Worldcare offers a range of travel insurance policies for travel throughout the Pacific, including Fiji.
Postcard-perfect Fiji – endless beaches, colourful birds and exotic plants, rippling waterfalls and coral reefs teeming with life. Fiji is popular with honeymooners, adventurers and holidaymakers wanting to relax and enjoy ‘island time’.
You can spend your time exploring, diving or snorkelling, hiking or birdwatching, sea kayaking or sailing. There are championship golf courses or whitewater rafting tours.
Hike through the Bouma National Heritage Park, with waterfalls tumbling into natural swimming pools and exotic rainforest plants and birdlife. Climb Des Voeux Peak, a 6km climb up the island’s second-highest mountain, for spectacular views of Lake Tagimaucia.
For something a little less strenuous, you can shop for souvenirs, local artefacts and arts, or clothes. Fiji has many pretty villages, such as Navala, a village of traditional thatched bures on the slopes of the Ba River.
Another highlight is a visit to the famous Mud Springs at Sabeto (Sabeto Hot Springs) for a healing soak. Or you can just relax and enjoy a drink of the local Kava, and the welcoming smiles of the local people.
Risks of travelling to Fiji
Crime and unrest
Smartraveller advises that you exercise normal safety precautions within Fiji. Robbery, theft and violent assault occur in Fiji, often against tourists and expatriate residents.
You should be especially cautious at night – avoid crime by staying in your hotel; do not venture into dark areas. Avoid travelling at night, because of crime, stray animals and the poor quality of the roads.
Cyclone season is November to April and cyclones can be unpredictable in their direction and strength. Fiji is also subject to earthquakes.
Cyclones, earthquakes and other natural disasters can mean disruptions to your holiday and travel plans at best, and loss of your belongings, illness, injury or death at worst. So it’s wise to consider taking out travel insurance if you are planning to visit Fiji.
Though Fiji has a number of 4 and 5 star resorts and hotels, they are not equipped to deal with a medical emergency. If there is an outbreak of dengue fever, which is common in Fiji, as are typhoid, hepatitis, leptospirosis, tuberculosis, measles and mumps, the hotels will rely on Fiji’s public health system to treat sufferers.
The hospitals and medical facilities in Fiji are generally not as well-equipped as in Australia, and some places will not treat you unless you have travel insurance. The alternative is airlifting you back to Australia to receive treatment, which will be extremely expensive.
Visit your GP for the appropriate vaccinations and health precautions, and consider taking out travel insurance to cover you if you need medical treatment.
The cost of skipping travel insurance
In 2014, Worldcare helped 11 Australians who travelled to Fiji, ran into trouble and made a claim on their travel insurance policy.
Most of our total claims cost for Fiji last year was for medical and hospital expenses (47%), luggage and personal effects (33%) and cancellation fees and lost deposits (12%).
If you are injured or get sick while travelling in Fiji, you can expect to be out of pocket an average of AUD $447 without travel insurance.
If your luggage or personal effects are lost, stolen or delayed in Fiji, it could cost you an average of AUD $331 without insurance.
Covering any cancellation fees and lost deposits could leave you AUD $576 out of pocket on average.
So it’s worth considering travel insurance, which is not expensive and may save you considerable cost and trouble.
Worldcare has a range of travel insurance options and inclusions to suit any Fiji holiday budget – even if yours is limited.
Before you travel to Fiji
As soon as adverse events such as civil unrest, bad weather, natural disasters and others that may affect your trip hit mass media, you are not covered unless you already have travel insurance, as it’s no longer ‘unforeseen’.
If you have your policy arranged well in advance of travelling, you are protected. So take it out before you leave and you should be eligible to claim.