First of all, appropriate travel insurance is a must! But you really need to check the fine print of your policy as it’s surprising how many travel insurance policies are not good enough to cover the GHT!
Most travel insurance policies will cover you while you are trekking (often referred to as ‘hiking’ in insurance policies) and will include emergency medical evacuation costs. However, you should read the policy carefully and check for any exclusions. For example, using a rope (even as a handline), or itineraries that go higher than a stipulated maximum altitude during your trek could void your policy.
It is also vital that you establish some contacts in Kathmandu that could help you should an accident occur. See Rescue and Emergency for more details.
Climbing Insurance Nepal
There have been multiple insurance scams over the last decade in Nepal. So, some insurance companies have upped their premiums for high altitude areas. Do check that trekking / hiking in Nepal is covered up to the altitude you intend to trek. For example for the high passes you may need coverage up to 7000m, and that your cover includes evacuation.
Household insurers or your medical insurer (especially if you live in the USA or Canada) can offer you an appropriate policy and they are often cheaper than a travel agent. Other options include, Global Rescue for rescue and medical expenses and the Austrian Climbing Association Insurance but note you will have to join the association.
Travel Insurance for Trekking – Some Hints
When purchasing insurance for trekking, check the small print and make sure it covers:
- All of your planned adventure activities.
- All activities up to your planned highest altitude. Many travel insurances companies do not cover activities over 4,000 meters, and the GHT high route goes to 6200m.
- Make sure you choose a policy that covers medical and emergency repatriation.
- Make sure you choose a policy that includes helicopter evacuation for you and potentially other trekkers and your staff.
- In case that the worst happens, include provision for a family member to come and collect your remains and effects. If you rely on things to be sent to family members, it will probably never happen.
Travel Insurance – some of the better recommended companies
World Nomads Travel Insurance: Is available to residents in over 150 countries and can be purchased on line via their website by credit card. They cover adventure sports & mountain activities including trekking. They allow you to take travel insurance out for just a few days, weeks or months and to extend your policy from anywhere in the world. One big advantage is that you can purchase your insurance even after you’ve begun travelling and are already abroad.
These five best travel insurances in Nepal are large brands, have a lot of customers and an office in Nepal. These insurance companies are also conscious of scams where guides make you ill and then recommend rescue so they can collect commissions.