Cover for luggage and personal effects is often misunderstood in regards to travel insurance cover. Aussie travellers need to be made aware of situations when they might not be covered. For example, leaving your phone in the back of a taxi while on holiday is not covered, because insurers class this as unattended.
Insurance comparison site compareinsurance.com.au explains when you’re covered, and when you’re not:
So when are your belongings covered when you go on holiday?
- Anything you take on holiday with you, which you have on your person, which is lost, stolen or damage is covered.
- Any cash that is stolen is covered, as long as you have a police report.
- If your belongings are delayed, your travel insurance will reimburse any new clothes, food, or even accommodation you might need to buy while you’re waiting for your bags to arrive.
- Travel insurance also covers any additional costs you incur if your passport or credit cards are lost or stolen.
- Perhaps you’ll be renting a car on your trip? Anything you leave in a locked car, in the boot, or glove compartment that is stolen is covered.
And when are your belongings not covered?
- If you check out of your hotel and leave your luggage in the storage room you won’t be covered.
- If you leave something behind by mistake in the back of a taxi, on a bus, or in the back pocket on a plane, your item won’t be covered as you left it ‘unattended’.
- Often items lost, damaged or stolen from a cargo hold are not covered. If you’re taking an expensive camera or laptop with you, always have this in your hand luggage, not checked in the hold.
- If you leave something in your rental car – but its left in plain view, not locked in the boot, you won’t be covered.
- Anything you a. leave out of your reach b. leave unattended c. leave with someone you’ve just met will not be covered as your are exposing the item to a high risk of being stolen.
- Anything you lose when you are under the influence of alcohol, or illegal drugs will not be covered under travel insurance.
Make sure your claim is approved by:
- Reporting your loss to the police, transport carrier or accommodation, within 24 hours, and written proof.
- Make sure you can prove you own the item by providing receipts, bank statements, or photos.
- Get written proof of any cancelled flights, road closures etc that may affect your journey.
Some advice to follow when you travel:
- Always lock your items away if there is the option to i.e. in a safe or storage luggage facilities.
- Be aware of where your luggage is at all times.
- Be aware of areas that are known for pickpockets.
- Don’t leave your items unattended on the beach.
- Don’t leave your bags with someone you’ve just met.
- Always keep expensive items in your hand luggage – do not check them into the hold.
Luggage benefits aside, travel insurance importantly covers for medical expenses and trip cancellation that can easily run into tens of thousands of dollars.
If illness or weather alter your travel plans you could see your holiday end in financial ruin. Each insurer in Australia is underwritten by a different underwriter, which means they will all have different situations which they do and don’t cover. Always refer to an insurer’s Product Disclosure statement to see what items, and situations they exclude.
To compare insurance go to compareinsurance.com.au to compare, review and save on all kinds of insurance.