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Travel insurance for luggage delays

Find out how travel insurance can cover you if your luggage is delayed and receive up to $750 in cover for delayed items.

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Many experienced travellers know the pain of waiting at the airport luggage carousel for their bags to arrive only to have them not show up.

Having your luggage delayed is an inconvenient and frustrating start to your trip. Travel insurance can help ease the pain by providing a benefit payment (usually between $200 - $750) for these delayed items.

Receive quotes for travel insurance with cover for luggage delays

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Comparison of luggage delay cover by brands on finder.com.au

BrandMaximum benefit paid for delayed luggageApply
American Express$500
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Australia Post

Budget Direct$600
columbus direct travel insurance logoColumbus Direct$1,000


  • Single - $750
  • Duo (per person) - $750
  • Family - $1500
InsureandGo$750Get quote
Online Travel
  • Single - $250
  • Duo (per person) - $250
  • Family - $500



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Travel Insurance Saver

Travel Insuranz$500
virgin money logoVirgin
  • Single - $500
  • Duo (per person) - $500
  • Family - $1,000
  • 1,000
World Care
  • Single - $500
  • Duo (per person) - $500
  • Family - $1,000

How travel insurance works for luggage delays

If your luggage was delayed, your insurance policy can help pay for the essentials you had to buy because of the delay. The amount paid, and how it’s paid, varies depending on the insurer, the policy and how long you’ve been waiting.

Don’t confuse this type of cover with travel delay cover. Travel delay cover protects you when you or your transport doesn’t arrive. Luggage delay cover is also not the same as general luggage and personal effects cover, which covers you if your bags are stolen or permanently lost. Luggage delay cover is an allowance for the essentials you need to buy while waiting for your bags.

If your luggage is delayed, inform your insurer as soon as you can and get a written confirmation of the delay from your airline. With the right policy, you can then get reimbursed for essentials, such as clothing, toiletries or other necessary items, that you bought while waiting for your bags to arrive. This type of claim is generally excess-free.

Your policy won’t pay for non-essential items such as fragrances, alcohol, sporting equipment or entertainment items.

To make sure your allowance for essentials is high enough, most policies will typically increase the allowance based on the number of people covered by your travel insurance.

The differences between policies

  • Check if it’s included. Some policies, even comprehensive travel insurance policies, do not have delayed luggage cover, so check to see if it’s included.
  • Length of the waiting period. Some policies will only pay out for delays of a full day, while others will reimburse you after only a few hours.
  • What you can buy. Some policies will specify the purchases that you can claim.
  • Limits. You will have limits on the amount you can claim within a specific time period. For example, a policy might let you claim $200 for every 12 hours your luggage is delayed. This will generally cap out at a certain amount, regardless of how long the delay is overall.

If your bags never arrive, then you need to start looking at getting reimbursed for what was lost.

The table below provides some examples of what you will be eligible to receive from a number of brands.

ProviderMinimum Period for Delayed ItemsMaximum Benefit Paid
1Cover12 hours$250
FastCover12 hours$250
InsureandGo24 hours$750

When you will not be covered

In certain situations, depending on your insurer and your policy, your claim may be denied. Your insurance will not pay out in the following situations:

  • If your bags were detained by customs official or other authorities
  • If you were sending your bags separately
  • If your luggage was handled by someone other than your transport provider
  • If you’re on the way back home
  • If you try to claim non-essential purchases

If your luggage never turns up and you make a claim for the lost or stolen bags, your payout may be reduced by the amount you have already claimed under your delayed luggage allowance.

How to claim

Once the amount of time specified by your policy has passed and your bags still haven’t arrived, you may start claiming the cost of essentials. Save your receipts because you’ll need to show how much you spent and that you bought them within the appropriate timeframe.

You also need to provide a written statement from your carrier confirming that there was a luggage delay, the reason for the delay and the time your bags eventually arrived.

Compare luggage and personal effects delay cover

This type of cover is not included in every policy, and you will find differences in the amount of time you have to wait before your luggage qualifies as delayed and in the amount you get reimbursed.

Some of the other differences between policies may include the following:

  • You can often claim more with international travel insurance policies than domestic ones
  • More comprehensive policies will usually have higher reimbursement limits than more basic ones
  • This type of cover is not always available with airline travel insurance

Complimentary travel insurance policies may have the right luggage delay cover for you. This type of travel insurance often focuses on benefits that make your journey smoother.

Depending on the card, your credit card might deliver even more effective luggage delay cover than a direct travel insurance policy. For example, the Platinum Edge American Express card lets you claim up to $500 for luggage delays after 6 hours, while the equivalent direct travel policy only lets you claim after delays of 12 hours or more. If you’re a frequent flyer, it might be worthwhile to opt for complimentary travel insurance which also lets you earn reward points.

For more flexibility around costs and policy options, including options for luggage delays, you can compare direct travel insurance policies to find one that’s right for you.

Receive quotes for travel insurance with cover for luggage delay

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