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Baggage or Personal Effects Insurance
All travelers should consider what they are packing for a trip and be very careful about it. It is vitally important not to leave some of the documents and necessities behind as these things may interfere with your travel plans. Some travelers prefer to travel light. In many cases it is quite reasonable. However, others cannot afford light baggage and have to take along electronic, computers, or photographic equipment. Think about the effects lost, stolen or delayed baggage can have on your trip. Business travelers packing materials or equipment required for their business or negotiations should consider the effects of delayed baggage on their business too. Such valuable items as jewelry and cash may be excluded from travel insurance policies, so it may be a good idea to refrain from transporting costly assets.
Consider the unlucky event when your baggage disappears somewhere on your tour, or you lose your passport in a foreign country and face the necessity of getting a temporary document having no money. A situation of a disastrous sort, isn't it? Mind that airlines offer only limited protection for your baggage and won't cover your carry-on. Cruise lines and hotels provide little to no coverage. Baggage or Personal Effects Insurance is what will help you in such a situation. 24-hour Baggage Insurance is very important if you want to receive help should your baggage and personal possessions be lost or damaged somewhere on your trip.
The term "baggage" stands for the personal belongings contained in a suitcase, bag, trunk or any other container one carries along during travel for personal use. The replacement cost of some valuable items like jewelry, eyewear, electronics and cameras is limited. Therefore, make sure these assets are scheduled on your insurance policy before you take them on a trip. For a business traveler it is important to know that pieces of samples or dealers stock do not belong to items of personal use and are not usually covered under Baggage or Personal Effects Insurance policy. Any baggage that is not accompanying the traveler is excluded from the Baggage Policy and should be insured under a separate transit policy.
Baggage and Personal Effects coverage is necessary if you are planning a long trip with several stops on your itinerary. You will need Baggage and Personal Effects Insurance to cover costs which relate to lost, stolen or damaged baggage, personal effects, credit cards, passports, and/or travel documents during your trip. Baggage Insurance is an integrated part of most comprehensive policies.
Before adding Baggage Insurance coverage to your Travel Insurance package, check out the limits of coverage under your standard Homeowner's Insurance policy as it may cover you for Personal Effects. Homeowners Insurance may be cheaper, and what is important, it extends your coverage for after your trip as well. However, Traveler's Baggage Insurance may cover the items excluded from your Homeowners' policy. Thus, it is necessary to compare the policies and determine the areas lacking coverage.
The value of baggage items insured includes the present day market value of the goods, which means the cost at which it is possible to replace them. This is the maximum compensation the insurance company will pay you in the event of total loss. Before you purchase an insurance policy protecting your baggage, make a research into the different forms of Baggage Insurance coverage available on the insurance market. Take into account the type of your planned travel, mode of travel (air, rail or road), type of your baggage (personal or business), and other aspects.
If it's a domestic travel, Baggage Insurance provides protection against loss or damage caused to your baggage due to some unforeseen accidents, such as fire, theft, strike, terrorist activity or some other incident during your travel. Depending on the mode of travel, your destination and the value of your baggage, you should choose the most suitable option offered on the travel insurance market. Mind that if the coverage is restricted to inland travel only, any loss or damage to the baggage within the city of your permanent residence will not be covered, since the travel starts only after the departure from the station. Some insurers may extend the coverage to a group of other countries.
If you are planning an overseas travel, you are most likely to prefer a package policy covering Baggage Insurance along with the medical insurance and personal liability coverage. The benefits of such policies fall into three types:
-The policy offers coverage in case of a total loss of checked baggage with any carrier. If your baggage is lost during the transit, the amount of loss should be compensated by the insurer.
-If your checked baggage was delayed en route, usually for over 24 hours, you will be paid a fixed amount to compensate the emergency purchase of the items for personal use to replace the ones delayed.
-You can also receive coverage for the loss of Passport and get a compensation for the expenses you will incur when obtaining an alternative travel document. However, confiscation of Passport or baggage by any legal authority (Police, Customs, Immigration Department etc.) does not belong to insured events.
Before purchasing any policy, consider your needs, situation and budget, and remember that loss of baggage ought to be reported to the Police within 24 hours of the discovery of loss. It is necessary to obtain an official report, which will enable you to get the reimbursement from the insurance company.
Remember that you should take special care of such important items as cash, bills of exchange etc, as they won't be covered by the Baggage Insurance. Jewelry and precious stones, fur, watch and similar valuables are often excluded from coverage. However, some insurers may cover them on specific declarations accompanied by additional premium charges.
Along with a list of situations Baggage Insurance will be most helpful to you, it is as much important to know what Baggage Insurance does not cover. You should be aware that there are certain events in which you cannot count on any reimbursement. For example, if an event occurred out of the insured person's negligence, when he/she left the baggage unattended, Baggage Insurance won't provide coverage. Then, loss or theft of valuables from an unattended car is not covered either, and if you have your rental car broken into, you get no compensation. Also, Baggage Insurance will be of no assistance in case the insured person entrusted their property to a third party; or the lost item has been loaned, hired or entrusted to the insured person; if a person has not reported loss or theft to the Police within 24 hours of discovery; if loss or damage has been caused by delay, wear and tear, atmospheric conditions, or mechanical derangement. If loss or damage has been caused by spilled fluid from some beverage or cosmetic product in the insured person's baggage, it is not considered an insured event either. Food and beverages are also normally excluded.
There should be no contradictory information related to the claim attempting to effect the insurer's decision. Otherwise, you will be deprived of the benefits your policy provides. In case the items lost are covered by Homeowners Insurance, the coverage under the Baggage policy will be paid after receipt of compensation of the Homeowners Insurance. Carefully read the fine print to be aware of all the nuances of your policy. Clarify the obscure parts with your agent.
If you realize that you have lost your luggage, you must tell the airline staff about it. Some airlines will give you funds to buy clothes if your luggage is temporarily lost over 24 hours. The sum you will be provided with usually depends on the class of your ticket. In case your luggage is lost irretrievably, travel insurance will compensate your loss. IATA (International Air Transport Association) recommends payment of $US20 per kg of luggage. The sum your insurance company will pay you depends on the level of your coverage. A typical economy traveler will receive an average of $US400 for their lost luggage.
There are certain measures you can undertake in order to try and prevent your luggage from being lost. For example, it is necessary to label your luggage inside and outside. To make your suitcases easily recognizable, you are recommended to have some individual markings on them. It is a good idea to keep a copy of your itinerary in your suitcase. This way there is a good chance that your luggage will be forwarded to your next destination when it is found. Always have a spare set of clothes, all your necessities, money and valuables in your hand luggage and not with all your other things you ship in checked-in baggage and will need only when you reach your destination. Having a list of contents for insurance purposes and keeping a copy of your travel policy together with emergency numbers in your handbag or wallet can be very helpful.