Is Travel/Trek Insurance mandatory for trekking in Nepal Bhutan Tibet & India

Author: Himalayan Trekkers01 Nov 2020
Is Travel/Trek Insurance mandatory for trekking in Nepal Bhutan Tibet & India

American author Herman Wouk once said, “When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.” Surely this is a tremendously exhilarating suggestion to pursue at home, but it may not be the best one to follow if you are stuck and suddenly fall sick in a frozen and chilly mountain peak with little or no immediate assistance! As you already understand what the context is: hazard always comes unasked for, be it on a comforting tour or an adventurous trek through the mountains. And if you fall ill while trekking at higher altitudes, the treatment, and further care can cost painstakingly huge amounts of cash. 

But it is not only your own health that can be jeopardized. Landslides, avalanches, snowstorms, and even equipment failures are some of the less probable and yet most dangerous mishaps that can go wrong on a trek. On the other hand, having valid travel insurance completed beforehand will not offend you at any charge, and can rather save your life. Spending extra money on a declaration can help save you a thousand times more of your money at a later stage of the expedition.

What is insurance?
We all may have thousands of spam mails in our inbox or receive phone calls that constantly force us to buy insurance for our new house, new car, mostly for our trips, and sometimes even our lives! But many of us do not know what it refers to. Insurance is an agreement policy with a company, comparable to a legal and binding contract where you pay regular amounts of cash at specified intervals. The company assures you full coverage of the scheme you are investing in- house, car, or life- if your health is jeopardized, or you have experienced theft/damage/natural calamities for your car and/or home. This article focuses on travel insurance and why it is important while on the go. 

Travel insurance is a similar contract you make with the insurance company which in turn gives you coverage for any loss/theft/damage/natural calamities/hijacking emergencies/trip delays when you are traveling domestically or internationally. Trek or Trekking insurance, too, is an equivalent of the policy which covers you for any mishap during the trek- your medical emergency, natural catastrophes, evacuation emergencies, and so on and so forth. Travel and trekking insurances are short term contracts that generally end when your trip/trek has ended. 

Why is Insurance important?
Accidents can occur at any time. While mostly these may be under smaller excusable injuries like slight sprains or cuts, or mild altitude sickness symptoms; the much bigger risks include frostbite, amputation, and even death. Human beings usually think twice before jumping on top of something that has potential consequential life risks. It is always better to be informed about a guarantee of an affirmation that can protect their lives and that of their families. Most trek insurances cover a maximum of the medical expenses from evacuation to even bearing the hospital costs. Theft is also covered under it; you shall get safety if any of your personal belongings are stolen. 

Natural calamities like earthquakes, landslides, etc. Can deter your trek, and in these cases, your insurance agency can be helpful to pay and cover the majority of the flight and/or train costs as well. The insurance company also acts as your local aids from time to time, in case anything on the trek or the trip goes hay ware. Compare several insurance plans before you make a decision purchase. Also, make sure to go thoroughly over the terms and conditions of the plan before you make a signature and/or payment. More often than not, look to see what the plan DOES NOT cover, than what it actually covers. 

Check to see if what the plan offers matches your demands or not. This method will help you eliminate the less useful insurance claims and make you beware of fraud companies. Remember, little assurances of safety never hurt anyone! Read to find out where you need basic travel insurance for treks and trips. This article shall look into whether different countries require travel insurance for their treks, and what the conditions of the insurance are. It is now time to know why trek insurance is required; and if you need insurance to trek the mountains of the following countries. 


Nepal or The Federal Democratic of Nepal is a landlocked country located in Southern Asia bordered by its neighbors India and China. Nepal has a land area of about 14,71,56 square kilometers, and a population of 26,494,504 human beings according to the 2011 Census. The “Nepalese Rupee” is the currency and the Nepal time zone falls at UTC+05:45 (Nepal Standard Time.) It is a diverse country, home to more than sixteen ethnic groups and a secular state having several religions that include Hinduism, Buddhism, Sheikh, Islam, Christianity, and many others. Nepali is the official language and all other mother-tongues are officially recognized languages in the country. Nepal is home to the world’s tallest mountain peak, Mount Everest, and the homeland of the philosopher Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. It also hosts mountains like the Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Dhaulagiri, Langtang, Manaslu, and Annapurna peaks. 

It’s not an unknown fact that Kathmandu is the largest city as well as the capital. Nepal’s climate is affected both by its high altitude as well as its latitude, and hence Kathmandu’s temperatures range from around 10 degrees in January to around 26 degrees in July. Altitudes above 16,000 feet are always frozen and have a chilly subzero temperature. 

Travel insurance is mandatory if and when you go hiking in Nepal. While there are a lot of different plans to compare from, choosing what is best for you is essential. You can choose a group plan, a family plan or any other suited to you (like a solo.) Indian nationals do not need a visa to purchase insurance. The ideal time to compare and buy insurance would be roughly a fortnight (fourteen days) after paying the first installment money for your trip. While in your plan for the trip to Nepal, specifically looking for any plans that cover passport losses, flight delays and cancel due to bad weather in the mountain, emergency medical expenses, emergency evacuation services, and accidents or injuries of the physical body. These will come in as very effective while you are on your trek.

Bhutan; or The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked country located in South Asia, bordered by the autonomous region of Tibet and the Indian states of Sikkim and West Bengal. With a size of up to 38,394 square kilometers in area and with a population of 754,338 human beings approximately (as in an estimate in 2018), Bhutan, amongst others is ranked the 8th happiest country in the world. The Bhutan currency is called the Ngultrum and the country stands at a time zone of UTC+ 06 (Bhutan Time.) The largest city and the capital of Bhutan are Thimphu. Some of the most beautiful treks one can embark on in this country include the 27 day- Snowman Trek, the 12 day- Laya Gasa Trek, the 6 day- Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek. 

It is mandatory for all travelers to have valid insurance for visiting Bhutan. For motorcyclists, it is COMPULSORY to hold insurance that allows them to ride a 2500cc Motorbike in Bhutan. This is majorly for road safety, as hilly jagged roads are prone to innumerable accidents. Please ensure basic driving safety if you are pursuing a road trip through Bhutan. Many insurance plans do not cover up treks within their travel scheme, so make sure to separately opt for one that does.

The Autonomous Region of Tibet is located in Southwest China, covering up to an area of 1,228,400 square kilometers and having a population of 3,180,000 human beings as of December 2014. Modern currency in Tibet is the Chinese Yuan, also known as the Ren Min Bi and the autonomous region stands at a time zone of GMT+08 (China Standard Time.) The capital of Tibet is the city of Lhasa, and the country also shares the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest in its borders with Nepal. Tibet is situated in a plateau region and hosts one of the most breathtaking mountain peaks, staggering wildlife flora and fauna, altitude treks, and numerous shrines and monasteries.
It is necessary and mandatory to have insurance if you are planning to visit Tibet or other places around Tibet. Foreign nationals must also apply for the Tibet Travel Permit to travel, and for trekkers, there are more such permits that should be taken care of. You can refer your queries to the insurance agency to make sure the plans are valid throughout. The insurance also helps you get out of danger in overseas travel. Make sure it covers passport loss, thefts, hospital costs, and reimbursement to due trip delays.

The Republic of India is a country located in South East Asia, with an area covering up 3,287,263 square kilometers and 1,352,642,280 human beings as its population as a rough estimate in 2018. Being the second-most populous country, it is even the seventh-largest country area wise and the most populous democracy in the world. The capital of India is New Delhi, which also holds the three distinct important divisions of the Indian Government: The Supreme Court, the Rashtrapati Bhavan, and the Parliament. India is a very culturally and ethnically diverse country with a multitude of geographical landscapes starting from rivers, oceans bordering its sides, mountain peaks, islands, rainforests, and a wide range of natural and manmade wonders. The Indians also believe in the dictum of the phrase “Atithi Devo Bhava” which factually translates to “The Guest is (to be treated as) God”, presenting the dynamic and fruitful association goals frequently hosted by the warm and welcoming Indians. Trekking in India exposes one to several varied geographically elegant landscapes and serves to be in memory forever. The vast Northern Plain foothills give one the ease to trek easily while ascending higher up would become challenging gradually. Temperatures in the foothills are consequently lower than in the altitudes higher up; and some of the treks you can embark here on are the Valley of Flowers trek, the trek to Roopkund, the Chadar Trek, the Hampta Pass trek, the Stok Kangri trek, and the Har ki Doon trek. 

Since India is an enormous country with unlike weather and rainfall patterns in different states, the temperatures of different trek routes vary on where it is geographically located and how you want to travel. All of them have different attractions visible at different times of the year. Hence it is safe to associate and read in detail about each and every trek route individually. 

Trekking in itself is considered a dangerous activity and many are intimidated by inaugural stages. India does not have any mandatory insurance policy but it is essential and highly recommended that you make one, especially trekkers who have just begun their journeys and are now aiming to trek higher and more perplexing altitudes than they have traversed before. There is no single Indian agency that can look into all the requirements of the trek or travel, and definitely no single important or reputed insurance company to choose from; hence read up all of whichever online insurance companies you can find. 

Accidents can occur anytime and anyplace. Many times, if you take one single general travel insurance, it might not cover treks. Trek insurance covers the time period from where you are picked up by the team and till the time you are dropped off. Make sure you take separate trek insurance or try to obtain insurance that covers both your trek and trip stay. Make sure it covers passport loss, thefts, hospital costs, and reimbursement to due trip delays. 

Have a safe and contented journey while you trek through the elegant mountain trails, long winding up loose gravel roads, and enjoy the adventure with a fresh peace of mind. Himalayan Trekkers always let you have the safest and most secure experience. So, there isn’t any reason to be tensed about it. Happy trekking! 


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