Saturday, November 3, 2012

Emergency Evacuation Insurance for High Altitude Treks in Nepal

A rescue helicopter leaves Namche Bazar  for Kathmandu


On most of my treks in Nepal, I am asked how does one get emergency evacuation insurance covering helicopter evacuation?

This was quite a grey area for me but after some research and with the help of some friends in the USA and UK, I was able to put together this note which would be useful to all trekkers and climbers.

Firstly, let me say that you cannot get this insurance in Nepal or India. No insurance company in these two countries provides this insurance.

The largest world-wide rescue organization in the USA is Global Rescue, which provides rescue services in every country of the world, without elevation restrictions, for injury, natural disasters, and terrorists’ attacks.  International diplomats and business executives use Global Rescue. It is  however expensive for a recreational trekker/ climber.  https://www.globalrescue.com/  

 The second option is to join The America Alpine Club as a member. It  provides limited evacuation insurance benefits, a maximum of $5,000 which  is sufficient for a  helicopter rescue  in Nepal. Their rescue benefit is provided through Global Rescue (described above). You can buy increased rescue insurance through American Alpine Club at a reduced rate. The cost per year is $50 or $75, depending on age or two people can join for  $125.00.  https://americanalpineclub.org/.

 However, please do keep in mind that Global Rescue (through American Alpine Club) is primarily an emergency rescue organization; it is not an insurance company as such. They keep trained rescue personnel on duty 7x24, helicopters, and jets on standby around the world (including India & Nepal), for the sole purpose of evacuating members in an emergency. Their normal coverage would cover Nepal helicopter evacuation, but would not cover flying you back to the U.S. for medical care if the need arose.
 
The Austrian Alpine Club (UK) provides  more extensive evacuation/medical insurance. This organization specializes in rescue insurance for Europe and Asia and they have members from the USA as well. Possibly, their insurance benefits are better than the American Alpine Club. The cost ranges from $45.00 to $65.00 depending on age. http://www.aacuk.org.uk/. The  Austrian Alpine Club (UK) will pay for emergency evacuation in Nepal, medical flight back to the U.S or your home country, and all medical bills related to the injury, up to EURO 25,000 so this could well be the better choice.

For more information please do visit the web sites given above. 

2 comments:

  1. Hi Suyog,
    Thank you for the information you've posted. I am myself doing EBC shortly and I am still looking for insurance cover for the trek. Do you have any experience with World Nomads?

    ReplyDelete
  2. World Nomads are fairly well known but I have not dealt with them personally!

    ReplyDelete

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