When a carrier loses your bags on a trip, it can be more than just an inconvenience — those bags may have been carrying hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars worth of goods. Fortunately, lost luggage reimbursement is a relatively common benefit, but coverage amounts can vary.
What is lost luggage reimbursement?
Lost luggage reimbursement compensates you if your baggage and its contents are lost, stolen or damaged permanently. It’s different from baggage delay reimbursement, which compensates you for essential purchases while a carrier has temporarily lost your luggage.
What expenses does lost luggage reimbursement cover?
This insurance covers your checked and carry-on baggage, as well as the personal property within.
Here are common items lost luggage reimbursement might compensate you for. Expense eligibility may vary by provider. If you’re not sure, check your card’s guide to benefits or call your provider.
Examples of what may be covered
Examples of what may not be covered
How lost luggage reimbursement works
Travel-insurance providers usually offer lost luggage reimbursement. However, you can get the benefit at no cost with some travel credit cards. Check your card’s guide to benefits to see if your baggage is also covered against damage in addition to loss and theft.
It applies to travel on common carriers. The definition of “common carrier” may vary by provider. It usually refers to public transportation that requires a paid ticket, such as airplanes, cruise ships and trains.
You need to use your credit card to pay for your travel fare. Some providers require you to put only a portion of your fare on your card; others require you to put your entire fare on your card.
There is a limit to your coverage. The maximum benefit is usually $1,000 per covered person on each eligible trip. Some providers may set a per-trip maximum.
Typical luggage reimbursement coverage by major credit card providers
Visa Eligible Visa cards will reimburse you up to $1,000 per person per trip.
Mastercard Eligible Mastercards will reimburse you up to $1,000.
American Express Eligible Amex cards will reimburse you up to $500 per person per trip.
Compare credit cards with lost luggage reimbursement
How can I use lost luggage reimbursement?
You may be required to contact your benefit administrator within a certain time after loss of your baggage. You’ll also need to submit your claim within a certain time. Look for these due dates in your card’s guide to benefits.
Report your lost baggage to your carrier immediately. Visit your carrier’s baggage reclaim or customer service desk. Get a copy of your loss report, as you may need it for your lost luggage claim.
Contact your benefit administrator. You’ll find the contact information in your card’s guide to benefits. A representative will give you next steps. In some cases, you should simply submit a claim without calling. You may be able to submit your claim online at the website listed in your card’s guide to benefits.
Submit your claim. Include a copy of the lost luggage report you received from your carrier, as well as other required documents such as your travel fare receipt or checked baggage receipt.
Wait for contact from your benefit administrator. You may need to complete additional documents, such as a Proof of Loss. Or you won’t need to submit more information, and your benefit administrator will contact you only after it approves or denies your claim.
Who gets to use lost luggage reimbursement?
Lost luggage reimbursement is usually available to you and your immediate family members.
Immediate family members might include your:
Spouse or domestic partner.
Children or stepchildren.
Legal guardians or wards.
Siblings or siblings-in-law.
Parents or parents-in-law.
Grandparents or grandchildren.
Aunts or uncles.
Nieces or nephews.
If you have a business credit card, the employees of that business may receive lost luggage reimbursement too.
It’s incredibly frustrating when your baggage is lost, stolen or damaged. But if you’ve paid for your trip with the right credit card, you can receive compensation for your trouble.
Other credit cards may offer different types of travel insurance. You can compare them here.
Frequently asked questions
Coverage could include travel accident, trip delay, trip cancellation and cancellation insurance, plus more protections. If you ever rent cars, you’ll like that many cards offer auto rental collision damage waivers.
This depends on the provider and on the specific card you are carrying. Check your card’s policy of benefits to find out.
Your provider will include the guide when it mails your card to you. Also, look for it in your online card account.
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