If the unthinkable happens on holiday, and your personal belongings get stolen, you need to know what to do and when to do it to ensure you can recover the costs of your lost items, and get back home safe.
Take a quick inventory so you know what is missing
Before you report the theft you need to know what has been stolen. The things most likely to be targeted are passports, cash, bank cards, and valuable personal items such as jewellery and watches.
Report the theft to local police
To make a claim on your travel insurance and to stand a chance of getting your belongings back, you will need to file the incident with the police within 24 hours. If the language barrier is an issue it may help to contact the British Embassy first. Try and get a few copies of your statement as they will be needed for any claims you make to your travel insurance provider.
What to do if your UK passport has been stolen abroad
- File a police report within 24 hours
- Apply for an emergency travel document online
- Collect your emergency travel document from the Embassy or Consulate before rebooking any flights back home.
Contact the British Embassy
Either the Embassy, High Commissioner or Consulate are able to assist with understanding local laws and legal procedures, and they are also able to assist with providing translators and even English-speaking lawyers.
Cancel bank cards and contact the bank
Freeze any accounts linked to stolen bank cards and contact your bank. It may be possible for the bank to issue a new card to be sent by express delivery to where you are staying abroad, or send emergency cash. If your card has been used since being stolen your bank may refund the money.
Contact your travel insurance provider
Once you have a police statement, you can start your travel insurance claim online. You will need your insurance certificate details, details of the incident, and any supporting documentation to be able to start the claim.
What to do your mobile phone has been stolen abroad
Contact your phone provider so that they can block your device. They may also send you a new SIM by express delivery.
Stay safe – do not try to recover your belongings yourself
Do not arrange to meet anyone who says they have your belongings and is asking to meet up to return them. If you get approached then notify the police immediately.
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