Cover for cash and travel insurance

If you lose money, or it gets stolen, while you’re on holiday your travel insurance can help cover the loss.

Amanda Bathory-Griffiths
Amanda Bathory-Griffiths
Updated 14 October 2019  | 4 min read

How insurers deal with cash 

Most travel insurance policies cover the loss or theft of some cash, but only up to a certain limit.

The amount you’re covered for depends on the policy, and whether it’s the norm. Some policies will cover you for documents too, like your passport.

Look at policy details when comparing to make sure you’ve got enough cover.

Key points

  • Most travel insurance policies offer some cover for lost or stolen cash    
  • Sometimes the cover extends to documents too, like your driving licence or passport    
  • There are always exclusions, so make sure you keep your cash safe or you might not be covered    
  • Expect to pay an excess for cash cover, how much varies between policies  

Insurers generally cap the amount of cash covered at up to £300.

We checked Defaqto and only 13% of 1,110 single-trip policies, and 16% of 1136 annual travel insurance policies offer cash cover for £500 or more, while 5% (single-trip) and 3% (annual) of policies offered no cash cover at all.

Most policies have stricter cash caps for children, usually £50.

Excess amounts were typically over £50 for 74% of single-trip policies and 55% of annual ones.[1]

Beware of common exclusions

Every policy is different, but there are always exclusions:

  • Most insurers won’t cover cash that’s been left unattended, for example in a bag, a car or a hotel drawer. It needs to be with you or locked in a hotel safe
  • That includes baggage on flights or ferries too. If it’s in the hold, it usually won’t be covered 
  • You’ll need to prove the loss, so keep bank withdrawal slips or receipts
  • You won’t be covered if you don’t report the theft or loss to the local police and get a crime reference number or written report. Some impose time limits too

Check policy documents before you leave so you know what your insurer expects you to do if your money’s lost or stolen.

Tips for travelling with cash

  1. Pay by card so you’re not carrying around lots of cash. You’ll still need to carry some for small stores, cafes or markets though

  2. Familiarise yourself with the currency before you travel so you don’t make any mistakes when you first arrive

  3. Don’t keep all your cash in one place - if you’re travelling with someone else, split the money between you

  4. Use the safe in your hotel room - if there isn’t one, ask the hotel where you can safely store cash. You might be able to rent one

  5. Don’t carry more cash than you need each day 

  6. Don’t take any cards abroad that you don’t need. That way, if your wallet gets stolen you won’t have as many cards to replace

  7. Keep small change separate from notes and easy to access 

  8. Be discreet when using cash in public and at ATMs

  9. Never carry cash in your back pocket or front pocket of a backpack, where it can easily be stolen 

  10. Let someone know you’re travelling so they can wire you money in an emergency 

Taking cash abroad

Get your cash in a variety of notes, rather than having it all in the same denomination - a mix of 5s, 10s and 20s is ideal.

Don’t take lots of high-value notes as this could be tricky when it comes to small purchases and you’ll lose more if your cash goes missing. You can take any amount of cash to another EU country, and up to €10,000 outside the EU.  

You must declare it if you’re taking more than this, or you face a fine of up to £5,000. Download and fill in form C9011 or ask for a copy when you get to the airport.  

Always check the specific rules in the country you’re travelling to. 

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[1]Last checked 1 August 2019

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