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New Caledonia Travellers Urged To Contact Their Insurers

The Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman, Karen Stevens, is warning people who are planning to visit or who are currently in New Caledonia to contact their travel insurance providers immediately, in light of the civil unrest currently taking place.

“Many travel insurance policies exclude cover for civil unrest or rioting, making this a tricky situation for Kiwis who are travelling there,” says Stevens.

Flights to and from Nouméa-La Tontouta international airports were cancelled on Tuesday, and the Safetravel website is reporting that the airport may remain closed until midnight Thursday 16 May. Public transport and taxis are not currently operating in Nouméa.

The Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme resolves complaints about insurance and financial services, and Stevens says she is expecting many calls and enquiries to her office from concerned travellers.

“For those currently in New Caledonia, check with your insurer and airline about the options available to you as soon as you can. For those who have an upcoming trip to New Caledonia, talk to your insurer about what they will cover now, before you leave,” says Stevens.

Stevens says that ideally, all travellers should purchase travel insurance when they book and pay for tickets.

“If you have booked a trip to New Caledonia, but haven’t bought travel insurance yet, it’s unlikely that the insurance you buy now will cover you for any cancellations that arise from the unrest in future,” she says.

Stevens recommends people keep up to date with any travel warnings for New Caledonia at safetravel.govt.nz.

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