Road travel costs: If you are renting a vehicle for travelling in Jamaica, you need to be aware of the road laws and conditions. Drivers in Jamaica can be reckless at times, especially at night. Roads are not always well-maintained, and can become slippery and undriveable in certain areas. Always obey the local traffic laws, and wear a seatbelt at all times. Your travel insurance should cover most of the excess, if you are involved in an accident on the road. You can drive in Jamaica with a valid Australian drivers license, together with an International Driving Permit (IDP).
What will I not be covered for by travel insurance in Jamaica?
Natural disasters: Jamaica is an island in the Caribbean with a tropical marine climate, meaning it generally experiences warm, tropical weather all-year round. However, being an island, it can be subject to extreme weather conditions such as tsunamis, hurricanes, severe storms, and geological disasters like earthquakes. Hurricanes are especially severe between June and November, when landslides, flooding, and mudslides can affect the area, and services. If there is advance warning against any extreme weather conditions in Jamaica, your travel insurance might not cover you for any loss, damage, medical emergencies, or delayed flights. You should check what you are covered for before your trip, or consider postponing it.
Motorcycles/quad bikes/scooters: Your travel insurance might not cover you for the use of motorcycles or similar vehicles, if you are involved in an accident. Check what you are covered for, and consider adding this as additional cover to your insurance.
Negligent/reckless behaviour: Your belongings might not be covered if you leave them unattended, in an unlocked vehicle or hotel room, or on a beach without someone watching them. Likewise, if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and behave recklessly, or negligently, you might not be covered for any loss, damage, or physical harm that you experience.
Pre-existing medical conditions: Your travel insurance might not cover some pre-existing medical conditions, which you are currently receiving treatment for. Ask them about which conditions they cover, and if you will need to take extra cover for pre-existing conditions.
What activities might require extra travel insurance in Jamaica?
Cruise travel insurance: With Jamaica being an island destination, it naturally offers a variety of cruises in and around the country – a popular pastime with travelers. Standard travel insurance does not generally cover cruises, with some insurers not offering this at all. You might be able to add this as extra cover to your insurance – speak to your insurer about this option, or compare cruise travel insurance with us.
Adventure activities: Scuba diving, hiking, paragliding, swimming with dolphins, bobsledding, or river tubing, are some of the activities that might be considered high-risk. Some insurers don’t automatically cover these kinds of activities, while others do – you should check with your insurer about what they cover, and take out the relevant extra cover if need be.
Travel tips when traveling to Jamaica
Entry into the country: You won’t need a visa to travel to Jamaica for holiday purposes, if your stay is for less than 60-days.
How to pay: You can acquire the Jamaican dollar (JAD), for purchasing in Jamaica, or make use of international credit card facilities in most tourist places around Jamaica. ATMs are not as common, so you would need to get cash from a commercial bank or exchange bureau.
Remain vigilant: Violent crimes are common in certain areas around Jamaica. These are generally gang-related, and can be extremely dangerous at times, with threats of sexual assault, robbery, crossfire between gangs, pickpocketing, and murder. Remain vigilant at all times – don’t accept lifts from strangers, or use unofficial public transport. Avoid walking alone, traveling at night, or visiting secluded beaches – travel light, leaving unnecessary expensive items in your locked hotel room, and keep all money and bank cards out of sight.
Avoid public demonstrations: Civil unrest and public demonstrations can turn violent, with firearms often present. Avoid these areas where possible – listen to authorities, and get to safety as soon as you can, should a violent protest break out.
Use reputable tour operators: Safety equipment is not always up to standard in Jamaica – avoid using unregistered tour guides or operators. Don’t be afraid to ask for the correct safety gear, and always check that the operator has a license for activities such as scuba diving.
Learn the lingo: Jamaicans are known for their slang, and casual way of speaking – where catch phrases like, “Ya mon”, “Small up yuhself”, and “Big man ting”, are all perfectly acceptable additions to a conversation.
Driving in Jamaica: Use your horn often – it’s perfectly acceptable, and often needed with the terrible drivers on the road. Watch out for potholes, they are huge and extremely common. Look out for stray animals like cows, goats, or donkeys – they like to wander onto the roads without any warning.
Don’t carry drugs: As much as Jamaicans are known for lighting up a fat one – this is against the law, and the carrying of marijuana could put you in jail. Police often raid cars for drugs and marijuana, so don’t be caught out.
|24-hour Australian Consular Emergency Helpline
1300 555 135
+61 2 6261 3305
+61 421 269 080
|Australian Consulate, Kingston
80-82 Second Street, Port Bustamante
Kingston 13, Jamaica.
Telephone: (1 876) 361 1332
|Emergency phone numbers
Police: Dial 119
Fire services: Dial 119
Ambulance: Dial 119
*Always get a police report when reporting a crime.
|Australian High Commission, Port of Spain
18 Herbert Street, St Clair
Port of Spain
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Telephone: (1 868) 822 5450
Fax: (1 868) 822 5490
We also offer insurance for other destinations such as Las Vegas