Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Apr 3, 2022

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What is airline baggage delay insurance?

Airline baggage delay insurance is coverage that pays for personal items and other essentials, such as medication, if your baggage is delayed when you travel. Baggage delay insurance is very inexpensive, costing just a few dollars to purchase. The question, is, however, do you actually need baggage delay insurance?

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This is actually a tough question to answer because it really depends on what airline you use to travel. Some airlines offer their own baggage delay protection when you purchase a ticket. Not as a separate policy, but as part of your ticket prices.

How does baggage delay insurance work?

As one option in the many types of travel insurance, f your luggage is delayed for 12 to 24 hours, those airlines will provide you with money for some of the essentials such as soap, a change of clothing, medication that may have been in your bag and so on. They aren’t going to match the clothing items you were carrying, however, so don’t expect them to provide you with an Armani suit for a job interview if your luggage is delayed.

Baggage delay insurance provides exactly the same type of coverage. In most cases, you will have to wait 12 to 24 hours to make a claim. Then you will be provided with the money necessary to get you through until your luggage arrives. If you travel on an airline that doesn’t offer this coverage, then it may be beneficial for you to choose this type of coverage, especially if you are need to speak at an event, go to a job interview, or meet with new clients.

There are other types of baggage insurance that you might want to consider as well. Keep reading to learn what they are and whether they are recommended when you travel.

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What is regular baggage insurance?

Baggage insurance is insurance that is designed to provide you with money to reimburse you for the costs of lost luggage. Every year about 2% of luggage is permanently lost by airlines. While this is a relatively low percentage rate, according to the National Air Traffic Controller Association, there are about 547,500,000 travelers annually in the US alone; 2% of that is 10,950,000. This doesn’t include international travelers either to the US or from the US.

If you are one of the unlucky people who lose their luggage, then luggage insurance can ensure that you get the proper reimbursement for the items that you are traveling with. Now, you may be thinking that airlines cover lost luggage, so you don’t need to worry.

The truth is, the lost baggage coverage offered by the airlines is woefully lacking. Not only is there a long list of times that they don’t cover if lost, they have a maximum payout per bag of $400 with a total payout of $3000 per incident. If you have anything of value, a name brand suit, several pairs of name band jeans and so on, then you aren’t going to get your money back.

In addition, the airlines depreciate the value of your clothing. It doesn’t matter how much it will cost to replace your 2 year old Gucci jeans, you aren’t simply aren’t going to get market value.

When you purchase baggage insurance, you ensure that you get the replacement value of your property, not the value the airline places on your baggage. What’s more, there are no restrictions when you purchase baggage insurance, although, you may have to provide a list of items that you are traveling with in order to get full reimbursement.

Think about it like you would a renters insurance or homeowners insurance policy. They require you to provide an inventory of all of the items in your home as well as receipts or photos as proof of what you own. With baggage insurance, you may need to do the same, especially if you are carrying items of value.

Speaking of homeowners insurance, you should check with your insurance company to see if they cover your luggage if it is lost. There are many policies that already include your luggage, which means that you won’t need to purchase additional insurance.

Additionally, many credit card companies also provide luggage insurance, but this only applies if you pay for your airline tickets with your credit card. If this applies to you, check the terms of your credit card to ensure that you get the amount of coverage that you need for your luggage.

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What types of things do the airlines exclude from their lost baggage insurance?

There are quite a few things that are excluded from coverage by the airlines if your luggage is lost. Here is a list of some commonly carried, and not so commonly carried, items that are excluded from airline specific baggage coverage:

  • Fur
  • Jewelry
  • Money orders
  • Cash
  • Financial documents
  • Video cameras
  • Digital cameras
  • Computers
  • iPods
  • TV’s (portable or otherwise)
  • DVDs
  • CDs

Airlines also don’t cover irreplaceable items. Photographs, art, family heirlooms and so on all fall under this list.

The problem is, the airlines can and do classify many normal everyday items under their no pay list, which could leave you high and dry. You need to ask yourself if your luggage is lost when you travel, can you afford the expense of replacing your items. If the answer is no, then you need to purchase travel insurance.

Can you avoid major loss when you travel?

When you travel, you are taking a small risk when you check your luggage. If you are transporting any items that have a high value or don’t make the list of things that the airline covers, then you should consider sending your items a different way.

By planning ahead, you can ship your items overnight and have them waiting for you when you arrive at your destination. While you may not want to do this for regular clothing items, if you have anything of value, then you will want to consider this option.

With a majority of airlines charging high baggage fees, many people have found that it is less expensive for them to do this than to check their luggage. Even if the cost is higher, it isn’t much higher than the luggage fees that airlines charge.

When you ship your items, make sure you insure them for the value of your shipment. That way if the shipment is lost or damaged, then you get the money you need to replace your items. Interestingly, shipping insurance can be much less expensive than luggage insurance depending on what shipping company you use.

Another option is to carry on any items of value onto the airplane. This, however, can be tricky because you can’t take on any large items. What’s more, with the regulations in place, there are many items that simply aren’t allowed on the airplane.

Luggage insurance isn’t that expensive. Typically you will pay abut $1 for every $100 in luggage value. If you have an item that worth $5000 the insurance can get expensive, but most travelers tend to ship the very high dollar items.

It is important to note that luggage insurance will not cover cash. There is simply no way for them to verify the amount of cash or that you actually took it with you.

When looking for the best luggage insurance, you should start here with our free quote tool. It only takes a minute to apply and you will find out how much you can save by shopping around. Type in your zip code and compare travel insurance rates and quotes today!