/ Greenland - Insurance

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
matthewtraver - on 16 Mar 2012

I'm wondering if anybody on here has had some fairly recent experience with arranging insurance for Greenland?

It seems like the regulations surrounding permits etc. have changed since 2010/11 somewhat. Combining those changes with there being very few insurers wanting to sign the necessary Insurance Statement (so we can get the permits) it's making things pretty darned complicated! After contacting over 10 companies it so far seems that only Kalaallit Forsikring (www.forsikring.gl) will sign the Insurance Statement, which seems pretty crazy. The insurance also costs an arm and a leg (nearly £1300 per person just for SAR/Evac coverage)... seems like quite a monopoly!

If anybody could recommend me an alternative insurer that would be great (or just general advice). Also would be interesting to hear if you've had any issues yourself.


seaofdreams - on 16 Mar 2012
In reply to matthewtraver:

Hi Matt,

my trip in 2010 was covered by http://www.europaeiske.dk/ arranged by the Danish logistics company owned by the UK mining company I was contracted by.

I am fairly sure that this did cover SAR but I cant find the details. The company would be worth contacting to see what the deal is, this may not be something a sports trip would have access too - it also may have changed or the SAR aspect may have been on a central policy...

I know that sports insurance is a nightmare and if you are still have problems in a few weeks I can call my ex boss who will know more than most. however I am Out of Office ATM and don't have my life with me.

my cell number and email are the same - back home around the 28th.

good luck
earlsdonwhu - on 16 Mar 2012
In reply to matthewtraver: I know things changed following several costly evacuations from the ice cap.

I think that there may be possibilities if you are just going to coastal ranges rather than the ice cap. We went to coastal mountains from Kulusuk... I can't remember the insurer but try contacting Matt Spencely at Pirhuk Expeditions. I do recall that each member of our group ended up with different quotes for the same trip though all were more like £150-200 for 3-4 weeks.

matthewtraver - on 06 Apr 2012
In reply to matthewtraver:

Hi guys, thanks for the response and suggestions (hope you're well Rob!).

The situation is still the same, with all insurers refusing to sign the Statement. It looks like their recent changes are causing trouble for other teams as well (particularly independent ice cap crossing trips, as they now require a bank guarantee - something that wasn't required previously, as far as I understand).

I thought I'd just update here for the record (in case anyone comes trawling through the forums for similar info. in the future): basically it still seems that Kalaallit Forsikring is the only insurer that will sign the Insurance Statement for expeditions in the permit regions of Greenland (http://www.tinyurl.com/7wkvfvz). One way to make the situation a little more in one's favour is to only get SAR/Evac. cover for the amount of time you are on location in the permit zone and exclude the travel days to/from the area (in our case a fjord 2-3 days travel each way from Tasiilaq). Doing that can save you 25%-50% it seems.

I'm no way super-knowledgeable on this, but if anybody is travelling independently to permit-regions of Greenland feel free to get in touch and I can give some input regarding insurance based on the current experience we've had. Also if anybody is experiencing similar gripes with the recent changes please get in touch as we're planning to raise the issue with the main department/government and hopefully make the situation a little more favourable and affordable for future teams.

Damo on 06 Apr 2012
In reply to matthewtraver:


Was https://www.globalrescue.com/index.cfm one of the companies you tried? They're not travel insurers but they seem to be covering medevac for similar places.
matthewtraver - on 07 Apr 2012
In reply to Damo:

Hi Damo,

Thanks for getting in touch. Yep, we tried GR and they weren't able to help us (tried about 20 insurers)!

However we have a contact in GR that is trying to discuss with the Greenland expedition office about making changes in the future or coming to some kind of agreement (though it's hard to say what will come of this).

When I spoke with the expedition office they seemed to be pretty reluctant to allow control of SAR/evac. from outside firms (such as GR) and want to keep it centralised using their local/existing services to avoid any disagreements about who is responsible for rescue (sounds like maybe they've recently had trouble relating to this?). Basically they stated that doing it this way gives the government and teams assurance that a rescue situation will be completed swiftly 'without any bureaucratic problems'. Although they even stated to me that they could foresee these changes causing problems in the future, so there might be opportunity to try and make an argument/case to improve the situation in the long term (which I think is done through the Danish Ministry of Justice).

As far as I understand '10/'11 saw some rescues from the ice cap of non-insured parties which seems to have brought about changes to the system, as well the attitudes of the insurers - maybe you know more?


Damo on 07 Apr 2012
In reply to matthewtraver:

Hmm, interesting, thanks. But no, I don't know of anything G'land-specific in recent times that might have precipitated it, but it's in line with other changes, with regard to insurers, attitudes etc.

The situation for Antarctica has also changed (no IHI etc, but GR will cover) and that WAS due to one or two specific things, but I doubt there is any connection. At least not directly ...

matthewtraver - on 07 Apr 2012
In reply to Damo:

Cool, thanks. Sounds like going to Antarctica could be a more simple process at the minute then ;-)

If I find out any more I'll update this thread for others to read.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.