Many of you take cameras, e-readers, laptops, smart phones, MP3 players, and other electronic gadgets along when you travel, and you may wonder whether travel insurance protects those items. The short answer is yes, but only to a point.
As you well know by now (if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile), the only way to really understand the benefits of a particular travel insurance plan is by reading the plan documents. You can find those online at the travel insurance provider’s website, while you are purchasing insurance with our comparison tool, and when they’re sent to you as a result of a travel insurance purchase. So, to be sure what exactly is covered (and how much), you’ll need to review the policy documents.
What are the limits?
Most travel insurance plans limit the reimbursement of any single item lost as part of the baggage and personal effects coverage. This includes losses to jewelry, watches, cameras, camera equipment, and more.
For example, the Travelex Select plan documentation includes text that reads like this:
Items Subject to Special Limitations
We will not pay more than $600 (or the Baggage and
Personal Effects limit, if less) on all losses to jewelry;
watches; precious or semi-precious gems; articles
consisting in whole or in part of silver, gold, or platinum;
cameras, camera equipment; digital or electronic
equipment and media; and articles consisting in whole
or in part of fur. Items not included above are subject to
a $300 per item limit.
Notice the $300 per-item limit? All travel insurance companies have limits usually ranging from $300-$600, but two plans from Seven corners have higher limits for specific item losses. Review a complete list of policy, item, and specific item baggage limits provided by each company and plan.
What can a traveler toting lots of electronics do?
The baggage coverage offered with your travel insurance plan is what you’ve got to work with, but some travel insurance companies offer a baggage upgrade or additional baggage coverage for particular types of travelers, like sports enthusiasts.
- Carry and guard your electronics. While baggage coverage protects bags even if they’re not checked luggage, your safest bet is to keep the expensive stuff close to you.
- Be prepared. If you have to file a claim, you’ll be expected to show a receipt for the purchase of the lost or stolen item.
- Check into alternatives. Your home insurance provider may offer coverage for special items like jewelry, computers, cameras, etc. There is often a minimum purchase price to qualify, but this is a great way to cover the electronics that qualify.
It’s important to be clear, that travel insurance isn’t going to cover you for data losses, computer crashes, or general equipment failure.