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Does travel insurance cover a lost passport?

It sure can, but it’ll depend on what happened. Read on to find out if your travel insurance will cover your lost passport.

What you need to know

  • If your passport has been lost or stolen, you need to report it immediately to 131 232, or by contacting your nearest consulate or embassy. It is important to act quickly.
  • Make sure to file a report with the police or relevant authority. If possible, get it written in English.
  • Keep original documentation of expenses like receipts or tax invoices, in case you want to make a travel insurance claim.

A lost passport can be distressing, especially if you're overseas or days from departing. Replacing a lost or stolen passport while overseas could cost up to $587 for an adult traveller, and depending on what happened, you might be able to claim this back on travel insurance.

What do I do if I've lost my passport overseas?

  • Report it to the relevant authority, then contact your nearest consulate or embassy to organise a replacement/ emergency passport.
  • Contact your travel insurer. To help lodge a successful claim, you'll need to prove that you took reasonable care with your passport like having kept it in a safe or directly on your person.

You may need to follow similar steps if your passport has been damaged while travelling. It's important to act quickly when your passport has been misplaced during your travels. If it's been stolen, your identity could be at risk.

How can travel insurance help?

Travel insurance may cover you if an unexpected event has caused the loss, damage or theft of your passport. Examples include;

  • If your passport wallet was snatched out of your hands while checking into your hotel. Report it to the hotel and police.
  • If you're travelling and accidentally spill a coffee on your passport. This may cause physical damage, and some countries might not accept it's condition. You may need a new one to continue your travels.
  • If you've placed your passport securely in your bag, and you've been pickpocketed.

You may be able to claim back the cost of getting an emergency passport, the added fees involved, and any other expenses this incident has cost you.

Here's some policy wording

BrandSub-limitHere's what the insurers say
Southern Cross LogoSCTI International Comprehensive $1,000"We'll cover the cost to replace your essential bank cards, travel documents, or passport if they are lost, stolen, or destroyed because of an unexpected event during your journey. Your claim must meet the conditions of cover below. We'll pay up to $1,000 for each paying person."
Fast Cover Logo Comprehensive $5,000•"Up to the limits set out in the Benefit Summary above, to reimburse you the replacement costs (including communication costs) of your travel documents, including passports, credit / debit cards or travellers cheques you lose or which are stolen from you or destroyed during your trip."
• "Up to the limits set out in the Benefit Summary above, for any loss resulting from the fraudulent use of any credit / debit card held by you following the loss of the card during your trip. We will only cover those amounts not covered by any guarantee given by the bank or issuing company to you as the cardholder covering such losses."
Tick Logo Top $4,000"We will pay up to the amount shown in the Table of benefits for the cost of replacing the following items belonging to you if they are lost, stolen or damaged during your trip: • Passport; • Travellers cheques (if these cannot be refunded by the provider); and • Visas."

Last updated August 2023

Finder survey: Which travel mishaps have Australians from different states had?

ResponseWAVICSAQLDNSW
I have not faced any travel mishaps14.05%13.53%6.45%12.44%13.15%
Airline cancellation or significant delay9.09%11.22%8.6%8.29%9.79%
Lost luggage or delay7.44%6.93%5.38%7.37%9.79%
Other4.96%0.99%0.92%0.92%
Lost or broken devices3.31%3.3%2.15%1.38%4.59%
Denied entry into a country1.65%0.66%0.61%
Lost or stolen travel documents0.83%2.64%1.08%2.3%1.22%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1112 Australians, December 2023
Data for ACT, NT, TAS not shown due to insufficient sample size. Some other states may also be excluded for this reason.

Does travel insurance cover a lost passport before travel?

Generally not. If you can't find your passport before you travel then you may need to arrange priority processing for a new passport. It's unlikely that travel insurance will cover these expenses.

Once a passport has been reported lost, it will be cancelled and you'll be unable to use it even if you've found it.

Passport
Did you know?
According to the Australian Government, over 2.7 million Australians have been issued a passport between July 2022 and July 2023. That's a record number.

Passport fees

As of 1 January 2023, these are the fees you can expect to pay if your passport has been lost or stolen. You might be able to claim some of these expenses on your travel insurance.

PassportsFee
Emergency passport overseas$204
10 year validity (for those 16yrs and over)$325
5 year validity (for those under 16yrs)$164
5 year validity (optional for those 75yrs and over)$164
Replacement passport$204
Additional feesFee
Priority processing - get another passport within 2 business days$237
Overseas surcharge - adult$146
Overseas surcharge - child$71
Observation made after passport issue$16

Protect your passport while you're abroad - get travel insurance

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Before you leave, make sure you do the following

To reduce the stress and expense of losing your passport overseas, there are several important steps you can take before you leave on your holiday:

  • Take a picture of the photo page of your passport with a clear view of your image and passport number
  • Email yourself important contact numbers such as the Australian embassies in the countries you are travelling through and your travel insurance details
  • Pack 2 recent passport photos in case you need them
  • Pack extra ID and credit cards, but make sure they are stored separately from your other funds
  • Ensure a friend or relative has access to your birth or citizenship certificate if you need it (rather than taking it with you, which is not recommended)
  • Download the Smartraveller app on your phone, which lets you register your trip details in case of emergencies

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