Travel Insurance: Trekking in Nepal and Helicopter Evacuation

Nepal is an amazing destination, but it also has unique hazards that can impact your travel insurance. Here are the basics you need to know.

As we’ve recently changed our insurer, please select the date you bought your policy:

Policies purchased on or after 1 Nov 2018 (GMT)

Policies purchased before 1 Nov 2018 (GMT)

For policies purchased on or after 1 Nov 2018:

Travellers often ask: “Am I covered for helicopter evacuation in Nepal?” Answer: helicopter evacuation is included as part of the policy’s medical transport and repatriation cover.

Please note, however, that because Nepal is a particularly expensive destination to insure, it is the only country that has an excess payable if you need to be evacuated by air if something goes wrong. Without the excess, we would have to increase premiums or scale back cover across all destinations.

As with any destination please do your research and travel smart. This means not just having travel insurance, but also knowing what to do if you need to use it. This is why it’s so important to always read your policy wording in full.

What should I do if I need a helicopter?

Contact our 24/7 Emergency Assistance team ASAP if you have a medical emergency, especially if you may need a helicopter. This is because:

  • Our medical experts need to deem helicopter evacuation medically necessary for cover to apply. You may only need a bit of rest and recovery to get back on the trail and finish your trek.

  • Helicopter evacuation in Nepal has been associated with scams. We only work with reputable operators and guarantee payment to them directly. We also transfer you to appropriate medical treatment.

While tourist scams is now a focus area for the Nepalese government, it’s also important to be a savvy traveller.

Always contact us yourself, or get a trusted friend to do it if you can’t. Unscrupulous operators and guides have been known to tell travellers they have our go-ahead when they don’t. This leaves the traveller with a Mount Everest-sized sense of disappointment – and evacuation bill.

This is only a summary of cover and does not include the full terms and conditions of the policy. You should read your policy wording in full so you understand what is and isn’t covered. That way there won’t be any surprises if you need to use it. If you have any questions, please get in touch.


Note: For policies purchased between 1 November 2018 and 16 January 2019, your World Nomads policy is backed by certain underwriters at Lloyd’s.
For policies purchased between 17 Jan 2019 and 31 July 2019, your World Nomads policy is backed by Lloyd’s Insurance Company SA.

For policies purchased before 1 Nov 2018

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 may be covered by the policy when it is medically necessary!

BUT, you will only be fully covered if you contact our Emergency Assistance Team BEFORE any helicopter evacuation can be arranged.

Why must I contact the Emergency Assistance Team first?

Because the emergency assistance team are the experts who can arrange your helicopter evacuation using a reputable helicopter company and they also guarantee the payment to this company.


Wherever possible, contact the emergency assistance team yourself or ask a friend to do it for you. 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 emergency assistance team yourself.

And even more worrying, helicopter operators inflate flight hours to gain more money and guides of trekking companies gain commission payments as a result of calling for the helicopter evacuation of insured trekkers. All of this results in the insurer paying unnecessary bills, and trekkers often being taken off the mountain when they didn’t need to miss out on the rest of their trek. 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 helicopter evacuation is medically necessary as this way, you are in safe hands and you’ll be covered!

Note: For policies purchased before 1 Nov 2018, your World Nomads policy is backed by Millstream.

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We’re here to help if you have a question about travel insurance.

  • Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm (UTC/UTC+1) (For policies purchase on or after 1 November 2018)
  • Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm (GMT/BST) (For policies purchased before 1 November 2018)

Contact us


For policies purchased on or after 1 November 2018:

1800 903 008

+353 21 237 8001


For policies purchased before 1 November 2018:

+44 (0) 330 660 0738

0330 660 0738

+44 (0) 330 660 0738