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Travel insurance with coverage for lost luggage as well as damaged or stolen baggage is essential to supplement minimal liability coverage offered by airlines. When a traveler’s claim is denied by an international airline, innkeeper or other service provider, travel insurance for lost luggage and stolen baggage can provide compensation for certain covered items with valid receipts, proof of purchase or other documentation of ownership. Travel insurance coverage for lost and stolen luggage protects personal effects and valuables with per-item and per-person claim limits. However, coverage for professional equipment, cameras and other high value items might be excluded with some basic policies, so it’s important to shop around.
Although airlines have sophisticated baggage tracking and locating systems, luggage routinely becomes delayed and lost. Once you arrive at the destination and your baggage does not appear on the carousel, it’s important to immediately go to your carrier’s luggage counter and request a lost baggage report. According to industry regulations established by the Montreal Convention, it’s the responsibility of the carrier who transported you to your final destination to work with connecting carriers to locate and return your luggage as quickly as possible.
To ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for lost, stolen and damaged luggage or items packed in checked baggage, request a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) from your airline within 21 days of the incident. Along with copies of receipts and an official police report, a PIR form from your airline is one of the important things travelers can do to document losses. If your airline denies your claim, travel insurance with baggage coverage may award secondary compensation up to the airline’s maximum limit. The majority of travel insurance plans with baggage coverage offer secondary benefits only after compensation has been award or denied by the liable airline.
In cases where luggage has been stolen due to forced entry or burglary from a secure area, you may have to file an official police report to prove pilferage. When filing a claim for luggage benefits from your travel insurance policy, you will be asked to provide an itemized list along with documentation proving the items’ value and purchase price as well as your ownership. Airlines, hotels, travel insurance companies all have exclusions for coverage of items that have been left unattended in a public or unsecured area. Always keep cash and valuables concealed on your person or in a hotel safe to avoid policy exclusions. Airlines are exempt for any liability related to the loss, damage or theft of professional equipment, camera, laptops and other high value items, so it is imperative to find travel insurance with lost luggage benefits that cover these items.