Each year, more than half a million pieces of luggage checked by airlines are lost or stolen. That's a huge improvement over the 1 million-plus that used to be the norm just a couple of years ago, but it's little consolation if one of your bags goes missing.
In such cases, you may receive compensation from the airline. Fortunately, lost luggage also is typically insured under the off-premises coverage in your homeowners or renters insurance -- after your deductible and subject to limits, of course.
"If you pack $1,000 worth of stuff into a suitcase and that suitcase gets lost or stolen, the insurance company would just ask you for a list of contents," says McCummings. "I have never seen anybody get a claim denied because a suitcase was lost or stolen."
Still, State Farm spokesman Brad Hilliard suggests you weigh your deductible against the value of the lost contents before you call your agent.
"If you have a $500 deductible and you lost a $520 piece of equipment while you're traveling, is that worth turning in a claim when you're going to be responsible for the first 500 bucks?" he says. "Probably not."