What's the worst that could happen if you travel uninsured?

Posted by Hanna Lindon on 22/09/2015
A climbing or trekking accident abroad could set you back thousands. Photo by Massimo De Candido/ Shutterstock.

Thinking of planning an overseas trip without taking out insurance? Then be prepared to face the consequences…

Let’s face it: nobody gets excited about travel insurance. It’s one of those dull but necessary aspects of travel, like booking airport parking or arranging the right visa. For some travellers, the temptation to save the extra cost and buy a new climbing rope instead is just too much.

Particularly in the case of climbers and mountaineers though, the risk of travelling uninsured is just too great. Failing to take out cover can mean that you’re left with crippling bills should anything go wrong. And as all mountain folk know, it’s rare that an adventure goes completely to plan… 

Search and rescue

The greatest risk on big mountain trips is that you get into trouble and need rescuing. Climbing accidents in remote spots, particularly, can leave uninsured travellers with monstrous bills to pay.

“After a climbing accident, the bills for helicopter rescue can be 5,000 Euros alone, and that’s before hospital costs and repatriation are considered,” says the BMC’s insurance expert Jim Krawiecki.

As well as footing the costs, your insurer can help you get prompt assistance should things go belly up. The BMC has a 24-hour emergency assistance helpline and will cover up to £100,000 for search, rescue and recovery.

Medical emergencies

If you’re involved in a serious accident in the mountains - or even if you succumb to a non-mountaineering-related illness or injury - the costs involved could be stupendous. Particularly in North America and the Caribbean, treatment costs can run into the hundreds and thousands. Hospitals in some countries may even refuse to treat you if you can’t produce proof of insurance.

Alongside the costs of medical treatment, insurance can also provide you with access to the best facilities.

“BMC Travel Insurance comes with 24-hour access to a multi-lingual team of experts that can help you with a medical emergency,” says Jim. “They can arrange for you to be treated in the most appropriate medical facility and other medical services including repatriation.”

If you do end up needing medical assistance, it’s reassuring to know that the professionals are ensuring you get the best help possible.

Cancellation

Mountaineering and climbing trips tend to be pricier than standard holidays abroad, which is why cancellation insurance is particularly important. You could stand to lose thousands if you’re forced to cancel an expedition - even if it’s for reasons outside your control.

“After rescue and hospital costs, the major expense facing people who travel uninsured is usually caused by cancelling a trip or cutting it short due to illness, injury of bereavement,” explains Jim. “If flights, accommodation and course or guiding fees have already been paid and are non-refundable, BMC Travel Insurance would pay up to £5,000 of these costs.”

Unintentionally travelling uninsured

While most travellers choose whether or not to take out insurance, some set out on trips believing they are covered when they aren’t. Common mistakes include failing to update the provider of your annual insurance policy with changes to your circumstances or medical records, unintentionally letting an annual policy lapse or engaging in an activity that your policy doesn’t cover.

The BMC’s insurance is specifically tailored to climbers, walkers and mountaineers - with extra cover for other adventure sports such as skiing - meaning that you’re covered for a whole host of mountain-related activities. And you can’t put a price on peace of mind.  


As Europe reopens for travel, BMC Travel Insurance has got you covered for Covid-19.

With the autumn nights drawing in, the clouds gathering and the temps dropping, who isn’t dreaming of heading to hotter rocks?

From 4 October, the European climbing dream has become easier, as Covid-19 travel restrictions have been reduced. To make planning your hot rock trips easier, from 1 September we've added Covid-19 cover into all BMC Travel Insurance policies.

 

 

Our new Covid-19 cover includes:

  • £5,000 cancellation cover: if you test positive for Covid-19 within 14 days of departure
  • Medical and repatriation: Covid-19 related illness
  • Being denied boarding: if you test positive for Covid-19 prior to your return home

BMC travel insurance comes in five policies: Travel, Trek, Rock, Alpine and Ski and High Altitude. Read more about the Covid-travel FAQs here


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