Virtually all of the world’s airlines will have, within their ticket terms and conditions, a section that specifically relates to coverage for luggage lost in transit during your flight or that cannot be located upon arrival at your destination. Before deciding whether this is sufficient to cover the replacement costs of the luggage you are taking, you need to read the small print very carefully, particularly to ensure that you understand what limitations are applicable to the cover, if any. Similarly, these conditions will also give directions as to how and within what timescale any claim should be made, which most airlines will vigorously enforce.
You can of course add to this by taking out a separate policy, which is something that one can only do prior to the travel event. There are a number of ways of achieving this. Most of the major insurance corporations will offer luggage cover of some kind, either as a stand-alone policy or, as is more likely, as an integral part of travel insurance cover. However, there are a number of issues that you will need to consider when arranging cover for your luggage.
Firstly, for general clothing and other everyday items, such as make-up, an insurance company, and indeed the airline conditions, will usually have a maximum cover level irrespective of value, which will be paid out irrespective of the real worth of these items. These amounts are usually set at reasonable levels, bearing in mind that not all of these items would be new.
Therefore, where you have items that are of significant value, either for sentimental or because of cost, you need to take more care. If you have receipts for these items the documentation should be kept in a safe place. If not, and they are of monetary value, you could get an independent expert to provide a valuation for you. Furthermore, it would beneficial to have photographs of the items as added evidence. Items of this nature should always be declared to the insurance company and you must be prepared for the fact that they will ask for an additional premium for items within your luggage that have an appreciable value attached to them.
If you have decided to take out lost baggage in addition to that which is offered by the airline within the fare price, again you need to ensure that you understand the small print. For example, it is not unlikely that the payout of any cover given will be reduced by the amount that you are entitled from the airline.
As can be seen, obtaining insurance cover for your luggage is not difficult. The only proviso is to make sure you are totally aware of what the policy actually covers.