What is baggage cover?
Baggage cover is an insurance policy that offers cover if your baggage is lost, damaged or stolen while you’re travelling.
How much baggage cover do I need?
Travel insurance policies usually set a cap on the amount they will pay out for lost or stolen baggage – this is typically between £1,500 and £2,000, but it can be as little as £750 or as much as £4,000.
For most holidaymakers standard baggage cover is sufficient, though many travel policies include a single-item limit on contents of baggage, usually ranging from £200 to £300. This is the maximum that will be paid out for any one item – so if one of your stolen bags contained a camera worth £600, you wouldn’t be able to claim for the full amount.
You can avoid losing out by insuring valuable items separately – simply call your travel insurer and add them as a bolt-on to your policy. There is often an extra charge for this, but it will be worth it if you lose your baggage.
What excess will I have to pay towards a claim?
Like the amount of cover provided, the excess – or the amount you have to pay towards a claim – can vary widely. Some policies require you to pay £50, while others ask for £200. Keep in mind that cheaper travel insurance policies often have a higher excess.
What exclusions are there with baggage insurance?
Like many insurance policies, baggage cover can come with some exclusions that mean you won’t be able to claim. For example, you might not be covered for:
- Cash left in a bag or case that is unattended, for example in the hold of a plane or the trunk of a coach
- Items of baggage that are left unattended
- Items that are in the care of an airline
- Items that are insured separately
- Thefts that are not reported to the police within 24 hours (because you will need a crime reference number)
Can I claim compensation for lost luggage from the airline?
Travel insurance doesn’t generally cover delayed baggage that turns up a few days later. However, if you arrive at your destination before your bag many airlines will cover the cost of related purchases such as toiletries.
You are also entitled to compensation from the airline if your baggage is not recovered after a period of 21 days – although it may be easier to claim on your travel insurance instead. You can find out more in our guide.
What if the airline damages my baggage?
When you pick up your luggage, check it over for damage and report any problems before leaving the baggage claim area. This is important, as if you don’t report the damage at the time, your claim could be refused.
You will also need the airport paperwork to make a claim through your travel insurance policy.
How can I avoid losing my baggage or belongings when I travel?
The following tips can help you look after your baggage while you’re travelling and reduce the chances of you needing to claim on your insurance policy:
- Look after your high-value items: always carry them with you, for example in your hand luggage, and do not leave your bags unattended. Better still, if you can, leave them at home
- Use a padlock on your suitcase: this will help discourage opportunistic thieves
- Use a colourful luggage strap: this makes your bag easier to identity, and more difficult for other people to open it
- Make sure all of your bags are clearly labelled: add your name, address and mobile contact number
- Split your clothes: if you are travelling with a close companion, split your clothes between two suitcases so you have at least some things to wear if your bag goes missing
Compare cheap baggage cover travel insurance policies
Comparing travel insurance quotes with MoneySuperMarket is the easiest way to find a better policy for your holiday with all the cover you need, including baggage, medical and personal possessions cover. Just tell us about yourself, where you’re going and for how long, and we’ll put a list of quotes together tailored to your exact requirements.
You’ll be able to compare policies by the cost of cover, the level of cover you’ll get, the excess you have to pay to claim and any extras included. Once you’ve found the right quote, click through to the provider to finalise your purchase.
Keep in mind that the cheapest available quote won’t necessarily be the best for you – we recommend you look for a balance between cost and cover.