Travel Insurance coverage for baggage and personal effects

We all know it’s important to be careful with our belongings when traveling but sometimes the worst still happens. If your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged, your policy may help.

What does travel insurance cover for baggage and personal effects

You’ve been watching your luggage like a hawk and holding onto it like an Indonesian Coconut Crab (the crafty crustaceans have grip strength so strong it can crush bones). But the worst has happened and you’re not sure if you can make a claim.

There may be coverage to claim up to the policy limits if:

  • Your belongings are lost, stolen or accidentally damaged on your trip.
  • Your checked-in baggage, including sporting equipment, is lost, stolen or damaged by your common carrier (coverage is secondary to any reimbursements provided by your common carrier).
  • Your travel visa, driver’s license, birth certificate or passport is stolen or damaged.

Benefit limits apply both for individual items and per policyholder.

What can travel insurance reimburse if your belongings are lost or stolen?

Depending on what happened, you may be reimbursed for:

  • The actual cash value, at the time of loss, of your baggage and personal effects.
  • The cost to repair or replace the items.

We will take wear-and-tear and depreciation into account when processing your claim.

What to do if your baggage or belongings are lost or stolen?

To make a claim, you’ll need a report, receipts, and evidence the items were yours.

  • If your personal effects (including passport and similar documents) are stolen or damaged, you’ll need to get a written report from the local police or other appropriate authority within 24 hours. We know this can be a challenge in a country where you don’t speak the language, but you’ll need this info if you want to make a claim.
  • If the incident happened with your airline or other transportation provider, you’ll need to get a common carrier report. You’ll also need to show us that you tried to seek compensation through that carrier first.
  • You will need receipts to show evidence of the replacement cost.
  • You’ll need to provide evidence of the value and your ownership of the goods to support your claim. What we are looking for is proof that the item was yours. No receipts? Read our what to do if you don’t have the right documentation article.

How quickly you need to notify us of your claim and provide documentation depends on your state of residence. Please read your policy documents for full details. See our how to make a claim article for more info, and if you have any questions, please contact us.

What baggage and personal effects are not covered by travel insurance?

Travel insurance isn’t designed to cover everything. Be sure to read the policy wording, which explains in detail the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions of coverage.

At no time for any reason should you leave your bags or any personal items unsupervised anywhere (aside from locked in your hotel room). This includes leaving belongings unattended on the beach, in a café while you go get a coffee or in the lobby of the hotel.

Your belongings are not covered at all if they’re:

  • Left in an unattended vehicle, even if it is locked.
  • Shipped as freight.
  • Confiscated by a governmental body, such as border control or customs.

Also, certain items are excluded from coverage. These include but are not limited to:

  • Antiques and collector’s items, tickets, musical instruments, keys and cash;
  • Eye glasses, sunglasses or contact lenses;
  • Credit cards, stamps, securities and documents;
  • Professional or occupational equipment or property, including electronic business equipment;
  • Sporting equipment if loss or damage is incurred during their use.

If you have any questions, or are not sure if something is covered, please feel free to contact us. 

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