Lose your luggage but don’t lose your cool

By: Keith Mcgregor
These are not good odds and none of us can safely say these daysthat it won’t happen to me and most of us will know of someone who hashad this happen to them. Losing a bag can be a distressing experience,made worse by the generally poor customer service at some airport’slost luggage counters and, if it happens on the outward journey, whatdo you do? Do you make do with the clothing you have in the hope thatthe luggage will arrive or buy replacements? Tough decision to make andis all very stressful at a time when you should be enjoying yourholiday? There is no magic wand to wave here but you can help yourselfby being adequately protected by having travel insurance cover in place before you go.

What travel insuranceshould provide in these circumstances is an allowance, usually based oneach 24 hours the luggage is delayed, for you to buy essentialreplacement items, such as clothing and toiletries, for you to surviveuntil your bags arrive.

There will be an upper limit to this dailyallowance and your travel insurancecompany will be looking for receipts for these items to accompany anyclaim you make. This still requires you to pay first and claim backlater but at least it means you won’t be too much out of pocket. Doremember to obtain what the airlines call a ‘Property IrregularityReport’ from the Lost Luggage Section at the airport at the time yourbags go missing. You will need to send this to your travel insurancecompany to substantiate your claim and they will also be looking forproof of when the bags were returned to you, so a signed and datedreceipt will also be expected. If you don’t have these, then it is verypossible that the insurers will not pay your claim. If your bags become‘irretrievably’ lost, then the insurance company will need a letterfrom the airline confirming this and you will then be able to claim forall the lost items under the Lost Baggage Section of your policy.

But as the title suggests, remain calm and keep your cool in thesesituations, get the required paperwork, know what you can claim for andget on with your holiday. After all, ‘worse things happen at sea’ asthey say, but that I suppose not what you want to hear if youcontemplating going on a cruise!

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