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Travel Insurance for Belize

Diving coral reefs or climbing ancient ruins, don't skimp on your travel insurance for Belize.

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Whether you want to step outside your comfort zone with a wild encounter or stay well inside it on a luxurious beach, Belize has a wide variety of travel experiences for you.

This guide will cover what to look out for in your travel insurance policy for your next trip away and what risks to avoid.

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What are some travel risks specific to Belize?

  • Crime: Both petty and violent crime are relatively common in Belize compared to Australia, and travellers are advised to exercise a high degree of caution. In the southern regions in particular there is a higher risk of gang-related violence while petty theft may occur around the tourist areas of San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Placencia and San Ignacio Corozal. Consider travel insurance to protect your possessions.
  • Weather events: Hurricane season in Belize is from June to November. This is when landslides, mudslides, flooding and essential service disruptions are more likely to occur. Look at travel insurance for cancellation and delays to help cover yourself if you need to adjust or cancel travel plans due to bad weather.
  • Illness: While in Belize you may be at risk of insect- and mosquito-borne diseases as well as food- and water-borne and other infectious illnesses, including malaria, zika and dengue fever. Finding suitable travel insurance medical cover can be very advisable.
  • Poor driving conditions: The roads in Belize may be more dangerous than what you are accustomed to in Australia. Consider travel insurance with cover for rental car excess if you'll be driving a rented vehicle in Belize.
  • Earthquakes and tsunamis: Belize experiences seismic activity and as a coastal location is at risk of tsunamis. Although unlikely to occur, they may happen at any time of year and with little warning. Monitor local media for updates and news of impending dangers and think about how your travel insurance covers natural disasters when considering your level of cover for these eventualities.

What activities should I get covered for in Belize?

Some of the most popular activities in Belize are not necessarily covered by default travel insurance policies. Review your product disclosure statement and if there isn't enough cover for your trip, either choose a different insurer or opt to pay an additional premium to add on the extra cover.

  • Undertaking adventure activities: Ziplining, abseiling, rock climbing, horseback riding and many other active pastimes can be found in Belize. However, you are not necessarily covered for these with default policies and should specifically examine your policy for each activity on a case-by-case basis.
  • Enjoying the nightlife: Belize is known for its nightlife, and many of the tourist towns have plenty of options for enjoying a night out. However, remember to take appropriate precautions. This includes knowing how your travel insurance policy covers lost or stolen belongings and being aware of limits which may apply and conditions where the insurer may refuse the right to pay a claim.
  • Visiting Mayan ruins: Belize is home to some of the oldest and most archaeologically and historically significant Mayan ruins on the planet. This ancient civilisation has left behind plenty of sights, including famously steep pyramids which visitors can still climb today. The ruins at Caracol, Lamanai and many other places are well worth a visit, but unsavoury elements mean it can be safer to use reputable tour companies to visit these spots rather than going alone. Consider familiarising yourself with travel insurance exclusions to make sure you know how to maintain your travel cover when organising a day trip.
  • Diving and watersports: Belize’s marine parks make for spectacular scuba diving spots, while snorkelling and all other watersports are also popular. Snorkelling and scuba diving in particular may require special attention to travel insurance, but even the safer watersports such as sailing and windsurfing might need additional cover.

What happens if I have a medical emergency in Belize?

Belize has a handful of major hospitals and many more smaller clinics around the country. Both cost and quality of treatment may vary widely by location. High-end facilities that cater to wealthy retirees and expats often have effective but costly treatments available while less-funded clinics may be short on supplies or might not have the equipment needed to deal with certain medical situations.

There is a sometimes drastic difference between public and private healthcare facilities in Belize. The latter may be expensive, even by Australian standards, but can provide a high level of treatment.

  • To access private hospitals in Belize you will either need to pay the costs yourself, out of pocket, and then claim it back later if possible, or you can find a travel insurance policy that pays medical costs up-front.
  • Certain emergencies may require you to be airlifted or evacuated. The cost of this can easily run into tens of thousands of dollars, so look for medical evacuation and repatriation on your travel insurance policy.

Who do I contact if something goes wrong?

If something does happen, there are two important points of contact to be aware of:

  • Your insurer: Don’t pick a travel insurance provider without a 24-hour claims helpline. Keep this helpline phone number, and other relevant insurer details, with you while travelling so you or the people you’re travelling with can access it and contact your insurer if needed. If you have to make a claim, including for medical emergencies, call your insurer as soon as it is reasonable and safe to do so.
  • The Australian embassy: In Belize your nearest Australian official contact, and the one to contact in the event of a missing passport, legal issue or miscellaneous problem, is in Trinidad and Tobago. Reach them on (1 868) 822 5450.

What are the entry requirements for Belize?

Australian citizens do not require a visa to enter Belize. Instead, you just need to fulfil the following requirements:

  • All visitors to Belize require valid passports to enter the country, with the exception of cruise ship passengers.
  • Passports must be valid for at least three months from the date of arrival.
  • Visitors must be in possession of a return ticket and sufficient funds to cover their stay.

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