Will travel insurance cover lost passport?
Travel insurance won’t pay you money if you lose your passport, however it is often a covered reason for trip delay. It will also help you get a replacement passport since a lost or stolen passport is covered under baggage and personal effects – and that’s the most important thing when you’re far from home.
We’ll look at how travel insurance can help if you lose any of the important documents you take with you when you travel – prescriptions, tickets, schedules, IDs, and, of course, your passport. But first, let’s consider travel document safety in general.
Before you leave
The first step in travel-document safety starts before you leave. Keep in your wallet or purse the documents you’ll absolutely need on your trip. Ditch your extra credit cards, your Social Security card, and even your library card. The fewer documents to worry about, the better.
Then prior to departure, make two copies front-and-back of your passport and other important documents. Pack one copy in your luggage and leave the other copy with family or friends.
If you lose something
If your passport has been lost or stolen while in a foreign country, it’s not necessarily going to be easy to get home – but it’s not impossible!
Contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate and ask to speak to the Consular Section. They can help you report your passport as lost or stolen and get you a replacement passport.
When you go to the embassy/consulate to get your replacement passport, take as many of the following documents as possible:
- Passport photo
- Identification (driver’s license, expired passport, etc.)
- Evidence of U.S. citizenship (birth certificate, photocopy of missing passport)
- Your travel itinerary and tickets
- A police report
Even if you don’t have all of these documents, the consular staff will still do their best to replace your passport.
Also remember to file a police report if any of your important documents are stolen, whether domestic or abroad. Having a copy of the police report will help with the different processes you’ll go through to replace your stolen documents and will also help confirm your identity.
Replacement passports are normally valid for the full 10 years for adults and five years for minors.
There are also documents called limited passports that are issued if you have urgent travel plans, if multiple passports are lost/stolen, or if you borrow money from the State Department to fund your trip home. These can be turned in for a fully valid passport when you arrive home.
Normal passport fees are applied to replacement passports unless you’re the victim of a serious crime or disaster.
We can help
Finally, you can get help with lost documents by buying travel insurance, like the products offered by Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection. Our 24/7/365 travel assistance includes help replacing lost documents. We do this sort of thing all the time, so we know the process and who to call.
If getting a replacement passport takes longer than expected, you might want to cancel and/or reschedule hotel reservations and any flights. Not doing so could cause you to lose deposits and/or refunds.
In the end, be as positive as possible. Being flexible and patient with everyone helping you sort out your issues will help these processes considerably. Your trip isn’t ruined; you’re just adding an adventure you didn’t anticipate.