First, it’s important to know that your baggage is actually covered to a certain extent when you purchase your plane ticket. On domestic flights, liability for loss, delayed, or damaged baggage is covered by your airline and usually limited to $3,400. All the carriers have their own version, but as you can see on American Airlines' liability page, there are various restrictions and rules that determine your actual payout. That $3,400 dollars is not automatic — damage or loss must be proved, and the airlines won't pay if they believe your bag was unsuitably packed. What does that even mean?