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Travel insurance for Nicaragua

Travelling to Nicaragua? Get the travel insurance for your trip you actually need.

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Nicaragua is a fast-growing tourist destination that combines unspoilt natural and historical attractions with Spanish colonial architecture in the capital of Managua and neighbouring areas. With a dramatic terrain of volcanoes, lakes and surf beaches, Nicaragua has become a popular destination for a range of activities including climbing, surfing and horseback riding.

If you are planning a trip to Nicaragua, it's worth being aware of some of the risks that you may face on your travels. This guide will explore what to look out for on your trip and when comparing travel insurance policies.

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Do I need travel insurance in Nicaragua?

It's not mandatory for travellers to Nicaragua to purchase travel insurance but the Australian Government strongly suggests you have a policy that covers you for any overseas medical costs as a minimum. A comprehensive travel insurance policy provides protection against the specific risks of travelling in Nicaragua and common travel mishaps including:

  • Emergency medical expenses for any hospital costs and medical repatriation that can add up to tens of thousands of dollars of up-front costs
  • Cancellations and lost deposits cover for when you have to cancel non-refundable flights or lodging due to circumstances out of your control
  • Theft and stolen items insurance for your personal belongings including your passport, expensive items and cash

Activities to get cover for in Nicaragua

Not all travel insurance is created equal so you'll need to review the product disclosure statement to ensure that the activities you have planned, are covered under your insurance. If not, some providers will let you pay an additional premium to add on the cover that you need.

  • Climbing the volcanoes: Ascend one of Nicaragua’s towering volcanoes for an exciting climb and impressive views, or hike one of the many national parks and nature walks. Remember to find travel insurance that protects you on hikes.
  • Adventure activities: Find ziplining, whitewater tours, skydiving, bungee jumping and a range of other thrills in Nicaragua, but remember to double check that your travel insurance policy covers adventure activities.
  • Nightlife: Partying is just the start of Nicaragua’s bustling nightlife, with a host of theatres, cultural venues, galleries and historical themes bringing the streets to life. As inviting as it is, the scene also attracts theft so make sure you have adequate cover for your belongings.

Travel insurance exclusions to watch out for in Nicaragua

Exclusions are found in all travel insurance policies and are conditions in which the insurer will not pay a benefit. Some of the exclusions to watch out for include:

  • Reckless behaviour: Your insurer will not pay a benefit for a claim that has resulted from reckless behaviour that unnecessarily endangers yourself or others, for example, drink driving or undertaking activities without safety equipment.
  • Failure to take suitable precautions: You are required to take appropriate steps to avoid needing to make a claim in the first place. This can include getting immunisations for diseases known to be found in Nicaragua, following warning signs and keeping your belongings properly secured.
  • Pre-existing conditions: By default, you cannot expect pre-existing conditions to be covered. However, this does not mean that you cannot get them covered. Talk to your insurer about your pre-existing conditions to get cover for them.

What happens if I have a medical emergency in Nicaragua?

You are strongly advised to get travel insurance that covers overseas medical costs before departure. Medical facilities are lacking outside of Nicaragua’s capital of Managua and an accident may require airlifting or evacuation.

Who do I contact in the event of an emergency?

  • Contact the Australian embassy in Managua for lost passports, legal trouble or miscellaneous issues, but be aware that the assistance they can provide may be limited. Call them on +505 2298 5300 or email at aushonconsul.nicaragua@gmail.com.
  • Contact your insurer on their 24/7 claims helpline as soon as you are reasonably able for any claimable event. Avoid travel insurance brands that do not have a 24/7 claims line.
  • Contact the local authorities, your tour operator or hotel as appropriate.

What are some travel risks specific to Nicaragua?

  • Unrest and disputes: Protests have been known to occur with little warning in Nicaragua. There are also boundary disputes in the Caribbean between Nicaragua and Honduras and boats travelling in this area have been known to be detained and impounded. Travellers are advised to avoid demonstrations and exercise caution in border regions.
  • Crime: Firearms are common in Nicaragua has a high risk of crime and guns are sometimes often used in car jacking violent crime and robberies. Travellers are advised to cooperate with assailants where reasonable to ensure their own safety. Avoid nonessential travel at night and avoid discussing travel plans or business affairs with strangers or in public places. Exercise particular caution against robbery in tourist areas and against violence and gang crime in Managua, Granada and San Juan del Sur.
  • Crime:Road conditions: Traffic accidents and fatalities are common in Nicaragua, contributed to by unpredictable local driving habits, poorly lit and maintained roads and transport crime. Travel in daylight, in groups and with your doors and windows locked and avoid hitchhiking or picking up hitchhikers.
  • Weather: The hurricane season in Nicaragua is from June to November, when flooding, mudslides and essential service disruptions are more likely to occur.
  • Landmines: Landmines pose a significant threat in the northern border regions of Nicaragua. Travellers should note that minefields are not always marked and should not venture off the main roads in these areas.

What are the entry requirements for Nicaragua?

Nicaragua is part of the Central American Border Control Agreement (CA-4) along with Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. This means that if you have a valid entry card for one of these countries you can use it for all. Australian visitors to Nicaragua do not require a visa, but may purchase an entry card on arrival for about USD$10. This is valid for up to 90 days and renewable for another 30. You will need a passport that’s valid for at least six more months to get an entry card.

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