Sometimes a trip does not turn out enjoyable even if you plan it up to the last detail. Theft in the hotel room is one instance that can spoil the whole trip altogether.
Losing personal belongings costs money to replace. But beyond this, it’s the sentimental value of the item that can cause undue stress to anyone.
Pictures taken of the trip are forever gone when the camera is lost. Also, stolen passports will hamper your travel plans.
What will you do then if you find your valuable items – electronic gadgets, cameras, jewelry, or personal documents missing inside your hotel room?
Report the incident to hotel personnel the moment you realize that your hotel room is robbed. Contact the police as well to inform them of the theft incident.
Inform Hotel Personnel
Call the front desk immediately to let them know that an item is lost or stolen inside the hotel room. Ask to speak with security as well as they have access to the hotel’s CCTV cameras.
CCTV cameras can monitor the movements outside the hotel room. But, vital information from the guests is needed too so the hotel can help the guests find the missing items.
To make a thorough investigation, hotel security will need the following information:
- Guest’s name, address, phone number, email, and other contact information
- Item/s missing with a detailed description
- Provide photos of the missing items, if available.
- Location of the missing items before leaving the room
- Date and time the item/s were last seen
- Time the guests left the room
- The time when the item/s were found missing and reported
Ask the hotel personnel to keep you updated on the development of their findings—request as well for a lost and found report.
While you await the hotel security report, try to also recall where you placed or last saw the item. Thoroughly check the room as you might have moved it to a different location such as your luggage or purse.
Do You Need to Report the Incident to the Police?
Insurance claims of stolen personal belongings require a police report. Report to the police whose jurisdiction the hotel falls into so they can also investigate the robbery incident.
Recount the circumstances to the police. Provide the same information you gave to the hotel for consistency.
Provide as well your hotel booking record, reservation details, and other proof that you are staying in the hotel. This will prove that you are a guest of the hotel.
All of this information will aid the investigation and the police can furnish you with a report. This then is what you can present to the insurance company.
Does Travel Insurance Cover Theft From Hotel Rooms?
It is always advisable to purchase travel insurance when you go on a trip, especially to other countries. Delayed or canceled flights are stressful. If you have travel insurance, you can get reimbursed for the inconvenience caused by these airline problems.
Aside from this, travel insurance covers instances such as:
“You’ve locked your passport and camera in your hotel room safe for the day. When you return you realise the safe has been broken into and your belongings are nowhere to be seen. Your travel insurance policy will cover you for any financial losses you incur to replace these items.”
So, when planning your travel, do consider getting travel insurance. This is not an unnecessary expense as insurance coverage will come in handy in different travel circumstances.
Ensure your valuables are safe before leaving your hotel room. There are several ways to do this.
Safety Deposit Box
Check if your hotel room has a safety deposit box. If it is available, use this by changing the pin code. Do remember the code though. Or you can write it down so you can open the box upon your return.
Once the code has been changed, place your valuables inside the safety deposit box. This will help put your mind at ease about the safety of your belongings.
In addition, place jewelry or small valuable items inside a travel jewelry organizer then put it inside the safety deposit box. This will prevent losing or misplacing small items.
Small items in one container will also make packing easier and ensure nothing is left behind.
Use Your Luggage
Place your valuables inside your luggage if you are doubtful about the safety of your belongings in the safety deposit box. Storing valuables inside your bags will work too for items that won’t fit inside the safety deposit box.
A luggage lock may be built in or an external padlock may be used. Just do not forget to lock the luggage when you are going out for the day.
In addition, laptop bags may come with a lock. Place your laptop and other personal belongings inside this bag and lock it.
Do Not Disturb Sign
Another way to keep your room safe is to hang the Do Not Disturb sign on the door before you leave the room. Housekeeping will not fix your room when they see this sign.
The sign can keep strangers away too as it will make them think someone is in the room.
Prepare a list of items you will bring for your hotel stay. This will work in two ways.
One, a packing list can be referred to identify any missing item in your room. Second, this will serve as a reminder of what to bring so you won’t forget things when packing.
What Do Hotels Do for Lost Things Found in the Hotel?
Hotel guests may have checked out before the reported missing items are located. What should hotels do in this circumstance?
“The hotel is obliged to store found items for one year from the moment of informing the owner or for two years if the owner cannot be identified. Information on the storage length should be included in the hotel regulations or the hotel guide.”
Front desk staff or security should get the contact information of the guest before checking out. In doing so, the hotel can send the found items back to the guest.