A travel insurance policy covers all cancellations, injuries, death, lost baggage, theft, liability, and medical treatment expenses. That’s why it is strongly recommended for any traveler. Yet, you have to make sure that the insurance covers all the activities that you will be undertaking during your stay in Nepal. Including trekking and climbing.
If you get injured and are unable to trek, you can ask for a rescue helicopter or charter flight from a remote airstrip. But for that, you must have definite proof that you can pay for it. It costs more than US$ 2,500 for a helicopter evacuation from 4,000 m near Mt. Everest and up to US$ 5,000 for a rescue in the far west. All trek organizers, including iTrekNepal, have an agreement in Kathmandu that guarantees payment for helicopter evacuations. Thus, they will operate helicopter evacuation even without you paying them. Since we have already paid a cash deposit to the helicopter operator, they will operate as soon as we contact them. And, once you have been rescued, you need to pay the amount to us.
It’s up to you to get reimbursement from your insurance company though. Be sure your policy specifically covers helicopter evacuation. Also, check that your insurance policy does not exclude mountaineering or alpinism or you may have a difficult time settling a claim. Although you will not engage in such activities, you may not be able to convince a flatland insurance company of this fact.
Note iTrekNepal can facilitate emergency helicopter rescue (if selected on the preliminary booking form).
There are a few reliable medical posts in the remote hills. One of them is the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA). You can find their posts at Pheriche and Manang, and the Khunde Hospital which is all staffed by Western doctors. Yet, most accidents or illnesses will occur in the absence of reliable medical care. If you find yourself ill or injured in the mountains, here are the steps iTrekNepal will take to rescue you. Our staff will try to treat the medical problem themselves. If altitude sickness is suspected, we will descend with the victim immediately. For more serious medical problems emergency helicopter rescues will be arranged by iTrekNepal. If helicopter exfiltration is possible, it may be necessary to transport the patient to a place where it is possible to land the helicopter.
Helicopter rescue services will rarely come to your aid without you either making a cash deposit or a promise in Kathmandu. If you are trekking with iTrekNepal we will arrange the rescue and initial payments. But, the victim will be responsible for reimbursing the cost of the flight which can be as high as USD 2000 per hour. Again, make sure you have insurance covering emergency helicopter rescue.