One of the most annoying and inconvenient things about travelling is the unfortunate situation where your luggage becomes lost in transitmeaning that you only have the clothes on your back and a few things in your carry-on luggage.

While this is one of the biggest bugbears for travellers, there are some instances where travel insurance for your luggage and personal effects can help out.

Here is what you need to know about your luggage when you travelespecially if it goes missing.

What is luggage and personal effects?

The Worldcare Travel Insurance Product Disclosure Statement defines luggage and personal effects as your ‘suitcases, trunks and similar containers (including their contents) and articles worn or carried by you, and sporting equipment’.

What is luggage insurance?

Luggage insurance is a benefit provided with our Essentials, Comprehensive, Multi-Trip and Domestic plans, which provides cover over the loss or damage of your luggage and personal effects as defined above. Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply; refer to Luggage, Personal Effects & Valuables in the Product Disclosure Statement.

Why should I buy luggage insurance?

You should consider buying travel insurance with a luggage component if you are concerned about the loss or delay of your luggage and wish to cover the replacement and/or delay costs.

What are the benefits of luggage insurance and what does it cover?

If your luggage suffers the unfortunate event of being accidentally damaged, stolen or permanently lost and never to be seen again, your travel insurer will likely cover the lesser of one of the following:

  • the depreciated value, taking into consideration age, wear and tear;
  • the original purchase price;
  • the sum it would cost them to replace the item; or
  • the repair cost.

Check the Product Disclosure statement of your travel insurance policy for the actual coverage details. There will usually be a ‘maximum figure’ payout for any item, often known as an ‘item limit’.

What is baggage delay insurance?

If your luggage is delayed and you needed to buy essential items at your destination, depending on the circumstances, you may be able to claim these items on your travel insurance.

If any items of your luggage and personal effects are delayed, misdirected or misplaced by the carrier for more than 12 hours, and it was necessary for you to purchase essential items of clothing or other personal items, we will reimburse you for the reasonable costs you incur*. However, we will not pay if you are entitled to compensation from the carrier you were travelling on for the relevant amount claimed. 

You will need to make reasonable efforts to obtain written proof from the carrier who was responsible for your luggage and personal effects that they were delayed, misdirected or misplaced.

*Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Please refer to Product Disclosure Statement for full details.

Can I increase the limit on items covered by my travel insurance policy?

Yeswhen buying a comprehensive travel insurance policy, you do have the option of increasing item limits if your items are of a higher value than what might otherwise be covered by your policy*. This might include items such as mobile phones, personal computers, cameras, and jewellery.

*Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Please refer to Product Disclosure Statement for full details.

What if my items are stolen?

You must take all reasonable precautions to safeguard your luggage and personal effects. If you leave your luggage and personal effects unsupervised in a public place, Worldcare Travel Insurance may not pay your claim. This includes forgetting or misplacing items of your luggage and personal effects, leaving them behind or walking away from them.

As an example, the Worldcare Travel Insurance Product Disclosure Statement only covers luggage and personal effects stolen from a motor vehicle during daylight hours - and they must have been left in a concealed storage compartment of a locked motor vehicle, and in the event of theft, forced entry must have been made.

Should I buy baggage insurance for a flight?

If you are concerned about the possibility of the delay or loss of your luggage when flying, you should consider buying a travel insurance policy that includes luggage and personal effects cover.

Should I buy travel insurance that includes baggage for a cruise?

While it’s likely that your luggage will stay within your cabin for the duration of your cruise, there might be instances where it is handled by other parties when boarding and disembarking at different portsand while unlikely, it is possible that your luggage may be delayed or lost as these steps are out of your control. This is where you may want to consider buying a travel insurance policy that covers lost luggage.

Always keep evidence for your claim

It always helps to keep as much documentation as possible for your luggage and belongingsincluding receipts and even photos. If something goes missing, ask for confirmation in writing from the transport provider or hotel that they do not have your items in their possession or lost property area. If your items were stolen, you should report this to the local police or an office of the bus line, airline, shipping line or rail authority you were travelling on when the theft occurred as soon as possible.

How to minimise the likelihood of losing your luggage and belongings

  • Even though it’s usually unlikely, assume that your luggage won’t arrive at the same time as you. Pack extra in your carry-on luggage such as fresh clothes.
  • Watch your stuff like a hawkor have your travelling companion watch it. Never leave anything unattended.
  • Always check the plane, train, automobile or place of accommodation every time before you leave! Stick to a routine so that nothing gets left behind.
  • Document what you’re bringing on your travels. Take photos of your belongings and luggage, including high value items like phones and computers. Store them in your cloud email address so you can access this if required.

Summary

As with any travel insurance policy, check the fine print when it comes to luggage as there might be clauses you may not be aware of.

Most travellers never have any issue with losing their luggage and personal effects on their trips, but you just never know!