Travel Insurance: Trekking in Nepal and Helicopter Evacuation

If you’re a Kiwi heading to Nepal, it's important that you understand the unique risks involved and how your travel insurance can help you if things don’t go to plan – especially if things go wrong and you require helicopter evacuation.

Am I covered for trekking in Nepal?

Our policies can offer cover for hiking and trekking up to 6,000 meters in elevation. Keep in mind that you may require a policy upgrade to be covered.

We do not offer cover for hiking over 6,000 meters in elevation. See the ‘what’s not covered’ section below for more information.

Choosing the right policy for you

We offer two plans – Standard and Explorer – each of which offers different levels of coverage for hiking and more than 150 other activities and adventures. It is up to you to choose what plan has the right level of coverage to meet your travel needs.

If you have any questions about our policies, please contact us.

Am I covered for helicopter evacuation?

Medical evacuation from the mountains by helicopter may be covered by the policy when it is medically necessary. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Due to the higher costs associated with helicopter evacuation in Nepal, the excess payable for this service is higher compared to other destinations. This is necessary to balance the premiums and maintain coverage across all destinations.
  • You, or a member of your travelling party, must contact our 24/7 Emergency Assistance team before any helicopter evacuation can be arranged. If you do not do this, you may not be covered.

Why must I contact the Emergency Assistance Team first?

For a few reasons:

  1. So they can assess the situation, provide guidance to you, and have our medical experts determine whether helicopter evacuation is medically necessary. Sometimes a little rest and recovery may be all you need to get back on track and complete your trek.
  2. Because the emergency assistance team are experts who can arrange your helicopter evacuation using a reputable company and work with us to guarantee their payment.

Get a quote 24/7

With World Nomads you can get an instant quote anytime, anywhere, before you leave home or while you’re on the road.

Beware of heli-evac scams

Unfortunately, there have been instances of scams related to helicopter evacuations in Nepal. To combat this, we only work with reputable operators and guarantee direct payment to them. We prioritise your safety and well-being throughout the process. We can also transfer you to an appropriate medical facility.

Wherever possible, contact the 24/7 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 and leave you with a hefty evacuation bill.

What’s not covered?

Travel insurance isn’t designed to cover everything and there are some things we can’t cover, including, but not limited to:

  • Trekking over 6,000 meters in elevation, camping over 6,000 meters in elevation, mountaineering, and ice climbing
  • Existing medical conditions
  • Participation in any adventure sports activities where you don’t purchase the appropriate level upgrade, or where it is specifically excluded
  • Any on-going medical expenses once you return to New Zealand
  • Any search or rescue operations connected with finding or rescuing you
  • Any other reason listed under the General Exclusions in your Policy Document.

Safety tips for trekking in Nepal

  • It’s crazy to think that there are helicopter evacuation scams! Learn more about it so you don’t fall prey to scammers if something goes wrong
  • Read about how to stay safe in adverse weather, avalanches, and even what to pack from a Nepalese mountain guide
  • Altitude sickness is a real possibility in Nepal. Read about how to handle altitude sickness while trekking.

This is only a summary of coverage and does not include the full terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions of the policy. You should read your Policy Document 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.

The information provided is of a general nature and is provided for information purposes only. It does not constitute financial advice in any form and should not be relied on as a substitute for obtaining professional advice that is specific to your circumstances. You should seek advice from a financial advice provider if you would like further information about whether a particular product is appropriate for you and your circumstances.

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

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