Fiji is no doubt a tropical paradise and the holiday of a lifetime. There is so much to see and do. But you need to remember that at the end of the day, you are nearly ten thousand miles away from home, in a foreign country, where the weather, the food and the local way of life is completely different from what you are used to.
Taking a long haul trip to a country like Fiji without travel insurance is unthinkable. Whilst unlikely, if things do go wrong, the costs of setting them right will not be cheap.
By UK standards, hospitals in Fiji are average at best, so its important that you know the best places to go.
The best public government run hospital in Fiji is Lautoka Hospital. You may find the hospital less well equipped than western hospitals, but they do deal with a lot of tropical diseases, so have expertise in this area. It is also a popular destination for international medical students.
MIOT Pacific Hospital in Suva, is the largest private hospital in Fiji and the South Pacific Region. They are committed to providing the highest standard of clinical expertise and nursing care.
Pharmacies and Chemists have an adequate range of drugs, but are not as well stocked as our own. Doctors normally speak good English so communication isn’t a problem. The cost of a visit to the Doctor is around £15 – 20.
The cost of a hospital consultation is around £70 and the cost of a private room from £100 – 200 per day.
It is important that you make sure your travel insurance will cover you for the best care. Some lower quality policies will only cover public hospitals and it may well be that the care is not as good as a private one. Some policies expect you to settle any bills up to £500 or £1,000 yourself and claim the money back from the Insurer at a later date. Better policies will settle all bills (less any excess) direct.
Some Insurers require you to contact them for any medical emergency, others only require notification, if the cost is likely to be more than £500. It is important that your travel policy has a medical emergency helpline that is staffed by English speaking experts, who know the country. This way they will understand that the best care may well be in a private hospital.
The following vaccinations are recommended when travelling to Fiji, Hepatitis A & B and influenza, plus typhoid. Most travel policies insist that you have the vaccinations before you travel, otherwise you may not be covered if you develop one of the diseases.
If you are visiting Fiji, it is likely to be a long holiday and the amount of baggage that you are insured for may not be adequate under a travel policy. In reality travel insurance isn’t really designed to cover your personal possessions. The settlement under a travel policy is not on a new for old basis, and normally require you to jump through hoops to get a settlement.
A standard baggage section excludes any valuables and these can include cameras, laptops, phones etc. It is much easier to make sure you are covered for all your items under your home insurance. Personal Possessions covered anywhere in the world, is available under most policies. The settlement will be on a new for old basis and you will be able to include valuable items mentioned above, as well as jewellery, clothing cosmetics etc.
A visit to Fiji wouldn’t be complete without taking part in some water sports, whether it is just simple snorkelling, or a more adventurous activity like jet skiing, or scuba diving, it is important you check whether these activities are automatically covered under your policy.
Many polices don’t cover Scuba diving as standard, for example and many, only if you are qualified to a certain depth. You might need to pay a bit more to cover the more adventurous activities and you will need to read the policy document carefully, to find out what you are actually covered for.
You will have spent a great deal of time researching and planning your trip to Fiji. It would be a shame to ruin such a wonderful trip by not spending a bit of time researching the best travel insurance policy. ThatsInsurance, have compared all travel policies for you. You can read their independent review of each company, compare cover and price. Make life easier for yourself and visit their site today.