Churchill magazine

What if your possessions are stolen while you’re on holiday?

Updated on: 18 June 2021

A wallet is stolen from an open backpack.

Now more than ever, holidays are a chance to let loose. While you're getting away from it all, crime isn't something you want to dwell on, but there are some sensible precautions you can take to minimise the risks.

Before you go

Make sure you have copies of all your vital documents. Take a photocopy of your passport and keep it separate from the original, or leave a copy with someone back home. Write down credit and debit card numbers and put them somewhere safe, along with the numbers to call should you lose the cards themselves.

That's the big stuff, but what about the rest of your belongings? As you pack for your holidays, chances are you'll be working from some kind of list. Use this to keep track of everything going into your suitcase (and any other bags). Don't forget to include clothing, shoes and accessories, as well as sports equipment and children’s things.

For electronic goods such as cameras and iPhones, you'll want to jot down the registration/serial numbers. And in the case of jewellery, a picture paints a thousand words - taking snaps of the various pieces will make it easier to report a theft to the police and will increase your chances of seeing your cherished items again.

Get to know your policy

Once you've found a travel insurance policy that meets your needs, take a fresh look at your inventory. Make sure you know which items are covered, and what you'll need to do if they go missing.

It's also worth setting aside a bit of time to check the terms and conditions. Familiarise yourself with what you need to do while on holiday, as any listed requirements are there to make sure you're covered in the event of a theft.

On your travels

So you've kept track of what you're taking. You also know what your insurance will cover, and in what circumstances. What else can you do to keep your possessions safe? While a lot of the appeal of holidays comes from being carefree, holding on to a little bit of common sense will ultimately mean a happier getaway.

Think about when and where you drink, for example. We’re not saying you shouldn’t enjoy yourself, but if you were to have an accident and need medical attention because you were ‘under the influence’, chances are you wouldn't be able to claim on your travel insurance.

It’s also not a good idea carry unnecessary valuables or wads of cash when out and about. Try and use a hotel safe if one is available. If you do head out sporting your sought-after shoes or a shiny new phone, keep them close to you at all times, and try not to venture into any higher risk areas.

What if you get robbed?

No matter how sensible you are, you may still find yourself being targeted by thieves and end up with something valuable being stolen. Along with your credit/debit card provider's emergency contact details, keep your insurer's details and any local emergency numbers handy.

Your insurer will have their own guidelines on what action to take in the first minutes and hours following an incident. Churchill policyholders can find out how to make a claim here. It may also be necessary to get written reports from other parties such as your hotel or apartment manager.

Whether you're putting your feet up, taking to the hills or painting the town red, with the right travel insurance and a bit of groundwork, you’ll be fully prepared should something important go missing.

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