Losing your passport while in another country can be a frustrating experience, as a group of British teenagers travelling in the US recently discovered. 

Over 40 of the group’s passports were inexplicably shredded by the hotel where the group was staying, which delayed their return home by an additional four days.  

Meghan Walch, Director of Product for InsureMyTrip says that some US-based travel insurance providers (but not all) accept a lost or stolen passport as a covered reason for a trip delay. Some providers may also offer trip cancellation and interruption coverage if there is a documented theft of your passport.  

She adds, “Depending on your travel insurance provider, you may receive some coverage for administrative fees to reissue your passport in the event it’s stolen, lost or damaged as long as you’ve taken care to safeguard your documents while travelling.” 

Those who have a travel insurance policy can contact the 24/7 emergency assistance line offered by their provider to get help with a replacement passport. 

Travellers who are concerned about not receiving their passport in time for an upcoming vacation should consider obtaining a policy with the optional Cancel for Any Reason coverage included. This benefit allows you to back out of your trip, for any reason, not otherwise covered by the policy.” 

Meghan Walch also provides some tips on what to do if your passport is lost, stolen or destroyed while in another country: 

·        Report the loss or theft of your passport: Before your trip take note of the nearest embassy or consulate of your country as you will need to report the loss or theft of your passport to your country’s officials. They will also be able to help you obtain a replacement passport or emergency travel document which will allow you to travel home 

·        File a police report: If you suspect that your passport was stolen, you should file a police report as soon as possible. You will also need to submit a police report to your travel insurance provider along with your claim documents if you are making a claim 

·        Keep copies of important documents: A copy of your passport along with your proof of identity and citizenship will be helpful when applying for emergency travel documents 

·        Be prepared for additional costs: If a delay due to a lost or stolen passport is not covered by your travel insurance, you will face some additional costs. Be prepared to pay these fees, as they are necessary to obtain the necessary documents to return home 

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