/ Insurace for Nepal - which company?

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Arete - on 07 Dec 2017

Please ONLY reply if you've had to put in a claim, you can't tell anything about an insurance co if you haven't claimed with them. They're all brilliant if you don't claim!

Looking to get insurance for Mera next spring. BMC was logical but have heard mixed reviews due to their underwriter, and they are very expensive. Looking at Dog Tag and Snowcard currently, but would like to hear other people's positive experiences with them or other companies.

The quotes I have are:
BMC - £529
Dog Tag - £204
Snowcard - £402 (with £200 excess)

Also considering AAC rescue cover with additional travel cover, but not sure who to go with for that either, as I will have all my belongings with me up to the last camp, so could be a grey area as far as that sort of thing goes.

All have similar levels of cover, and I need a good chunk for trip cancellation cover (£4000 approx). I'm edging towards Dog Tag for obvious reasons - they seem to have been underwritten by Mondial in the past who appear to be universally hated, but can't find any recent reviews so I'm hoping no news is good news (because who really goes to post positive reviews for an insurance company?).
Post edited at 21:15
paulmck - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Arete:

Hi,

I fail your first test - I've never claimed, but ....

TrueTraveller might be worth getting a quote from - you are climbing a trekking peak and their trekking insurance covers this (they even mention Mera by name).

Next year AAC are changing their cover on their standard policy and won't cover trekking peaks over 6,000m . You will have to buy their one-off insurance which starts putting them in the DogTag price bracket.

I'm in a similar position to you - Lobuche East next April/May, so I'll be interested to see what replies you get.

Cheers.
rockcatch - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Arete:

I used BMC insurance for Mera and Island Peak a few years ago. Your quote is much higher than I expected - just went on to the BMC site and got a 30 day trip quote including Nepal for £246 which seems much more reasonable. Because Mera is a trekking peak the Alpine & Ski policy was acceptable when I went, and that may still be the case.

Unfortunately I did end up claiming on the insurance due to altitude sickness on Mera Peak. Ended up with a helicopter out from the valley between Mera Peak and Island Peak, back to Kathmandu. Also a check over in the hospital, a couple of extra nights in a hotel and a change of flights home to the U.K. All of this was extremely well organised by Jagged Globe who I went on the trip with, and the BMC insurance. There were no problems with the insurance paying for any of the expenses directly with the providers.

A friend also suffered an ankle injury in Switzerland and was airlifted to hospital. The BMC insurance was again excellent and handled the claim to the standard I would expect.

I hope this helps.
Arete - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to rockcatch:
That's great to know thanks, I'm also heading there with Jagged Globe. The categories ofcover on the BMC are now centred around remoteness, and Mera would only be covered by their highest cover level. Strangely, the quote starts at about £350, and then there's a tick box asking "are you travelling to Nepal?". Clicking yes adds about £180. I'm not sure how they were expecting me to do Mera without travelling to Nepal!
Post edited at 09:03
Damo on 09:45 Fri
In reply to Arete:

I've also never claimed, but I was in Nepal last month and someone I was with was telling me they'd recently had trouble with DogTag not paying up, but I can't remember the exact issue.

Another change in this field is that, due to so many trekking agents and heli companies scamming the insurance companies with inflated bills, the insurers are sending undercover people out who have magically appeared when the helicopter lands, to check just who is on it and what state they're in.

So if you end up taking a flight and are not totally incapacitated, it might pay to make sure you're not inadvertently helping someone else pay off his cousin, or you might end up with your claim questioned/reduced/denied.
Arete - on 16:00 Sat
In reply to Damo:

Hmm, that does sound a lot like some of the older reviews of Dog Tag (which seem to be the only ones around - they don't have a Trustpilot page). I'm beginning to think I might just splash out with the BMC and make sure I have solid cover. I'll not get on a helicopter unless I'm expressly told to by the Jagged Globe guide, I honestly don't see how they could argue their way out of that.
Arete - on 17:17 Sat
In reply to paulmck:
I've just done a quote with True Traveller and got £150 (including cover for Nepal - they charge £750 for a heli rescue though, I suppose I would just have to suck that up). They get excellent reviews on Trustpilot for what that's worth

Sportscoverdirect have quoted me £299, but do charge a £90 excess for just about everything.
Post edited at 17:22

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