Trekking insurance ..abroad

Discussion in 'Hiking Chat' started by Chiseller, May 20, 2018.

  1. Dave V

    Dave V Moderator Staff Member

    I have not got insurance myself other than UK accident and medical but speaking from a professional point of view, working for a world wide air ambulance who have repatriated more than a few hikers, climbers and other outdoor enthusiasts all I would say is when taking out a policy, read the small print.

    Something to think about whether you have insurance or not is medical fees abroad. Things soon amount to big bills that are often unexpected.
  2. lakeshore

    lakeshore Trail Blazer

    Been away hiking so catching up on some threads. Check carefully and google search if you rely on EHIC to cover med expenses.
    Quote-The EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. The EHIC covers treatment that is medically necessary until your planned return home. Treatment should be provided on the same basis as it would to a resident of that country, (that varies as locals may contribute to costs) either at a reduced cost or, in many cases, free of charge. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs, such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, being flown back to the UK, or lost or stolen property. It is also not valid on cruises.
    PhilHo likes this.
  3. Dave V

    Dave V Moderator Staff Member

    Cost example, I have checked that I'm allowed to share and what I can share for GDPR reasons so this may be a bit vague.

    , Tenerife
    Activity, Hiking
    Injury, Minor Head Injury, slight concussion, broken left leg, fracture to ribs.
    Treatment, x-rays, MRI, plastics and surgery, cast, general monitoring.
    Duration of Hospital stay, 11 days

    Medical Treatment Cost, £16000 (rounded to closest 1000) this is quite a bit below average for the length of stay and treatment received.
    Cost of Medical Repatriation, £23000 (rounded to closest 1000)

    All costs had to be covered by the patient and family as they had taken general travel insurance and not advised they had gone with the intension to spend the time hiking on or off defined trails.

    These costs are fairly average, becoming I'll on smaller islands or in smaller countries often sees a patient moved by air, sea and road to a facility which has better equipment or more resources/money which can also bump up costs.

    The best thing to do it speak with your insurer, tell them what your going to do, most will amend a policy to include certain activities. It may cost you an extra £100 it that's better than loading credit cards or remortgaging a house.
    theoctagon likes this.
  4. lakeshore

    lakeshore Trail Blazer

    Hard to believe people risk visits without cover.
    I hiked a short way in the US with one of their citizens who was bitten by a snake, cost him $3000 for an emergency room visit and three days rest in a motel.
    For the Sierras in California I took out extra cover for hiking above 10000 feet. To avoid Insurers wriggle room I also have note in my passport and wallet not to treat until my Insurer has consented to payment.
    Everything is alright until it is not alright.
    Dave V likes this.
  5. Dave V

    Dave V Moderator Staff Member

    Something else I forgot to mention but chatting to a friend just a second ago reminded me. Make sure you tell the insurance company your true medical history.

    Even if the form says in the last five years and something happened 6 years ago, tell them so they have no room to manoeuvre.
  6. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    I snapped (so they think) a bone in my foot in the US.
    Two consultants, 7 X-rays, 40 minutes.
    The Triage nurse told me it would be charged around $20K iirc
  7. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    I organise motorcycle trips to Europe most years for a group of friends and I always remind them to buy travel/medical insurance that covers them for riding motorcycles over 125cc. My understanding is that the scariest cost that is not covered by EHIC as stated above is transport to hospital and repatriation, if necessary. This gets really scary if you have an air ambulance. For the last few years I've used a firm called Flexicover, they seem to change their underwriter every couple of years. Just now they are underwritten by Union Reiseversicherung AG who are part of a large German Banking group. I've never had to make a claim so I don't know how good they are and I suspect the call centre is in Mumbai. I wnet with them because the price was reasonable and they covered the activity I was doing.

    From a Trek Lite point of view their standard cover includes:
    "trekking/hiking/endurance activities up to 3,000 metres above sea level"

    And you can add in winter sports including "winter walking (using crampons and ice picks only)".

    If I was doing something more extreme than this I'd join the BMC and use their insurance.

    I usually buy, for EU visits, excluding pre-existing conditions on the basis that the EHIC will cover them as I don't have any known pre-existing conditions that would require an air ambulance. I'm basically covering for accidents.
  8. Munro277

    Munro277 Thru Hiker

    I went with True traveller for Sweden last time and will again I think
  9. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    I use BMC because I am absolutely sure it covers all hiking activities I may do and that they wouldn’t try to wriggle on minor technical grounds (such as a few feet over elevation limit) for reputational reasons.

    I couldn’t be doing with obscure definitions of “hiking” versus “walking” etc in other covers I looked at so decided to go with the main specialist provider.
    PhilHo likes this.
  10. Vleamen

    Vleamen Day Walker

    What about travel insurance to Singapore ?
  11. Charlie83

    Charlie83 Section Hiker

    Never saw this thread before, but I've just used "Snowcard" for the states later this year. A lot of the run of the mill companies wouldn't cover to 2000m, never mind over 3000m.

    I think the other company I had a decent quote from was "Dogtags".
    edh likes this.
  12. Vleamen

    Vleamen Day Walker

  13. Nikomad

    Nikomad Backpacker

  14. FOX160

    FOX160 Thru Hiker

    Found this on your policy
    It’s the wording of not the sole purpose that will invalidate your insurance policy.
    Be advised to call them.

    Adventurous activities
    This policy may cover You when You are engaging in sports and activities on a non-Professional, incidental basis only and provided the engagement in such sports and activities is not the sole purpose of Your Journey.
    Please check the lists below to make sure that any activities You plan to take part in are covered on Your selected Plan. If Your Activity is not listed please contact Your issuing agent as We may be able to offer cover for an extra premium.
    Activities available on all Plans
    • •
    • • • • •
    • • • • •
    • • • • •
    • •
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  15. MartinK9

    MartinK9 Section Hiker

    Hot off the press by 36 hours.....

    Points to note about Insurance, and plane tickets and having to return early if It is a loved one at home ill not you.....

    YOU MAY NOT BE COVERED.... or may not of applied for the extra cover to do so.

    My next day tickets cost three times the amount of booked in advance tickets, have an emergency card/money in the bank to cover that.
  16. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    I think it's important to bear in mind that insurance companies are not charities (you could be forgiven for thinking they were from their advertising shtick).

    This means that, over the course of an average lifetime, the average 'Insured' will pay significantly more in premiums than they would spend if they went uninsured and paid for the consequences of 'Events' themselves. Unless, obviously, you're in the business of making fraudulent claims (which the honest pay for in their premiums too, btw). I did the sums a while ago, adding up how much I was paying in various insurance premiums year on year. Some insurance is mandatory (e.g. motoring, professional, mortgage, some travel/medical) and therefore unavoidable, but since then I've mainly 'Self-Insured' as far as possible. In the end, a credit card should cost you less than an insurance policy. I can absolutely see why some might think this reckless but I'm happy to take responsibility.

    Different folks have different 'peace of mind' thresholds of course, but s*** happens and we all croak in the end.

Share This Page