict limits on what is covered and sometimes locating your luggage or declaring it lost can take weeks. There may be items that are not covered, they may require receipts for everything in your bags and it can take months for you to be compensated, and even then, it could be in the form of travel vouchers instead of cash. The best thing is to be prepared and know what is covered, and what isn’t before you travel.

Travel insurance covers lost baggage

The good news is that travel insurance covers lost baggage. It can cover you while your airline looks for your bag and after the airline decides that your luggage will not be recovered. It doesn’t cover everything though so make sure to choose the right plan for you.

Baggage coverage

If your suitcase is never recovered, baggage coverage will compensate you for it and its contents. Not only will it help in the case of an airline losing your baggage, but it will also cover you if it is stolen, lost, or destroyed at any point during your vacation. There may be limits on expensive items such as jewelry, laptops, and cameras; it may be better to claim them on your house insurance or have inclusive policies for these more expensive items that you will travel with.

Baggage delay coverage

If your luggage is delayed, baggage delay coverage will cover essentials until your bag is found. Coverage starts after your suitcase has been missing for a certain number of hours. However, most policies don’t cover this delay when you return home, as there is no need for immediate necessities.

Knowing what to do if your bag goes missing gives you one less thing to stress about when planning your trip. Travel insurance will let you have peace of mind if you don’t need it and help you replace your vacation essentials without ruining your getaway if you do.