Does travel insurance cover lost passports?

Of all the things that can go wrong on a trip, a lost or stolen passport is arguably one of the most frustrating.

That’s because you can’t travel across international borders without a passport – you’re in limbo until you get a replacement.

While there’s no escaping the inconvenience of a missing passport, all Budget Direct travel insurance policies except Last Minute and Domestic can cover the cost of replacing yours if it goes astray during your trip. 

We can also insure you for reasonable additional expenses you rack up due to the trouble caused.

What’s covered?

If your passport is… We can cover you for… Claim limits (per insured person)
  • lost
  • stolen
  • damaged

Travel documents, credit cards and travellers cheques
Cost of replacing your passport (as well as any visas, travel money cards, travellers cheques, and credit cards that also go missing).

This includes passport-application fees and associated costs (e.g. fares for taxis to and from the Australian embassy processing your application overseas).

From up to $2,500 (Essential) to up to $5,000 (Comprehensive, Annual Multi-Trip).
Last Minute, Domestic: No cover
  • lost
  • stolen
Additional expenses
Reasonable extra accommodation, meals and travel expenses – over and above what you have budgeted for – if your trip is disrupted due to the loss of your passport.

From up to $12,500 (Essential) to up to $40,000 (Comprehensive, Annual Multi-Trip).
Last Minute, Domestic: No cover

Compare all travel policies

What’s not covered?

Budget Direct travel insurance does not cover passports lost or stolen in the following circumstances:

  • not carried with you (unless the passport was stolen from a locked safety deposit facility)
  • left unattended in a public place or with someone you don’t know
  • not carried in your hand luggage while you’re flying, busing, etc.
  • failure to obtain or renew your passport in time for your trip
  • invalid or expired passports (e.g. some countries require at least six months’ validity to enter the country)

In addition, a missing passport cannot be used as the reason to claim:

  • trip cancellation fees
  • travel delay expenses
  • loss of income.

Find out more

The information on this page is a summary only. For more details about Budget Direct travel insurance, including the terms, conditions, limits and exclusions that apply, please read the Product Disclosure Statement.

How to make a claim

If you need to make a claim, we’re here to help. Remember to get copies of incident reports and keep receipts of passport-related expenses you want reimbursed. Make a claim on your travel insurance policy.

How do I report my passport missing?

If your passport has been lost or stolen… You must report the incident within 24 hours to…

In Australia

  • Australian Passport Office or Australian Passport Information Service (131 232) (get a written report from them), and
  • if your passport’s been stolen, the local police (get a copy of the police report).

If you need help – for example, if you’re in a non-English-speaking country and need an interpreter to explain your situation to the local police – you can contact us for overseas emergency assistance.

How do I apply for a new passport?

To apply for a new Australian passport, follow these steps:

  1. Complete an application form, which can be started online and printed for lodgement. 
  2. Collect all necessary citizenship and identity documents (originals only).
  3. Get passport photos taken – as per the Australian passport photo requirements
  4. Ask a guarantor/referee to sign the form and photos.
  5. Lodge your application in person at a participating Australia Post outlet or, if you’re overseas, the nearest Australian embassy or consulate.
  6. Pay the relevant passport fees.

Read more about applying for an Australian passport

How much will my new passport cost?

Passport Fee
10-year validity passport (persons aged 16 and over)
5-year validity passport (children aged under 16) $148
5-year validity passport (optional for persons aged 75 and over) $148
Emergency passport overseas $184
Additional fees
Priority service $215
Overseas surcharge – adult  $132
Overseas surcharge – child  $64

Details correct as of April 2019. For more information about passport fees, including payment methods, visit the Australian Passport Office’s passport fees web page.

How quickly will I get my new passport?

According to the Australian Passport Office, it normally takes about three weeks for citizens to receive a new passport.

If you can’t afford to wait that long, you can, for an extra fee, get your passport delivered in just two business daysbut only if you’re applying in Australia or London.

If you apply from anywhere else, you’ll need to contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate to discuss how to speed up the process. For example, you may be eligible for an emergency passport, which is usually issued within two working days. 

Note that an emergency passport has only limited validity and, unlike an e-passport, is not embedded with a microchip containing your information. Consequently, you may not be able to enter or transit certain countries (e.g. the United States) using an emergency passport.

(If there’s no urgency, a new passport will be produced in Australia and couriered to the diplomatic mission you’re dealing with.)

What if I find my ‘missing’ passport?

If, after reporting your passport as lost or stolen, you find it, you won’t be able to use it again.

That’s because the Australian Government permanently cancels a passport the instant they’re told it’s missing; it cannot be reinstated.  

It’s illegal to try to travel on a cancelled passport, so you’ll have to wait for a new travel document before resuming your international trip.

What if I had a visa in my passport?

If you had any foreign visa labels in your passport when it went missing, you’ll need to contact the closest embassy or consulate of the country in question to enquire about applying for a replacement.

All Budget Direct travel insurance policies except Last Minute and Domestic can cover the cost of replacing your lost visas.

What if my bag is also lost or stolen?

If you were carrying your passport in a bag that was lost or stolen, it’s possible other valuable or sensitive items have disappeared too.  

If those items included identity and credit cards, you should cancel them as soon as possible to prevent identify theft and fraud.

If you need money to get home, the Australian Government recommends you first contact family or friends: They may be able to wire funds to you using a bank or commercial money transfer service.

In exceptional circumstances, the nearest Australian embassy, high commission or consulate may be able to provide you with a small emergency loan. 

Remember to report any loss or theft to the relevant authority (e.g. police, airline, embassy) and obtain an incident report to support any claim you make with us.

My passport’s damaged – what should I do?

If your passport is damaged due to contact with water or other liquids, for example, you may not be able to use it any more.

If you’re unsure whether the passport is still useable, contact the Australian Passport Information Service on 131 232 (if you’re in Australia) or the nearest Australian embassy or consulate (if you’re overseas) for advice. 

If you need to replace your passport, we can reimburse you for the cost of the new one (excluding any additional expenses, e.g. accommodation, food and transport). 

If your passport’s lost or damaged in a declared natural disaster, the Australian Government may replace it for free. 

Bracing yourself for a lost or stolen passport

Here are some simple steps you can take to soften the blow of losing your passport:

  • email your passport number to yourself before your trips starts
  • pack two recent passport photos, ideally signed by a guarantor/referee
  • take extra identification documents with you – and keep them separate from your passport
  • ensure a relative or friend back home in Australia has access to your original birth and/or Australian citizenship certificates.

Tips for securing your passport

If you follow these tips, you’ll greatly reduce the risk of your passport going missing:

  • when at home, keep your passport in a safe place 
  • when travelling, keep your passport:
    • in a locked hotel safe, or 
    • on your person inside a money belt and, ideally, also inside zip-lock bag, to protect it against spills and perspiration.

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