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rescure insurance

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rescure insurance

Postby don norton » Thu Dec 07, 2006 2:34 pm

I am putting together itinerary for JMT hike next August, I need some feedback or your opinion on search and rescue insurance and if I should buy or not and also does anyone have any suggestions for insurance companies. Thanks

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Postby Randonnee » Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:01 pm


As far as I know rescue insurance is rarely carried in the U.S.

Many of us who travel internationally belong to the American Alpine Club (AAC.) They carry rescue insurance for all members that is valid anyplace in the world. You may want to look into joining. The membership requirements have been changed recently and you no longer have meet the old experience requirement.
"The distinguishing mark of true adventures, is that it is often no fun at all while they are actually happening." ? Kim Stanley Robinson
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Rescue Insurance

Postby gdurkee » Sat Dec 30, 2006 1:15 pm

Well, I'll let the secret out: if you're medivaced in a National Park, there's no charge for the flight out & ranger work. If you're transferred to an ambulance, there is a charge for the ambulance. And then you're usually transferred to another ambulance outside the park that goes to the hospital. Standard medical insurance covers that.

If, though, you're in trouble on USFS land, the Sheriff's department for the county handles any SAR. I'm not sure how they bill. For large SARs, the county bills the county that the person came from, but I don't know if that person is then billed. For a basic medivac, they might just bill you directly for a helicopter, if one is used.

A couple of National Parks -- Mt. McKinley at least -- require trip insurance if you're climbing. I vaguely remember maybe Grand Canyon does the same if you're going into the canyon, but could well be wrong.

The short answer is I don't know what insurance companies might cover all aspects of a county run SAR. As Randonnee suggests, look into the AAC.

The main thing, though, is prevention. So tell someone exactly where you're going and what dates you plan to be at known points. Maybe work out checking in occasionally. It's darned hard to find someone who was last seen in Yosemite Vally and expected out at Whitney with no idea where they ran into trouble. Even just handing a post card from various points to other hikers works.

Good luck.

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