Coverage for loss of your baggage and personal effects can be purchased as part of a comprehensive travel insurance plan, or in some cases, with specific travel medical plans and annual memberships. This type of travel insurance coverage provides reimbursement for luggage as well as for any items of yours that are lost or stolen while you're traveling. Baggage and personal effects coverage is typically secondary coverage, which means that it will act to supplement any reimbursements offered by a common carrier (such as an airline that loses your bags) or by your homeowner's insurance.
Typically, travel insurance policies that offer coverage for loss of baggage and/or personal effects will have stated limits on the amount of money to which you'll be entitled if you need to file a claim. There are three types of limits you'll need to look for: the policy limit, which states the total maximum amount of coverage you can receive; the per-item limit, which sets the maximum amount of reimbursement you can seek per individual item; and the specific item limit, which is listed in some policies and makes a clear allowance for the limits on particular special items like laptops and camera equipment.
You'll need to know what type of documentation your travel insurance company requires if you have to file a claim for loss of baggage and/or personal effects. In some cases, to receive reimbursement for higher-value items (generally $150 or more), you may have to provide the original receipt. Since you may not have receipts and detailed records of every item you pack in your luggage, one documentation technique that many travelers find useful is to take photos while packing and provide those pictures of the packed luggage and items to the insurance company along with an itemized list.
Additional Coverage Options
Certain items, such as jewelry, expensive watches, and high-end technology, will likely be worth more than the per-item limits or even the specific item limits of a typical baggage policy. If you must travel with these items, it's generally advisable to contact your homeowner's insurance company to ask about scheduling those items. You can still benefit from the baggage loss coverage on your travel insurance for reimbursement and replacement of the other items you may have lost while traveling, but your homeowner's insurance would then be responsible for settling claims involving your valuables. This arrangement is the best way to be sure you're completely protected in case something happens to your belongings while you're on your trip.