We are constantly asked “if I become sick or injured while trekking in Nepal, is helicopter evacuation covered?” and "How does it all work if I need helicopter evacuation?"
Let’s say first that YES, medical evacuation from the mountains by helicopter can be covered by the policy when the correct activity level is selected at the time you purchased your insurance and it’s medically necessary. However, you must contact our Emergency Assistance Team BEFORE any helicopter evacuation is arranged.
Why must I contact the Emergency Assistance Team first?
Because the Emergency Assistance Team members are the experts who can arrange your helicopter evacuation using a reputable helicopter company and also guarantee payment to that company. They will also assess you to make sure that evacuation is medically necessary, appropriate and available, depending on what’s happened to you.
Wherever possible, contact the Emergency Assistance Team yourself, or ask a friend to do it for you or insist you speak to the insurer before you climb on board any helicopter. This is because we have had cases where some unscrupulous operators and guides say they’ve received our go-ahead when they haven’t, so it’s best if you contact the team yourself.
And even more worrying, trekkers have been forced to get into helicopters when not medically necessary or bullied into providing false information to back up claims by helicopter operators who inflate flight hours to gain more money and who pay guides of trekking companies for arranging unauthorized helicopter evacuations for insured trekkers. All of this results in trekkers often being taken off the mountain when they didn’t need to miss out on the rest of their trip. Who wants to go all the way to Nepal and only trek for a day or two when a little rest and recuperation was all that was needed to keep going?
So ALWAYS contact the Emergency Assistance Team if you require a medically necessary helicopter evacuation, as this way you’re in safe hands.
If you have any questions, feel free to send a message or call Travel Guard Canada's team directly:
Telephone: +1 416 646 3723 (outside Canada)
Telephone: 1 877 328 2528 toll-free from Canada and Continental US
We're here to help (CST): Monday – Friday 7am-8pm; Saturday: 8am-5pm; Sunday & Holidays: 8am-4pm.