Question: Does my travel insurance policy provide cover for electronic devices carried as checked-in airline baggage?
Answer: The recent ban affecting travellers flying to the USA and UK on flights departing from a number of Middle Eastern ports has implications for those who travel with electronic items, especially business travellers.
This new ruling requires passengers departing from the affected ports to pack laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players and electronic game units larger than a smartphone in their checked luggage rather than carrying them onboard as hand luggage.
When that happens, it is unlikely that a standard travel insurance policy would provide cover in the event that these items are stolen or damaged, since checked luggage is deemed to be the responsibility of the airline.
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Typical is the American Express travel insurance product disclosure statement, which says “We will not pay… for camera equipment or Electronic Equipment whilst carried in or on any Conveyance, unless they accompany You as personal cabin baggage.”
According to Natalie Ball, director of Compare Travel Insurance, “While the carry-on electronics ban will inconvenience a vast number of travellers, insurers are already in talks to revise their policies in light of this ban.
“Travellers should not be held to ransom by these stringent security measures and insurers are well aware that they must adapt to redress the situation. Keeping your belongings under close watch is the best way to go. In keeping with the current electronics ban this may no longer be possible. If possible, consider leaving your more expensive electronics behind.”