While New Caledonia is a largely peaceful island in the South Pacific, it still has its dangers. As noted by Smartraveller, dengue fever, Zika virus and other insect-borne, waterborne, foodborne and parasitic diseases and infections are present in New Caledonia.2 Venomous sea snakes can be found in the ocean or on the beach.
Getting cover for any medical expenses incurred during your time in New Caledonia can provide peace of mind and help you ensure you don’t have to pay for medical costs if you need treatment.
New Caledonia is a popular cruise destination but, in most cases, standard travel insurance policies don’t cover cruises. The good news is you can typically purchase an optional extra to add cruise cover onto your policy.
It’s a good idea to double check that medical cover is included in your cruise extra, as Medicare won’t cover you on a cruise once you leave port, even if you’re travelling between Australian ports. If you’re planning on sailing around the Pacific, it’s worth checking whether your preferred travel insurance policy will cover you while you’re on a cruise.
While cruise cover can vary between insurers, most will provide cover for medical expenses, hospitalisation, medical evacuation (should something go wrong at sea), stolen, lost or damaged belongings, and reimbursements for cancelled activities. Note that not all providers or policies cover all these things, and they may only offer a selection of these types of benefits.
When purchasing travel insurance, you’ll need to check how many other destinations you’re visiting besides New Caledonia as it’s common for ships to also sail to other nearby islands such as Vanuatu or Fiji on a South Pacific cruise.
Smartraveller warns that New Caledonia can experience a number of disruptive weather events, including tsunamis, earthquakes and bushfires. Cyclone season from November to May can bring high winds, heavy rain and big seas to the region.2
Should a natural disaster occur, your coverage will depend on what the insurer covers and when you bought your policy. For example, if you’d purchased travel insurance before the cyclone had formed, you could be covered for lost deposits and cancellation fees (if you aren’t compensated by your airline or accommodation provider).
Or, if you’ve already made it to New Caledonia and a natural disaster occurs, any damage to your belongings or injuries you sustain can be covered – as long as your travel insurance lists this cover in your product disclosure statement.
However, if you purchase travel insurance after a natural disaster occurs, and that event forces you to cancel your holiday plans, this won’t be covered by your travel insurance. This is because it was already a ‘known event’.
Whether you’re on the main island of Grande Terre or any of the smaller surrounding islands, there’s adventure to be found in New Caledonia.
Whether you’re snorkelling or riding horses across the fields and beaches, it pays to look at what activities are covered by your policy.
Some travel insurance providers cover some basic activities and sports like hiking, snorkelling or horse riding at no extra cost, but not more adventurous activities like kite surfing or motorcycle riding. Even if a travel insurance provider doesn’t cover your favourite activity, you may be able to purchase add-on cover for it, so you can have peace of mind while staying active on holiday.
There are various types of travel insurance out there. Cheaper options may provide cover for a limited number of scenarios or lower amounts of financial compensation if you make a claim, while more comprehensive policies will provide greater coverage.
With Compare the Market, you can compare many policies at the same time. These polices range from medical-only, right through to comprehensive policies that cover an extensive range of benefits. It’s all about what you want to include based on your travel plans.
1 Consular State of Play 2021-22. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government. 2022. Accessed November 2022.
2 New Caledonia. Smartraveller, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government. Last updated September 2022. Accessed November 2022.