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Travellers warned over New Caledonia unrest 

New Zealand insurance ombudsman Karen Stevens has warned travellers to New Caledonia to be aware of their coverage after civil unrest hit the French territory.  

Travel to and from La Tontouta International Airport was suspended last week, preventing some Australians and New Zealanders from leaving the South Pacific archipelago. The airport is expected to reopen tomorrow.

Ms Stevens says the unrest presents “a tricky situation” for travellers, because most travel policies do not cover the associated risks.  

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

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

French armed forces have been sent to New Caledonia after weeks of clashes between pro-independence groups and French authorities.

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