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Insurance Article

What to Do if You Lose Important Documents Abroad

December 12 2018
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This guide to some of the basic ‘Do’s’ should help you, in case you lose relevant travel related documents during the trip

You are holidaying with your family in a foreign country and why not! Your vacation is well deserved and was a long time coming. You have reached on time, haven’t had any issue with lost luggage. The people seem perfectly friendly and you have taken to the culture there just like a fish takes to water. You think everything has been going unusually smooth and you are ready to put your feet up for the next week (or two).

Until you realize you have lost the passport overseas…and it is then that the scare kicks in.

Amidst all the fun, there could be unexpected hassles such as dealing with a misplaced passport or a stolen passport, misplaced flight ticket or driver’s license. Since you would need most of these documents to enter or depart a country, misplacing them can bring down the figurative hammer on your head, leaving you shaken and stirred at the same time.

However, everything’s not lost as there are a few ways you can retrieve these documents. All you would have to do is act quick and intelligent.

  • Follow up and act quick
  • While it is sensible to move real fast as soon as you discover you’ve lost a few crucial documents, make sure that you did really misplace them and just not put them somewhere else in a moment of forgetfulness. Now that you are sure, make a list of every paper you’ve lost. Try and trace back your steps, in your head of course, just to take a guess where you could’ve lost them. This is because once you are even moderately certain of the place/point in time you might’ve lost your documents, there is a better chance of you cluing the authorities in on it and possibly recovering the items faster.

  • Contact the embassy
  • You would also want to bring the embassy there up to speed with what has happened, and do all of it rather quick. Remember that embassies don’t operate on public holidays and (usually) over the weekends. If you have more travel lined up in a spate of few days, you wouldn’t want to miss those flights stemming from a delay in alerting the authorities.

  • File a report with the police
  • Go to the police station that’s nearest to where you have put up and report lost passport (or the specific documents you have misplaced) with them. This holds true, especially if you’ve misplaced your credit card or want to make a claim on your insurance policy. Also, should you be ever stopped and interrogated by the authorities, you would want to have proof of all correspondence and police reports on you. This will be your breather for not having the original documents with yourself.

  • Reach out to your embassy
  • It is they who will help you with a temporary replacement passport, make subsequent arrangements and advise you on the road ahead. Please note that you might have to shell out some money to get a new passport issued, unless of course such additional charges are waived off.

    There are of course a few additional ready tips that can hold you in good stead while on an overseas trip:

  • Retain soft copies of important travel related documents such as passport, visas and credit cards as well, for that matter. Have them stored in your email account should you ever need easy access to them. This will help when you apply for a lost passport or other travel documents.
  • Avail a locker service whenever possible
  • Have a few emergency numbers ready. The same goes with the embassy contact and address, and contact of the nearest police station.
  • Always keep some cash on you, should you require that to pay a lost passport fee, transport costs, food and lodging expenses, etc.
  • And probably more important than anything else, is to get a travel insurance policy. A comprehensive international travel insurance policy can provide sufficient coverage against unanticipated circumstances and aberrations such as a situation wherein you’ve lost your passport (or it has been stolen for that matter). Further, it can also indemnify you for additional expenditure/damages stemming from lost luggage, a missed flight or emergency medical treatment that you might’ve undergone over the course of the trip.

Such travel insurance plans are often standalone components, that basis the extent of the damages and your need, can be very affordable. One of the upsides of this is that you can search up and compare international travel insurance online, owing to a number of web aggregators and insurance companies.

Related Article:

Avoid Getting Scammed On Your Next Trip
Tips to Protect Phone Data Theft While Crossing Borders

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