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Baggage insurance

Is taking out baggage insurance worth it?

Losing your bags or them being stolen on holiday is everyone’s worst nightmare, so make sure your baggage is covered by the right travel insurance policy

By Jessica Bown

Published: 17 September 2020

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What is baggage insurance?

Baggage cover is an insurance policy that offers cover if your baggage is delayed, lost, damaged or stolen while you’re travelling. It’s normally included with standard travel insurance, but it’s always a good idea to check your policy.

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 luggage.

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 insurance 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)

What if the airline damages my baggage?

If you find that your bag has been damaged by your airline, you should be covered by your travel insurance. You must make sure you report the damage before you leave the airport though, or your claim could be refused. You will also need the airport paperwork to make a claim through your travel insurance policy.

Can I claim compensation for lost luggage from the airline?

Travel insurance doesn’t generally cover delayed baggage but if your bags are temporarily lost by your airline, they may pay to replace items like clothes and 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 luggage claim guide.

What if my bags are stolen?

If your bags are stolen, make sure you report the theft to the police as soon as you’re aware. You’ll need to get a crime reference number from them to complete your claim.

It’s really important you report the theft promptly, as some policies have exclusions if a theft is not reported within a certain time limit.

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.

Looking for travel insurance?