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Compare Travel Insurance Media Room Travel Insurance Luggage cover

 Are your lost or stolen belongings covered?

02 June, 2017 By Hayley Kennedy

A well-known feature of travel insurance is protection for your luggage and personal effects you take with you on your holidays... however it is also one of the most misinterpreted aspects of the policy.

Did You Know?

Leaving your phone behind in a restaurant is often not covered, leaving your bag in the back of a taxi is often not covered, and forgetting a suitcase on the airport conveyer belt is not covered. So when are you covered?!

What Typical Situations Are Covered?

Generally speaking, travel insurance will cover your baggage and personal effects from theft, damage and loss such as;
  • Belongings that are lost, stolen or damaged during your trip, whilst they are accompanying you.
  • Theft of cash, (to a specified limit) you will need a police report for proof of loss.
  • If your luggage is delayed (over a certain number of hours as specified by the insurer) and you need to buy clothes or food, then your travel insurance will reimbursed these expenses (up to an amount specified by the insurer).
  • If your travel documents e.g. passport, credit cards are lost or stolen, any financial loss you incur because of this will be covered by your travel insurance.
  • Luggage and personal effects left in a motor vehicle during daylight hours, your belongings must have been locked in the boot or in a locked storage compartment and forced entry must have been made.

What Typical Situations Are Not Covered?

  • Items left in a hotel room, or hotel luggage room after check out.
  • Items left behind in any aircraft, ship, train, tram, taxi or bus.
  • Jewellerymobile phones, cameras, video cameras, personal computers that are transported in the cargo hold of any aircraft, ship, train, train, tram or bus - take them in your carry on luugage instead.
  • Items unattended in a motor vehicle, unless they were locked in the boot or in a locked storage compartment.
  • If you’re due reimbursement from a transport carrier for the loss of your items, travel insurance will not cover the loss. However, if you’re not reimbursed the full amount, travel insurance will make up the difference (up to an amount specified by the insurer).
  • Items left unattended or unsupervised in a public place.

What Does 'Unattended’ Or ‘Unsupervised’ Mean?

When you leave your luggage and personal effects:

  • With a person you did not know prior to commencing your journey.
  • In a position where it can be taken without your knowledge.
  • At such a distance from you that you are unable to prevent it being taken. Learn more here about unattended items

Watch Out For Depreciation

Normal luggage cover is subject to decpreciation - the lowering of value over time and with wear and tear. So a claim for your stolen four-year-old camera that cost $3000 might only get you back $2000. To avoid depreciation, you can look for high value item travel insurance - an add-on most insurers offer where you can list your expensive items.

Compare Luggage Cover

**Please note, the following table shows the listed insurer's most comprehensive policy - international trips only **

General Advice Warning: The contents of this article were accurate at the time of writing. Insurers change their policies from time to time, so some information may have changed. You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement of your chosen insurer to understand what is covered and what isn't. The information provided is of a general nature only and does not take into account any personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal circumstances. 
Your items are usually defined as: Any personal items owned by you and that you take with you, or buy on your journey and which are designed to be worn or carried about with you. This includes items of clothing, personal jewellery, photographic and video equipment or personal computers, or electrical devices or portable equipment.

How to Make A Successful luggage Claim

  • Report the loss or theft ASAP to the police within 24 hours and get written proof for the insurer.
  • Report the loss or theft ASAP to your transport carrier e.g. bus, airline, train and get written proof for the insurer.
  • Report the loss or theft ASAP to your accommodation provider and get written proof for the insurer.
  • Provide original receipts or photos of items to provide proof of ownership.
  • If you’re claiming for travel delay expenses, you must be able to prove to the insurer that you have done everything reasonable to avoid delay expenses, and in many cases you are going to need to provide written proof of cancelled flights, delays or loss.
  • If you are intoxicated at the time of loss or theft of your belongings, your claim is likely tobe rejected.

Real Life claim Examples That Could Have Been Avoided

Sarah from Melbourne*
“During my last holiday I lost my baggage and spent the remainder of the trip calling my insurer to file a claim. After numerous phone calls and emails I was told that my baggage could not be claimed as it was lost due to my negligence.

Peter from Brisbane*
“At the train station in Barcelona my iPhone was stolen from my bag that I had left with a friend whilst I went to the bathroom. Once I realised the loss, I reported it to the police and made a claim on my insurance, which was declined because I was told my bag was unattended!

James from Jervis Bay*
“My luggage was misdirected while travelling to Hong Kong, and the airline refused to accept it was their fault in writing. Then my travel insurance claim was rejected as I did not have the necessary documentation.

Always read the PDS

It’s important to remember that each uinsurer has a different list of items and situations that are covered, so it pays to shop around and compare different policies. For example some insurers do not cover sporting equipment, musical instruments, jewellery, or cash under a standard policy. Always refer to an insurer’s fine print to see what items and situations they exclude. Reading through customer reviews for travel insurance can also help you understand why claims are accepted or denied. 

Contributor Hayley Kennedy

Hayley Kennedy

Originally from the UK, Hayley took a gap ‘year’ in 2011… and it’s still going! She’s travelled all over the world, volunteering in a Ugandan orphanage, skydiving in Australia, shark diving in South Africa, and skiing in the Alps (and snapping in a ligament in the process!). Certified in Tier 2 General Insurance General Advice and working in travel insurance for over two years, Hayley is a thrillseeker and a storyteller who loves hearing about customers’ holiday plans and sharing her own tips and must-see spots to help get them inspired.


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