Travelling with Valuables

BIBA is urging travellers to ensure they have cover for any valuables checked into the hold of the plane.

Many travel insurance policies do not cover valuables when checked into the hold, and often require you to keep valuables under your custody and control. As a result, you are required to keep them in your hand luggage or about your person.

BIBA has issued a list of items which may not be covered by insurance when put into a suitcase and checked into the hold:

  • Photographic equipment including all accessories
  • Sunglasses or spectacles
  • Computer, Ipad, radio or audio equipment (including CDs) and iPods
  • Electronic equipment including electronic games, mp3 players, BlackBerrys, computers and mobile phones
  • Telescopes
  • Binoculars
  • Leather or suede or fur clothing
  • Personal jewellery, items of gold or silver, jewellery or watches
  • Video equipment including DVDs
  • Money, credit cards and passports
  • Stamp, coin or medal collections
  • Works of art
  • Hearing aids
  • Sports and leisure equipment and musical instruments

You should, of course, check your policy as each policy can be different.

BIBA believes that many consumers may be unaware that they are putting their belongings at risk.  This is highlighted by the case study below.

Graeme Trudgill, BIBA’s Executive Director, comments: “With claims for missing baggage on the increase and restrictions on hand luggage, travellers need to be aware that many items are not insured if placed in your checked luggage. We have seen an example of a traveller who was unable to claim for a camera when it was stolen from her checked luggage.

“The good news is that some household policies may offer wider cover than travel policies. Valuables are often more appropriately protected under the personal possessions section of a household policy (although this is an optional extra that many people do not buy) – which would cover them for all risks cover around the world.

“However, no two policies are the same and some cheaper household policies may not cover valuables in the hold either, particularly jewellery. The best advice we can offer consumers is to ask your broker to ensure that either your household policy or your travel policy provides appropriate cover for you.”

BIBA advises consumers to contact a specialist insurance broker to find the most suitable insurance policy.  To find a BIBA broker, call 0370 950 1790 or visit www.biba.org.uk

  1. Case study

In April Mandy Fox, an accountant from Essex travelled to Portugal with her family. Upon arrival at the airport she found that her suitcase had been broken into and a number of items had been stolen including her camera and her son’s electric razor.

Mrs Fox, said: ‘I was really surprised that somewhere between Gatwick and Portugal my case had been broken into and our belongings had been stolen. It was a really disappointing start to our family holiday.’

‘Our insurance company was really helpful when we returned from holiday, they arranged for us to be compensated for the majority of the items stolen.  However, I was very surprised to find that my camera was not covered because it was placed in my luggage.’

‘With increased security and a reduction in the number of items that you can carry on the plane, I assumed that I had to place all non essential items in my suitcase.  I didn’t get advice from anyone, I just brought my policy from the internet so was unaware of policy restrictions.’

‘I have written to the airline to express my concern that my valuables had been stolen whilst in their care but unfortunately I have not received any compensation.  Therefore, I will have to pay £130 to replace our camera.’

Find Insurance

Whatever type of insurance you need to find, BIBA can connect you with a broker who can help. Please use the search below or call our Find a Broker Service on 0370 950 1790.

*Members of the Armed Forces have particular insurance needs. BIBA members making a commitment under the Covenant and which help meet these needs can be found here