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Does travel insurance cover lost passports?

Expedite your new passport for upcoming travel, but extra fees may still apply.

Updated

After losing your passport, you need to invalidate the lost or stolen passport and apply for a new one at the nearest passport facility. If you’re already out of the country, that facility will be the nearest US embassy or consulate. While the normal processing time for passports takes several weeks even when expedited, you might receive a limited passport for upcoming travel.

Does travel insurance cover lost passports?

Yes, travel insurance can cover extra expenses if a lost or stolen passport causes trip interruptions or cancellations. Some credit card companies also offer limited coverage for this event. However for trip delays or interruptions, the cost of the lost passport fee itself may depend on the insurance company. Some companies may not consider it a reasonable and ordinary expense. Typical trip interruption coverage includes meals, hotel stays and the cost of re-routing your travel plans.

Also, trip cancellations may depend on the insurance company and the type of policy you chose. For example, you’ll likely get coverage if you bought a policy with trip cancellation for any reason. But many policies cover specific reasons for the cancellation — lost passports not being one of them.

How do I file a travel insurance claim after losing my passport?

You can file a travel insurance claim in a few steps:

  1. Use your travel insurance or credit card website to file a report in the claims section. You might also call the company’s claims department.
  2. Describe details about the incident leading to the lost or stolen passport.
  3. Send or upload proof of the passport loss and extra expenses. That can include the receipt for passport fees, the police report and receipts for expenses.
  4. Wait for the insurance company to contact you for further information. The process can take up to several weeks.
  5. You may receive a direct deposit or check with the reimbursed expenses.

How do I replace a lost or stolen passport in the US?

If you lose your passport at home, you’ll need to replace the passport at your nearest passport acceptance facility or passport agency. Passport agencies are emergency centers for those traveling abroad within the next 14 days.

What to do:

  1. Report your lost or stolen passport online to the US Department of State or by calling 1-877-487-2778. Once reported, the lost passport will become invalid.
  2. If your passport was stolen, obtain a police report immediately after discovering the theft.
  3. Search for the nearest passport acceptance facility or agency on the Department of State website.
  4. Bring your ID and required documents to the passport center.
  5. Fill out the passport application. You can either print it from the Department of State’s website or get an application upon arrival.
  6. Pay the passport application fee.
  7. Wait for your passport to arrive in the mail. To make the process faster, you can choose expedited delivery for an extra fee.
What to bring:

  • 2×2 headshot of yourself — The photo should be taken within the last six months, should include no smile or a natural smile, and shouldn’t include a head covering or glasses except for special circumstances.
  • ID — Driver’s license, expired passport or another government-issued ID
  • Birth certificate or picture of your previous passport
  • Marriage certificate or court order, if your name changed

Your passport will be invalid after you report it lost or stolen. Even if you find your passport later, you’ll need to apply for a replacement since you can no longer use the old passport.

How long will it take to replace a lost or stolen passport?

The processing time for replacing your passport may depend upon your travel plans. You can expect:

  • 6 to 8 weeks for standard processing
  • 2 to 3 weeks for expedited processing
  • 1 to 8 business days if you’re traveling within 2 weeks
  • No passports can be issued on a weekend or holiday abroad.

How much does it cost to replace my passport?

You’ll pay the standard fee unless the passport was stolen or you were involved in a catastrophic event. Possible fees include:

  • The application fee for a full-validity passport is $110 for the book or $30 for the card.
  • An expedited passport attracts a priority processing fee of $60.
  • An additional surcharge of $17 applies if you need 1- or 2-day delivery.

Consular officials may grant you an emergency passport for free if you can’t reasonably afford or access money for the replacement fee.

How do I report a lost or stolen passport in the US?

You can report your lost or stolen passport online using the US Department of State reporting system or by calling 1-877-487-2778.

If you’d prefer, you can also mail in the form DS-64 if you’re not planning to replace your passport. You can print the form from the Department of State website and mail it to:

ATTN: CLASP
U.S. Department of State
CA/PPT/S/L/LE
44132 Mercure Cir
P.O. Box 1227
Sterling, VA 20166-1227

How do I report a lost or stolen passport abroad?

If you’re traveling in a different country, you’ll need to find the nearest US embassy or consulate to report the passport lost or stolen and replace it.

What to do:

  1. You can search for the nearest US embassy on the Department of State website.
  2. Bring your ID and necessary documents to the embassy.
  3. Once you arrive, ask an official where the consular section is and where you can take your passport photo. You likely need the photo before going to the consular section.
  4. Notify a consular officer if your passport was stolen.
  5. Fill out the application and lost or stolen passport report.
  6. Pay the passport fee unless the passport was stolen or lost during a disaster.
  7. Follow the consular officer’s instructions for receiving your new passport. If you need to travel in a hurry, you may be issued an emergency passport.
  8. File a police report if your passport was stolen. You may want a copy in English for your records. You can skip this step if you have pressing upcoming travel.
What to bring:

  • Passport photo
  • ID — Driver’s license or expired passport
  • Evidence of US citizenship — birth certificate or photocopy of previous passport
  • Travel plans like a plane ticket, if you’re traveling soon

Case study: Pisa passport thief

Sydney was vacationing in Pisa when she had her purse stolen, including her passport and credit cards. She replaced her passport at the nearest US embassy, reported the stolen passport and called her bank to put a stop on her credit cards. To access funds, she had a friend wire money that she picked up in cash.

However, Syndey had to re-book her flight and stay at a hotel two days later than planned since the theft happened on a weekend. Once home, Sydney submitted receipts for the flight exchange fee and extra hotel stays to her travel insurance company, costing $300 for the first day and $100 for the second. Since her policy limited daily benefit to $200, Syndey paid $100 in expenses out of pocket.

How to prepare before you leave for your trip

Reduce the stress and expense of potentially losing your passport before you even leave for your trip:

  • Take a photo of your passport and store it on your mobile phone or email yourself a copy.
  • Make a note of your passport number and email it to yourself.
  • Email yourself important contact numbers for the US State Department, closest US embassy and your travel insurance company’s travel assistance services.
  • Pack two recent passport photos in case you need them.
  • Pack extra ID, credit cards or travelers checks. Make sure you store them separate from your other funds.
  • Ensure a friend or relative has access to your birth or citizenship certificate if you need it.
  • Consider taking a reloadable travel money card instead of a credit card.

Compare travel insurance policies for lost passports

Name Product Trip Cancellation Emergency Medical Expenses Baggage Coverage Trip delay
Allianz Travel OneTrip Emergency Medical Plan
$50,000
$2,000
$1,000
Budget-friendly policy designed for international and domestic travelers who want medical protection. Trip cancellation and trip interruption not included.
Allianz Travel AllTrips Basic Plan
$20,000
$1,000
$600
Annual policy that offers affordable protection, but doesn't include trip cancellation or trip interruption.
Travelex Travel Basic
100%
$15,000
$500
$500
Essential travel coverage — with the option to customize — that can protect the cost of your trip.
Travelex Flight Insure
$10,000
$1,000
$100
Protect the cost of your flight and choose the coverage amount that meets your needs — trip delay protection included.
RoamRight Essential Travel Insurance Plan
100%
$15,000
$750
$500
Basic policy with coverage that includes trip cancellation insurance, tourist health insurance and baggage insurance.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

While losing a passport can alarm you, you do have options for getting a new passport expedited for travel. If that lost passport leads to a delay or cancellation in your plans, your extra expenses may be covered by travel insurance under certain circumstances. If you’re planning for a trip ahead of time, make sure you have enough travel coverage for this kind of situation.

Frequently asked questions about lost passports

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