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 travel insurance when it is a necessary treatment.
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 that 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 get 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 remember ALWAYS contact the Emergency Assistance team if helicopter evacuation is medically necessary. This way, you're in safe hands and coverage can be determined. Expenses must be authorized and arranged by the travel assistance provider.