Lost and Stolen Passports: Can Travel Insurance Help?


Insurance is something I am asked about pretty frequently. Travelers, whether they are frequent flyers or first-timers, often want to know whether they should buy travel insurance before they take off on their vacation or business trip or journey of any kind, really. And while many people never need to take advantage of their insurance plans (thank goodness!), it’s always nice to have some peace of mind. Because that’s the thing about travel insurance. You don’t need it. Until you need it.

As a frequent traveler, I’ve experienced all kinds of things that don’t go according to plan. From more innocuous things like flights getting canceled or delayed altogether to the big things that travelers fear, like finding my travel plans impacted by an act of terrorism. Life is crazy and you just never know what can happen when you travel – but knowing that you’re covered in an emergency is never a bad thing.

One of my most stressful travel situations also happens to be a somewhat funny story – well, funny in retrospect! My then-girlfriend, now wife, Natalie and I were on a Seabourn cruise through Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Szcezcin and Warnemünde. It was a 12-day itinerary and we were super stoked to check out all of these destinations. While we were in Tallinn, Estonia, we took a bike tour through the city. We’d been told to keep our passports on our person and I didn’t even think to ask Natalie where she’d stowed hers. I found out the hard way. Because we were riding bikes, she didn’t bring a bag. Which meant she’d shoved her passport into the back pocket of her jeans. #facepalm

Halfway through the tour, Natalie discovered that her passport was missing and I felt a cold sweat creep over me. Great. We headed back to our cruise ship to find out our options and quickly learned that they weren’t great. The ship was not permitted to sail with an undocumented passenger and the Canadian embassy in Tallinn was not able to issue her new documents in time for her to get back on the boat. The woman at the embassy said that all she could do was issue emergency travel documents for Natalie to travel straight back home to Canada. She couldn’t even stay in Europe any longer.

This was NOT how either of us had envisioned our trip. I remember us both standing in the embassy in shock. I was thinking about all the things we’d have to do: Race back to the ship to get all of our stuff off before it set sail again that evening. Find a hotel in Tallinn for the night. Book us both plane tickets back to Canada. This was going to cost a fair bit of money that neither of us had planned for. In the end, Natalie’s passport turned up at the last minute (it was found and returned to a local police station) and we were able to resume our trip as planned – we were back on the ship by dinnertime! (It’s actually a great story that Natalie wrote about here, if you want to read more.)

BUT: What if a kind stranger had not turned in her passport to a police station? I’ve often wondered how things would have turned out. Would travel insurance have helped us out in this situation? I did a little research with an insurance company called Protect Your Bubble.

Turns out that a lost passport isn’t covered by their travel insurance plans but a stolen passport is and falls under the category of ‘Trip Interruption’. So let’s say your passport is stolen while you’re traveling, something that happens more frequently than you might think. As long as everything is documented, including a police report about the theft, your Trip Interruption insurance* will have you covered. While you’ll have to pay out of pocket for your travel expenses to get yourself home, you can file a claim for 100% coverage. With Protect Your Bubble, various scenarios are covered, from medical and dental emergencies and trip cancellations to rental car damage and lost, damaged or stolen baggage.

Protect Your Bubble aims to simplify insurance for travelers and make the process easy. They offer next-day coverage, which is great if you’re planning a last-minute trip, fast purchase that takes less than two minutes and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week claims support.

While most people thankfully don’t need to file claims, travel insurance is never a bad idea and when you need it, you’ll be grateful you’ve got it.

* Terms and conditions may apply

Protect Your Bubble makes it easy to protect the things that matter most to you, with easy to use services, to personal care when you need it most. Visit ProtectYourBubble.com to learn more and protect what matters most to you!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Protect Your Bubble. The opinions and text are all mine.

Johnny Jet

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About the Author

Johnny Jet

I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

1 Comment on "Lost and Stolen Passports: Can Travel Insurance Help?"

  1. What an interesting article! I had no idea trip interruption would cover a ‘stolen passport.’ Some very valuable information to pass on! Thanks Johnny!

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