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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 34
Author
Climbing Insurance

marto
5/07/2011
2:08:19 PM
I'm off to the US in a few weeks for a climbing holiday, and looking into insurance for my trip.

Anyone got any good recomendations????

Cheers
Mike Bee
5/07/2011
9:39:51 PM
Quick Answer: I booked my travel insurance for climbing in Canda with ihi Bupa, they explicitly cover climbing and mountaineering.

Ben_E
5/07/2011
10:05:40 PM
I've previously gone through insure4less.

Have not had to claim (which is obviously the acid test), but they at least asked some relevant questions before giving me the quote. They essentially charged an additional 75% for an "alpine rock climbing" plan on top of a normal travel insurance policy from a second provider.

Worth checking the fine print of many of the other companies that claim to cover "extreme sports" - many of their policies either exclude climbing or only cover climbing that is either with guides or on toprope.
Wendy
5/07/2011
10:24:58 PM
I've never understood why anyone uses ihi or insureforless. ihi is not a general travel policy, so you still need another one if you want to cover lost luggage and such, and neither of them are cheap.

The Austrian Alpine Club UK branch membership for $60 a year will cover you for rescue and repatriation for climbing accidents all of ther world, up to 6000m. So it's good at home, on Australian holidays and for as many trips of up to 8 weeks duration outside of your home country as you can fit into a year. If you want to extend the coverage to longer trips, it's about 60 cents a day.

Get a credit card that comes with free general travel insurance, buy your ticket on that, and you are covered. Dirt cheap.

stugang
5/07/2011
10:32:56 PM
On 5/07/2011 Wendy wrote:
>I've never understood why anyone uses ihi or insureforless. ihi is not
>a general travel policy, so you still need another one if you want to cover
>lost luggage and such, and neither of them are cheap.
>
>The Austrian Alpine Club UK branch membership for $60 a year will cover
>you for rescue and repatriation for climbing accidents all of ther world,
>up to 6000m. So it's good at home, on Australian holidays and for as many
>trips of up to 8 weeks duration outside of your home country as you can
>fit into a year. If you want to extend the coverage to longer trips, it's
>about 60 cents a day.
>
>Get a credit card that comes with free general travel insurance, buy your
>ticket on that, and you are covered. Dirt cheap.

One caveat to the above - read the fine print on your free travel insurance that comes with your credit card. Some of these require you to "register" before you go overseas.


Ben_E
5/07/2011
11:10:11 PM
On 5/07/2011 Wendy wrote:
>I've never understood why anyone uses ihi or insureforless. ihi is not
>a general travel policy, so you still need another one if you want to cover
>lost luggage and such, and neither of them are cheap.
>

Actually, luggage was covered under the insure4less option up to $7,500. You're only partially correct it is not a general travel policy, as essentially you (i.e., I) brought a general travel policy with an extra climbing rider.

All up (including the basal travel insurance) it probably cost just over double your yearly Austrian Alpine Club membership.

The Austrian Alpine Club membership may be a better option, though I'd want to do a very careful side by side comparison of how much each covers. At a glance the Alpine Club seems to only cover medical expenses to 10,000 Euro, which, frankly, a serious accident in the US could clock up pretty quickly. I think I was covered for medical expenses to $5,000,000.

As I said above, though, the ultimate test is how much of a hard time they give you if the poo hits the fan and they need to come up with $. It's possible the Austrian Alpine Club has a much better ethos there, given insurance companies largely make their money by, well, not paying.
Wendy
6/07/2011
7:43:57 AM
On 5/07/2011 Ben_E wrote:
>On 5/07/2011 Wendy wrote:
>>I've never understood why anyone uses ihi or insureforless. ihi is not
>>a general travel policy, so you still need another one if you want to
>cover
>>lost luggage and such, and neither of them are cheap.
>>
>
>Actually, luggage was covered under the insure4less option up to $7,500.
>You're only partially correct it is not a general travel policy, as essentially
>you (i.e., I) brought a general travel policy with an extra climbing rider.

>
>All up (including the basal travel insurance) it probably cost just over
>double your yearly Austrian Alpine Club membership.

>I was only referring to ihi there, i know insure4less is a normal policy as well. How long were you away for? They quoted me way for than $120 for 8 weeks. I'd expect a normal travel insurance policy would charge me more than $120 for 8 weeks.

>The Austrian Alpine Club membership may be a better option, though I'd
>want to do a very careful side by side comparison of how much each covers.
>At a glance the Alpine Club seems to only cover medical expenses to 10,000
>Euro, which, frankly, a serious accident in the US could clock up pretty
>quickly. I think I was covered for medical expenses to $5,000,000.

I think their plan is to pay for you to go home asap where your own country covers it. the repat costs are unlimited.
>
>As I said above, though, the ultimate test is how much of a hard time
>they give you if the poo hits the fan and they need to come up with $.
>It's possible the Austrian Alpine Club has a much better ethos there, given
>insurance companies largely make their money by, well, not paying.

i've only known people to need to claim on the bmc and caf ones, but they were without hassles.

My credit card policy is through zurich and appears to be very similar to any other policy, and you don't need to register with them. I did a lot of research into it before deciding it was the way forward a few years ago.
Mr Poo
6/07/2011
2:17:53 PM
Check out BMC ( British Mountaineering Council) they are good, I used them Europe and they also offer international insurance.
Also
Check the NZ alpine club, I know the offer insurance but don't have a clue what it is like!

Cheers HP
pecheur
6/07/2011
8:59:10 PM
On 5/07/2011 Wendy wrote:
>
>The Austrian Alpine Club UK branch membership for $60 a year will cover
>you for rescue and repatriation for climbing accidents all of ther world,
>up to 6000m. So it's good at home, on Australian holidays and for as many
>trips of up to 8 weeks duration outside of your home country as you can
>fit into a year. If you want to extend the coverage to longer trips, it's
>about 60 cents a day.
>
I had a look at this, reading the exclusions, the 6000m one is a little strange:

accidents occurring in the course of taking part in expeditions on
mountains with a height over 6,000 metres as well as expeditions in
the Arctic, Antarctica and in Greenland (see note on the last page).


So contrary to what Wendy stated, it doesn't cover you for climbing accidents up to 6000m, it possibly won't cover you at all if you're on an "expedition" on a mountain over 6000m tall. Technically if you're on an "expedition" you could be wandering around the base of Denali, not even thinking of summiting, only at 600 m and you still wouldn't be covered (assuming Alaska doesn't count as Artic). That's pretty poor, but that's exactly how the exclusion reads.

My main issue is the use of the word "expedition", what does that mean to an insurer? If you're not on an "expedition" but on a mountain taller than 6000 m are you covered? In a non-technical sense the word implies a journey of some length, but what length?

For example you could be doing Huayna Potosi, driven up from the local town to 4700 m, wander up to the high hut at 5,300 (or whatever it is), sleep till 2 am, summit at 6,088 m sometime around dawn and be down back at the town in time for dinner that night. Total time from leaving town the first day, under 36 hours. That certainly in my book doesn't count as an expedition, but who knows according to them ...

I also don't like the 6000 m figure. There are several easy trekking 6000 m peaks and plenty of tough, technical climbs under 6000 m.
climbingjac
7/07/2011
10:46:56 AM
Austrian Alpine Assoc as Wendy mentioned. I've insured thru them several times, and have heard excellent feedback from people who have had to make claims thru them. Those guys will pluck you from some seriously high perches in the mountains if need be.


Doug
7/07/2011
2:14:54 PM
>I had a look at this, reading the exclusions, the 6000m one is a little
>strange:
>
>accidents occurring in the course of taking part in expeditions on
>mountains with a height over 6,000 metres as well as expeditions in
>the Arctic, Antarctica and in Greenland (see note on the last page).

>
>So contrary to what Wendy stated, it doesn't cover you for climbing accidents
>up to 6000m, it possibly won't cover you at all if you're on an "expedition"
>on a mountain over 6000m tall. Technically if you're on an "expedition"
>you could be wandering around the base of Denali, not even thinking of
>summiting, only at 600 m and you still wouldn't be covered (assuming Alaska
>doesn't count as Artic). That's pretty poor, but that's exactly how the
>exclusion reads.
I don't think Denali counts as the Arctic as it's only at 63 degrees N latitude (whereas the Arctic Circle is at 66 degrees (and 33 minutes ;-) ) and is less than 6000 metres (just: 5934), so one should be okay in that regard.

>My main issue is the use of the word "expedition", what does that mean
>to an insurer? If you're not on an "expedition" but on a mountain taller
>than 6000 m are you covered? In a non-technical sense the word implies
>a journey of some length, but what length?
Well, some people talk about going on an expedition to their local shops to stock up the cupboard. But my reading of the exclusions you've pasted above is that if you aren't climbing in the Ant/Arctic or doing a peak over 6000 metres you'd be fine.

>For example you could be doing Huayna Potosi, driven up from the local
>town to 4700 m, wander up to the high hut at 5,300 (or whatever it is),
>sleep till 2 am, summit at 6,088 m sometime around dawn and be down back
>at the town in time for dinner that night. Total time from leaving town
>the first day, under 36 hours. That certainly in my book doesn't count
>as an expedition, but who knows according to them ...
>
>I also don't like the 6000 m figure. There are several easy trekking
>6000 m peaks and plenty of tough, technical climbs under 6000 m.
Insurers have to have parameters that they can use as outer boundaries of risk, otherwise they aren't running a business, just a benevolent fund. The costs associated with rescues in the Arctic or Antarctic Circles, or from peaks over 6000 metres must be what they have decided is just too much to bear. Otherwise premiums would have to be astronomical and unaffordable for the "average" climber. I guess what I am saying is that it seems fairly reasonable to me to have these parameters. You could probably negotiate personal insurance with a broker, but expect to pay a LOT of $$$$$.
pecheur
7/07/2011
2:34:51 PM
On 7/07/2011 Doug Bruce wrote:
>>I had a look at this, reading the exclusions, the 6000m one is a little
>>strange:
>>
>>accidents occurring in the course of taking part in expeditions on
>>mountains with a height over 6,000 metres as well as expeditions in
>>the Arctic, Antarctica and in Greenland (see note on the last page).
>

>>
>I don't think Denali counts as the Arctic as it's only at 63 degrees N
>latitude (whereas the Arctic Circle is at 66 degrees (and 33 minutes ;-)
>) and is less than 6000 metres (just: 5934), so one should be okay in that
>regard.
>
I think you'll find that Denali is 6,194 m (give or take one or two), what you're referring to is the North Summit ... From the exclusion you could well be at 521 m and not covered.

>Well, some people talk about going on an expedition to their local shops
>to stock up the cupboard. But my reading of the exclusions you've pasted
>above is that if you aren't climbing in the Ant/Arctic or doing a peak
>over 6000 metres you'd be fine.
>
>Insurers have to have parameters that they can use as outer boundaries
>of risk, otherwise they aren't running a business, just a benevolent fund.
>The costs associated with rescues in the Arctic or Antarctic Circles, or
>from peaks over 6000 metres must be what they have decided is just too
>much to bear. Otherwise premiums would have to be astronomical and unaffordable
>for the "average" climber. I guess what I am saying is that it seems fairly
>reasonable to me to have these parameters. You could probably negotiate
>personal insurance with a broker, but expect to pay a LOT of $$$$$.

I accept parameters if you're actually "doing" the mountain, I find it lame if say you're in Nepal walking to Everest Base Camp (with no intention of climbing Everest) and aren't covered.

Or say on one of the myriad of variants of the Annapurna Circuit (which is gorgeous and easy btw) at 4,000 m at the base of Annapurna and aren't covered even though you're just walking by.

I'd be happy if it read, as Wendy stated, that you're covered unless you're higher than 6,000 m. If you're just at base camp for a look see I think you should be covered.
Mike Bee
7/07/2011
3:48:00 PM
On 6/07/2011 Mr Poo wrote:
>Check out BMC ( British Mountaineering Council) they are good, I used them
>Europe and they also offer international insurance.
>Also
>Check the NZ alpine club, I know the offer insurance but don't have a
>clue what it is like!

The NZAC insurance is only on offer to NZ based members, unfortunately.
Wendy
8/07/2011
8:54:38 AM
I've always read it the way Doug did - but if it worries you, you can always email them or the insurance company and clarify it if you intend on being on anything that might possibly be classed as an expedition to 6000+m by your reading.

Last I knew about it, BMC coverage was restricted to UK residents only - has that changed? AAC UK was the only one that would cover Australian residents when I investigated them all.
climbingjac
10/07/2011
9:40:50 PM
You're correct Wendy, you have to prove you're a UK resident to actually claim on a BMC policy. My muffled memory of my investigation of it was that you needed to prove you'd lived there for 6 months. Either way. A no-go for Aussies on holidays.

Neil
25/07/2011
3:00:11 PM
Just looking into this for an upcoming trip.

My view is that AAC covers rescue and repatriation but not medical bills.

So you still need insurance that covers medical bills arising from a climbing accident - which would not be covered by a "normal" travel insurance policy as they would say get stuffed you hurt yourself rock climbing which we do not cover you for.

So is Insure4less's rock climbing/alpine plan the only one that covers you for resuce and medical bills arising from a climbing accident ?

Anyone else see it this way... or not ?

phil_nev
25/07/2011
4:36:15 PM
A funny point I found out when booking with Insure4Less is that they only cover climbs up to grade 28 Australian... I'm pretty sure the woman who emailed me that had no idea what it meant..

The Good Dr
25/07/2011
5:14:43 PM
AAC does cover for medical expenses, though check the limit as it is 10,000 Euro. I will check my Insure4less info if I can find it and what info it might offer.

Neil
25/07/2011
7:56:22 PM
yes, it seems you are correct there dr good.

insure4less is $50k** on search and rescue and $10million on medical

AAC is euro25k search and resuce and eruo10k on medical.

**with the rock climbing add on, $5k normal insurance.


IdratherbeclimbingM9
25/07/2011
8:55:24 PM
On 25/07/2011 phil_nev wrote:
>A funny point I found out when booking with Insure4Less is that they only
>cover climbs up to grade 28 Australian... I'm pretty sure the woman who
>emailed me that had no idea what it meant..

Probably a hangover from mountaineering daze!
The higher you go the more dangerous right?
~> ergo, the bigger the grade number the more-
;-)

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