Insurance Claims For Lost Baggage Rise

20.08.2007

This summer has seen an increase in the number of travel insurance claims for lost baggage.

Norwich Union reports a 40 per cent increase in the claims for missing luggage in the first half of the year, while travel insurer InsureandGo has seen an 85 per cent increase in claims, from 1,133 last year to 2,094 in the first six months of 2007.

Norwich Union spokeswoman Suzi Fenn told the BBC One's Breakfast programme: "Initially we were quite surprised by [the figures], but then when you think about it there's more people going on holiday than before, lots of short breaks, people escaping the weather.

"So that means busier airports and airlines, and consequently more mishandling of baggage as well."

Meanwhile figures from the Association of European Airlines (AEA) for the European Union as a whole show a 22 per cent increase in lost baggage over the same period, while passenger numbers rose 1.4 per cent.

Perry Wilson, InsureandGo managing director, called on the airports to do more to ensure baggage is not lost.

"We do all we can to help sort out our customers' problems as quickly as possible, but it is up to the airlines and airport authorities to limit this issue in the first place," he said.

"This is clearly a major problem for our customers and we urge the airline and airports industry to improve its performance in this area."

Commenting on the increase in insurance claims for lost baggage, the British Insurance Brokers' Association (Biba) called on those selling insurance to make consumers more aware of what is covered in any given policy.

Graeme Trudgill, Biba technical services manager, said: "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.

"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."

In June the government announced a major shake-up to travel insurance, which is hoped will provide consumers with greater protection. From January 2009, the sale of all travel insurance policies, whether sold by a travel agent as a part of a package - which was previously unregulated - or from an insurance firm directly, will be regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).