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We plan to cross the Greenland ice sheet next year on skis:

  • duration: roughly 5 weeks
  • no civilization close by

Where can we find reputable insurance for such a trip (for Europeans)? We are interested in a firm or service that has a good reputation among people taking long outdoors trips far from all the normal tourist services. The service should be experienced in far nothern conditions, and ideally in evacuation from such regions. WHen we look at firms advertising such services, what features should we be looking for, and, also, are there any red flags we should be alert for?

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    I'm not sure this is on-topic as it's a shopping question. How much will very much depend on your own circumstances. There are many travel insurance companies out there. The one I'm aware of in the UK (not sure if they cover non-UK citizents) is Summit insurance which is owned by the British Mountaineering Council. thebmc.co.uk/modules/insurance
    – Darren
    Apr 11 at 10:40
  • I disagree that this is a shopping question, especially as I have edited it. I will removed the phrase "... and how expensive iis it?", and added emphasis on reliability and experience in far northern areas, and disinguished desired service from routine tourist services. A question about, say, tthe characteristics of tents or boots appropriate for polar or near polar conditions would be clearly within TGO guidelines.
    – ab2
    Apr 11 at 16:42
  • I want to make one more point on the pertinence of this question. I was considering a long trip to Antarctica (Ross Bay region), and one of my concerns was insurance and evacuation. By chance, my doc's concierge practise offers hospital to hospital evacuation from anywhere under certain conditions. So this Q likely has more appeal than one might think.
    – ab2
    Apr 11 at 17:08
  • @Jon Custer This should be an answer!
    – ab2
    Apr 11 at 18:10
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    @CSM You’d still need insurance to cover medevac/mountain rescue. MRT in Europe is far from free (unlike the UK) and anyone who might be in need of calling them would be well advised to have insurance, less they face a bill of €thousands.
    – Darren
    Apr 12 at 17:08

3 Answers 3

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Many outdoor associations (such as the American Alpine Association - see their web page on rescue insurance) have fairly inexpensive coverage, including rescue benefits, for the types of activities their members go on.

For the AAA, membership at the $250/year includes $300,000 in medical evacuation coverage. This is applicable anywhere worldwide and does not require you to be on an 'expedition' - it would include your safari trip in Africa or climbing Mt Kilimanjaro equally well.

I recall similar coverage options when a member of the Dutch Alpine Society many years ago.

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    $300,000 sounds like a lot but I have no idea how much an evacuation from the middle of the Greenland ice sheet would cost. I would definitely inquire whether something like that is included.
    – quarague
    Apr 12 at 7:35
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    Air medevac is expensive, but it's not that expensive. The cost ranges from $12,000 for densely populated countries to $200,000 for extreme destinations
    – Therac
    Apr 12 at 8:46
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    The site you linked gives Possible cost: $150,000-$200,000, or more, so I wouldn't take it as a source to say that 200k is the upper limit Apr 12 at 13:21
  • Won't go into the details, but my experience inside the US in 2017 with medical evac, suggests that the $300K number is, in some, fortunately rare, circumstances, not unthinkable.
    – ab2
    Apr 12 at 20:39
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    The answer is not wrong, but the details of the insurance may exclude such a trip. E.g., my Austrian Alpine Assiciation insurance explicitely does not cover "Participation in expeditions - expeditions are defined as trips of multiple days to weeks of partially explorative character in rarely visited areas without maintained infrastructure (e.g., huts)". Also, Greenland, as well as arctic or antarctic regions, are excluded in total. (alpenverein.sichermitknox.com/aws) Apr 13 at 8:53
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One possibility is CAP (TM) TRipside Assistance. (TM means trademark.) My doc's concierge firm (MD2 International) has a contract with them to offer hospital to home-area hospital evacuation for its patients who cannot be adequately treated locally when they are away from home. I have a contact number for them, but it is for MD2 patients. You might look up CRC Operations ([email protected]).

I know that this is an evacuation service. I am not sure about the insurance aspect. But they might be able to point you in the right direction, even if they are not suitable for your wants.

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  • That sounds like it is mostly to get you from a hospital in your holiday destination to a hospital in your home country. OPs issue seems to be to get an evacuation to any kind of hospital or medical care.
    – quarague
    Apr 12 at 7:37
  • As I acknowledged in the answer, this resource probably does not substitute for insurance. It will, however, cover evacuation to get you to your home base, to your own docs, and to your family if you have a devastating injury or illness that cannot be treated adequately in the local facilities. In Greenland, for example, it is possible that even though a local facility could stabilize you, evac to a higher level facility would be needed. It is NOT meant for, e.g., a simple fracture or, say, a pesky case of bronchitis, and it would not in fact cover evacuation for such-like problems.
    – ab2
    Apr 12 at 19:49
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Perhaps try to contact people, who had done something like that and ask them how did they cover insurance. Perhaps some mountaineer, who did lots of 8k ones in Himalaya can help. In mountaineering forums they could help you better.

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