What to Do if Your Luggage is Stolen on Vacation
Getting your luggage stolen on vacation is one of those nightmare travel scenarios, particularly if it’s packed full with everything you need for your trip. It could include expensive valuables such as a camera or even your passport.
Although this is always an upsetting experience, knowing how to approach the situation and get it resolved quickly will help alleviate some of the stress. There are also ways you can prepare ahead of your trip to make sure all your personal belongings and valuables are covered, so you won’t be left out of pocket. Travel insurance from Generali Global Assistance includes Baggage coverage for these types of situations.
Here, we look at what to do if your luggage has been stolen, step by step, making it easy for you to organize and get your belongings replaced as soon as possible. We’ve also added some tips on keeping your luggage safe, so you can try to try to prevent it from happening to you and limit the impact if it does.
7 Steps to Take if Your Luggage is Stolen
Step 1: Double check!
Before you submit any reports, double check your luggage has definitely been stolen, and not picked up by mistake. Look for any similar bags which may have an identifying luggage tag with contact details, and check with nearby staff in case it’s been handed in somewhere.
Step 2: Report it to the relevant person
Once you’ve established that your bag is definitely missing, it’s time to report it to the relevant person. Depending on where you are, this could be airline staff, hotel or hostel staff, a train conductor, the manager at a restaurant, or a driver on public transport.
Ask them for any forms or written documentation you’ll need to prove it has been logged missing or stolen, as these may vary by country, and find out their company policy for compensation in case some is provided. In the case of airlines and hotels, they might also be able to provide you with emergency items such as toiletries.
If you need advice on who to contact or how the initial reporting process works, contact your travel insurance company for help and advice to guide you through. If you have a Generali Global Assistance plan, you can find contact information here.
Step 3: Block any cards or phones
If you had any bank cards, mobile phones or similar valuables in your luggage that could be misused, take the necessary steps to block them to avoid any potential charges. Call your bank and phone provider to explain the situation, and they should be able to block any future charges and potentially reverse any fraudulent charges that have already taken place. Your bank can also advise you on how to access your money without a card if necessary.*
Bonus tip: If you have a Generali travel insurance plan you can use the Emergency Cash Transfer service that’s included with our plans.
Step 4: Report it to the police
To validate your travel insurance coverage, you’ll often need a written police report stating your luggage has been stolen. It’s important to get this within 24 hours, and your insurance company can help you figure out how to do this in a foreign country.
Step 5: Contact your insurance company to make a claim
Now that the theft has been reported and you’ve blocked any fraudulent payments, it’s time to call your insurance company and begin to make a claim. Start here to begin a claim with Generali.
Your insurance company can guide you through how to register your missing belongings, and seek reimbursement, or replacement of those items. If you’ve had your passport stolen, they can also advise you on how to arrange to recieve a new one through your nearest embassy.
Step 6: Find your receipts
Depending on your insurer, you may need a receipt for the claim. When filing a baggage claim with Generali, for example, items without receipts are reimbursed based upon 75% of the Actual Cash Value. Try to find the necessary papers and documents, which could be saved in your emails or online, and check if these gadgets are also covered by your home insurance.
Step 7: Take precautions in the future
While you can’t always prevent theft, there are ways to limit the risk and simplify the process if it does occur:
- Label all your bags with your contact details, and always be aware of where they are when you’re travelling - ideally, in sight.
- Never leave them somewhere that feels unsecure, even if it’s advertised as a secure storage place, and keep valuables to a minimum when you travel.
- Lastly, always keep photocopies of key documents such as passports and ID on the cloud, which will help make the replacement process much quicker should they get stolen.
* Travel Insurance plans from Generali Global Assistance do not cover replacement of bank cards or phones.