Everest Base Camp
Everest base camp is located at an altitude of 5,380 metres, so make sure your provider allows treks for that altitude.
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Nepal is a country that every curious traveller should experience, from the iconic trekking adventure that is Everest, to the thrilling jungles of the Indian plains. However, as you plan your travel activities, you will discover some concerns.
The right travel insurance will protect you from the unique risks associated with travelling to Nepal and climbing to Everest base camp as well as typical losses such as:
So how do you choose the right travel insurance for Nepal? The best way to start is by understanding your travel needs, what you plan to do in Nepal, and then comparing policies online.
Travel insurance for Nepal can provide financial protection and assistance if your trip is disrupted by these risks, but it’s important that you understand how insurers interpret cover if something goes wrong.
There are few experiences more thrilling than a trek to Everest base camp, typically a 12 day round trip. You are rewarded with breathtaking scenery and a sense of achievement that few other travel experiences can match.
The tragic loss of life and widespread damage caused by two major earthquakes in Nepal in 2015 received extensive media coverage. More than 8,000 people died and many more were injured.
Many New Zealand travellers had to cancel travel plans to Nepal and make alternative arrangements. Some were already in Nepal at the time of the earthquake. Others had booked and paid for a holiday to Nepal but had not yet departed New Zealand.
|If you were already in Nepal, you had cover for extra travel, accommodation and meal costs resulting from an earthquake.|
|If you purchased a travel insurance policy before an earthquake hits but you’ve not yet departed New Zealand, cover for the cost of cancelling or rearranging your journey can be provided.|
|If you decided to book a holiday and take out travel insurance after an earthquake hits, in most cases no cover would be available for any losses you suffer. Insurers will usually exclude cover if there are government and media warnings about a destination.|
Alex’s case. Alex booked a Nepalese trekking holiday for August 2015. As he paid for the holiday and took out travel insurance cover on April 20, a few days before the earthquake struck, Alex received cover for the full cost of cancelling his holiday because the area where he was planning on trekking was deemed unsafe to visit. Brian’s case. On the other hand, Alex’s friend Brian didn’t take out travel insurance until early May, after the earthquake had occurred. At the time Brian took out his policy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade was advising tourists not to travel to Nepal, which meant Brian could not receive any cover for the cancellation fees and lost deposits he incurred when cancelling his trip.
Apples and Oranges
Alex’s case. Alex booked a Nepalese trekking holiday for August 2015. As he paid for the holiday and took out travel insurance cover on April 20, a few days before the earthquake struck, Alex received cover for the full cost of cancelling his holiday because the area where he was planning on trekking was deemed unsafe to visit.
Brian’s case. On the other hand, Alex’s friend Brian didn’t take out travel insurance until early May, after the earthquake had occurred. At the time Brian took out his policy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade was advising tourists not to travel to Nepal, which meant Brian could not receive any cover for the cancellation fees and lost deposits he incurred when cancelling his trip.
Nepal’s beautiful, mountainous terrain attracts trekkers from all over the globe, but there are plenty of other great adventure activities on offer that travellers may wish to participate in.
Some of the more extreme activities, such as rock climbing, will require you to add a special ‘sports pack’ to your policy, so check with your insurer to find out how you can get the cover you need.
In addition to altitude sickness and injuries sustained while trekking, visitors to Nepal are at risk of malaria, degue fever, Japanese encephalitis, typhoid, cholera and hepatitis.
Medical facilities in Nepal are limited, especially outside of Kathmandu in rural areas where there is a lack of trained staff. High medical costs under Nepal’s private healthcare system makes travel insurance a necessity.
If you experience a medical emergency in Nepal, you can contact your insurer’s emergency assistance line for information on what to do and where you can go for help. Your insurer’s emergency assistance team will also be able to confirm whether you are covered for your treatment costs upfront.
If it’s not an emergency and your treatment costs are unlikely to be excessive, it may be up to you to pay the bill and then claim for reimbursement later, depending on the insurer.
The best point of contact in Nepal depends on the nature of your emergency.
New Zealand visitors to Nepal will need to obtain a visa, which is available upon arrival for a maximum of 90 days.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the time you leave Nepal. If that passport is lost or stolen in Nepal, you’ll need to transfer your visa to your new passport before you can leave Nepal.
Peak travel season in Nepal occurs from October to November when the weather is warm and trekkers crowd the Everest and Annapurna regions. Spring (March to April) can produce spectacular flower displays and weather that is still quite acceptable for trekking, but you’ll want to stay away during monsoon season from June to September.
The Nepalese rupee is the accepted currency in Nepal, so it’s a good idea to stock up on bank notes before you go. Avoid airport exchange bureaus, as the rate will be more expensive.
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