Churchill magazine

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

Updated on: 16 September 2020

A wallet is stolen from an open backpack.

Before you jet off to the sun on holiday, make an inventory of everything you are bringing with you. This will help making a claim less painful if the worst happens and something gets stolen.

Nobody wants to become the victim of a crime while on holiday, and there are lots of sensible precautions you can take to minimise the risks. Don’t drink too much, 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’, you would be unlikely to be able to claim on your travel insurance. It’s also not a good idea to go out carrying unnecessary valuables or wads of cash.

Other common-sense advice would be to keep your belongings close to you at all times, use a hotel safe where available and avoid wandering around problematic areas, particularly with an expensive camera hanging from your neck.

What if you get robbed?

However, even if you are completely sensible, you may still find yourself targeted by thieves and end up with something valuable being stolen.

To make dealing with this possibility less stressful, firstly make sure you have taken out an adequate travel insurance policy. Secondly, compile an inventory of your personal possessions before you leave.

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 them.

As well as this, make a list of all the clothing, shoes and accessories you are taking, and whatever other items you may have, such as sports equipment or children’s things. For electronic items such as cameras and iPods, make a note of the registration numbers. Jewellery is another expensive thing that may be targeted by thieves. As well as making a note of which pieces you are taking, take photographs of them too - this will make it easier to report any theft to police and will increase your chances of seeing your treasured items again.

Before you travel

Before you travel, check the terms and conditions of your travel insurance and endeavour to meet all the requirements listed to be sure you are covered in the event of a theft. Churchill’s travel insurance, for instance, requires you to report any theft or loss to the police within 24 hours of discovering it and to ask them for a report in writing. If appropriate, it also states that you should report the theft or loss to your courier, hotel or apartment manager and ask them, too, for a report in writing.

As you pack for your holidays, make a list of everything going in your suitcase, and make sure you know what is covered and what you need to do if it goes missing.

With a plan in place, and with adequate travel insurance you’ll be fully prepared should the worse happen.

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