Getting travel insurance is vital and should be on the top of any travelers list. However, you shouldn’t be fooled, there are countless types of travel insurance policies and they all come with an incredible amount of fine print.
Travel insurance is especially important if you are planning on trekking at high altitudes. Therefore, if you’re planning on hiking to Everest Base Camp, you’ll need to make sure your insurance policy covers you adequately. Most companies don’t provide cover over a certain altitude, and they certainly don’t provide air support in case of an emergency.
To guide you in the best travel insurance options for your Everest Base Camp trek, we have put together this detailed article that outlines the key points to look out for when purchasing your policy.
At the end of the article you will find an insurance quote calculator from our partner World Nomads. World Nomads are a leading travel insurance provider and have standard insurance offer which we have used personally on all our treks in Nepal.
Disclaimer: The information we provide is as reliable and accurate as possible. However, we are not insurance experts and you will need to read the fine print of policy or discuss options with your insurance provider. The information we have provided has been taken from personal experience and talking with other experienced travelers.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp involves high altitude, in fact at the highest point – Kala Patthar, you’ll be over 5,500 metres.
Generally speaking, most standard travel insurance policies will not cover you over 3,000 metres. This is fine for most travellers, but not if you’re trekking to EBC!
The reason most travel insurers don’t cover over 3,000m is for the simple reason that the risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is much higher above this height. Another contributing factor is that medical assistance is also far more difficult at these heights as it often involves air rescue.
These factors mean that standard insurance is not enough and you will need to speak to an expert in trekking insurance to make sure you have the necessary cover needed. When hiking the Everest Base Camp trek, we suggest taking out travel insurance that covers you up to 6,000 metres. Remember to read the fine print though!
Although no one likes to dwell on it, accident can and often do happen whilst trekking. Whilst the Everest Base Camp trek is not considered dangerous in itself, any mountain trek has potential danger, especially at high altitudes. High altitude affects people in different ways and can, potentially, inflame pre-existing medical conditions like heart problems. Even small injuries, like a twisted ankle or pulled leg muscle, can be a serious issue at high altitude. All of the above mentioned issues make the Everest Base Camp trek more risky than your standard hike back home.
Luckily, the trek is one of the most popular in Nepal and sees a lot of footfall. Therefore, you’re never far from a helping hand. Even so, it is crucial that you are covered for medical evacuation (preferably by helicopter) and assistance on top of standard hospital cover.
Travelling in places like Nepal increases the probability of illness as your body is usually not adapted to the food or hygiene levels in foreign areas. Anyone who has traveled to India can probably attest to this after experiencing ‘Delhi Belly’!
Therefore you need to make sure that your insurance covers you for a wide variety of accidents and illnesses in Nepal. The fine print will detail these, so make sure you read it! Also make sure you research what vaccinations are required depending on your country of origin.
Sadly, the feeling of arriving at an airport and finding that your bags have not arrived with you or that they’re damaged is a familiar one to most of us. This causes a fair amount of stress, aggravation and hassle as you need to buy new things in time for your trek.
Luckily, travel insurance policies now cover lost, stolen or damaged luggage as standard. However, once again, you need to read the fine print to find out exactly how much you will be covered for as all policies will have a cover limit. Remember, you may be travelling with some pretty expensive gear!
Top tip: Make sure you wear your hiking boots and carry any mission critical items in your hand luggage. That way if you are unfortunate and your baggage is delayed or lost, you can still hit the trail without too much bother!
When purchasing your Everest Base Camp trekking insurance you should also consider factors such as flight cancellations and delays. This is usually covered in standard policies, but it is definitely something you need to make sure of.
Make sure to also check the fine print for reimbursement policies such as if your actual trek is cancelled! Your provider should be able to tell you the details, but it is an important consideration, especially if travelling in winter.
There are a few other things to look out for in your trekking insurance policy that all add to the smooth running of your trip. If your flight is delayed or cancelled or, worse, your tour is cancelled, you need to be able to cover yourself.
Now that you’ve read the above your ready to make an informed decision on your Everest Base Camp trek insurance.
Over the years we have used a number of different insurers. However, the one that stands out above the rest in terms of value and support is World Nomads. They have always been extremely helpful and professional. Below is a quote calculator you can use to get a get a ‘quick quote’. Once you put in your brief details, you’ll get a standard quote. Please note: for some countries the standard option is not sufficient so you need to change it to the ‘Explorer’ option. This is the policy that covers you for high altitude trekking. If you don’t see the Explorer option then you will need to click on the ‘Options’ section and upgrade to Explorer manually.
Tags: ebc trek insurance, everest base camp insurance, insurance for trekking to everest base camp, trekking insurance for EBC trek, mount everest base camp trek insurance.
Andrew is one of the senior writers at Mountain IQ. A native of South Africa, Andrew has hiked and climbed all over the world. His favourite destination is Nepal and his most memorable hike was to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro!