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

While this ‘first world problem’ 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 about your luggage when you travel – especially if it goes missing.

Firstly, what exactly is defined as 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’.

What isn’t defined as luggage and personal effects?

In the Worldcare Travel Insurance Product Disclosure Statement, luggage and personal effects does not mean or include the following:

  • Bicycles
  • Business samples or items that you intend to trade
  • Valuables, snow sport equipment
  • Passport or travel documents
  • Cash
  • Bank notes
  • Currency notes
  • Cheques
  • Negotiable instruments
  • Electronic data
  • Software
  • Intangible assets
  • Watercraft of any type (other than surfboards)
  • Furniture
  • Furnishings
  • Household appliances
  • Hired items or
  • any other item listed as excluded on your Certificate of Insurance.

What is luggage insurance?

In relation to travel insurance policies, luggage insurance provides cover over the loss or damage of your luggage and personal effects as defined above.

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 you purchase an essentials or comprehensive travel insurance plan from Worldcare Travel Insurance, luggage and personal effects is an inclusion with differing cover levels.

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

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 not covered by luggage insurance?

The following is not covered by Worldcare Travel Insurance policies in relation to luggage and personal effects:

  • you do not report the loss, theft or misplacement within 24 hours to the police or an office of the bus line, airline, shipping line or rail authority you were travelling on when the loss, theft or misplacement occurred. You must prove that you made such a report by providing us with a written statement from whoever you reported it to;
  • the loss, theft or damage is to, or of, items left behind in any hotel or motel room after you have checked out, or items left behind in any aircraft, ship, train, tram, taxi or bus;
  • the luggage and personal effects or valuables were being sent unaccompanied by you or under a freight contract
  • the loss or damage arises from any process of cleaning, repair or alteration;
  • the loss or damage arises from ordinary wear and tear, deterioration, atmospheric or weather conditions, insects, rodents or vermin;
  • the luggage and personal effects or valuables were left unsupervised in a public place;
  • the luggage and personal effects or valuables have an electrical or mechanical breakdown;
  • the luggage and personal effects or valuables are fragile, brittle or an electronic component is broken or scratched - unless either:
    • it is the lens of spectacles, binoculars or photographic or video equipment; or
    • the breakage or scratch was caused by a crash involving a vehicle in which you are travelling;
  • you are entitled to be reimbursed by the bus line, airline, shipping line or rail authority you were travelling on when the loss, theft, misplacement or damage occurred. However, if you are not reimbursed the full amount of your claim, we will pay the difference between the amount of your loss and what you were reimbursed, up to the limit of your cover (allowing for depreciation due to age, wear and tear).

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 in our opinion 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.

You must provide written proof from the carrier who was responsible for your luggage and personal effects that they were delayed, misdirected or misplaced.

Can I have other items covered by my travel insurance policy?

Yes – when buying a comprehensive travel insurance policy, you do have the option of purchasing additional cover if your items are of a higher value than what might be covered by your policy. This might include items such as mobile phones, personal computers, cameras, and jewellery.

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 will 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.

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 ports – and 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’s always helps to keep as much documentation as possible for your luggage and belongings – including 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 you items were stolen, you should also report this within 24 hours to the local police.

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 hawk – or 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. As with any claim, the more evidence you have, and if it mentions what is covered in the Product Disclosure Statement, the more likely your claim for luggage will be successful.

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

Worldcare Travel Insurance by Allianz Global Assistance offers Budget Travel Insurance, Essentials Travel Insurance, Comprehensive Travel Insurance and Multi Trip Travel Insurance for your trip overseas, and Domestic Travel Insurance for your trips within Australia. Get a quote from Worldcare today!

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Worldcare Travel Insurance: Worldcare and Allianz Global Assistance are trading names of AWP Australia Pty Ltd ABN 52 097 227 177 AFSL 245631 which issues and manages travel insurance as agent for the insurer Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL 234708. Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. We do not provide any advice on this insurance based on any consideration of your objectives, financial status or needs. Before making a decision please consider the Product Disclosure Statement. If you purchase a policy we receive a commission which is a percentage of your premium - ask us for more details before we provide you with any services on this product.

Worldcare Emergency Home Assistance: Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. See Worldcare Emergency Home Assistance Terms & Conditions for details. Worldcare Emergency Home Assistance is provided by AWP Australia Pty Ltd ABN 52 097 227 177 trading as Allianz Global Assistance.