Insurance Nepal mountaineering?

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Hisham

 
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Insurance Nepal mountaineering?

by Hisham » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:58 am

Hello. I'm in Australia and looking for insurance that will cover mountaineering activities up to 6,500m in Nepal. I'm trying to get over there later this year for some trekking peaks and passes, with Sherpa and crew.

The only insurance company I know of that does this is Insured4Less, who appear to be good - though have never called upon them. I don't think WorldNomads do mountaineering activities up to 6,500m.

Insure4Less usually make you buy the normal travel insurance and then write an extension with underwriting support for an extra premium. However, they are not writing mountaineering policies in Nepal following the Earthquake. Apparently, the underwriters are a bit panicked.

I don't quite understand this given the likelihood of another major Earthquake in Western Nepal, at least, is probably as much as anywhere else a fault line exists. Their decision is likely to be hurting Nepal's economy.

But anyway, how do you mountaineers get insurance cover for climbs at altitude? It's hard enough without Earthquakes. Are there any easy answers for Nepal at the moment?

Insured4Less were nice enough to give me a couple of referrals including to Global Rescue who can do evac services, but there are no medical benefits (it's not an insurance product).

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Re: Insurance Nepal mountaineering?

by herdbull » Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:25 pm

I used Travel Guard on my recent trip to Nepal. It covered everything in terms of mountaineering as well as the standard travel insurance. The cost was based on the total cost of the trip plus your gear. It was relatively inexpensive. I think something like $245 for everything.

I called them because I had questions and explained exactly what I was doing, where I was going and what coverages I needed and they were very easy to work with. I also had $1 million worth of EVAC coverage included in the plan.

Lots of people use this as well: https://www.globalrescue.com/?refA=goog ... gQodwZgLFw

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Re: Insurance Nepal mountaineering?

by Tonka » Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:17 pm

Are you looking to insure the trip or are you just trying to get medical evac insurance, which would be much cheaper. Travel Guard is a good option though it can get expensive if you're insuring everything.

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Re: Insurance Nepal mountaineering?

by rgg » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:09 pm

Hisham wrote:... But anyway, how do you mountaineers get insurance cover for climbs at altitude? It's hard enough without Earthquakes. Are there any easy answers for Nepal at the moment?


I believe the benefits of having insurance for climbs at altitude is overrated. If you get in trouble real high in the mountains outside the western world, your rescue depends primarily on you and your climbing party, insurance or not. It's not like, say, the Alps, where rescue helicopters are standing by!
I've got insurance through the Dutch Alpine Club. As the details of the conditions of insurance policies tend to change over time, I just had a fresh look at it, and it's actually improved since the last time I checked. Some exclusions apply. For me, the main one is that coverage ends when I'm traveling for more than 46 days. I regularly go on longer trips, knowing that I'm not covered anymore after that. Expeditions are excluded too, but the terms have been greatly improved. From what I remembered, just about anything interesting that was higher than 6000 m was excluded, but that's been changed to everything over 7500 (and most of the polar regions).

So, unless you're going on a longer trip than 46 days, join the Dutch Alpine Club, get the insurance and you're covered for a lot of Nepal mountaineering. Mind you, there might be restrictions to get that insurance if you're neither Dutch nor living in The Netherlands...

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Re: Insurance Nepal mountaineering?

by Hisham » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:17 pm

Thanks. I'm after medical expenses and emergency Evac.

I need to have heli rescue /Evac covered plus medical expenses if I end up in Kathmandu hospital requiring surgery, etc. This is for my wellbeing, family's piece of mind and the Nepalese trekking agencies require it.

I've spoken to global rescue. They don't provide medical expenses insurance, but can Evac to home country. The gap here is with expenses at Kathmandu hospital for example should I require urgent hospital inpatient services and can't be repatriated yet.

So perhaps there is a policy that just provides blanket medical coverage irrespective of at what altitude and activity the incident occurred. Or a proper insurance policy with med benefits and Evac for mountaineering activities at altitude.

I don't want to end up in a hospital and have my mum raise thousands of dollars back home for procedures while locals delay my treatment. I know this can happen in some countries and don't have confidence Nepal would treat someone without some kind of monetary assurance.

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Re: Insurance Nepal mountaineering?

by cab » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:25 pm

Try travelexinsurance.com.

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Hisham

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Re: Insurance Nepal mountaineering?

by Hisham » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:26 pm

Travel guard.com policy is for US residents (I think) and the standard policy wording excludes losses arising from mountaineering activities.

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Re: Insurance Nepal mountaineering?

by mtnjim » Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:38 pm

I've had good luck finding mountaineering insurance through insuremytrip.com. Though it's a USA based company, coverage for citizens of other countries is available. Just for grins, I entered info for an Australian citizen (I think it was just "other", not US or Canada), 44 years old, traveling in Nepal for 6 weeks. I checked 4 of the several policies that came up. 2 had mountaineering excluded. One specifically covered mountaineering up to 7000 meters. The other required a guide above 14000 feet. Both included evacuation. Both were under $50US. I only checked a few of the offerings.

if you look at this site, just enter the correct info and see what comes up. Then check the exclusions and limitations under the policy details to see if mountaineering is specifically included or excluded. You should be able to find something that'll work.

Good luck,
JimS

I've only bothered with insurance when it was required by the expedition. I only looked at medical coverage, not full trip coverage.

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Hisham

 
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Re: Insurance Nepal mountaineering?

by Hisham » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:43 am

Mntjim, i looked that website up, had a look and communicated with their online support. They don't have anything for mountaineering above 4,500m.

Are you able to share which products you found? I typed in similar info but couldn't find anything.

Thanks for your help!

Separately, I'm curious as to why you don't take out insurance by the way. Is it a gamble that nothing will happen or do you have some other back up?

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Re: Insurance Nepal mountaineering?

by mtnjim » Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:07 am

The policy I found with the criteria listed above is the Atlas International. I could find no mention of mountaineering except for #37b in the "other exclusions" section which states "mountaineering at elevations of 7,000 meters and higher, and avalanche training" as excluded. If other types of mountaineering are excluded as well, shouldn't that be mentioned somewhere?

Check out the hcc atlas International single trip medical policy. Click on the "view certificate" link and see if you can find something I'm missing.

the other policy I found was the global underwriters diplomat international. Clicking on the "view certificate" link on this one says that mountaineering above 14000 ft with a guide is covered with the purchase of the hazardous sports rider. Usually that is included with the list of other options but I can't find it here. That might be worth another call.

I have never been able to find a general travel insurance policy on this site that covered high altitude mountaineering. I have always had to look at the medical policies to find one that didn't exclude ha climbing.

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Re: Insurance Nepal mountaineering?

by Hisham » Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:30 am

Ooh... I looked those up and the reason I couldn't see them is because my date of departure was more than six months away. Because of this, the plan was unavailable. So that's really promising! Legend mtnjim, thanks so much for your help.

Edit: after review, the atlas policy allows mountaineering up to 7,000m but then excludes it under article 3. So that one won't work.
The global diplomat international policy seems to provide cover for 'mountain climbing' as you say - above 14,000 feet a guide is required. Looks like this could be the answer.
Last edited by Hisham on Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mtnjim

 
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Re: Insurance Nepal mountaineering?

by mtnjim » Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:41 am

Be sure and check through everything again when you are finally ready to purchase. I've noticed from past years that coverage and exclusions can vary even though the name of the policy and the underwriter remain the same.

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Re: Insurance Nepal mountaineering?

by herdbull » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:42 pm

Hisham wrote:Travel guard.com policy is for US residents (I think) and the standard policy wording excludes losses arising from mountaineering activities.


they have options to cover everything including mountaineering. Trust me, I checked, double checked and triple checked with someone on just this thing. I actually called them a couple times and explained what I would be doing where I would be doing it and how I was climbing. Mountaineering was covered.

I thought the cost was very reasonable for what I received in terms of coverage and piece of mind for a 25+ trek/climb. Check them out, better yet call them and talk to them. I'm at work and don't have a copy of the policy here but if I can I'll post the pages that show this coverage.

A lot of the trekking and climbing outfits are absolutely requiring evac coverage. It's a good thing. I disagree with the coverage being overrated outside of the western world. There are almost daily chopper flights to the most remote villages in the Himalayas outside of KTM. You are often days if not a week away from trekking out but only a few hours wait for a chopper evac. So even if you're stranded at 20K, if they can land they will get you out.

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Re: Insurance Nepal mountaineering?

by Tonka » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:01 pm

A lot of the trekking and climbing outfits are absolutely requiring evac coverage.


Good point and very true. Even a soft adventure company will require evac insurance and you must prove that you have it when you show up or you don't go. You can get 500k in evac as a US citizen for under $50 (Travel Guard), not sure how it goes for other countries. Of course those costs go up for longer trips.


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