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Holidaymakers heading to Greece urged to check their holiday cash travel insurance limits

25 June 2015
  • Travel insurance policies typically limit cover for cash to between £200 and £300;
  • Only 11% of travel policies cover cash of £500 or more;
  • 11% of policies exclude cover for holiday cash altogether;
  • Excesses for pay-outs under the ‘money’ section are generally £50 to £100 but can be as high as £250.

As speculation on a Greek euro exit continues, holidaymakers heading for Greece are reportedly travelling with more cash than they normally would.  But, Gocompare.com is urging travellers planning to take a large amount of cash abroad to carefully check their travel insurance to make sure they have cover for cash, and are aware of their insurer’s terms and conditions.

The majority of travel insurance policies provide cover for the accidental loss of, theft of or damage to personal money and documents (such as a driving licence).  However, insurers generally cap the amount they will pay-out for cash to between £200 and £300.   

An analysis of over 615 annual travel and 600 single-trip policies by Gocompare.com revealed a wide variation in the level of cover provided:*

Annual travel insurance

Single-trip insurance

No cover for the loss or theft of cash



Typical level of cover for cash

£200 to £300 (54% of policies)

£50 to £100 (64% of policies)

Policies providing cover for £500 or more



Policies providing less than £200 worth of cover



Typical excess for cash claim

£50 to £100 (63%)

£50 to £100 (64%)

The money limits shown in the table above are the amount payable per person insured on the policy, but significantly lower limits (typically £50) apply to children included on the policy.

Insurers generally apply special conditions in relation to claims involving the loss or theft of money, so Gocompare.com suggests that holidaymakers do the following

Take care of your money:

Policy terms and conditions usually require you to keep money/cash on your person or to leave it in a safe or safety deposit box.  You are unlikely to be covered for cash stolen from an unattended bag or case – the definition of ‘unattended’ includes the hold of a plane, the trunk of a coach, bus or car or, if the cash is left in the wardrobe of a locked hotel room.   

Report losses:

Report the loss/theft to the local police in the country where the incident occurred, typically within 24 hours of discovery, and obtain a written report and a crime reference number. A report from a holiday representative will not be sufficient;

If the money was stolen from a hotel safe or safety deposit box, you will need to report the loss/theft to the hotel and obtain written confirmation from the hotel.

Keep receipts:

To substantiate a claim you will usually be asked to provide an original receipt for the item lost, stolen or damaged.  So to claim for lost or stolen holiday money, you will need to provide a foreign currency receipt showing the amount of money you exchanged.

Caroline Lloyd from Gocompare.com Travel Insurance commented: “Greece is a popular destination for British holiday makers, but as speculation about a possible Greece currency crisis continues, ABTA is advising tourists to carry cash in euros and debit/credit cards so they are covered for all situations while travelling in Greece.  There have also been reports in the press of concerned holidaymakers heading to Greece with more cash than they would usually take abroad with them.

“While most travel insurance policies include cover for money, cover limits, excesses and exclusions vary wildly between travel policies.  As such you need to make sure you buy a policy which has the appropriate cover limit and ensure you understand the terms and conditions that apply to cash.  Insurers will expect you to take reasonable care to safeguard against loss, damage or opportunistic thieves.  So pack cash, travel documents, passports and other important paperwork in your hand luggage and if your hotel or apartment has a safe or safety deposit box, use it.” 

Caroline concluded: “The Greek currency crisis is also causing regular strikes which can result in disruption to air and port travel.  We also strongly advise people booking a holiday to Greece to buy travel insurance as soon as they book their holiday.  Most policies include cover for holiday cancellation and curtailment, but you’re only covered for events you don’t know about before buying the policy – so the sooner you buy the policy the more protection you have.”


Notes to editors:

*Source: Defaqto Matrix of 615 annual or multi-trip and 600 single-trip travel insurance policies - instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial research company Defaqto (24 June 2015).