Top 5 Items Stolen from Travellers on Holiday

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Some countries are safer to travel to than others. For example, Barcelona, Spain, is dubbed as the ‘pickpocket central’ of the world by TripAdvisor, with 6000 cases of theft daily. However, all seasoned travellers know that theft and loss can happen anywhere so it pays to be vigilant and insured.

On average, there is an estimated 400,000 pickpocket thefts around the world per day, which accounts for 33.33% of all travel insurance claims. Qompanion looked into global data of the most commonly stolen items against travel insurance coverage to see whether it is worth being covered. In ascending order, here are the Top 5 Items Stolen from Travellers on Holiday.

5. Cameras


Most people think their cameras are too noticeable to steal, given how bulky DSLR cameras can be. And yet, so many people return home from vacation without them. Since most people don’t usually carry their cameras around on a day to day basis, they are more likely to forget about them or leave them on tables, where they are easy to swipe. While it can be devastating to lose the pictures of you jumping in front of the Eiffel Tower, you can take heart that your insurance will the loss of your camera.

- Value of Item: RM 1,500 - RM 9,000

- Travel Insurance Coverage: RM 500 or up to 40% of your claim limit

- Note: Provided you took reasonable effort to ensure its safety and make a police report immediately after it gets stolen, your camera should be covered under your package

4. Passports & ID

There is a lucrative trade on the black market for passports, especially passports from countries that top the Global Passport Power Index. Malaysia ranks as the 6th most powerful passport in the world, allowing Malaysians to go to 156 countries visa-free. As such, this is a commonly pick-pocketed item. Losing a passport can completely ruin your holiday, as you will not be able to fly anywhere. Aside from the inconvenience, it can easily cost you thousands of dollars, as you need to make a police report then travel to the location of the Malaysian embassy, before buying a ticket to fly out from there. The silver lining is that your insurance will coordinate and assist you throughout this harrowing time, as well as take care of the costs.

- Value of Item: RM 300 + travel costs

- Travel Insurance Coverage: RM 500 - RM 7500

- Note: Some basic packages do not cover this, while all premium packages do. The coverage amount varies across packages, but almost all work as an reimbursement. This means you need receipts for any costs incurred due to a lost passport, and you must have a police report in the country you lost your passport.

3. Laptops

This is an item that gets commonly stolen in airports and cafes. One minute, you’re sitting by your laptop, where it’s charging at a dock. You turn away for a few minutes to respond to a text, and the next time you look up, your laptop is gone. Considering laptops contain many people’s livelihoods, this is one item you do not want to lose. The good news is, your travel insurance will cover this if it gets stolen or damaged, and with cloud storage, you don’t have to lose all your data. Make sure to backup your data before leaving for vacation and install tracking software like Find My iPhone/iPad/Mac or Prey.

- Value of Item: ~RM 3,000

- Travel Insurance Coverage: RM 500 or up to 40% of your claim limit

- Note: The wording in your policy can be tricky. Many policies limit the total claim per item to RM 500 or up to 40% of the total limit in your package. Check with your personal Qompanion consultant when purchasing your package.

2. Wallets


Since the dawn of time, pickpockets have targeted purses and wallets. Ladies, always zip your handbags, and use smaller, less bulky purses while on holiday. Men, refrain from keeping your wallet in your back pocket, as this is the easiest position to steal from. As wallets often contain ID and credit/debit cards, the first thing to do when you lose your wallet is to cancel all bank and credit cards. Then, immediately make a police report. This is especially important for creating new ID’s and claiming your travel insurance.

- Value of Item: Cash value lost + inconveniences endured as direct result

- Travel Insurance Coverage: RM 2,500 - RM 7,500

- Note: An average of RM 1,000 is usually insured in cash value, plus additional accommodation or travel expenses needed to obtain new documents.

1. Smartphones

If you’re like 33.33% of millenials who would rather give up sex than your smartphone, the thought of losing it during vacation can only be devastating. Aside from not being able to Instagram and Facetime, many people’s work, entertainment and personal details are all locked in their phones. Unfortunately, this is the most commonly stolen item worldwide. It is too easy to swipe a phone out of a back pocket or an open bag, and almost impossible to retrieve.

- Value of Item: ~ RM 1,500

- Travel Insurance Coverage: RM 500 or up to 40% of your claim limit

- Note: Your insurance will not cover negligence, like leaving it behind in a taxi, or dropping it in the ocean while capturing the sunset.

For successful claims, you need a police report.

The rule of thumb to claim any stolen or damaged items is to always, always make a police report the moment you realize your belongings are damaged or missing. Almost all insurances have a 24 hour clause, which means if you make a report after that, your claims are null and void. Therefore it is important to be vigilant and take only as much as you need on vacation, to reduce the risk of losing anything.

And as with any insurance package, the higher your premium, the more coverage you get. Compare different plans here and see which is the one you truly need.