Is baggage insurance a must?

Is baggage insurance a must?

Should you insure your luggage before going on a trip? Here’s SSQ’s verdict.

According to SITA, the multinational company that provides IT and telecommunications services to the air transport industry, 2,000 items of luggage are lost every day.

With figures like these, it’s not surprising that many globetrotters choose to protect themselves with an insurance policy.

But where do you start? SSQ sheds light on an insurance product that, if you’ve ever lost a suitcase, you won’t want to take a trip without.

Maybe your luggage is already covered …

… for theft under your home insurance?

Your home insurance policy covers your personal belongings against theft, whether they’re in or outside your home.

However, your policy has maximum coverage amounts for items, such as computers, iPads, cameras and jewellery. So, read your insurance policy carefully to check the insurance amount and maximum claim limits for these items.

Before your trip, be sure to check with your insurer whether your luggage and contents are insured and for what amount.

… by your credit card or group insurance plan?

Some credit cards and group insurance plans cover baggage in the event of theft, damage or delay.

However, the coverage may not protect you for your entire trip and the maximum claim limit for all items may not be enough.

Do you need baggage insurance?

Baggage insurance is advisable if your personal belongings are not covered by your home insurance, credit card or group insurance policy, or if the coverage provided is insufficient.

Be aware that baggage insurance is often sold as optional coverage to travel insurance and rarely as a separate product.

Baggage insurance is very customizable. Before requesting a quote, ask yourself what you really want to insure, to make it easier to compare the offers of several companies.

Which items are covered?

As soon as you leave your province of residence, your bags and personal belongings are insured against:

  • Loss
  • Theft
  • Damage

Delayed baggage is also covered but the delay before claims may be submitted and paid varies from one insurer to the next.

Some insurance companies will reimburse the costs of having to replace a passport, visa or a driver’s licence while on a trip.

The coverage amount also varies. Sometimes the amount is for a total maximum, sometimes a percentage per category of article, such as clothes, electronic devices, etc.

If the items you want to take with you don’t fall into a specific category, check with your insurer to make sure they’re covered under your baggage insurance policy.

What is not covered?

All baggage insurance policies include a list of exclusions that are not covered when lost, stolen, damaged or delayed.

Be sure to find out which items are excluded because different insurance companies exclude different items.

You have your responsibilities too

It’s not because you have baggage insurance that you’ll be automatically reimbursed if your bags or their contents are stolen or damaged.

Insurance companies will not pay claims for stolen bags or personal belongings that have been left unattended or in an unlocked vehicle, or if they were damaged because of your carelessness or negligence.

How do I claim?

As soon as an incident involving your luggage occurs while travelling abroad, call your insurance company.

Their service representative will tell you how to proceed, depending on your situation.

Supporting evidence

Keep all documents that can serve as proof and that you must submit to your insurer with your claim, such as:

  • A police report in the event of theft
  • Receipts of clothes and essential items purchased
  • Photographs, if your luggage was damaged during transit
  • A Property Irregularity Report (for lost or delayed luggage)
  • Etc.

These essential documents will make processing your claim much easier.

What about the deductible?

Most baggage insurance contracts do not have a deductible.

However, be sure to check this when you’re buying insurance to avoid unpleasant surprises.

*Exclusions and limitations may apply. Please contact your insurance company for more information on your policy.

Article produced in collaboration with:
TravelInsuranceCompare.ca