Bags of conveyor belt chaos

For those people unlucky enough to have flown through Heathrow’s Terminal 5 concern about the whereabouts of their bags is likely to have been at the forefront of their minds.

Some estimates suggest that there are as many as 28,000 bags have now been lost. These bags will have to travel to sorting centres in Scotland, Manchester and even Milan before they’re reunited with their owners.

MoneyExpert.com shows you how travel insurance could take some of the stress of losing your bag.

The nervous wait

We’ve all stood waiting at the luggage conveyer belts waiting for our bags wondering what would happen if we were left stranded abroad without our clothes or personal belongings.

Summer is the peak season for baggage problems as we fly off to the sun with as many as one in ten of us reporting having had a bag temporarily or permanently lost while travelling abroad. Passengers at Terminal 5 might think this is good news but it’s likely millions of us will lose our bag this summer.

I want it back

To get your bag back there are a few things you’re going to need. Firstly be sure you take your travel insurance documents with you. They will have the numbers you will need to sort out your claim and details of how to claim on them.

Secondly, keep your ticket stubs to prove where you were travelling to and from and ensure you receive a "property irregularity form" from your carrier airline.

Pick a policy

All this assumes that you’ve picked up a policy in the first place. If you’re yet to travel then the key to picking up a policy you’re happy with will be to shop around as of the 360 plus policies on the market, levels of cover vary dramatically.

In terms of bags for example, the vast majority of policies will pay out nothing if your bag is delayed rather than lost. If you opt for a policy such as AXA Direct then you could find yourself being compensated up to £100 for the inconvenience alone.

The level of travel insurance cover you’ll receive if your bag is lost and never found also varies dramatically from insurer to insurer. Cheaptravelinsurance.co.uk for example will pay out just £500 for a lost bag while certain Bradford and Bingley policies will pay out up to £3,000. This could make all the difference if you were carrying an expensive item such as a laptop in your luggage.

Bag to basics

With as many as one in eight travel insurance claimants unhappy with the way their claim was processed it could be important to do your research before you sign up to anything. This should minimise the chances of you encountering a claims nightmare. It’s also worth remembering that there are often big discounts available for those who make their purchases online so if possible look to take advantage of a web based bargain.

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