Are my valuables covered for theft when travelling?
Tourist with expensive camera
Whether it’s a day trip not far from home or an adventure overseas, when wanderlust calls you just have to answer. And wherever we go, we always seem to have our phones by our sides or a camera in hand ready to capture the moment. But what happens if that camera or another valuable item is stolen during your vacation? Are you covered? Before packing your bag, let’s take a moment to make sure you have the protection you need.

Does home insurance cover theft while travelling?

Under your standard home insurance policy, your personal belongings are covered if they’re stolen by a stranger. But depending on what the item is, different belongings can be covered up to different amounts. For example, jewelry may have its own specific coverage limit under your policy that comes into play in situations like theft.

However, if you do find yourself needing to make a claim for a stolen item, no matter what it is, you will need to provide proof of ownership. This means that you’ll need to provide documentation, such as a receipt, to show that you owned the item. The receipt or other document will also be used in determining the value of your stolen belonging and to ensure you’re correctly compensated.

It’s also important to keep in mind that although your home policy can cover stolen items both at home and while you’re away, if your policy’s deductible is more than the item’s value, you may be responsible for replacing it yourself. For example, if your camera is worth $500, but your deductible is $1,000, you’ll likely be paying out of pocket for a replacement. But there are other options to make sure this isn’t the case:

  • 1. Add extra coverage to your home policy
    If you own a specialty item that you just can’t go without, such as a watch, you can schedule this item under your home policy. In insurance lingo, “scheduling” means that you are adding extra coverage for a specific item so it’s insured up to its own set amount; subject to a per item maximum and total combined limit. As an added perk, if you ever needed to make a claim for an item that’s been scheduled, no deductible applies.
  • 2. Get travel insurance
    Having travel insurance is also a great way to make sure you’re prepared for unexpected events while you’re away. Travel insurance can cover emergency medical expenses, cancelled trips and any stolen or lost items. There are many travel insurance companies out there who can provide you with different packages; it’s worth taking the time to find the one that best meets your needs and your budget.

Tips for protecting your valuables abroad:

  • If you can, leave your valuables stored safely back at home. Also, be sure to take steps to prepare your home for while you’re away.
  • Keep your expensive belongings in your carryon during travel days (you’ll also want to check that these are approved carryon items if flying).
  • Get a lock for your suitcase, or use a suitcase with a built-in lock.
  • Pack light – you’ll have less to carry around and you’ll be less of a target to thieves.
  • Use the hotel’s safe to keep your passport, extra cash, jewelry or other items secure while out exploring.
  • Plan ahead – know where you’re going, how to get there and what areas to steer clear of.
  • Try not to keep valuables, like your phone or wallet, in your back pocket.
  • If you’re using a purse or a backpack, keep it zipped up at all times.
  • Don’t leave your phone or wallet out in the open, such as on a table or other surface. The last thing you want is for someone to be dashing away with your wallet while you’re dining.

Also, be sure to check out the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories for the country (or countries) you’re travelling to prior to your trip. This will help ensure that your vacation is one to remember for all the right reasons.

Protect your home and the things you love most.