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The Insurance Council advises how and when you can claim for the cost of lost or delayed travel luggage. The re-opened skies have brought an enormous increase in claims they say

Insurance / opinion
The Insurance Council advises how and when you can claim for the cost of lost or delayed travel luggage. The re-opened skies have brought an enormous increase in claims they say
lost luggage
Source: Copyright: andreypopov

Here is a press release from the Insurance Council of New Zealand

Travel insurers say travellers should know their rights when it comes to their bags not turning up after a flight.

"In the first instance, the airline is responsible for the initial reimbursement of the costs incurred as a result of delayed or lost bags," says Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa (ICNZ) Consumer Affairs Manager Sarah Knox, "it’s after that travel insurance comes into play."

Airlines are part of the Montreal Convention, an international agreement providing the traveller with the right to seek compensation from the airline if their bags do not turn up after a flight. Under the agreement, there is an initial time limit after which items can be claimed from the airline. Good airlines have information about the process and claim forms on their websites.

Travellers should contact their travel insurer once they have received an outcome from the airline. If they have not received the total amount claimed from the airline, the traveller can claim for the difference. An insurance claim should include all of the relevant documentation from the airline detailing what was and wasn’t covered plus any receipts or other proof of ownership of lost items.

"Travel insurers that are members of ICNZ have seen an enormous increase in claims for delayed bags. This is not just an issue affecting those landing at airports in Aotearoa New Zealand, or particular airlines, it’s affecting all carriers and airports across the world," Sarah said.

Travel insurers have the following advice for travellers:

- Plan ahead - think carefully about what goes in your carry-on and checked luggage. Keep must have items such as valuables and medication with you.

- If possible, book long haul trips with few stopovers to minimise the opportunity for bags to miss connections and, if possible, allow a little more time between transfers, especially if you have to uplift and recheck your bags before boarding a connecting flight.

- Avoid putting valuables, like jewellery or electronics in a checked bag.

- Be sure to have your baggage receipt. It’s also a good idea to take a picture of your bag.

- Make sure each item of checked luggage has a secure bag tag that includes your name and phone number, including your international dialling code.

- Consider using airtags or similar so you can track your bag on your phone. Check with your airline about their use.

"Knowing there are conventions in place to allow you to quickly replace delayed or lost items, and to apply for a top up if necessary from your travel insurer, should help reduce frustration if bags are delayed or lost," added Sarah.

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Good luck getting a response from the airlines! Returned back from Europe in June and wife's checked luggage was a no show at Wellington airport. Filled in paperwork with airline reps at airport before going through customs. Got notification of lost baggage reference number via text next day, since then - nothing. They don't answer phone calls or texts, they don't reply to messages and at one point there were so many messages that we couldn't leave another. Airline (Qantas) won't respond to emails other than an automated reply. SCTI are snowed under with claims.  Submitted ours on 30/9/22, but they are currently dealing with claims submitted to  26/26/09, so it hasn't even been assessed yet! Luckily nothing seriously inconvenient went missing and it was on return, not start of holiday, so just frustrating that its taking so long without resolution.


Amusing how this suddenly became a public issue after it affected MP Reti and a follow up with this article.

Since baggage is partially an airport issue and first port of call is your airline and not having a response, other than a lost baggage ref number, seems a disaster unfolding. Can understand keeping a lost baggage receipt is a must and this is usually on the boarding pass.

Three months for an insurer not to process a claim, ridiculous. That's the only part that needs some legislation and a fine to wake the insurer up. Also for the airline.

Consider myself lucky having got my luggage mid July22 without it being lost.


Anyone know of a travel insurer that offers option of excluding baggage cover? Used to a be very cheap to get cover excluding baggage.


Is the insurance council mari owned now?