Passport insurance covers the insured against the replacement costs associated with a lost or stolen passport. When deciding whether or not to purchase passport insurance, consider that the cost of a U.S. passport renewal is about $110 and expedited service is another $60. If you are overseas, there may some other shipping fees.
While each company's coverage varies, passport insurance should generally cover the costs associated with obtaining a new passport that has been lost or stolen and the related delivery costs. For example, Travel Visa Pro offers passport replacement insurance for U.S. citizens at a lifetime cost of $9.99. The insurance plan will cover the costs to pay for the fastest processing speed necessary, based on the traveler's departure date; the passport agency fees and photos are not covered.
Passport insurance generally does not cover expenses associated with the routine replacement of expired passports such as photographs and application fees. Similarly, name changes and the costs in obtaining visas for foreign travel are also not covered. The insurance generally only covers unexpected costs that would not have been incurred but for the passport being lost or stolen.
While losing your passport may be a headache, it will not cost you a great deal of money to replace. As an alternative to purchasing passport insurance, travelers may want to consider a passport replacement service. For example, travelers who purchase American Express Traveler's Cheques are automatically entitled to passport replacement assistance, free of charge. American Express represents that its service can help in the processing of a new passport.
The loss of your passport may result in significant costs associated with the disruption that it may cause your travel plans. For example, you may not be able to travel without your passport and you may be forced to forfeit nonrefundable deposits on hotels, airfare or tours. As an alternative to passport insurance, consider the purchase of traveler's insurance to protect the value of the investment in your trip.
Whether or not you carry passport insurance, it is critical that you report your lost or stolen passport immediately. For U.S. citizens, a report may be made by telephone at 1-877-487-2778 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays.