Travel Insurance Is Limited for Pricey Luggage

by Erica Lamberg

Forbes Advisor

Friday May 7, 2021

If you prefer and appreciate the quality craftsmanship and designer flair of expensive luggage, it's important to understand the travel insurance limits for baggage. There will be a cap on benefits if your pricey luggage gets lost in the sea of airport baggage or eaten by a conveyor belt.

While there is travel insurance coverage available for baggage, it's important to know that travel insurance is not designed to cover expensive items, says Steven Benna, a spokesperson for Squaremouth, a travel insurance provider. Squaremouth recommends having insurance for expensive items valued above $1,000 through other sources, such as homeowners insurance.

Understanding Baggage Reimbursement Caps and Benefits

"Baggage and personal effects" coverage is the only travel insurance benefit that can insure the value of your items that are lost or damaged during the trip, says Benna.

The maximum coverage per person ranges from $250 to $3,000, he says. Most travel insurance policies also have a per item coverage cap of $50 to $250 (such as one piece of clothing or one suitcase). That would mean a $250 reimbursement for the $14,500 large rigid black suitcase from Fendi.

Most policies also include a "specific items" limit for expensive items such as jewelry, cameras, and electronics, among other things. Benna says this amount typically ranges from $250 to $500 per specific item, but some policies can reimburse between $1,000 and $2,500 for one item.

Because of these coverage limits, baggage insurance is not designed to cover expensive luggage.

"Due to the specific items limit, travelers may not be able to fully insure their expensive luggage," says Benna.

For example, the AIG Travel Guard Deluxe plan has a $2,500 maximum limit for covered baggage damage and loss. Within that are per-item maximum coverage limits, too.

"On the Deluxe plan, this would be $500 for one item, and once this limit has been reached, additional items have a maximum coverage limit of $250," explains Scott Adamski, a spokesperson for AIG Travel.

Here are other examples of travel insurance plans with high baggage limits. Remember that the exact list of "specific items" will be named in the policy, such as jewelry:

  • AXA Assistance USA's Platinum plan: $3,000 per person; $500 per item; $1,000 specific items limit
  • Battleface Travel Medical Single Trip: $2,500 per person; $1,250 per item; $50 deductible
  • Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection LuxuryCare: $2,500 per person; $500 first ite m limit; $250 subsequent items limit; $500 specific items limit
  • John Hancock Insurance Agency Gold plan: $2,500 per person; $250 per item; $2,500 specific items limit
  • Seven Corners RoundTrip Elite: $2,500 per person; $300 per item; $1,000 specific items limit
  • Trawick International Safe Travels Voyager: $2,500 per person; $300 per item; $500 specific items limit
  • USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services Diamond plan: $2,500 per person; $300 per item; $500 specific items limit

    How to File a Luggage Claim

    Contact your travel insurance company as soon as possible if you have a claim. It's mandatory to first file a report for the loss with the police, airline or other relevant local authorities, says Benna. You will also typically be required to provide the original receipts or proof of purchase of the items you want to claim.

    All of this documentation should be sent to your travel insurance provider.

    Don't Forget About Baggage Delay Insurance

    Most policies offer an allowance for baggage that's delayed. This will reimburse you for purchases of essentials such as clothing and toiletries if your baggage is delayed or flown somewhere else by an airline. For example, The AIG Travel Guard Deluxe plan includes a baggage delay benefit of $500 per person if your baggage is delayed for 12 hours or more hours.