No one wants to be the one with luggage missing, but with a travel insurance plan you will have a back-up plan.

Setting the scene: you arrive at your destination, ready to take on the world. You are stuck at the baggage carousel until the inevitable hits you—your bag isn’t going to appear. So what are your next steps? Report your bag as missing, but then what? Do you know your rights as a traveller and Cover-More travel insurance policyholder?

In theory, carriers who are responsible for delayed or lost luggage should provide compensation for the traveller who was left sans luggage. But it’s increasingly common to find airlines that delay compensation and pay on average NZ$25-50/day which in most cases won’t be enough to cover your immediate expenses for replacing your luggage—even on a short-term basis.

How do you counteract this business practice? First off, be sure to purchase travel insurance that covers delayed baggage. Then use these tips to keep you in the know about your travel insurance coverage and your rights as a policyholder with Cover-More New Zealand.

Document what you packed before you leave

This is more of a safety precaution than anything else, but in the event, your luggage is delayed or lost, it would be helpful to have a list of what you lost so you know exactly what needs replacing; you could even take snapshots with your phone’s camera. It will provide an accurate picture of what you are doing without and as is the case with most claims processes, the more information and documentation you have, the better. Be sure to bring the list with you.

Report the missing bag to Cover-More and to the airport

Before you leave the airport, visit their customer service desk—oftentimes there will be one solely dedicated to helping passengers with misplaced luggage. Ask about the airline’s policy on replacement item expenses and see what they say. If they try to tell you that they can’t provide any compensation for 24 hours, tell them nicely but firmly that they are mistaken and insist on getting the authorization to buy needed items now.

Be sure to be in contact with Cover-More as well. Use their Travel Insurance Emergency Assistance page to find the appropriate contact information and report your delayed or misplaced luggage. A Cover-More representative will be happy to help you navigate the next steps.

Know your provision amount

If a Transport Provider overseas delays your entire luggage for more than 24 hours, there is a provision to claim for the purchase of essential items of clothing and toiletries. Depending on which plan you purchase from Cover-More New Zealand, your provision amount will vary from NZ$500 to NZ$1500. As you navigate replacement purchases, keep this number in mind.

Only get the necessities

In the first 24 hours, it is easy to expect your luggage to never show up. But before you go and buy replacements for everything, consider your provision and what really counts as a necessity. A good list to go off of for the first night and day is a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, a change of clothes, and an accessory appropriate to your destination (heavy coat if it’s cold or a hat if it’s sunny). These are all items that are important for your health and wellbeing.

Keep track of expenses and hold on to receipts

With every purchase for which you expect a reimbursement under the delayed luggage claim, be sure to have copies or records of all the transactions—the more detailed the better. Keep track of your total expenses as you go as well so you are sure not to exceed the provision supplied with your travel insurance policy.

No one wants to be stuck in their destination without the luggage they’ve packed. Know your travel insurance policy, know your provision, keep track of your expenses and buy the necessities. This way, you won’t be stuck without options and without knowing your rights as a passenger and policyholder. Compare travel insurance plans from Cover-More New Zealand to find the plan with the perfect coverage for your holiday.

Image courtesy of Flickr user consumerist dot com; cropped from original