The holidays are a popular time of year to travel – whether it’s to visit family and friends, relax on the beach, or hit the slopes – but taking a vacation during this time of year often means hauling a lot of extra luggage, such as skis, golf clubs, and holiday gifts. The chance of your luggage getting lost or stolen isn’t high – less than one percent of travelers reported mishandled luggage, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2009 Air Travel Consumer Report. Yet baggage-handling accidents and thefts do happen, which is why it’s important to have the proper insurance in place before your depart for your destination.
Fortunately, if you already have a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy in place, you’re probably covered if your luggage is lost, stolen, or damaged during travel. Most homeowner’s (and renter’s) insurance policies cover any property you own anywhere in the world. While most policies offer protection for your belongings regardless of your location, you may need to purchase additional coverage in the form of a floater or endorsement to your policy if you’re taking valuables, such as jewelry, gifts, or sporting equipment, that may have limited coverage under your policy. If you’re unsure about your policy limits, your Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent can determine if you have the right coverage to protect your luggage and provide you with additional coverage options if needed.
If the worst-case scenario happens and your luggage is lost or damaged, most domestic flights do have a baggage reimbursement limit of $3,300 per person. (The limit varies for international flights based on your destination.) You may need to submit proof, such as receipts, photos, or electronic records, of the current value for the lost items in order to get reimbursed by the airline. It’s also important to remember that the airline will only pay you for the current value of a lost item, not the original price you paid for the item. Many airlines do offer “excess value” protection if your luggage is worth more than the limits, however, you probably don’t need the coverage if your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy covers your bags.
Another important consideration is that most airlines have a list of items they will not cover if lost or stolen, such as money and jewelry. So, if you’re worried about something of high monetary or sentimental value going MIA during a trip, it’s probably best to leave it at home or stow it in your carry-on.
If you’re unsure of what your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy covers, don’t hesitate to contact your Trusted Choice independent insurance agent who will be happy to review your policy and answer any of your questions. Safe travels!