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Travel insurance for luggage delays

Some travel insurers can pay you up to $1,500 for delayed luggage so you can buy essential items and keep your trip disruption to a minimum.

What you need to know

  • Travel insurance can pay you a benefit usually between $200 and $1,500 if your luggage is delayed.
  • To be able to claim, your luggage typically needs to be delayed by a minimum of
    12 hours.
  • You can usually claim a specified amount within a 12 or 24 hour period of your luggage being delayed – the longer it is delayed, the more you can typically claim.

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Comparison of luggage delay cover by brands on Finder

BrandMaximum benefit paid for delayed luggageApply
Medibank Travel Insurance

Medibank

  • $1,100
Bonus
Get quote
Freely Logo

Freely

  • Optional Add-on: $1,000
Bonus
Get quote
Stella travel insurance logo

Freely

  • $300
Bonus
Get quote
Zoom logo

Zoom

  • $250
Get quote
Fast Cover Logo

Fast Cover

  • Single - $750
  • Duo (per person) - $750
  • Family - $1500
Finder AwardBonus
Get quote
Insure4Less Travel Insurance Logo

Insure4less

  • $350
Get quote
Travel Insuranz Travel Insurance Logo

Travel Insuranz

  • $500
Get quote
insureandgo

InsureandGo

  • $750
Finder AwardBonus
Get quote
Tick Logo

Tick

  • $400
Bonus
Get quote
World2Cover Logo

World2cover

  • $750
Get quote
Covermore logo

Cover-More

  • $1,500
Bonus
Get quote
Southern Cross LogoSCTI

Southern Cross

  • $1,000 - for each person
  • $5,000 - for each journey
Finder Award
Get quote
Travel Insurance Saver

Travel Insurance Saver

  • $500
Get quote
Easy Travel Insurance

Easy

  • $1,100
Get quote
Picture not described

1cover

  • $250
More info
Picture not described

Australia Post

  • $1,100
Get quote
Picture not described

Webjet

  • $1,000
More info
Worldcare

World Care

  • Single - $500
  • Duo (per person) - $500
  • Family - $1,000
More info

Note: This information was last updated July 2022

How travel insurance works for luggage delays

If your luggage was delayed, your insurance policy can help pay for essentials. The amount paid, and how it’s paid, varies depending on the insurer and the policy you get.

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.

What to do if your luggage is delayed

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

  • 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.

When you will not be covered for luggage delays

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 you’re on the way back home
  • If you try to claim non-essential purchases
  • 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

It's worth noting that, 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've 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 contact your carrier and get them to provide a written statement confirming that there was a luggage delay, the reason for the delay and the time your bags eventually arrived.

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Frequently asked questions

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