How Does Baggage Coverage Work? (2023 Guide)

One of the most important considerations when traveling is whether to buy a travel insurance policy to protect your investment in your trip.

When it comes to the individual travel insurance policy and its coverage, the decision involves things such as cancellation and medical coverage, as well as baggage coverage.

Any delayed luggage or baggage loss or theft would not be covered on your travels without baggage coverage. Without it, you would not receive reimbursement to replace any essential items you packed — or your bag(s).

In this article, we delve into how baggage insurance coverage works, why it is important and how you can secure the most comprehensive travel insurance with great baggage coverage.

What Is Baggage Insurance?

Baggage insurance, otherwise known as luggage insurance, pays for your travel bags in case something happens to them while you’re on a trip. There are two types of baggage insurance — baggage loss coverage and baggage delay coverage.

  • Loss of baggage: The cost of your baggage is covered if it’s lost, stolen or damaged during your trip.
  • Delayed baggage: You’ll get reimbursed if your bags are delayed during transit because of an issue with your airline, cruise line or transport provider.

With insurance, the items you carry in your bags are covered up to a pre-specified limit if you want to make a claim with your travel insurance. This limit may vary among different travel policies. It can also vary based on the personal items you travel with. If you go on a trip with valuable items, you may want to take out a policy with a high coverage maximum.

Types of Baggage Insurance Coverage

Baggage insurance has a variety of elements to its protection — something to understand before you buy a travel policy. Insurance companies and their various policies have different payout amounts and maximum coverage limits. These are things to consider when you line up your travel protection.

Individual Item Limits

Individual item limits refer to the maximum coverage you have for one specific item you travel with. Examples include clothing, an expensive razor, a special watch, a piece of sports equipment or even just the suitcase itself. If the item is too expensive, the baggage policy may not cover the full cost and you may need special additional coverage.

Total Baggage Limits

Total baggage limits refer to the maximum amount of insurance coverage you have for your luggage, plus all the personal and essential items inside. The dollar amount can be in the thousands of dollars. This is a useful number to know before you finalize your travel insurance package.

Additional Coverage for High-Value Items

You may get more coverage by buying additional coverage for high-value items. It doesn’t matter what the items are. It can be a laptop, cell phone, jewelry or designer items. If you know you’ll travel with something expensive that you fear might get damaged, lost or stolen, you can get a reimbursement up to the amount spelled out in your travel insurance policy.

Benefits of Insuring Baggage

When you’re temporarily packing up your life in a suitcase, you want to ensure everything is adequately protected in case of an incident or unforeseen circumstances. Whether you’re a senior citizen on a solo tour, a middle-aged parent traveling with family or you’re on a cruise or adventure tour, we’ve highlighted the benefits of having baggage insurance.

Peace of Mind

Knowing that travel insurance covers your delayed, lost or stolen luggage means having peace of mind of financial protection.


Having travel insurance with adequate baggage coverage alleviates stress if something happens and makes resolving your baggage issues more convenient.

Financial Protection

If you experience a bag delay or a travel group loses your luggage, you have the financial backing that means no matter the resolution, you won’t lose money. Your insurance will back up anything you declare as valuable. It’s important to know what your baggage insurance covers — and what it doesn’t.

How To Insure Bags

Your travel insurance policy will cover you for delayed, damaged or lost baggage. Depending on the policy and provider, just how much coverage you have will likely differ.

In fact, some credit cards like American Express supply travel insurance coverage through their rewards systems. It’s worth checking in advance with your credit card company to see what coverage you may have. (You must have used that specific credit card to pay for your travel.)

Insuring your baggage is an easy process when gathering your travel plans. We’ve outlined the steps below to show you just how simple it is to get insurance coverage for your luggage.

Research Your Travel Insurance Policy Options

If you want the best travel insurance, your first move is to research the different insurance policies on the market for your kind of trip. You may want comprehensive but affordable coverage with a low amount of coverage for baggage. Or you may want a policy offering more coverage with the option of insuring individual high-value items you may be taking with you.

A range of suitable travel insurance policies are on the market, so ensuring that you’ve done your homework to find one that suits your travel plans the best and will cover your personal items adequately is important.

Choose a Travel Insurance Policy That Is Right for You

Once you’ve researched, select the policy best suited for your trip and needs. While you want to ensure that your insurance adequately covers your bags in case of loss, damage or delay, you don’t want to overlook the other types of coverage your insurance policy offers, including trip cancellation and medical coverage.

Find an adequate balance that suits all your travel and budget needs.

Understand Your Policy Terms

Once you find a good travel insurance policy, look deeper into the details and terms. This is a step that many travelers fail to do, and it can end up costing you money. The terms should detail your maximum limits for individual items and total baggage coverage and the circumstances in which you can file a claim and get compensated accordingly.

Tips for Choosing the Right Baggage Insurance

There are several tips that we feel are particularly important when you’re choosing your travel insurance policy with the best baggage cover:

Consider Exclusions

There are particular factors that may be excluded from your travel insurance policy, so it’s important to know about these in advance. For example, pre-existing medical conditions are a consideration that many will have to be conscious of when choosing their policy as they can be excluded in some cases.

Check The Reputation of an Insurance Provider

You want to ensure that the insurance policy you’re considering purchasing comes from a reputable and credible insurance company. Looking at existing reviews before purchasing a policy will give you a good indication of whether the company is reputable and trustworthy.

Consider The Policy Duration

Particularly when traveling, you want to ensure that your travel insurance policy covers you for the whole duration of your trip. This includes all of the traveling you will be doing to reach and return from your chosen destination, including any layovers that you may have.

Bear in Mind Coverage Limits

With baggage cover in particular, alongside other travel insurance factors, you will have to make sure you’re aware of the total amount of coverage you have for your trip. This might be a baggage limit of $500 or $5,000, but it’s important to be conscious of it.

Consider Deductibles

Deductibles refer to how much you will have to pay if you are to make a claim on your travel insurance before your provider will pay out. So, knowing how much out of pocket you could be is important before purchasing your insurance to make sure you can afford this.

The Bottom Line

Knowing how much your travel insurance plan covers for lost, stolen or damaged baggage is an important element of your pre-travel organization. If you do your research and find an insurer and a policy that fits you and fits your trip, you can travel with confidence that you won’t lose out financially if something happens to your luggage.

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