To protect your holiday deposit, we recommend that you take out your travel insurance as soon as you have booked your place on the OEM and you have booked your flights.
Your insurance must cover:
- Emergency helicopter evacuation,
- In-patient hospital treatment
- medical expenses
- Trekking to a height of 5650m.
Our doctors will manage the health of the whole group with the aim of preventing issues requiring helicopter evacuation. However, it is sometimes difficult to communicate from parts of the Khumbu, so it is important to check that the insurance company accepts that it may not be possible to contact them for permission before arranging a helivac.
We recommend that you are insured for :
- personal liability
- loss of luggage and personal effects
This may be part of a combined travel insurance package or two separate policies.
Make sure that you are insured for the full length of the trip and that you declare any medical conditions.
(Travel insurance policies ‘purchased’ through your credit card or bank account or provided through platinum account holders will not always cover you adequately for ‘adventure’ travel style holidays).
We recommend the following insurance companies for UK and European residents
Austrian Alpine Club
This annual insurance covers the 'must cover' areas above. If you want to insure against cancellation, loss or theft of possession, travel delay etc, you would need to take out an additional policy.
The club provides insurance cover for all members of the Österreichischer Alpenverein who require rescue services as a result of accidents occurring in the course of leisure activities. Costs for repatriation, transfer and medical treatment are covered abroad for accidents occurring in the course of leisure activities or business as well as for illness. AWS is valid worldwide, with the exception that the third-party insurance and criminal law legal protection insurance are restricted to Europe
It is very reasonably priced at about £100 for a couple, £52 for an individual.
- Rescue Costs (in one´s country of main place of residence and abroad) up to €25,000 – per person and claim. Year-round, worldwide, during leisure time.
- Repatriation (without cost limitation)
- Medical treatment costs abroad (up to €10,000 per person and claim).
The annual policy runs from January to December, so it's worth taking it out now, so you have the benefit of it for the rest of the year. Your membership of the AAC is your insurance.
ITRA - International Trail Running Association
The French company Mutuaide Assistance covers trail running, hiking, trekking, bike touring / mtn biking, cross country skiing and shoeshoeing for a yearly premium of 49euro!
If an accident occurs during the race, they cover rescue and evacuation in a helicopter and transportation to the hospital and repatriation. They cover medical expenses incurred up to 150,000euros.
There is nothing in the small print about maximum altitude or countries they don't cover, but it's so cheap, is it too good to be true?
For UK residents
The British Mountaineering Council insurance required is the annual Alpine & Ski, covering summits to 6,500m. The excess is £500 for helicopter rescue and it is considerably more expensive that the AAC at £495 per individual or £817 per couple as it does give full travel cover.
BMC Insurance can be contacted by phoning 0161 445 6111 / 0161 438 3319, or online www.thebmc.co.uk.
We do not recommend
Campbell Irvine Direct Insurance
This company is extremely expensive, quoting £184 for a 24 day trip and £1194 for an annual policy. They offer much cheaper insurance through other tour operators (which is why I approached them), they are willing to do this because other tour operators provide holidays to a range of destinations, so the risk is spread.
What to do next
Once you have arranged your travel insurance you will need to fill in the form with your policy details.
These will be kept securely by the OEM and passed to our agent in Kathmandu should they need to make any arrangements on your behalf.