16 Feb 2016 by Olga Brighton
What’s the total value of your baggage when you travel? You may be surprised at what it adds up to!
If you were planning on saving the cost of getting cover for your baggage when you take your next trip, think again. Even if you travel light and don’t take designer clothes, or your best jewellery, you would be surprised what the cost of replacing your luggage might be. By the time you’ve costed up your clothes, passport, iPhone, laptop, Kindle, you will be running into hundreds of pound. It pays to tot up your items before you travel, or you could be in for a nasty shock if anything gets lost or stolen and you can almost certainly add baggage cover to your travel insurance for a fraction of the cost.
Baggage cover travel insurance is an important element of your travel policy. Whether travelling light with just hand luggage, or utilising your maximum baggage allowance with your new holiday wardrobe, you should ensure that you know the level of cover on your travel insurance policy.
Check that your policy provides cover for most of the total value your travel belongings (and luggage). This sounds obvious – but it may add up to more than you think. This will help you select the right level of baggage cover. Also check if your household contents policy will cover you for some of your baggage or valuable items as - personal items away from home.
Various types of travel insurance cover are available and all policies have their own terms and conditions limits so it is important that you fully understand the conditions in your policy. The policy wording will outline important terms that may affect any claim you may make, such as proof of ownership, specific article limits and your obligations.
Even if you have a large limit on your baggage cover, it is likely that there will be a single article limit imposed within this. This single article limit is the amount that you can claim for each single item, up to the limits shown in your policy.
For example, if your total baggage allowance is £3,000 but you have a single article limit of £300, this means that you cannot claim any more than £300 for an item that may be worth much more that, so be mindful when deciding what to take.
This is the maximum total amount you can claim for items defined as ‘valuables’ unless optional additional cover is purchased for specified items. This may influence what you decide to take with you, such as cameras, laptops, watches, jewellery. Your Travel Insurer might offer optional additional cover for your more expensive specified valuables.
It is likely that the insurer will ask to see evidence that you actually owned the item, and they may wish to see proof of how much you originally paid for it. Of course it may be difficult to keep receipts for every item you have ever bought over a long period of time and some items may have been gifts. Insurers will typically recognise this and may accept other evidence such as credit card bills, photographs and inventories as proof of ownership.
It is a good idea to try and keep receipts for your valuable items, but you could also take the following steps:
Most insurers will require evidence of a loss or theft. You should report theft to the local police. Reporting losses to your tour representative, hotel, or airline carrier is also advisable. Obtain written proof that you have done so, as this will be evidence to help support the claim. If your baggage is lost during transit you should report it at the time to the airline and complete a Property Irregularity Form (this will also help them try to trace your luggage).
Most policies will have an excess which you will have to pay in the event of a claim. You will see this when you are purchasing the policy and it is important to remember that this will be deducted from your claim settlement. For example, if you make a successful claim for £500 but your policy excess is £50, you will be paid £450. The policy may have a different excess for each section so please check this carefully. You may have the opportunity to waive this excess for an additional premium when taking out the policy. This means you pay a little extra but should you need to make a claim, you can claim the whole amount back.
In many cases your home insurance can be extended to cover some or perhaps all of your personal belongings when abroad, so this may be something to look into.
This is what our Globelink policy states under the Claims Evidence section of the policy wording:
We will require (at your own expense) the following evidence where relevant:
We hope that you have found this information to be helpful. If you have any questions relating to travel insurance, please do not hesitate to contact us. Globelink provide a variety of baggage cover levels depending on the policy.