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Thursday, 29 August 2013

Protecting yourself against the calamity of lost baggage

Air travel can often be a stressful experience for the average traveler. From ensuring that you have all that you need packed, to rushing to the airport (often at inconvenient hours of the day), to adjusting to different time zones and trying to navigate unfamiliar airports, air travel presents the sojourner with no shortage of challenges. This is why the last thing you need is the added difficulty of lost luggage. Most of us make most of our flights without having this happen to us. Unfortunately, however, it does still happen from time to time. How can you protect yourself from this type of calamity? Do you need to buy additional insurance? Isn't the airline responsible? Are there other sources of coverage you don't need to pay for? Are there measures you take to avoid such an event altogether? We're going to explore the answers to these questions here.

Preventing loss of valuable luggage
When it comes to any type of misfortune, the most effective measure you can take to protect yourself against it is to prevent it altogether. The same holds true for lost baggage. To minimize your chances of permanently losing valuable items in travel, there are several things you can do. To begin with, pay attention to the timing of your flight and your checkin time. Often, luggage is lost when you check in too late, or when you have little time between connections. Do what you can to avoid either of these scenarios. The other measure you can take before your journey even begins is to pack carefully: keep anything valuable or irreplaceable with you in your carry-on. Additionally, as you are packing, make an inventory of what you are packing in what bags. This will save a tremendous amount of time and confusion if you do need to file a claim. It may seem like a tedious task, but chances are you may have made a checklist for yourself anyway to aid in packing; hang on to it, even if only as a rough inventory. Next, when you arrive at the airport, you should ensure that luggage tags are completely filled out and secured to your bags. Be sure to include any information that may help the airline contact you more quickly in the event that they find your luggage and need to connect with you. Be sure that the agent helping you attaches labels with your destination to each of your checked pieces.

First line of coverage for missing luggage
Sometimes, despite your best efforts to follow all of the prescribed steps above, airlines may still misplace or lose your baggage all the same. In such a case, who are you covered by? The primary party responsible for recovering your loss is the airline you are traveling with. Determining whether you need  extra insurance coverage starts by learning what your airline will cover.  (online insurance quotes Calgary) If it is a larger airline, you will likely be able to find these terms on their website. Otherwise, you should contact the airline in advance to obtain this information. In trying to determine this information, you will probably discover serious limitations to what the airline will cover. For example, most airlines will cover the depreciated value, and not the replacement value of certain lost items, and refuse to cover other types of items altogether, such as jewelry, valuable documents, electronics, and many other such items.

Other sources of coverage

Once you have determined what your airline covers, and more importantly, what they don't cover, it's time to look to the other resources in your reach to ensure complete protection of your articles. Your contents insurance policy with your insurance provider may give you some degree of coverage, so check with your agent to learn the specifics. Additionally, if you have a major credit card, such as Visa, or Mastercard, you may be able to get some coverage from them at no cost. However, this coverage will only kick in after you have exhausted every other source of coverage available to you, which is why credit card companies can offer this service at no cost. Incredibly enough, even between these various sources of coverage, you are still in all likelihood going to find the coverage insufficient when traveling with any sort of valuables. For this reason, traveler's insurance is the best way to ensure that you don't find your travels ruined by a preoccupation with trying to replace your valuable documents, computers, or even medications. When you purchase traveler's insurance, be sure to discuss any valuables you are taking with you with your insurance agent to ensure that they are adequately protected before you leave. The peace of mind you'll obtain from doing so is simply priceless.

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