Does travel insurance cover a lost passport?

Losing your passport can be expensive and time consuming. Find out exactly what your travel insurance will cover and what it won’t.

Amy Smith
Amy Smith
Updated 16 April 2021  | 4 min read

Losing your passport can be expensive and stressful, but your travel insurance is there to help.

Most policies will offer some cover for the cost of getting an emergency travel document.

Key points

  • Most travel insurance policies cover some of the costs associated with getting an emergency travel document (ETD) when abroad
  • Cover levels vary widely, so have a quick read of the policy details to see what your insurance covers
  • Most policies don't cover the cost of replacing a lost or stolen passport
  • Your ETD is not a substitute for a passport

How much does an emergency travel document (ETD) or a replacement passport cost?

Applying for an emergency travel document costs £100, while replacing an adult passport when you get home costs from £75.50 online and £85 by post.

You might also need to pay for transportation to the embassy or consulate, new passport photos and any replacement visas you might need.

Insurance cover if your passport is stolen

You’ll usually be covered for the costs of getting an ETD. But your travel insurance probably won’t cover the cost of replacing your passport when you return to the UK.

For policies that do cover the cost of getting a new passport, insurers will expect that you treated your lost passport as a valuable and kept it safe - you won’t be covered if your passport gets stolen when left unattended.

This includes your passport being left in a locked, parked car, though there might be an exception if the passport was well hidden.

98% of 952 annual travel insurance policies include cover for loss of passports, and 78% of polices have cover of £250 or more

According to Defaqto[1]

What to do if your passport is lost or stolen

If your passport is lost or stolen, you’ll need to:

Keep receipts for any expenses you have, so your insurance company can reimburse them when you get home.

Is there such a thing as an ‘emergency passport’?

No. Although the term is commonly used to refer to an ETD, there’s no such thing as an ‘emergency passport’.

An ETD is not a substitute for an actual passport - it’s only valid to get you to a specified destination. UK border staff usually keep your ETD so it can’t be used again.

If you lose your passport while you’re in the UK, you can apply for a passport urgently, as long as you have a valid reason why you need to get your passport faster than normal.

You can’t apply for a passport urgently if you’re outside the UK.

Passports after Brexit

You must check your passport validity well in advance of travelling and renew it now if you need to.

On the day you travel, your passport will need to: 

  • have at least six months left 
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has six months or more left) 

If you don’t renew your passport to meet these criteria, you won't be allowed to travel to EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. 

If you have an Irish passport, you can continue using it as long as it covers the length of your stay.

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[1]Last checked 18 August 2022