Lost Baggage: What Should I Do?

Arriving on holiday and realising that your baggage has been lost is nothing short of a nightmare. As well as losing the necessities you need such as your clothes and toiletries, your luggage might also contain your jewellery, laptops, and other high value items. When you've spent weeks or even months meticulously shopping and packing your case so you'll have everything you need on your trip, it can be upsetting and stressful for even the most chilled out of people to hear that it's all gone missing. Losing valuables is unavoidable sometimes and these things can happen in life, however if you haven't purchased cover for valuables and incur further financial damages it's even more of an issue. This is due to Baggage & Personal Effects Insurance which is part of your Travel Insurance. If the worst has happened and you've been told your luggage has gone missing, what do you do?

Know who to claim losses from
There are two companies you can claim reimbursement from while on a trip abroad: the airline and the insurer. In case the airline lost your baggage, the primary accountable party is the airline, thus making your insurer only secondarily liable. In case your bags cannot be located, approach your airline’s customer service, file a lost baggage, and substantiate your claims. In case you lost your luggage during the trip, the insurance company will be the primary insurer and will be accountable to indemnify your loss. Call them immediately or process your claims online. Most insurers have posted their claims settlement procedures on their website.

Revisit your travel insurance policy
Your travel policy contains comprehensive description of what are covered and those that cannot be covered. More importantly, it indicates the amounts of limits of items that can be reimbursed – it usually specifies the maximum limit of the aggregate pay-out and details of the per item limit. You can also find in the policy the items that are not covered by the plan. There are insurance policies that also provide assistance on locating your lost luggage. Additionally, there are those which provides you with ID cards and debit/credit cards recovery assistance. Check if your plan’s coverage includes this and avail of this service. It’s also essential to have your travel insurance policy accessible as you will need your policy details upon claims payment.

Gather your supporting documents
Most insurer would require the claimant to submit official receipts or credit card statements to support the claims. This can be a challenge for the insured because most people do not keep their receipts specially for small-value item. But it’s also important to consider that insurers are keen to request for these evidences to counter fraudulent and excessive claims and approve only reasonable ones.

Losing your luggage need not ruin your trip. It may cause temporary, inconvenient delays and an overwhelming feeling of loss, but with the right amount of information, a travel insurance policy, and a positive disposition, you can bounce back and still make the most of your travel abroad!

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