Insurance In The Bag
As you make all the careful plans for this summer’s vacation, don’t forget about insurance. Making sure your vacation is properly insured can mean the difference between incredible memories and the trip you’d like to forget.
Airlines typically take responsibility for baggage lost while in transit. But since coverage varies from airline to airline, be sure to check the back of your airline ticket for the details on coverage and how to make a claim.
Scheduled airlines (such as Air Canada) offer up to $750 per passenger for travel within Canada, about $650 US in the States and, for overseas travelers, about $20 per kilogram for checked luggage and $400 for carry-on luggage. Some charter airlines offer as little as $150 per passenger, while others match the coverage provided by scheduled airlines. With scheduled airlines, if you feel you need extra coverage, you can usually top up your insurance at the time of check-in for about 50 cents per $100 of coverage.
Keep in mind, this covers you only while your bags are in transit and only if it’s the airline’s fault. But what if you lose your bags?
- Homeowner’s Insurance – Review your homeowner’s insurance policy – chances are it covers your baggage and belongings. But remember, if you make a claim, you must first pay a deductible – usually about $500. Also remember that every claim affects your claim history and could later result in an increase in your insurance premium.
- Baggage Insurance – Separate baggage insurance is available through your insurance agent. Policies vary widely in price and coverage. Some offer rates for singles and families, some have deductibles, and some “kick in” only after any other policy you may have has compensated you.A quick call to several insurance agencies revealed that baggage insurance generally offers about $1,000 to $2,000 worth of coverage. About $1,500 worth of coverage costs about $3 per day. While this is possibly the most expensive form of baggage insurance, it does cover your belongings no matter how you’re traveling, including by car. But read the fine print and make sure you understand any exclusions or limits in coverage, especially if you’re packing electronics or jewelery.
- Package-tour Insurance – If you’re taking a package tour, ask your travel agent about any special insurance offered. These combined policies could include out-of-province medical, trip cancellation and interruption, flight accident and travel accident insurance in addition to baggage insurance. Depending on the type of policy you select, it may cover lost baggage to a maximum of about $1,000.
Reprinted with permission from WESTWORLD Magazine, Spring 1997.