Baggage delay coverage is included in many trip cancellation insurance plans. Whether you're traveling away from home for business or pleasure, it is possible that your checked bags may not arrive with you at your final destination. Too often, airlines put checked luggage on the wrong plane and it's sent to the wrong destination. If you have a tight connection to your catch your next plane your bags might not even make it to your next flight. In such cases your bags could arrive on the following flight, and if you're traveling internationally that could be the next day! Baggage delay coverage is to help you replace necessary essential items while you wait for your bags to arrive.
Coverage through Airline
When your bags are delayed most airlines will not provide you with any monetary compensation. All they might do is help you locate your baggage; once found, some airlines may have your bags delivered to your home, hotel or other lodgings during your trip. Few airlines would provide cash for the inconvenience, it's more likely that you would receive a future travel voucher. Whether a travel voucher will be of use to you, depends upon if you are planning to travel by that airline soon. Even if they do give you some type of reimbursement, they may have a long restrictive list of items for which there would be no reimbursement.
If you discover that your bags are delayed when you arrive at your destination, baggage delay protection will provide reimbursement of reasonable and essential items such as toiletries, clothing, medication, etc. Some travel insurance plans may also provide coverage to buy a cell phone charging cable. In order to be eligible for such benefits, your baggage must be delayed (1) for more than 12 hours or 24 hours, (depends on the policy); and (2) by a common carrier, such as airline, cruise ship, bus or train, while traveling on a covered trip. Such baggage delay insurance reimbursement is meant to help you get through the next day or two without your belongings until your bags arrive. It is not meant to replace everything in your bag. If your baggage is delayed on a return trip while returning home, there is no coverage. In other words, baggage delay coverage is only for the outward portion of your journey from your original trip departure location.
Baggage delay insurance coverage is considered secondary to any other coverage provided by a common carrier, such as an airline or railway. Therefore, if a common carrier provided you with coverage, travel insurance will deduct the amount accordingly from their coverage benefits.
Each policy has these three limits, (1) per person, (2) per day and (3) per item.
Many items such as contact lenses, hearing aids, eyeglasses, passage or entry tickets, documents, checks, traveler's checks, money, securities, or valuable papers are excluded from any reimbursements. You can get reimbursement only for reasonable essential items. You have to keep the receipts and preferably take pictures of the items you purchase in order to file a valid claim. There is usually a time limit of few weeks to file a claim for baggage delay coverage.
It is very important to purchase travel insurance that includes baggage delay coverage.