/ Mountain rescue & medical insurance for the Alps

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Swiss Tony - on 12 Aug 2017
Need mountain rescue & medical insurance for alps this September, can anyone recommend a decent policy / company ? I'm covers for standard annual travel insurance but this excludes mountaineering so looking for something to cover rescue & medical only. Looking at AustrianAlpine Club & BMC but it's not easy to tell what's included, any info / advice greatly appreciated
JayPee630 - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to Swiss Tony:

Just read the BMC website, it's clear what's included. The BMC or Snowcard are the best options.
GridNorth - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to Swiss Tony:

AAC covers rescue, medical and repatriation but excludes normal travel insurance. AAC also gets you 50% off accommodation in alpine huts. BMC covers everything but to get hut discount you need to pay extra for a "reciprocal rights card" although I have heard of people getting discount just by producing their BMC membership card.

Al
JayPee630 - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to GridNorth:

Do you get a discount on uplift with AAC?
GridNorth - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to JayPee630:

Don't think so.

I've been with AAC for many years. I used to be a loyal BMC user but one year they put the premiums up by a significant amount and loaded the policies for older climbers so they lost my business. AAC are the opposite, I get a concessionary rate as I am 69.

Al
JayPee630 - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to GridNorth:
Yeah, it looks about 50% of the BMC cost for ten days insurance for a trip for me later this year. You get it with AAC membership as standard don't you, rather than a specific insurance policy?
Post edited at 14:13
wercat on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to JayPee630:
for switzerland the swiss rail card that includes full travel on dates of arrival and departure plus half price travel in between also gives you discounts on bus and luftseilbahn, plus many private railways and boat trips
Post edited at 14:40
Swiss Tony - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to Swiss Tony: thanks guys looks like AAC it is

GridNorth - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to JayPee630:
Yes, you have to become a member. It's an annual membership/policy renewable every January.

Al
Post edited at 15:38
MG - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to Swiss Tony:

I use AAC but do note the limited medical cover. Potentially an issue in Switzerland if you are treated at a private hospital
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mypyrex - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to Swiss Tony:
I used to go for BMC Insurance but with a medical history and my age (71) they were out of the equation.

Three years ago I had Lymphoma. BMC would not cover me for it plus, as I said, the loaded it for my age so they have lost me for insurance purposes and I have also ceased my membership.

AAC, of which I was a member many years ago automatically covered me for SAR and Repatriation with membership. Additionally I got a "bog standard" travel insurance with a firm specialising in medical history cases. Plus, as mentioned elsewhere, you get hut discount with AAC for no additional cost

BMC won't be getting my business again.
Post edited at 21:42
Tim Davies - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to Swiss Tony:

Proof of the pudding.....

BMC insurers covered my rescue, hospital treatment and repatriation, plus journey home faultlessly.

Money well spent.
GridNorth - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to Tim Davies:

> Proof of the pudding.....

> BMC insurers covered my rescue, hospital treatment and repatriation, plus journey home faultlessly.

> Money well spent.

There are accounts on this forum of AAC doing exactly the same. I would have to agree however that BMC is more comprehensive but you pay a significant premium for that. I think it was something like 4 x the amount last time I checked for a single trip. I get annual AAC for less than £50 a year.

Al
JayPee630 - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to GridNorth:

Yeah, I've just become an AAC member rather than the BMC at twice the price. Not too bothered about travel insurance, was really just for the rescue element. Fingers crossed won't be needing it!
L Dom Goodwin - on 14 Aug 2017
In reply to Swiss Tony:

Easy decision to join Austrian Alpine Club. Apart from being cheaper, easier to get reciprocal rights in huts (my AAC card has always been accepted without problems for many years - the same is not true for some other cards which should be valid), the AAC insurance has a good record of paying out if you do end up needing it, whereas I've heard a few stories about problems with payouts on the BMC insurance.
Kieron Belcher - on 17 Aug 2017
In reply to Swiss Tony:

I know 2 guys who both had falls and needed medical attention, head injury and the other a leg injury, they were both insured with BMC and both had problems with claims
One gave up on chasing the claim the other eventually got some money back.

mcawle - on 09:46 Fri
In reply to MG:

Yes, €10,000 cap for medical, including medical transport back to the UK. Not sure whether per policy or per insured person if you have joint membership.

My understanding is that Swiss hospitals are private and that medical insurance is compulsory for Swiss citizens.

So not sure how far €10k would stretch in Switzerland, but if seriously injured I'd say not very far...

My partner and I are currently insured through AAC; we've been using it for trekking and hut rights to date.

However, heading for our first Alps climbing trip at the end of the month, partly in the Swiss Alps, so I am considering whether the cap is enough.

Cheers,

Michael
Robert Durran - on 10:00 Fri
In reply to mcawle:
> Yes, €10,000 cap for medical, including medical transport back to the UK.

That is peanuts for a serious medical issue, rescue or repatriation. When buying insurance you should be concentrating on making sure that you are covered for the things which could pretty much bankrupt you rather than on the annoying but more affordable stuff such as cancellation of flights or theft (let alone saving a few pounds in huts!). For this reason I have stayed with BMC despite the higher premium (except for an extended trip to the US which BMC would not cover when I used Sports Cover Direct which seemed to offer comparable cover).
Post edited at 10:01
Ardo - on 10:08 Fri
In reply to Swiss Tony:

Surprised noone has mentioned the EHIC card, http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/Pages/about-the-ehic.aspx

Alongside a suitable BMC/AAC policy should have you covered, (at least until brexit!).
MG - on 10:19 Fri
In reply to mcawle:

Swiss health is mixed. There are public hospitals too and in these EHIC will cover a lot, probably in this case AAC is sufficient. The problem is you may not be in a position to decide where you end up if injured!

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Alex Messenger, BMC - on 10:39 Fri
In reply to...

BMC Travel Insurance gives you full cover, that’s £100,000 search, rescue and recovery cover, 10 million emergency medical cover and £10,000 personal accident cover.

We sell over 15,000 policies every year, and by taking out travel insurance with us, not only do you have gold-standard cover, you’ve got the BMC to help out if there are any issues.

There’s no age loading until you’re 70. And if you’ve a serious medical condition then you’ll need to go through medical screening. This is common with most travel insurers and keeps prices competitive as older travellers and those with serious medical conditions are, unfortunately, more likely need medical help.

And, unlike any other insurer, profits from our insurance go towards our work for climbers, walkers and mountaineers in the UK. Buy insurance from us and you’re helping us rebolt Horseshoe, buy Crookrise, lobby for the rights of climbers and walkers in government and much more.

We’ve got some great deals on at the moment: annual European Alpine & Ski policies are £136 (so around £11/month) and there’s 15% off all European single-trip rock policies until 31 October 2017. That means 10-days cover for rock climbing is only £37.

More info:
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/travel-insurance-bmc-summer-rock-climbing

If you’ve any questions, ring our friendly insurance team on 0161 445 6111.


mcawle - on 11:14 Fri
In reply to Robert Durran:

Re: €10k/peanuts - yes exactly.
mcawle - on 11:19 Fri
In reply to MG:

Thanks for that. Didn't realise there were some public.

As you say - bit of a roll of the dice.

Having said that, I do see that one is required to coordinate rescue through Tyrol Air Ambulance when using AAC cover. So perhaps they try to ensure you're taken somewhere public(?). But no guarantee even if that is the case.
Tim Davies - on 16:11 Fri
In reply to mcawle:

Personal experience from Switzerland

Arriving in Sion hospital (no choice) first thing I was asked for was my EHIC.

BMC paid for the rescue, any excess (the same small amount that Swiss national pay) and the company handled all the repatriation flights, ground transfers.

All medical fees covered by the ehic

MG - on 16:23 Fri
In reply to mcawle:
For rescue (only, I think) in Switzerland , perhaps also worth looking at

http://www.rega.ch/en/support-rega/become-a-rega-patron/conditions-of-patronage.aspx

If you have cows, you can have them rescued too, for small additional fee!
Post edited at 16:26
kipman725 - on 18:07 Fri
In reply to Swiss Tony:

Is it posible to use a normal travel insurance policy in addition to AAC membership to increase medical cover or would getting injured in an activity not covered in the normal travel insurance mean that it would not pay out even if rescued under the AAC membership?

I personaly just use the AAC in europe due to BMC significantly increasing the per trip cost to the point where I would have to do less trips. I wish they did a cut down policy that didn't cover normal travel things like cancelations, lost luggage and only focused on medical and search+rescue. I also wish the BMC included reciprocal rights as I need to get AAC for this regardless of the insurance.

I have had one claim with BMC which was on dental because I smashed my teeth in a fall mid trip (would seem like quite a common injury), for this the BMC policy paid out a maximum of £250 once the excess is taken into account. As I was in the US this could have put me many thousands of pounds out of pocket but I managed to negotiate a good rate with the dentist and get more of a patch up job done rather than a total fix so only ended up paying aprox £200 myself. So although quite comprehensive there are things that BMC insurance does not cover well.
Robert Durran - on 18:12 Fri
In reply to kipman725:

> Is it posible to use a normal travel insurance policy in addition to AAC membership to increase medical cover or would getting injured in an activity not covered in the normal travel insurance mean that it would not pay out even if rescued under the AAC membership?

I've always assumed that you won't be covered for medical treatment for injuries sustained doing an activity not covered by the policy, which would seem very reasonable.

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