Abc of travel insurance: luggage

We're kicking off our new series: the ABCs of travel insurance. Today: the luggage. Here you will find all important info, tips & tricks to protect your clothes, valuables, souvenirs & keepsakes. We present to you the most common claims, risks and exclusions.

What counts as luggage?

What is actually the luggage and what belongs to it? In short, everything you take with you. All suitcases, bags and luggage that travel with you count towards this. Of course, all the items that are in the suitcases are also part of the luggage.

Of course, the transport company also tells you what is to be classified as luggage and what is not. You can't take everything you want and there is a weight limit too . We have compiled for you a few very classic promotion regulations.

  • On the plane is usually allowed one suitcase up to 20-25 kg, as well as one piece of hand luggage.
  • For bus travel (in a regular coach), the limit is 20 kg or less.
  • Special luggage, such as bicycles or ski equipment, can be carried in addition on buses.

For the travel insurance, however, it does not matter how much you take with you and what the weight of the luggage is. Only the value of the items is decisive. You have to choose your sum insured according to the cost of the things you take with you when you travel.

However, there is an important restriction: The value of the luggage must only include that which is also insured under the respective conditions. So, of course, the exclusions are of particular importance – but more on that later. First, let's take a closer look at insurance coverage.

What can you insure at all?

If you're looking to insure your luggage, there are three major risks in particular. First, theft; second, damage, destruction & loss; or third, late delivery. We want to explain these dangers in more detail so that you know which coverage is important and which may not be.

Of course you have some possibilities to claim damages to your suitcases. The Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection has compiled a clear collection of all rights and obligations here. Just compare them with the conditions of a travel insurance with luggage!

Thieves! Theft and robbery

One of the most common cases for luggage insurance when traveling is theft. Insurance coverage doesn't just apply when you arrive at your vacation destination, however, but as soon as you drop off your bags at the airport, train or bus station.

Of course, the risk of theft also exists during your vacation. Therefore, you should always follow the most important basic rules that apply to a vacation. Don't carry too much cash around, secure your backpacks appropriately (carry it in the front)!) and keep your smartphones safe in a bag.

Luggage insurance basically pays for the loss in the event of theft or robbery. But please note that there are some exclusions here. Especially if you act negligently, for example leaving your backpack unattended, you can quickly lose your insurance claim.

If something is really stolen, inform your guide or the accommodation. In any case, you must still go to the police at the vacation resort and report the theft. This is the only way you can prove to the insurance company what happened and what was stolen.

Damage or loss during transport

Every one of us knows this! You wait at the terminal for your suitcase and it arrives dented and damaged. The range here is from simple scratches to the most severe damage. Also when loading and unloading at bus & train happens more often than you think.

If your suitcases arrive damaged, contact the transport company immediately. Please remember that you must report the damage directly so that you do not lose any claims. If you wait a few days or are perhaps already at home, it will be difficult to prove that the suitcase was delivered broken.

The luggage insurance is always liable here subordinate, d.h. only after your claims have been filed with the carrier can you claim on travel insurance. For most travel rates with luggage, however, only the current value is reimbursed. What is the time value, you can read here.

Where did it go? Delayed luggage

You have arrived on vacation, but your suitcase is not? This is not only annoying, but can also be expensive. If not only the clothes, but also hygiene products, medicines or other things were in the suitcase, then you must supply yourselves first completely again – and that first at own calculation.

Again, your first route should take you to the carrier, z.B. lead to the airline. At the Lost & Found desk, you will be helped quickly and the staff will go in search of it. If the suitcase is found, you receive it by messenger directly to your accommodation.

Attention: both for the transport company and for the luggage insurance it is very important that you keep all the receipts when you have to buy everyday things. You can only be reimbursed if you can prove that you have done so.

In luggage insurance, it is usually the case that a fixed portion of the chosen sum insured, usually 10% or 500 – 1.000 euros, can be used for new purchases. However, you will really only be paid for the things you urgently need. Travel souvenirs or expensive brand-name clothing do not count here.

Exceptions and exclusions

If you want to insure your vacation luggage now, you can do so with a luggage insurance policy. This will be offered to you either as a package with travel cancellation or as a single service. However, every insurance policy has exceptions to the protection and you should definitely know about them beforehand.

We can't list you all the terms and conditions of travel insurers available on the market in the short time (and blog) available to us. There are, however, numerous overlaps, which we have summarized for you. No insurance coverage is available in the following cases:

Cash, checks, traveler's checks and securities of any kind are always excluded.
Smartphones, tablets, cell phones incl. Accessories such as headphones, SIM cards, etc. are also not insured.
Many providers also exclude eyeglasses, sunglasses and contact lenses from reimbursement.
Damage caused by negligence, such as leaving luggage unattended or forgetting it, will be refused.


If you take a lot of luggage with you on your travels, or go on vacation for a longer period of time, you should think about taking out a luggage insurance policy. Many travel insurances include the protection for a small surcharge, so that the costs are kept within limits.

But before you book luggage protection for your travels, you should find out exactly what is and what is not insured. Most of the insurance conditions are now written in a very understandable way and are provided with examples. The exclusions are also precisely named, so that everything should actually be clear here.

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