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Imagine having a refreshing mai-tai while admiring the coral reefs in Vanuatu’s turquoise waters. With soft white sand cushioning your every step as you soak up the sun on this tranquil island, it’s the ideal getaway from city life.

However, for the ultimate relaxation experience, we recommend getting travel insurance for peace of mind. In this article, we go through everything you may need to know about getting travel insurance for Vanuatu, including:

  • why you may want to consider travel insurance
  • what to look for when you get travel insurance for Vanuatu
  • things your insurer may not cover
  • handy travel tips.

Do I need travel insurance for Vanuatu?

While a perfect holiday is what we all want when we book our flights, things don’t always go as planned. Perhaps you accidentally scrape your leg on coral and develop a severe infection, or twist your ankle playing beach volleyball.

Getting medical attention in a foreign country can be difficult and expensive, which is why travel insurance for Vanuatu is a great way to protect yourself from the unexpected. Not only that, but several other benefits come with travel insurance.

Clear water on a lava beach in tropical Tanna, Vanuatu

What should my travel insurance for Vanuatu include?

When you take out your policy, you may want to include several add-ons for your upcoming trip – depending on your itinerary.

Here are some features that you may find helpful in your upcoming trip.

Cover for medical expenses and 24/7 assistance

While Vanuatu is, generally, a safe country, the rate of road fatalities in Vanuatu is triple that of Australia.1 That’s to say, the lack of road rules, vehicle safety standards and driving laws in Vanuatu can increase the risk of accidents and injury.1

Travel insurance can help to cover the costs of unexpected medical bills, not just for accidental injury, but also illnesses and other medical emergencies. With 24/7 assistance to help you no matter what time it is, this feature is sure to come in handy on your holiday should the worst happen.

All travel insurance will have some level of medical cover. However, make sure you check the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) provided by your insurer to ensure you have the cover you need.

Cover for theft and loss of belongings

If your luggage or personal belongings are lost or stolen, depending on your policy, your insurer will be able to reimburse you for the losses up to the amount specified on your policy’s PDS.

Personal belongings can include items like cameras, wallets, cash and jewellery. Most policies will have limits on certain categories of items – another good reason to review the PDS of your chosen insurer.

However, keep in mind that insurers won’t cover you if you left your luggage or belongings unattended (a common policy exclusion we touch on in further detail below).

Adventure cover

Having the right type of cover will help ensure you’re covered no matter what activity you’re engaging in (provided you abide by your policy’s terms and conditions).

For example, if you’re planning on kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling, water skiing or any other adventure activities, a standard travel insurance policy will not cover you for all of these activities in some cases.

To be covered for these activities and a whole lot more, you’ll have to get an adventure cover add-on. This add-on can help to cover the cost of any medical bills, damages, evacuations and more that may arise from these activities.

Volcano and ash cloud cover

Vanuatu is in the Pacific Ring of Fire, meaning that there are frequent earthquakes and several active volcanos. The situation with volcanoes is unpredictable and changes frequently. Volcano eruptions and ash clouds can disrupt your travel plans, which is why it’s a good idea to get covered.

Rental car excess cover

If you’re planning on renting a buggy to explore the islands of Vanuatu, consider getting rental car excess cover. If you get in an accident or the buggy gets damaged, you may be liable to pay an excess – the amount not covered by the rental company’s insurance.

Rental car excess can sometimes be thousands of dollars, which is why car excess cover can be handy for situations like this. After all, you don’t want to be forking out money to pay for exorbitant excess during a holiday.

Cruise cover

If you choose to explore Vanuatu by cruise, you’ll want to take out cruise cover. This will ensure that you’re covered for mishaps and unexpected woes during your onboard travels, including medical bills, cancellation and delay cover, emergency evacuation and more!

Cancellation and delay cover

If your flights are delayed or cancelled, the airline will usually compensate the passengers. However, when the airline doesn’t reimburse your ticket (e.g. if the cancellation was due to inclement weather), travel insurance may cover the cost. What’s more, your policy may also cover any missed accommodation bookings and deposits for certain activities due to flight interruptions.

You may also have to buy food and stay at the airport overnight if the delays take longer than expected. In cases like this, you’ll likely be left out of pocket; unless you have travel insurance with cancellation and delay cover

This feature will also cover your trip before you leave. If you’re involved in an accident, a family member falls ill, or you lose your job before you depart, you can cancel your trip, and your insurer may compensate you up to a certain amount for your holiday.

Make sure you read your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement to find out exactly what you are and aren’t covered for.

Travel insurance for Vanuatu: Exclusions you should watch out for

There are several ways you can void your travel insurance claims or situations where your insurer may not compensate for your claim. Though this will largely depend on your specific policy, there are some common exclusions across the board that insurers may not cover.

Common exclusions may include:

  • incidents that occur before you purchase a policy. For example, if you purchase your cover after a volcanic eruption, you may not be covered for any disruptions relating to this incident;
  • lost luggage or personal belongings due to carelessness. If you didn’t take the proper precautions to keep your belongings safe (i.e. you left it unattended), your insurer likely won’t cover your claim;
  • injuries sustained while under the influence. Drug and alcohol-related incidents generally aren’t covered by travel insurance;
  • disregard for local laws and authorities. Incidents that occurred due to you disregarding local laws and the advice of authorities aren’t usually covered; and
  • claims regarding pre-existing conditions. Insurers generally won’t cover pre-existing conditions unless you had declared them when you purchased your policy.

To find out more, check out our page on common travel insurance exclusions.

Is Vanuatu safe?

Vanuatu is generally safe; however, the islands are prone to natural disasters and severe weather due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire. Avoid cyclone season (November to April) if possible, and make sure you touch base with Smartraveller frequently to check for any earthquake or volcano warnings.

While theft and crime are generally low, make sure you stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

Stunning Mele Maat Cascades in Port Vila, Efate Island, Vanuatu, South Pacific

Top travel tips for Vanuatu

1. Go diving at Vanuatu’s beaches

Shipwrecked yachts, ferries, cargo ships and, most famous of all, the wreck of SS President Coolidge, await you in Vanuatu’s turquoise waters. This experience offers a unique viewpoint of the country’s underwater world compared to the coral reefs in the deeper seas.

You can snorkel, scuba dive or even free dive at the Vanuatu beaches, depending on your skill and comfort level. However, if you do plan on doing these activities, make sure you get adventure cover!

2. Island hop

Vanuatu is made up of more than 80 islands. Efate, Espiritu Santo and Tanna Island are some of the most popular, offering distinct landscapes with magnificent volcanos, breathtaking beaches, cascading waterfalls and the famous blue holes (freshwater pools).

3. Visit live volcanoes

On Tanna Island lies an active volcano bubbling away. You won’t want to miss out on this phenomenal nature show!

The best time to visit volcanoes is when it’s dark. Visit Mount Yasar after sunset for the best photos!

4. Travel visa-free

If you’re only staying in Vanuatu for fewer than 30 days, you can travel without a visa! However, make sure you bring other important documents, such as your passport, driver’s license, etc.

Compare travel insurance for Vanuatu

If you’re looking to get travel insurance for Vanuatu, use our travel insurance comparison service to compare quotes in minutes! Compare prices, features and inclusions to find great-value policies that suit your travel plans.

Alternatively, if you’re curious about some of the other islands in the Pacific seas, check out our pages on Fiji and New Caledonia.

Ready to look for a better deal? It’s easy to compare with us.

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