View Full Version : Rescue insurance

8th January 2009, 03:27 AM
Hi, will be trekking Jiri to EBC late Feb/March (yet to find a guide!) and lonely planet guide states that rescue insurance can be obtained in Katm from Neco Insurance or Himalayan General Insurance - is this still true or old information? If they no longer insure - are there any others who do?
many thanks

lazy climber
9th January 2009, 03:58 AM
We are doing a trek in April/May 2009 Gokyo to EBC to Island Peak. We are using Ang Rita Sherpa and have asked about obtaining insurance once we get to KTM, they have indicated the best option is to obtain it in your home country.

If we could get it in Nepal that would be easier????

10th January 2009, 03:20 AM
I have recently discovered that there is a lot more to travel insurance than the price and ease of purchase. It really pays to look at the insurance and go over the conditions, benefits, exclusions etc.

I guess it's like all insurance; it just seems like a minor thing to organise until something goes wrong then it's the most important thing in the world.

10th January 2009, 08:14 AM
Sometimes the conditions on standard travel policies include something like:
"not requiring fixed rope and/or? a guide".
This wording is ambiguous but is intended to relate to excluding "mountaineering". My particular policy was from a common Australiasian insurance outfit.

I questioned this and checked it out in relation to trekking and it was ok for your usual trekking ventures.

Ask your home country insurance provider or travel agent if you want piece of mind.

10th January 2009, 10:59 PM
My insurance options make some distinctions between "high altitude trail walking" and "technical climbing", and there is an altitude restriction - 5500m is ample for Nepal trekking. Apparently teahouse trekking is a lower risk than alpine skiing. Trekking peaks, ~6000m+, are of course in the higher category. Be careful to check the policy detail against your plans.

Definitely get your insurance from home, Nepali insurance wont be sufficient for your safety. For example - they may help pay a hospital bill to fix a guide's broken limb but they are less likely to pay for your heli-evac and/or repatriation.

Suitable travel insurance could make the difference between life & death or financial ruin, it would be unwise to compromise or take unnecessary risks.

lazy climber
31st January 2009, 05:37 AM
I have been looking for insurance for some time now and yes you REALLY need to look and ask questions about coverage. So far what I have found is the following.

Travel insurance that covers you for the travel but not much else.
Medical that covers you while you trek but may have an altitude disclaimer.
Medical that covers you for everything except mountaineering.
Medical that covers you for everything and for more $$$ will cover mountaineering.

Emergency evacuation is now another problem, most of them will sell you a policy that covers air flight once you get to a hospital if you need to go somewhere else for treatment.

Insurance that covers emergency air evacuation to get you from say EBC to KTM/hospital is almost impossible to find.(in the case of an accident or PE/CE)

I live in WA State in the US and for some reason the State regulates what policies can be sold and I cannot get medical coverage that includes mountaineering.

Currently I am working with 2 different insurance companies to see what they can or cannot provide and at what cost.

This whole process has been a real eye opener and I am guessing a lot of people go without insurance and hope for the best. If anyone has any advice/help please post.

1st February 2009, 12:53 AM
For rescue insurance, a $75 membership in the American Alpine Club will provide $5,000 of rescue services through Global Rescues as part of the membership and additional coverage is available at a discount (excellent coverage, but pricey). I rely on the basic coverage for trekking and have only purchased additional coverage if planning a trekking peak.

A good travel policy is still necessary to cover all the other travel/medical issues for trekking, but I haven't looked at climbing medical coverage recently. Also be don't rely to much on verbal statements from insurance reps, there is no substitute for reading the policy.

1st February 2009, 06:02 PM
I all sounds very complicated. I have used a number of insurances signing the policy here in Australia, and had to claim twice. Had to evacuate with my son (I already told this story a number of times), an expensive exercise. Claims were between 2400 and 2800 USD.
I think at that time I was insured with Allianz. The second time it was QBM or some such.

I usually talk to the insurer directly (not just the travel agent) and explain that I simply to walking on established trails, used by locals etc. They made a note of that, I think. They calm down when I tell them that.

I suppose if you try to climb Island Peak or some such it would be different.

1st February 2009, 08:38 PM
The suggestion to join the Amercian Alpine Club (or your local equivalent, in the UK we have the BMC) is a good one. They will surely be able to advise their members about suitable insurance cover and maybe they can broker discounted rates.

For example, the BMC policy overview (http://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/insurance/Policies.aspx#trek) is quite clear about what is covered and excluded. Most of us would be adequately covered by the 'Trek' policy

Annapurna Circuit, Gokyo Lake & Cho La Pass, Everest Base Camp. Normal trekking routes on: Kala Patar, Naya Kanga, Pisang, Ramdung, Stok Kangri, Mera Peak and Island Peak (Imja Tse) but if combined via Amphu Labsta is 'Alpine & Ski'.
Also note that the 'Alpine & Ski' policy is required for paragliding & rafting. Bungee jumping is only covered in the 'Expedition' policy.

It is important to remember that insurance cover needs to extend to the worst scenarios. The cost of a helicopter back to KTM in the event of AMS is much less than if you need an air-ambulance back to your home country - that can easily run to hundreds of thousands of dollars.