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Rail Passes & Travel Insurance

21 June, 2019 By Hayley Kennedy

Heading on a rail adventure? Seeing the sites by train can be a wonderful way to get from A to B while you holiday!

But when it comes to your rail tickets, how do you ensure you’re properly protected when investing such a big chunk on travel?

Rail passes can be expensive! If you’re travelling around Europe for 3 months, you’re looking at $1,410. Or a rail pass for 14 days in Japan will set you back $620. Certainly not an insignificant sum of money to lose out on. 

So, hop onboard and we’ll get you on track to getting cover for your tickets…

Is a rail pass for me?

When it comes to rail passes there are pros and cons depending on your type of trip. If you’re a spontaneous traveller with no set plans, go full steam ahead - a rail pass gives you the freedom and flexibility that you want. 

However, if you have a more-structured trip, where you need to be in certain places at certain times it may be better to purchase a ticket each time. This ensures you will get to your destination on time (as rail pass trains only allow you to travel on specific trains). Plus you can secure a discount by purchasing well in advance. Chew Chew!

Either way you will most likely have to purchase the pass/tickets before you leave home so it’s important to be covered for your pre-paid expenses you’re about to fork out on. 

Are rail passes covered by travel insurance? 

When it comes to getting travel insurance to cover your rail passes it can be a little tricky to understand.
Typically, your rail passes are covered under the Travel Documents benefit, along with other travel documents like your passport. This benefit covers any essential travel documents that are lost, stolen or destroyed during your journey and will pay for you to get them replaced.
This is usually only included in comprehensive policies so always double check your chosen insurers Product Disclosure Statement.

Compare rail pass travel insurance

We’ve had a look at the market and researched who covers what when it comes to rail passes. The below table compares the Travel Documents benefits included in Comprehensive plans.

General Advice Warning: The contents of this article were accurate at the time of writing. Insurers change their policies from time to time, so some information may have changed. You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement of your chosen insurer to understand what is covered and what isn't. The information provided is of a general nature only and does not take into account any personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal circumstances.


What is covered?

  • Theft: If your pass is stolen, make sure you report it to authorities within 24 hours. You would also need report it to the rail pass provider as a written statement maybe required by your insurer when claiming. 
  • Theft: Should you lose your pass, speak to your travel supplier to organise a new one. You will be able to make a claim on your travel insurance for any additional expenses you may incur getting a replacement.
  • Damage: Some destinations like Japan can be strict on the condition of your rail pass, so keep it safe and secure as much as possible. If your pass is damaged and is not accepted, go get a new one and travel insurance can reimburse you if you are out of pocket.
  • Cancellations: If for any unforeseen reason you were unable to travel (let’s say you became sick prior to travelling) you would be able to claim for any unused tickets under the Cancellations and Lost Deposits benefit.  Eurail offer an 85% refund or an exchange for a different Eurail Pass if you cannot use your tickets. 

What isn't covered?

  • Tardiness: If you miss a pre-booked, pre-paid train and your rail pass won’t get you onto an alternative. You’d be on your own in terms of booking and paying the reservation fee again for alternative time. 
  • Leaving your pass where it could easily be stolen: If you leave your pass out, unattended in a hostel and it gets pinched, you may find your insurer will not cover you as you were not acting in a responsible manner so keep your stuff safe and sound.

What to do if my rail pass is not covered by insurance?

If you find out your insurance policy does not cover your rail pass there are alternate ways you can get this insured.

Eurail offer pass protection insurance which you can add on for an extra premium when purchasing your pass. This covers the remaining value of your lost or stolen Eurail Pass.

How it works:
  • If your pass in misplaced get a police report within 24 hours.
  • Continue your journey with replacement rail ticket or a rail pass.
  • Once the trip is completed send all new tickets in with your claim.
There are specific terms and maximum benefits so always read their terms and conditions to fully understand their cover.

Unfortunately, J R Passes do not offer any type of pass protection. On their website it advises their rail passes cannot be reissued if lost or stolen. So, make sure you keep it safe at all times!

Contributor Hayley Kennedy

Hayley Kennedy

Originally from the UK, Hayley took a gap ‘year’ in 2011… and it’s still going! She’s travelled all over the world, volunteering in a Ugandan orphanage, skydiving in Australia, shark diving in South Africa, and skiing in the Alps (and snapping in a ligament in the process!). Certified in Tier 2 General Insurance General Advice and working in travel insurance for over two years, Hayley is a thrillseeker and a storyteller who loves hearing about customers’ holiday plans and sharing her own tips and must-see spots to help get them inspired.

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