NEW YORK (AP) _ Each of the five leading providers of travelers' checks have established their own systems for handling reports of lost or stolen checks.

In each case, the process usually begins with a phone call to a clearing center that the providers make available at all hours for such reports.

Once the company determines the refund claim is valid, the method of getting replacement checks or an emergency cash refund may vary slightly.

Here are some capsule versions of how the claims are handled:

American Express Travelers Cheques - Refunds are available through more than 90,000 locations throughout the world, including 76 dispensing machines at major airports in North America. It provides emergency refunds in non- business hours through Holiday Inns. The company also offers courier- delivered refund service at any time in 60 major U.S. cities.

BankAmerica Travelers Cheques - It has more than 40,000 refund locations, and has agreements to use 9,000 Western Union offices and 70 Hilton hotels for emergency refunds in non-business hours.

Citicorp Travelers Checks - Offers refunds at more than 40,000 locations including banks and travel agencies. In emergencies, the company may refer someone to one of about 6,500 Western Union offices.

Mastercard Travelers Cheques - It has about 100,000 refund points, and uses Western Union offices in emergency cases.

Visa Travelers Cheques - Maintains more than 60,000 refund locations, and provides refunds in emergencies through Western Union offices, Sheraton hotels and National car rental sites.