Ask ERIE: Does Insurance Cover Lost or Stolen Luggage?

duffel bag sitting on chair

You’re on your trip or away from home when something unexpected happens. Your luggage gets lost, or even worse, it’s stolen. Here’s what you need to know and what you can do.

The airline lost my luggage

About two percent of luggage is lost for every 1,000 passengers on domestic flights, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report. That works out to be about 40,000 mishandled baggage reports filed per month. If you fly frequently (or are a bit unlucky), you may end up in this predicament. 

If you discover after your flight that your luggage has been lost, get in touch with the airline before you leave the airport. Every airline has different rules and timelines about when a missing bag is considered officially lost. The amount that you’ll be reimbursed will vary too. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation has specified that the airline’s liability limit for lost baggage is $3,000 to $3,400 per passenger for domestic trips. The airlines might not cover certain items like computer equipment, jewelry, money or medications.

“If the value of your bag and its contents is more than the airline limits, you may want to purchase additional coverage or check to see what your credit card or home insurance policy covers,” says Jennifer Koebe, vice president and manager of personal lines underwriting at Erie Insurance.

You could ask the airline if it sells excess valuation coverage to increase the limits, or you could purchase travel insurance to help supplement the airline coverage. Some premier credit cards also provide coverage if your airline ticket is charged to that card. Typically, the credit card liability limit is $2,000 to $3,000, Koebe says.

My suitcase was stolen

If your luggage is stolen after you leave the baggage claim area, contact the police and get in touch with your insurer to find out if your personal property is covered.

An ErieSecure Home® insurance policy offers theft coverage worldwide on stolen personal property. You’re even covered if your bag is taken from your car. There are policy coverage limits for certain items such as money, bank notes, firearms, jewelry and manuscripts. The limits vary depending on what bundle you choose as part of your ErieSecure Home® policy.1

You would also need to pay your deductible, which is the portion of your claim that you pay out of pocket. With ERIE, you could choose to have a separate deductible, which lets you set a specific dollar amount for your theft coverage deductible. In addition to theft, you can also choose peril deductibles for other calamities like fire and lightning, hail, vandalism, water and wind.

As part of the claim process with the airlines or your insurance company, you may need to provide an itemized list of what was in your luggage and an estimate of the value of your suitcase.

Get in touch with a local Erie Insurance agent who can explain all the coverage details.

1ErieSecure Home® policy coverages, benefits, limits and deductibles vary based on state of purchase and consumer choices. Conditions, exclusions and limitations will apply. Talk to an ERIE agent for state specific policy information. ErieSecure Home® policies are not available in North Carolina.  

Lost or stolen luggage is a definite bummer, but fortunately there's help for travelers dealing with this unfortunate situation. /blog/lost-luggage Erie Insurance