There is nothing quite like arriving at your final destination after a day of flights and airport treks only to discover your luggage has been left behind or lost. That reality, which happens all too often, can leave you stranded with little more than the clothes you have on your back, but baggage loss and delay coverage can help.
What Airlines Cover
In most cases, the airline compensation for delayed luggage is extremely limited and may involve little more than locating your lost bag. In fact, most airlines aren’t even required to deliver your bag to you once it has been found; however some will.
Some carriers have established guidelines that provide some monetary compensation in the event that your luggage is lost for emergency purposes, but it is not required and is determined on a carrier by carrier basis. Plus, the designated amount is determined by the length of time it takes the airline to locate your bags. Some airlines only offer reimbursement in the form of future travel vouchers, which isn’t all that helpful when what you really need are clothes and shampoo. And most carriers won’t consider reimbursement until your luggage has been missing at least 24 hours, and each airline typically has an extensive list of items they won’t reimburse for.
What Travel Insurance Covers
Trip insurance or baggage and loss delay coverage is intended to provide for your essentials until your luggage is located and returned to you or reimbursement up to policy limits if your baggage is lost or stolen. Coverage for baggage delays typically begins when your bags have been delayed a certain number of hours, typically between 6 and 24, depending on the plan.
With travel insurance, you will have the ability to purchase some clothing and other necessities to get by until your bags arrive. Securing travel insurance gives you the benefit of:
- Compensation beyond the limited reimbursement or travel vouchers the airline might provide
- The per day dollar amount to secure personal items to use until your luggage is located and delivered
- Peace of mind knowing that you have a plan to fall back on should your luggage get lost and you need to be reimbursed (up to policy limits for baggage and personal effects)
What You Need to Know
It is important to note that baggage delay and loss protection is typically not available in travel medical only plans; however most comprehensive plans include it – the best protection for delayed or lost luggage is a travel insurance package plan.
It is not uncommon to have your luggage lost or delayed when you are flying. Travel insurance with baggage delay and loss coverage insures that even if your luggage is lost that you’ll still have all of the necessities and the reimbursement up to the policy limit. This type of coverage is secondary to provisions made by the airline and is offered less any compensation received from the airline. However, it is still important coverage to ensure your peace of mind when traveling. Just make sure to keep the communications from the airlines about your lost or delayed luggage or police regarding stolen items, which can help to ensure a smooth claims process.