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Robbed on Vacation!! What to do Next?

Getting robbed on a vacation can ruin your whole trip, if you let it. It’s not common but getting robbed can happen to any traveler. If you find yourself being victim to theft, I’ve listed how to proceed and not let it ruin your vacation. After going through these steps, your net cost should be the replacement of your passport if that was stolen.

What’s Covered?

Theft can include your laptop, other electronics, clothes and luggage with personal items. Even damage to a rental car.

If something is stolen from you, call the local police immediately and file a police report. This will be needed for each insurance claim you make.


For every trip, always have a photocopy of your passport on your phone’s cloud. Also have a print out in case your phone is stolen.

If your lose your passport, contact the local U.S. embassy to report your stolen passport, and to schedule an emergency replacement appointment prior to your departure. When you go to your passport appointment, you’ll need to take your driver’s license and a photocopy of your stolen passport. After paying the passport fee, the officials will issue an emergency passport the same day so you can return home to the U.S. or continue your trip.

Rental Car

If your rental car was damaged or stolen, contact the rental company immediately. They’ll probably instruct you to go back to the rental company and show your police report. You’ll also need to call the credit card company used to purchase the rental to submit a claim. To get reimbursed for any rental damages, you’ll need to upload a copy of the police report and a receipt from the rental company showing the deductible charge. Your credit card company should reimburse you for rental damages in approximately two weeks after submitting the claim.

It is important to know, that most auto insurance policies do not extend coverage to the belongings inside of a vehicle, whether you’re covered under an independent travel agency or through your credit card. Car insurance covers the vehicle itself, damage to your vehicle or to the other party’s car in the event of an accident where you’re at fault. Remember: Car insurance is for the outside of the car, while home insurance is for the property inside of the vehicle.

Home Insurance Company

Your next call should be to your homeowners or renter’s insurance company. Your insurance agent can explain your coverage options for “stolen property outside of the house and internationally”. You’ll need to submit all of your purchase receipts for the stolen items. If you can’t find your receipts, you can submit your credit card statement to prove the purchase.

Once the claim is submitted, the insurance company will issue you a check to cover the replacement costs of everything you lost, minus the deductible listed on the policy.

Read the fine print on your existing policy. A homeowner or renter insurance policy almost always covers your off-premise belongings, including possessions stolen from your car, as long as you have the required paperwork and documentation, such as a police report.

Of course, policies vary for both homeowners and renters — if you skip insurance coverage altogether, you won’t be able to retroactively sign up for a plan after an incident has already occurred. Some policies cover theft of personal property only on the insured premises; others cover theft anywhere in the world. The amount of coverage or the cost of your deductible will vary based on your plan.

Remember: If it this way: home insurance is for the property inside of the vehicle, while car insurance is for the outside of the car.

Conclusion- What to do when things go wrong

  • Make a list of every stolen item. It’s helpful to know exactly what you brought with you, so you can quickly tell if it’s gone missing.

  • Ask a trusted local to help contact the police. Ask a trusted local to help you reach out to the local police, whether for translation assistance or simply for the sake of being taken more seriously. Your hotel can always be called to help.

  • Contact your insurance provider. Use all of the pre-existing resources at your disposal to help minimize the financial impact of the loss. Review your credit cards trip protection benefits with your home insurance policy, recoup almost all monetary expenses from the theft.

  • Keep traveling. All of your items are replaceable. Continue on with your trip and be aware of your surroundings.


Have you ever experienced theft on a trip? Do you have experience with submitting insurance claims? I’d love to hear your story.

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