Forbes, Feb 10, 2021 – Do Travel Insurance Benefits Vary For Carry-On Vs. Checked Luggage?

Forbes, Feb 10, 2021 – Do Travel Insurance Benefits Vary For Carry-On Vs. Checked Luggage?

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Experienced travelers know that traveling by carry-on saves time, money and, most importantly, potential travel hassles.

While carrying on bags is more convenient, the rules for travel insurance coverage for checked luggage and carry-ons are the same.

Reimbursement for lost and damaged baggage, and delayed baggage, is commonly available from travel insurance plans. Baggage insurance in general includes two separate benefits:

  • Lost, stolen and damaged baggage
  • Baggage delay

Baggage delay: “Policies differ among travel insurance providers but, in general, baggage delay is typically covered when caused by a common carrier delaying your baggage, and plans have a window of time your luggage must be delayed before coverage kicks in,” explains Carol Mueller, a spokesperson for Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection.

Lost, stolen and damaged baggage: Travel insurance coverage for lost, stolen or damaged luggage covers your entire trip, not just when your bags are with an airline. This includes your hotel room and rental cars. “For example, if your luggage is stolen out of your rental car while on vacation, you may be eligible for coverage,” says Mueller.

If you do check luggage, it’s important not to pack important items like passports, medicine, keys, cameras, phones, computers, devices and jewelry in case they don’t make the journey with you. Instead, put them in your carry-on.

Do You Need to Buy Extra Baggage Insurance?

Carrying on your bags means there’s much less likelihood of a lost or damaged bag, so you don’t need to place priority on ample baggage insurance, points out Megan Moncrief, a spokesperson for Squaremouth, a travel insurance provider.

She says that baggage coverage is a relatively small benefit in a comprehensive insurance policy compared to the trip cancellation and medical benefits. “Typically, they are not a huge premium driver,” Moncrief says. “Travelers may look at these benefits when deciding between policies, but we typically don’t see this as the main reason someone is buying insurance.”

But we can’t always pack lightly, and on long and international trips you may be checking multiple bags. The decision on whether to buy extra baggage coverage depends on how much you stand to lose if your baggage is lost or damaged.

For example, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection provides up to $2,500 in baggage and personal effects coverage in its LuxuryCare plan.

“Consumers should read their travel insurance policy carefully and make certain they understand the level of baggage benefits their plan includes,” says Mueller. If you’re uncertain about how much coverage you need, talk to your travel insurance agent for assistance.

Read the full Forbes article online here: