Is baggage insurance worth it?

Find out what baggage insurance means, what it does and doesn’t cover and how it can help you get compensation if your luggage is delayed, lost, stolen or damaged.

Find out what baggage insurance means, what it does and doesn’t cover and how it can help you get compensation if your luggage is delayed, lost, stolen or damaged.

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
minute read
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Posted 30 JANUARY 2020

What is baggage cover?

Baggage cover (also called baggage insurance and luggage insurance) covers you if your bag gets lost, stolen, or damaged. It’s usually included with standard travel insurance, but it’s always a good idea to check that the level of cover suits your needs (and your bags).


International travel is not currently permitted before 17 May 2021 at the earliest (date subject to further confirmation from the government). For single trip and long-stay trips, you won’t be able to get a travel insurance quote if you’re travelling before this date. 

You’re still able to purchase annual multi-trip policies. But if you choose to travel against the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice and current restrictions, you won’t be covered for your trip. 

While the majority of travel insurance providers don’t offer cover if you’re travelling for essential purposes before 17 May 2021, some are now able to offer cover. If you have any queries, you should check the policy wording or contact your chosen provider before you buy. 

Different rules may apply in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and it’s important that you follow all the rules that apply to you. 

For travel advice on your destination, check the FCDO for the latest information. 

Find out more here

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

Our panel includes insurance providers who quote cover for all medical conditions declared on our website, with no exclusions.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPs) has launched a directory of insurance providers on its Money Advice Service website that may be able to provide quotes over the phone, if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at the Money Advice Service or by calling the British Insurance Brokers’ Association on 0370 950 1790.

What if the airline damages my bags?

Your travel insurance should cover this.

If you find that your bag(s) have been damaged as you come to take your them off the carousel, make sure you report the damage before you leave the airport, and fill out any necessary forms. You’ll very likely need that paperwork to make a claim on your policy.

What if my bags are stolen?

Your travel insurance should cover this too.

If your bags are stolen, make sure you report the theft to the police as soon as you’re aware. You’ll need to get a crime reference number from them to complete your claim.

It’s really important you report the theft promptly, as some policies have exclusions if a theft is not reported within a certain time limit.

Is there such a thing as delayed bag compensation?

Yes, but not on your travel insurance. Travel insurance won’t cover delayed bags, but if your bags are temporarily lost by your airline, they may pay to replace items like clothes and toiletries. Check before you leave the airport though, as not all airlines will do this.

Are there situations my luggage insurance won’t cover?

Yes. Most travel policies have exclusions when it comes to dealing with your baggage cover.

For example, if you leave your luggage unattended and something happens to it, you may find your insurance won’t cover it.

This is why you should always take a moment to read through your insurance provider’s policy very carefully.

What amount of coverage can I expect?

Insurance providers usually set a cap on the amount that they will pay out if your baggage is lost, stolen or damaged. This is typically between £750 and £2,000 but does vary. There are some providers who cover up to £4,000 so if you are taking lots of valuables or you paid a lot for designer luggage, then you may want to look for a policy with this kind of top limit.

Be careful of single-item limits though. A single-item limit is the maximum an insurance provider will pay towards any single item. So if you have an expensive piece of kit, like a laptop or a camera, and your bag gets stolen, you might find yourself out of pocket if the limit is set at an amount lower than what your tech is worth.

If you’re travelling with a set of golf clubs for example, or on a business trip with your company laptop, always check carefully what cover is provided.

What does “policy excess” mean on my baggage coverage?

The excess on an insurance policy is the amount that you’ll have to pay per claim for each insured person before the insurance provider will pay out anything towards your claim. On baggage cover this is usually between £50 and £200, but it does vary and can be higher.

When comparing travel cover, there’s always a trade-off to consider between the cost of the insurance cover and the amount of the excess. Often, the greater the excess, the lower the cost of cover may be.

Because of this, be wary of simply buying the cheapest cover – it could well mean a higher excess, which could be more than your baggage is actually worth!

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