High Altitude Trekking Insurance

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    My name is Rory, this is my first post to the community and firstly I would like to offer a warm hello to you all.

    I am planning a trip to Kilimanjaro later in the year with a mixed group from Iceland and the UK. 4 of the group live in Iceland and 1 lives in the US, I am looking for a travel insurance company to cover the group for:

    [ol]Trip cancellation – We travel with a tour company[/ol]
    [ol]Evacuation in case of emergency[/ol]
    [ol]High Altitude Trekking up to 6000m[/ol]

    I have spoken with several companies from the UK but they all require members to be resident in the UK. Can members of the community recommend an insurance provider?

    Thanks in advance.


    Hi Rory,

    Since climbing Kilimanjaro is not considered as a technical climb or an expedition to a remote area (like climbing in Himalaya or crossing the Greenland glacier)a normal personal travel insurance should cover what you need instead of getting a special SAR insurance. This would however need to be confirmed by the insurance provider in writing. In some cases the travel provider will ask for a small extra payment for the short period that the trek will take in order to cover you fully.
    Using a normal travel insurance obtained by each member could therefore be a better practice rather than finding a single insurance provider to cover a group of different nationalities.

    Good luck!



    You could all sign up for a membership in the Austrian Alpine Club (UK). Membership entitles you to a worldwide rescue and repatriation insurance (with some limitations) at no extra cost. As noted on the club’s website this cover is primarily for mountain rescue and is not intended to replace other travel insurance. Instead it complements travel insurance which often excludes cover for mountainerring and other “dangerous” sports. Normal travel insurance should cover trip cancellation, emergency medical treatment and repatriation. The club’s annual membership fee is 41 GBP per person (31 GBP if you are under 25).


    This was the option I picked for my trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Alps in 2007. On the other hand, while SAR insurance is a necessary evil in the Swiss Alps where you can expect to be asked to shoulder a hefty bill for a helipcopter evacuation, it is a different situation in Africa. If you get hurt or fall ill on the mountain, there really isn’t much choice other than have your guides put you in their “ambulance” (a one-wheeled stretcher) and rush you down the mountain!

    “Hakuna matata” and have fun in Africa!



    Hi Rory,

    Highly recommend BMC Insurance. I use them where ever I go. Although I’m resident in the UK, I do know of instances where that hasn’t mattered.

    Hope this helps



    Thanks for the great responses. A friend has recommended an Icelandic company that he has used for extreme sports trips in the Alps, this may be a useful lead.

    I will check out both the British and Austrian mountaineering clubs for a more long term solution to future travelling plans.

    Thank you all again.


    An update on this.

    I have recently purchased some insurance from the insurance branch of Danish healthcare company IHI Bupa.


    They will insure you regardless of your nationality, residential status, activity, destination (war zones included) and duration of trip. You can choose both travel insurance and medical insurance in your quote and unlike most medical insurance that will cap the payout, this policy will pay 100% of the cost incurred in most instances.

    As a comparison, a single trip policy costs approximately twice that of BMC for example.


    Hi Rory

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Sounds like worth checking out.
    Do you remember how much you paid for insurance on your Kilimanjaro trip?


    Hi Sveinborg,

    I paid approximately 80 euros for single trip Trek insurance through the BMC. However, BMC insurance requires you to be resident in the UK and despite my best efforts to investigate my residential status with the British government, I couldn’t get a straight answer… it’s quite possible my insurance was invalid :)

    The Bupa insurance is for an upcoming trip to The Caucasus and I paid around 160 euro premium, again for a single trip. It’s double the price but this reflects in the quality of cover.


    Hi, you can also try Club Alpin Français (French Alpine Club) & make cost comparison.
    I don’t know if it is possible for non french resident, they have a special high altitude & foreign countries insurance.

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