Ways to get compensation for your lost or stolen luggage from the railway authorities

Ways to get compensation for your lost or stolen luggage from the railway authorities  30th January 2023

India's railway network is the fourth largest in the world after the USA, Russia, and China, with over 22,593 operating trains. Train journeys are exciting and add many experiences to our lives. Have you ever wondered what happens if your luggage gets lost or stolen from your seat or the railway station itself? Are you eligible to get compensation from the Railway authorities in such cases?

The answer is "yes". Let us go through how we can get compensation for lost or stolen luggage from the railway authorities.

1. File an FIR:
The first step that you should take once you discover that your luggage is lost or stolen from a running train is to file an FIR by approaching the train conductor, attendant of the coach, TTE, or any guard or GRP escort in the train. They will provide you with an FIR form in Hindi, English, or the regional language. You will have to fill it up and give it back to them. They will register a report at the upcoming railway station.
You do not have to pay any charges for this service. Also, you don't have to break your journey by getting down at the upcoming railway station to fulfil the above formalities. However, you can take help from RPF Assistance Posts present at major railway stations. This same process is to be followed in case of loot by dacoits in moving trains.

2. Post FIR:
Once you have filed the FIR for your lost or stolen luggage, the railway authorities will try to search and locate your luggage. If they are successful in doing so, they will contact you and give it back to you. If they cannot trace it within 6 months of lodging the FIR, they will have to compensate you for your lost luggage. They will do a fair assessment of the value of your luggage and compensate you accordingly.

3. Is ticket reservation compulsory:
No, you don't need to travel only in the reserved class to claim compensation for the theft of your luggage on the train. As per the direction of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), Railway authorities are liable to compensate you for the theft of your luggage even in the general compartment where you do not have any reservation but hold a valid ticket.

4. Case of booked luggage:
When you book your luggage with the Railways while travelling on a train, you can declare your luggage's true value. You will have to pay a prescribed percentage charge of the value of the goods as luggage handling charges to the Railways. In such a case, you are entitled to get the full value of your luggage as compensation in case it gets lost or stolen en route.
However, suppose you did not disclose the true value of your luggage while booking it. In that case, the monetary liability of the Railways for compensation is limited to INR 100/- per kilogram of goods booked.

Travelling by train is inevitable for most of us in our regular lives. Hence, it becomes crucial for us to safeguard our luggage during train journeys. We should be clear about the compensation policy of the Railways in case of lost or stolen luggage so that we can follow it and not suffer losses in case of theft or loot of our luggage.

General insurance India is also important to cover your luggage during your travel. Remember to add travel insurance to your safety while making railway bookings. Taking this small precautionary step can keep you in a relaxed state of mind and protect you from unexpected financial losses. You can also claim for mishaps while travelling, and your insurance provider will compensate you for the damage caused.

Click HERE to buy a general insurance India policy to cover your travel plans.

Disclaimer: The information provided above is for illustrative purposes only. To get more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before purchasing a policy.