Greece holidaymakers urged to protect travel cash

Greece holidaymakers urged to protect travel cash

As speculation on a Greek euro exit continues, holidaymakers heading for Greece are reportedly travelling with more cash than they normally would. With some 150,000 UK holiday makers jetting off to Greece every week, insurer is urging travellers planning to take a large amount of cash abroad to carefully check their travel insurance to make sure they have cover for cash, and are aware of their insurer’s terms and conditions.

11 per cent of policies exclude cover for holiday cash altogether

Check policy limits

The majority of travel insurance policies provide cover for the accidental loss of, theft of or damage to personal money and documents (such as a driving licence). However, insurers generally cap the amount they will pay-out for cash to between £200 and £300, with just 11 per cent of providers covering cash amounts of £500 or more. Plus 11 per cent of policies exclude cover for holiday cash altogether. And some excesses (the amount you'd have to pay in the event of a claim)  for pay-outs are generally £50 to £100 but can be as high as £250.

Caroline Lloyd from commented: “While most travel insurance includes cover for money - cover limits, excesses and exclusions vary wildly between policies. As such you need to make sure you buy a policy which has the appropriate cover limit and ensure you understand the terms that apply to cash. Insurers will expect you to take reasonable care to safeguard against loss, damage or opportunistic thieves. So pack cash, travel documents, passports and other important paperwork in your hand luggage and if your hotel or apartment has a safe or safety deposit box, use it.”

Take cover when you book up

The Greek currency crisis is also causing regular strikes which can result in disruption to air and port travel.  “We also strongly advise people booking a holiday to Greece to buy travel insurance as soon as they book their holiday.  Most policies include cover for holiday cancellation and curtailment, but you’re only covered for events you don’t know about before buying the policy – so the sooner you buy the policy the more protection you have,” adds Caroline.

Insurers generally apply special conditions in relation to claims involving the loss or theft of money, so suggests that holidaymakers do the following:

1. Take care of your money

Policy terms and conditions usually require you to keep money/cash on your person or to leave it in a safe or safety deposit box.  You are unlikely to be covered for cash stolen from an unattended bag or case – the definition of ‘unattended’ includes the hold of a plane, the trunk of a coach, bus or car or, if the cash is left in the wardrobe of a locked hotel room.   

2. Report losses

Report the loss/theft to the local police in the country where the incident occurred, typically within 24 hours of discovery, and obtain a written report and a crime reference number. A report from a holiday representative will not be sufficient. If the money was stolen from a hotel safe or safety deposit box, you will need to report the loss/theft to the hotel and get written confirmation from the hotel.

3. Keep receipts

To substantiate a claim you will usually be asked to provide an original receipt for the item lost, stolen or damaged.  So to claim for lost or stolen holiday money, you will need to provide a foreign currency receipt showing the amount of money you exchanged.


The Foreign Office is advising Britons travelling to Greece to take enough Euros to last their whole trip, including emergencies.

It says: "While banks are closed in Greece and some withdrawals are limited, make sure you take sufficient euros in cash to cover the duration of your stay, emergencies, unforeseen circumstances and any unexpected delays. You should take appropriate security precautions against theft. There are currently no restrictions on taking unspent euros out of Greece at the end of your stay."

Last updated Tue 30 Jun 2015 11.50

  • Read our guide to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) here. Plus check out our travel insurance guide here.