Travel Insurance is mandatory for all customers looking to travel in Nepal with the Nepal Tours. The Travel Insurance must cover both the medical and emergency evacuation cost. We recommend that your insurance is worth a minimum of USD 100,000. If you don’t have insurance when trekking in Nepal then not only is your life in real danger but it will end up costing you your health and your bank account. The obvious afflictions when trekking are things like a sprained ankle or even a broken bone.

I’ve seen plenty of these when trekking. The not so obvious are afflictions like altitude sickness, food poisoning, hypothermia, appendix ruptures, skin infections and respiratory infections. If any of the above happens to you at 4,900 feet up a mountain then there’s a strong chance you won’t want to be spending days or weeks trekking back to Kathmandu to a hospital. You’ll need a helicopter to get you down. A helicopter evacuation in Nepal costs a minimum of USD $5,000. That’s not including any hospital treatment or in-flight medical services which are now mandatory.

Not everyone knows about the best travel insurance for trekking in Nepal. Now that you know that travel insurance exists, you must be curious about why you might need it. It may seem like you do. Or it could sound like a burdened cost.

What is travel insurance?

Travel Insurances is the insurance that basically covers trip cancellation, travel medical insurance, flight accident, luggage lost and other losses incurred while traveling. Some travel policies cover damage to personal property, rented equipment. Some travel insurances also cover the cost of paying a ransom. Travel Insurance is also popularly known as travelers’ insurance.

Travel Insurance is usually sold as a package by travel companies. Some companies will give you the option while other companies will have travel insurance included while buying tickets or trek packages.

Travel Insurance Coverage

You now know what travel insurance is. Also, every travel insurance is different, based on the incidents they cover and the price of the packages you choose. So what are the things the travel insurance, you pick, needs to cover? It is better to buy travel insurance that cover the following area.

  • Trip Cancellation Insurance:
    Trip cancellation insurance covers you in the event when you or your traveling companions need to cancel, interrupt or delay your trip. In simple words, trip cancellation insurances cover for you when you experience an interruption in traveling.
  • Travel Medical Insurance:
    Travel Medical Insurance covers you in the case you become ill or injured while you are trekking. This insurance should also help you locate doctors, hospitals, and healthcare facilities if you become ill or injured during the trip. You will want to choose the insurance according to the length of your trip.
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance:
    Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance is one of the most important insurance coverage you need. It provides you coverage for the medically necessary evacuation and transportation to medical facilities.Lookout for an insurance company which offers this service even at around 6,000 meters above sea level. Treks like Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, and Cho-La Pass – Gokyo Trek covers grounds at around 4000+ meters.
  • Baggage coverage:
    Baggage coverage covers things such as loss of checked luggage, baggage delay up to various amounts. The coverage depends on the policies and packages provided. Some policies may just pay for the additional expenses you incur because you lost your luggage and reimburse you for those items.
  • Accidental Death and Flight Accident Insurance:
    Accidental death and flight accident insurance is paid out in case an accident results in the death or serious injury of the trekker/insurer.
  • Personal money, passport and travel documents:
    This coverage is good to have in your insurance agreement. Losing your belongings and theft is only too common. You will want to be insured for money, passport and travel documents you carry on our trip. You should know there are many other categories your travel insurance should cover, like extreme sports, trip interruption coverage, accommodation cover, and legal expenses. Make sure to check your insurance policies first.

Some of the Recommended Travel Insurance for Nepal are:

For Canadians and Americans:

  •     https://www.travelguard.com
  •     https://www.worldnomads.com
  •     https://www.mondial-assistance.ca
  •     https://www.travelassistnetwork.com/
  •     https://www.travelex-insurance.com/
  •     https://www.travelite.com/
  •     https://www.tugo.com
  •     https://www.hccmis.com/atlas-travel-insurance

For Australians and New Zealanders:

  •     https://www.covermore.com.au
  •     https://www.allianz.com.au
  •     https://www.worldnomads.com.au
  •     https://www.bupa.com.au
  •     https://www.itrektravelinsurance.com.au
  •     https://www.1cover.com.au

For British:

  •     https://www.travel-guard.co.uk
  •     https://www.worldnomads.co.uk
  •     https://www.thebmc.co.uk (British Mountaineering Council)
  •     https://www.direct-travel.co.uk
  •     https://www.essentialtravel.co.uk (Select Grade 4 cover – Sport Cover)

For Europe:

  • https://www.europ-assistance.com/en

For South-Africa:

  • https://www.europ-assistance.com/en

Whether you hire a trekking guide through an agency or find an independent guide, it’s important to ask the guide – and yourself – the right questions. You will be spending days or weeks with this person and potentially paying them a lot of money. Make sure you’ve got the right guide for your journey!.

Trekking in Nepal is beautiful and for the most part, it is not too strenuous, but it is also not easy. The endless stone steps to climb and descend, the temperamental weather, the thin air at altitude and the long days on your feet can all wear on your psyche. A good guide will keep your spirits up, distracting you with cultural facts, suggesting you stop for a hot cup of tea, telling jokes, or pointing out a beautiful waterfall you might have missed while staring at your boots.

Most trekking routes in Nepal are fairly easy to follow. If you’re not sure, you can always ask locals or other trekkers which way to go. Therefore, navigation isn’t the main reason to hire a trekking guide in Nepal. But, there can be confusing places with unsigned junctions or areas where new roads have been constructed overtop of trekking routes and your guide can help with that. On my trek, we did meet a couple of trekkers that trekked an extra hour downhill by accident, then had to come all the way back up… in the pouring rain. Oops!

Low Cost to You

Hiring a trekking guide in Nepal might sound expensive, but it is actually really cheap for Westerners. The daily rate (as of fall 2016) for a certified trekking guide in Nepal is around $30-40USD (plus tips of course). If you split the cost between a couple people, it’s about the price of a fast food meal back home. From what I can tell, the guides are paid fairly and working as a trekking guide is a well-paying job. Unemployment and poverty are high in Nepal and many men leave Nepal for the Persian Gulf or South East Asia where they work as labourers, sending money home to their families that they can’t afford to fly back to visit. By hiring a trekking guide in Nepal, you help provide important jobs for Nepalis that keep them closer to their families.

Tourism is Nepal’s largest economic sector. However, the 2015 earthquakes have scared many tourists away from Nepal. The earthquake damaged some of the cultural sites and a few trekking routes, but the majority of the trekking routes (including the Annapurna Base Camp route that I trekked) were largely unaffected. The tourism industry in Nepal is suffering and one of the best things you can do to help Nepal recover is to go visit and spend your money at local businesses, including trekking agencies.