/ Which Alpine Club?

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geordieflip - on 23 Jul 2013
Hi,

been away on a couple of alpine trips and have never bothered with insurance etc. Started pushing my climbing recently and wouldnt mind hut discount and rescue cover etc. What options have I got and which are the best and why?

Thanks very much
dutybooty - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to geordieflip: Austrian is supposed to be quite good.

BMC has always done me good though, its quite expensive, but have paid out for a claim quite well. The only downside is the reciprical rights card is really expensive.
butteredfrog - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to geordieflip: BMC gets you hut discount and access to rescue insurance.
GridNorth - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to butteredfrog: No it doesn't. I have heard of climbers getting discount on production of a BMC card alone but officially an additional reciprocal rights card from the BMC is required.

To the OP: Austrian Alpine Club gives you the discount on accommodation as well as including rescue, repatriation and medical costs included in the membership fee. The cover is not as comprehensive as the BMC but seems to be adequate and I do know people who have made claims without any issues.
Tim Sparrow on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to geordieflip: Austrian AC cover doesn't include travel insurance. My bank account covers this so AAC is a no brainer for me as it is annual cover.
jonesieboy on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to GridNorth:

In 5 years I have never seen a hut guardian ask for a BMC reciprocal rights card. They have always accepted a regular membership card. I am a member of AAC, but my climbing partner always gets the discount as a BMC member.
GridNorth - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to jonesieboy: I know it must be very annoying for those peole who have stumped up extra for the reciprocal rights card. I have seen BMC cards rejected a few times mostly around the Chamonix area.
Babika - on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to geordieflip:

Hi
Depends where you're going.

If you're in Switzerland and just want helicopter insurance Rega is by far the cheapest. Its about 12 I think and I've often booked it.

Also I've just returned from the Italian side of the Monta Rosa group and a local guide told me that helicopter rescue is free in Italy!

However if you want full accident/illness plus theft cover then go for BMC insurance. I had 12 days for 59 and sadly will now have to make a claim as I had gear nicked in the Gnifetti Hut. Grrr.

I showed my normal BMC Membership Card and got full discount at the Gnifetti and Margherita Huts. I also did last year in German and Austrian huts. Buying AAC or other club membership seems an unnecessary expense.

Good old BMC.
rj_townsend on 28 Jul 2013
In reply to GridNorth: Perhaps a tad off-topic - apologies in advance.

Does anyone know if the Adele Planchard hut does discount with a BMC card, or insist on the reciprocal rights card, please?
Simon4 - on 28 Jul 2013
In reply to rj_townsend: The Adele Planchard is a private hut, and will not give any discount against any card.
Cú Chullain - on 28 Jul 2013
In reply to geordieflip:

I am a member of the Austrian Alpine Club, they have reciprocal hut access with pretty much every other european countries alpine clubs. They also have mountain rescue and medical insurance thrown in as part of the deal and are a hell of lot cheaper then the BMC.

http://aacuk.org.uk/

rj_townsend on 28 Jul 2013
In reply to Simon4: Thanks - just the information I was looking for!
Jim Hamilton - on 28 Jul 2013
In reply to Babika:
> However if you want full accident/illness plus theft cover then go for BMC insurance. I had 12 days for 59 and sadly will now have to make a claim as I had gear nicked in the Gnifetti Hut. Grrr.

Will their policy pay out for theft of gear that's presumably not locked away somehow ?

AAC for me - 43.50 for annual, worldwide medical and rescue (77 for a family of 4.)
Simon4 - on 28 Jul 2013
In reply to rj_townsend: Despite the costs and no discount, the guardians of the Adele Planchard are great people, very friendly and helpful, it is a great hut. No cablecars, a long and arduous approach, so the only people who can get there are climbers (or skiers in Spring), so it is how huts used to be before they turned into semi-hotels.

Go for it even though you don't save any money with a card.
rj_townsend on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to Simon4: I'm fully intending to go there for at least one night in August. I've been once before, but somebody else had done the organising then, so I wasn't sure how it all works. I've no problem with the price - they need to make a living!
BMC Office - on 29 Jul 2013 - www.thebmc.co.uk
In reply to

When comparing insurance cover, be aware that the Austrian Alpine Club (AAC) only covers up to 25,000 EUR rescue cover and 10,000 EUR medical expenses.

If it all goes wrong, especially outside Europe, then your costs could quickly go beyond that. That's why the BMC (and Snowcard) cover 100,000 search and rescue costs and 10 million medical expenses.

Jim Hamilton - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to BMC Office:

As a matter of interest, how many claims have the BMC dealt with where they paid out more than the AAC limits, and what sort of scenarios are these claims ?
MG - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim Hamilton: I almost posted something very similar. If this information is available, how many in EC countries?
Mr Spoons - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to geordieflip: AAC membership/insurance is a very attractive option for those of us who often work outside of UK and go climbing in the evenings and at weekends. Why? Because BMC insurance will not cover you if your climbing 'Holiday' doesn't start and end in the UK!
And yes I do feel a bit 'miffed' about this. I can't really see the difference between finishing work on a Friday evening in France, driving to Verdon for example, and going back to work in France on Monday morning and flying of somewhere for a weekends. Limb
Mr Spoons - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to geordieflip: AAC membership/insurance is a very attractive option for those of us who often work outside of UK and go climbing in the evenings and at weekends. Why? Because BMC insurance will not cover you if your climbing 'Holiday' doesn't start and end in the UK!
And yes I do feel a bit 'miffed' about this. I can't really see the difference between finishing work on a Friday evening in France, driving to Verdon for example, and going back to work in France on Monday morning and flying of somewhere for a weekends climbing. Why can't I have insurance?
Gael Force - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to BMC Office: Search and rescue is free in Europe is it not, unless skiing on piste
Solaris - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to BMC Office:

You have a Commercial Profile on UKC. This post seems to me to be commercial and also to fall under the restrictions under 6.2.3 under UKC's Terms and Conditions, here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/general/terms.html

> "6.2 You agree that you will not use the Web Site or any of the Web Site Services as follows:
> ...
> 6.2.3 for any purposes connected to any business..."

And it could be that it contravenes what is said on the Commercial Profiles page, here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/info/commercial.html

> Commercial Profiles FAQ
> What is allowed?
> ...
> You can post in any of the forums so long as you do not try to overtly promote your products or services; remember that we allow products and services to be promoted via the Premier Posts. Limited responses to question posed by other users are allowed.

Whether your post falls within these guidelines is best left to the Moderators.

In the interests of transparency, commensurate with your use of this thread, please could you reply to Jim Hamilton's and MG's questions.

Interest Disclosure: I am not and never have been a member of the AAC or used any of its commercial services; by virtue of club membership, I am a member of the BMC and have often used its (and another UK broker's) insurance services.
Paul Everett - on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to geordieflip: Helicopter rescue is free in France and Italy and I assume that there are reciprocal hospital rights in all EU countries.
Switzerland is not free - neither helicopter or hospital, so beware. REGA cover in Switzerland 30 francs per year covers helicopter only.
The Austrian Alpine Club and the French Alpine clubs include insurance and maybe others do. The Swiss Alpine Club does not.
Most UK climbers I know join the Austrian Alpine Club
Simon4 - on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to Paul Everett: Not quite right Paul.

You CAN be charged for helicopter rescue in Italy, and I believe that the situation is more uncertain in France - you may be rescued by the GNDHM (French high mountain police) helicopter and it will be free, while if it is a private helicopter, it can be charged for. EHIC cover will generally give you hospital protection, but will not for example include repatriation expenses. Certainly French hospitals will try to present you with a bill, while French doctors will insist on it being paid there and then, i.e. they will expect you to produce a credit card. How you charge it back again afterwards is up to you.

AAC insurance is useful, as you get reciprocal rights by the cheapest way, but the amounts seem a bit low.

An important point about the EHIC card (which is a necessary, but not really adequate precaution to take), is that it is time-limited. You need to make sure that yours is up-to-date.
Solaris - on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to BMC Office:

So, it's over 48 hours since clarification of your post was requested but none has been forthcoming.

Many people on here pay subs to the BMC. Don't you think they deserve an answer?
GridNorth - on 01 Aug 2013
In reply to Solaris: I don't think anyone would argue that the BMC Insurance is the Rolls Royce of activity insurances but you have to balance that against the cost. I used annual BMC Insurance for many years then suddenly one year the premiums rocketed and the cover reduced. It ceased to be cost effective for me so I joined the AAC. One of the problems is that you can't opt out of certain things, the travel insurance element for example, so I would end up paying twice as my bank account offers that with my current account. For trips outside of Europe I do take out BMC cover but only for the duration of the trip.
MG - on 01 Aug 2013
In reply to GridNorth:
> (In reply to Solaris) I don't think anyone would argue that the BMC Insurance is the Rolls Royce of activity insurances but you have to balance that against the cost.

Well yes, exactly. I feel in the marketing of it there is a strong element of "fear factor", hence my question above, which phrased another way would be how much rescue cover is prudent within the EC (and, perhaps seperately, Switzerland)? If x thousand Austrians feel they have sufficient cover with AAC insurance that is *much* cheaper than BMC cover, is the BMC actually selling a worthwhile product for most climbers and mountaineers, or just taking commission on inflated premiums?
MG - on 01 Aug 2013
In reply to MG: And furthermore, are the majority who climb within Europe with BMC cover indirectly subsidizing those who do more dangerous climbing further afield by paying these high premiums?
Jenny C on 01 Aug 2013
In reply to Simon4:
> (In reply to Paul Everett) Not quite right Paul.

> An important point about the EHIC card (which is a necessary, but not really adequate precaution to take), is that it is time-limited. You need to make sure that yours is up-to-date.

It's also free:
https://www.ehic.org.uk/Internet/startApplication.do

Applied for ours last month via the link above and the cards came though in around a week.


Simon4 - on 01 Aug 2013
In reply to Jenny C:

> It's also free:

Which is a bit curious, as I recently got charged 15 for a renewal.

MG - on 01 Aug 2013
In reply to Simon4:

You were had!

From here

http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/Pages/about-the-ehic.aspx

"An EHIC renewal or application is entirely free of charge. However, other unofficial websites may charge you if you apply through them."
Simon4 - on 01 Aug 2013
In reply to MG: Damn! Un-nervingly, I got a phone message about dubious transactions on my credit card to clarify, actually they seemed totally ordinary, but had me worried.

There is a similar scam for US visa-waiver applications, so I should have been aware of that hazard.
rj_townsend on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to MG) And furthermore, are the majority who climb within Europe with BMC cover indirectly subsidizing those who do more dangerous climbing further afield by paying these high premiums?

Isn't this the case with any insurance though? "Good risk" funds the "Bad risk".

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