How to Avoid Hotel Room Thefts

Avoiding Loss or Theft of Valuables from Your Hotel Room

Theft from hotel rooms does happen and it is traumatic and costly. But action can take to reduce the risk of theft or loss from your hotel room

Every hotel guest likes to think that hotels are in a warm, welcoming and safe environment where nothing can go wrong and if it does then the hotel and its representatives will be understanding and willing to help resolve the situation and for the most part they are. But this often does not extend to the loss or theft of personal items, money or valuables.

Hotel Theft May be Rare

Theft from hotel rooms may not happen very often but it does happen and a recent report in the Washington Post gives ample evidence of this criminal act and the lengths that some hotels will go to, to avoid taking responsibility for loss of valuables and equipment by theft.

Hotels may refuse liability for lost or stolen items

Many hotels will not be liable for any thing that is lost or stolen from your room, it is important to read the small print on the room registration document and that in the room itself.  The small print often carries many disclaimers including for theft.

Simple Steps to Make Valuables Safe in a Hotel Room

There are some simple steps every one can take to protect their property, valuables and money from the pilfering hands of hotel workers or other guests.

Protecting Property in a Hotel Room Some Points to Remember

  • When leaving luggage at the hotel for storage say when checking out but before the final departure, make sure that any left luggage is stored in a locked room, otherwise don’t leave it.
  • To make the hotel room looks occupied and to discourage thieves leave the TV or radio on and put the “Do not disturb” sign/light on when the room is empty.
  • Keep the room number safe and do not share it with other guests and strangers. Should the room number become known say by a hotel employee mentioning it ask for a change of room.
  • If the room has a safe then use it, change the code daily but memorize it, do not write it down.
  • It may be better to use the hotel’s own safe to keep valuables.
  • A security cable to lock a laptop computer to a piece of furniture while out of the room to deter thieves.
  • Make a record of all makes, models and serial numbers of electronic and electrical equipment and if possible take a photograph of each piece of equipment and of valuables like jewelry. Describe in words what valuables like jewelry looks like. Carry copies of original receipts or credit/debit card transactions for each valuable item.
  • If something is stolen report it to the hotel management but also visit the local police station and file a crime report. Keep a copy of this and the documents from the hotel as they will be needed to claim on any insurance.
  • The household insurance may have and “away from home” cover and a claim may be possible on your home insurance policy but many insurance companies limit the amount of compensation to a percentage of current value.

Taking these simple precautions may not recover the original items but it will ensure that making a claim is easier.

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