Insurance is a great way to protect valuables, but it can only work after a loss occurs and if the loss is covered. As losing your valuables is stressful and likely expensive, prevention is vital. This is why I threw an air tag into my suitcase before a recent trip. Here is what happened.
Protect Your Valuables with Apple's AirTag or other Tracker
Recently I purchased an AirTag for my purse, as I am known to leave my belongings everywhere. Before heading out on vacation, I thought I might as well toss the AirTag into my suitcase given I planned to check it in at the airport.
How I Lost My Suitcase Before Getting to the Airport
As everyone knows, parking at the airport is expensive, especially at Logan International Airport in Boston. To avoid paying the exorbitant fee, we decided to park in Nashua and take the Logan Express bus service, which drops you off at your gate.
When taking Logan Express you must put any large bags in the luggage compartment before getting onto the bus. I had done this many times before and had no concerns. However, when we got to Logan, as the last passengers, at the last stop, it was evident my bag was missing as I peered into each empty compartment.
"Where is my suitcase," I asked.
"How would I know?" replied the bus driver
Besides being furious, I broke out into a cold sweat, given I live in a household of boys, none of whom could outfit me for a week away. Though shopping sounds fun, I did not want to spend precious vacation time trying to replace everything in my bag (from running sneakers, dresses, bathing suits, make-up, etc.)
How a Tracker saved the Day/Week and my Sanity!
After watching the bus drive away, and everyone talking at once with a plan, I remembered the AirTag. I pulled out my phone and could see my bag was a quarter mile away, or in other words, at a different terminal.
As many minutes had passed, and the phrase "Never leave your bag unattended" or "If you see something, say something" ran through my brain (like a massive suitcase left unattended at the entrance of an airport...), I had my sons run to retrieve it, which they did without incident.
Who knows where my bag would have ended up without the AirTag? (Not to mention that I didn't even have my name or address on the bag as the luggage tag tore off during my last trip, and I forgot to put on another one. 🙄 )
How an Air Tag Saved My Suitcase a Second Time on the Same Trip.
When returning home from vacation, we had three connecting flights requiring me to check my suitcase, retrieve it after the first flight, and re-check it as we were flying back to the US. I should not have been surprised when standing at luggage claim to see bag after bag scuttle by and be claimed by their owners. Not mine, though.
This time, I felt like a pro. I checked my phone and saw that my suitcase was outside on the tarmac, where it sat.... for hours....
By the time it was moved inside, I was on my next flight. I had filed a claim with customer service but felt confident I would get my bag back because of the AirTag. I took pictures of my bag's location daily (to prove the airline had it in their possession) and waited. I watched it move from the tarmac into the airport, to a storage facility, to eventually Boston, Manchester, then to my house.
Without this real-time knowledge, I would have wasted time and energy. AirTag saves the day again!
What is an Air Tag?
AirTags are small devices, approximately the size of a coin, that can be attached to all sorts of personal items. They're handy on keys, wallets, suitcases, and similar items but can also be attached to computer bags, cameras, tools, e-bikes, drones, and more.
AirTags use Bluetooth to connect with any device in the Find My network that's within range. That's most often your phone when items are lost in your home or car, but it could be any Apple device that's part of the network. Should a thief steal your valuable belongings, a nearby phone or even the thief's phone might show where the valuables are.
You can check their location on the Find My app if any tagged valuables go missing. You'll need an Apple ID to register the tags, so only you can check them.
Use AirTags to Complement Insurance
AirTags aren't a substitute for insurance, but they provide another layer of protection.
Should your valuables ever be stolen, you can quickly enable "Lost Mode" in the Fine My app. The app will then send a notification to your device if the lost item's location is detected by another iPhone (or iPad, etc.).
If you ever need to use this feature, you might be able to fully recover your lost item as I did. If the item is stolen, police might be able to use the location information to help the investigation.
What valuables you decide to use an AirTag on is up to your judgment. Anything that's highly valuable and might be easily targeted by thieves, or lost, could be better protected.
Would My NH Homeowner's Insurance Cover a Claim Had My Suitcase Not Been Found?
Though homeowner's insurance covers a wide variety of events, your suitcase would not likely be covered if lost by the airline. See our previous blog regarding coverage for a suitcase while traveling.
Properly Insure Your Valuables
While AirTags certainly can help protect valuables, they're not a replacement for insurance. Make sure your valuables are insured through a New Hampshire homeowners, condo, or renters insurance policy.
For help checking or finding insurance for your valuables, contact the independent insurance agents of HPM Insurance. Safe travels! ✈️