Holding on to your Valuables

Tracy Stewart, November 06, 2007
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. On a recent trip to South Africa, my wife and I purchased a bracelet worth about $400 as a gift for our daughter. It was wrapped up and tucked out of sight in our checked luggage, but we arrived home to find it had been stolen. I've been round and round with the airline, who insist they aren't responsible. What, if anything, can I do here?

    A. All airlines exclude liability for valuables like cash and jewelry, no doubt because those are the first things that get stolen by baggage handlers and security people. You could file a claim with your homeowners insurance, but that would increase your premium and may even result in loss of coverage if you've made too many claims in the past, so I wouldn't go that route. Just remember not to check valuables next time, always keep them on your person, and just be thankful that it wasn't an even bigger loss!