Going through the process to be reimbursed for a lost luggage successful insurance claim can be an inconvenience. What's more, even if your insurance company does pay out on the claim, the payment may not be sufficient to cover the cost of replacing your lost property. Often, you may not receive this pay out until much later. Getting reimbursed for lost, stolen or damaged luggage can sometimes seem to be more trouble than it is worth. If you are well-prepared, however, it can be worth your time and money.
Lost Luggage Successful Insurance Claim Filing
1. Immediately report and file a claim for your missing luggage at the airline's luggage claim desk at the airport. Be sure to do this within three or four hours of your loss, because your claim may be denied if you do not file it with the airline carrier promptly. Fill out any claim forms and provide any other documentation required by the airline, such as the bar code for each missing piece of luggage.
2. File a claim with your travel insurance company. Your lost luggage coverage terms will usually include a time limit such as 45 days, within which you must file your claim after your loss. Your insurer may accept a copy of the claim form that you filed with the airline. If not, make sure you obtain the necessary claim forms.
3. Make an itemized list of all the belongings in your lost baggage, along with the value of each item. Make a copy of the baggage handling receipt from the airline. Attach both documents to your claim form and submit them to your insurance company.
4. Make sure to make this submission within the time frame required on your policy, which is usually 90 days from the date that you reported your loss.
How to Help Ensure a Lost Luggage Insurance Claim is Successful
Review Your Lost Luggage Coverage Limits Before you Travel
This is the first and most important step to take to ensure a lost luggage insurance successful insurance claim. Before you set off on your trip, it is essential to evaluate the dollar value of your personal effects and determine whether the lost luggage insurance you have is sufficient to cover that amount. If you are underinsured, you will only be reimbursed a fraction of the actual value of your personal property. Read through the fine print and review any limits or exclusions in coverage.
Most airline carriers provide a standard amount of coverage for your luggage, and will reimburse you up to a particular amount if it is mishandled or goes missing. This coverage, however, is very limited, and is not sufficient to cover expensive personal effects such as jewelry or electronics. When you file a claim, the airline will only reimburse you up to the coverage limit, typically $300 to $6,000, and not a dollar more.
Ensure that you are Not Under-insured
If your luggage and personal effects are worth more than the coverage offered by the airline, there are three other insurance options you can use to bridge the shortfall:
- Purchase a travel insurance policy that includes lost luggage insurance. This is usually available from your travel agent or from airport kiosks. You may also shop and compare different travel insurance companies at InsureMyTrip.com, a leading travel insurance comparison site.
- Consult with your insurance agent to find out if your homeowner's policy provides coverage for your personal property while you are traveling. You can usually increase coverage or add a rider to your policy to cover certain items.
- Call your credit card company and inquire whether your card provides lost luggage coverage. Many cards offer this coverage if you purchase your airline ticket using their card.
Any additional lost luggage coverage you have will be "in excess" of the airline's coverage. This means that, in the event that the airline's coverage does not fully cover the value of your lost luggage, the additional coverage you have through your travel insurance, homeowner's policy or credit card will pay out towards the balance.
Say, for example, your luggage is worth $5,000, and the airline offers $3,000 worth of coverage. The airline will payout up to its maximum coverage limit, and then any additional coverage you have will pay out towards the remaining $2,000.
Purchase from an Established, Reputable Company
If you choose to purchase a travel insurance policy, shop around for a financially stable, reputable travel insurer. Lost luggage insurance coverage is only worth your hard-earned money if the company you purchase it from can, and will, actually pay out your claim. Here are a few companies for you to consider:
- Travel Guard, provided by AIG Insurance
- BETA, an international health and travel insurance
- Travel Insured International
- Access America Travel Insurance
Value of Lost Luggage Insurance
Lost luggage insurance is designed to minimize the risk and potential cost of losing your baggage while traveling. Compared to the cost of replacing expensive luggage and personal belongings, the price of purchasing this insurance can be reasonable. Following the tips in this article can help you minimize the hassle of filing a lost luggage insurance claim, and increase the likelihood of obtaining a successful claim settlement from the airline or your insurer.