Image credit: -photo 9170355 - hofmeester
Image credit: -photo 9170355 – hofmeester

It is high season for family vacations. Unfortunately, it is also high season for having your things lost or stolen while you are rushing around airports and in strange cities. It only takes a few minutes of pre-trip planning to make sure your things protected.

1. What does your insurance cover?
Before you leave for your trip find out what your insurance covers. Most homeowners or renters policies cover your possessions if they are lost or stolen. This can include covering the cost of things like luggage and clothing minus your deductible. It is important to know exactly what is, and is not covered in your policy.

2. Take a picture of what you’re taking with you.
It is an easy thing to do, yet almost no one does it: take a picture of your suitcase and it’s contents before you travel so you can easily provide photos of your loss if you need to file a claim. I recommend laying out the contents of your suitcase on a bed as you are packing and take the photo. Keep the photos someplace safe –or give them to a trusted friend or relative to hold onto for you until you return.

3. Get separate insurance policies for expensive items.
If you plan to take expensive things with you on your trip like cameras, jewelry, sporting items, video equipment or electronics, it is worth considering a separate “personal articles” policy or “riders” on your existing policy. Basically, these policies provide extra coverage for specific possessions. Often, there is no deductible and depending on what is covered and you can often get additional policies for as little as $40 a year. You do want to check with your insurance carrier about coverage of smartphones and IPads as some policies do not cover these. You can get insurance for these often through your cellular provider.

In many countries, networks of thieves work together to capitalize on the busy tourist season. Keep yourself protected by checking into your insurance policies before you leave home.