Every year many hikers are injured. Despite all caution, an accident can never be completely ruled out when hiking. You should definitely worry about a meaningful travel insurance coverage in the mountains and the wild.
The hiking season is soon back to full speed, the mountains are often still snowy and the weather is always changeable, in the wilderness dangers lurk everywhere anyway. More and more accidents happen when hiking in the mountains or trekking through the wild, because hikers start untrained, overestimate themselves, as they do not expect a change in the weather or are just badly equipped. Sometimes a misstep, a moment of lack of concentration or a circulatory problem while walking could be enough and the help of the rescue is needed. Every salvage or mission and its consequences are costly. So it makes sense to worry about insurance, even in the event that someone else has been harmed by your actions.
Private liability insurance for hikers
If you are well insured while hiking, you will have less to worry about in case of an accident.
Everybody in the Western world should have a liability insurance, but this is not mandatory. As with a home insurance some come with a liability insurance and also cover some of these risks and damages – but that depends as always on the tariff choice at the respective insurance and their individual offer.
The classic: On the way, a cyclist has to dodge a hiker standing in the way and crashes – a situation that can happen quickly and everywhere. The biker’s equipment is damaged in the fall. Anyone who causes an accident in which someone else and/or his property is harmed, is liable and must pay for the damage caused. This can be equipment, such as an outdoor jacket or even a wage payment or maintenance payments. For damages to third parties, there is a liability with the entire property until the financial damage that has arisen is completely replaced. The example shows how important liability insurance can be and what unpleasant consequences it can prevent.
An injured party usually complains immediately if the resulting damage is not replaced. Pay close attention, because most liability insurers include so-called recreational damage caused by personal liability, but the reality may look different. It is indeed pointed out in the insurance condition, but it is often overlooked: As soon as it comes to achieving a best time in the sporting activity – for example, in a hiking marathon with timekeeping – which is a race or a competition. Then, in many cases, there is no longer any insurance coverage.
Private accident insurance for hikers
As a rule, statutory accident insurance does not provide adequate or even no protection for recreational accidents and only applies to the area of application of the Social Security Code. The private insurance industry offers various insurance solutions, such as private accident insurance, supplementary hospital insurance or a disability policy. Important in the selection of such insurance is that hiking or mountain sports are not excluded per se as a “risky sport”!
Anyone who, without worrying, simply takes out a private accident insurance can have problems in case of an emergency. Although many private accident insurance companies do not exclude mountain and trekking sports from the outset, leisure activities are initially in demand. But it may well be that mountain sports are generally excluded. If necessary, a premium is due, so that the activity can be re-insured. The height could also plays a role in trekking, because it may in fact be that a certain height limit may not be exceeded, like for example 4,000 meters. Anyone who informs himself and asks is clearly in the advantage. Exactly looking and negotiating is always worthwhile!
If the rescue helicopter is used, the search and rescue costs will quickly skyrocket. In such a case, good advised is who is covered.
Important, especially for hikers, is the coverage of any search and rescue costs. Again, you have to be careful: First, these services must be offered in the insurance package and second, with the highest possible limit. With good insurance companies, this limit is between 25,000 and 55,000 dollars. Especially in difficult to reach terrain salvage or rescue by the use of a rescue helicopter, in case of fire or mountain rescue, can cause extremely high costs. Another point is important to note: not everywhere in the world these insurance policies are covering the risks!
Foreign travel health insurance within Europe
In general, it applies to international insurance when traveling within Europe that the obligation to pay statutory health insurance (Europe countries with agreement) is a priority. However, this does not apply to repatriation, recovery, and similar services. There may even be country-specific additional costs in the event of an accident. In principle, hospital treatment in other European countries is covered by presentation of the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). But even here caution is advised, because most foreign health insurance apply only for 42 days or three months abroad.
International Travel Health Insurance outside Europe
Excluded from the usual private accident insurance are, among other things, the practice of alpine sports, such as trekking tours and expeditions in the context of package tours, outside of Europe. An effective insurance in non-European countries will then be necessary in any case for legally insured, because only private health insurance with appropriate selection, assure a repatriation from abroad. In general, search and rescue costs are covered in such an insurance, but always go for the maximum limit. Again, the higher, the better! Of course, you have to make sure that the individual insurances cover all the risks completely. Most private health insurance companies for a stay abroad should be – if you plan a longer stay abroad – paired with a statutory health insurance from their own country.
Legal expenses insurance can never hurt
Who then carries the search and rescue costs? For example, during an incident at a hike abroad?
Legal expenses insurance always helps when claims are to be asserted against others, for example in case of compensation for pain or damages after an accident caused by a third party. Especially accidents abroad often entail complicated and sometimes lengthy procedures. Even with litigation already decided in favor of the injured party, part of the court and attorney’s fees are often self-payable without insurance.
Travel resignation and travel interruption insurance for organized hikes
A travel cancellation and interruption insurance occurs when a planned hiking journey is no longer possible because of an unexpected serious illness or in the event of an accident occurred at the holiday destination. Depending on the insurance and its portfolio, events such as unexpected and serious illness, death, severe accidental injury, pregnancy, fracture of prostheses, significant damage to the insured person’s property as a result of fire, water pipe breakage, natural hazards or punishable acts of third parties are covered. Loss of transport and compensation for contractually owed cancellation costs as well as any re-booking costs incurred by the organizer are also included in the scope of the insurance.
In principle: Since you can never completely rule out an accident, even with light hikes at home and abroad, despite good and complete equipment, it makes sense to think if all thinkable risks are covered before the trip to the mountains or into the wilderness. Am I insured in all cases? Also in foreign countries? And, what about the next trekking trip?
What are your thoughts on the topic and what experiences did you make with travel insurances? Feel free to share in the comment box below