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Should I add "mountaineering" to my travel insurance?

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
More to come
Hi everyone!
One month to my Lebaniego and I am very excited!
I always purchase travel insurance before I go anywhere. In previous caminos, the normal coverage was fine. For this trip in particular, considering the terrain of the Lebaniego, should I add the "mountaineering" extra to my insurance?
 

NorthernLight

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I associate mountaineering with ropes and vertical ascents.

More importantly, what does the insurance provider think it is?
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
No. It is a walk, or a hike. Starting the CF in St. Jean PdP does not include mountaineering either.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
More to come
More importantly, what does the insurance provider think it is?
That is my doubt as well. I'm seeking an Australian phone number o give them a call.
I would hate to get the normal insurance (that covers hiking) just to trip on a hill and find out I'm not covered because it is in the mountains :p

Btw, "mountaineering" was just one option, there is actually a fair bit of stuff under the more 'radical' activities.


EDIT: ok, so I got this. In Allianz, you need extra cover if you are doing "Hiking, trekking or tramping, peaking at altitudes from 3,000 metres up to 6,000 metres, where specialist climbing equipment is not required. " As the highest mountain of the Picos de Europa is 2,650m, it should be alright.
 
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NorthernLight

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
It's easy for us all to say it isn't needed, but when dealing with bureaucrats whose job it is to find ways to deny claims, then a bit of advance prep with the insurer is likely to pay off, if by remote chance you need to make a claim.

Glad you were able to get info from the insurer.
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
I did the Lebaniego last year and it´s a "normal" hike on paths, ways or streets.

It´s not necessary to use you hands, it works only using you feet👣😀

I would say "mountaineering" is more for an alpin tour.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
I associate mountaineering with ropes and vertical ascents.
More importantly, what does the insurance provider think it is?
Hola @NorthernLight you are totally correct. If the mountain climb is described as a "technical climb" where ropes, crampons etc are required then it is mountaineering and usually most regular travel insurance policies wont cover you. I have climbed Mt Kilimanjaro and just had a regular policy (although I did opt for one that specifically included aerial medical evacuation back to Oz). I think you can even go to Everest Base Camp on a regular policy - its just high altitude trekking. Cheers
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
More to come
I think you can even go to Everest Base Camp on a regular policy - its just high altitude trekking. Cheers
Not if your insurer is Allianz. As I mentioned in the reply from them above, any hike above 3,000m, even if not using equipment, requires the extra 'adventure' coverage. Base Camp is above 5,000m.

And just to clarify, I never thought I would need equipment for the Lebaniego. :)
My concern was if insurers would try to deny eventual claims because it is in a mountainous area, therefore 'you should have gotten the adventure/mountaineering/extra coverage".
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
[ Via Francigena 2019]
My own personal experience with Allianz was far from satisfactory , I could not recommend this company under any circumstances for any product . The description of '' Weasel like behavior '' given to this company during a Public inquiry is more than apt .
Then again who can really recommend an Insurance company ? I liken it to making deals with the Devil .
When working in an extremely remote area of East Timor a colleague was stricken down with a severe heart problem , an evacuation from the highlands taking five hours resulted , the ex UN military Hummer pitching and swaying through narrow mountain tracks while he lay comatose in the back . His insurance company , the RACV , in their graciousness refused his entire claim , including air evacuation to mainland Australia because '' he did not personally inform the company of his intention to seek medical help '', this man , donating his expertise and time, as did I was left with the enormous cost that resulted , truly a case of no good deed going unpunished . A dance with the Devil indeed .
That said I have used CoverMore Travel Insurance , during the erruption of Eyjafjallaokull my family and were were stranded in Paris for two extra weeks [ oh the pain of it :)] . Everything was paid for without a murmur .
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
More to come
That said I have used CoverMore Travel Insurance
I just contacted CoverMore, and their premium policy online includes "cover for trekking, with no restriction on altitude, provided you are not using climbing guides, ropes, rock climbing equipment or oxygen, as this would be classified as mountaineering / rock climbing which is excluded under the policy. The hike can be covered as long as you are taking reasonable care and not participating professionally." Price is just a little bit above Allianz.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
Hola - All . Yes I know that certain insurance companies have (what I believe are) ridiculous restrictions on the policies . Its another reason why I avoid Allianz, I have used Cover More and might again, but I have a better deal.
3000 metres!!!!???? - there are places in the Dolomites that you get to via a cable car and are over 3000 metres. Well it just goes to show that insurance companies are still trying to dodge liability whenever they can!! Cheers
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
We might all need to remember that insurance companies exist as companies to make money. Most have shareholders and investors.

Hence, they use actuarial analyses and tables to define and limit their exposure for payments. If they paid out a dollar or euro for every dollar or euro collected in premiums, they would soon go bust. Their profits are in the difference between collected premiums, minus payments and administrative expenses.

This difference is the actuarial gambit or gamble. This is why they do not cover the more hazardous activities that are more likely to attract expensive medical or related costs.

I am NOT defending insurance companies. All I am trying to explain is that they are there to provide a backstop in the event of a statistically rare incident which will generate significant costs. They are not there to cover 100 percent of your expenses. That is why you have deductibles on insurance cover for automobiles, boats, and homes.

Also, and to further explain this context, until around 1980, most countries with a private insurance market for health care, only offered what was called "major medical" for procedures that you actually had to check into a hospital for. YOU were expected to pick up out of pocket costs for office visits, prescribed medications and diagnostic tests.

With medical advances, improvements in diagnostic tests, advances in medication and more procedures being done as outpatient / same day surgeries and the proliferation of medical specialists, it became necessary to change how health insurance was provided. When these changes came, individuals could not possibly bear the out of pocket costs.

Now, most folks expect their insurance cover, for anything, to pay for everything. Just sayin...

Hope this helps the discussion.
 
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Tony Hutt

Love a good walk!
Camino(s) past & future
Saint Jean to Santiago - 09/10 2017
Santiago to Finisterre - 05 2019
As a mountaineer I would suggest not. At no point will you be in mountainous terrain, just hills. Also, I did the Camino Frances in approach shoes and they were fine.
 

David37

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
Hi everyone!
One month to my Lebaniego and I am very excited!
I always purchase travel insurance before I go anywhere. In previous caminos, the normal coverage was fine. For this trip in particular, considering the terrain of the Lebaniego, should I add the "mountaineering" extra to my insurance?
As others have stated"Mountaineering" has specific definition and involves ropes and or climbing aids (may slightly vary from company to company). Therefore Camino coverage only requires walking/ trekking coverage.
I've been looking closely at insurance policies over the last few years as I've done both the Camino Frances and high altitude trekking in Nepal. My comments below are from an Australian perspective.
One key thing I have picked up on is that a number of insurance companies don't cover walking/ trekking "Activities which are done without a commercial operator". This is under general exclusions. Last year I did the following combination:
  • Camino Frances with a couple of friends (self organised)
  • Finisterre extension with my wife through a company (walking unguided but with booked accomodation through the company)
Several Insurance Companies wouldn't even cover the unguided activity booked with a company.
The Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) arranged for Choice Magazine to review and rate the best insurance options. The links are as follows:
https://smartraveller.gov.au/guide/all-travellers/insurance/pages/choice-travel-insurance-buying-guide.aspx#credit_card_travel_insurance
https://www.choice.com.au/travel/money/travel-insurance/review-and-compare/travel-insurance
I ended up choosing 1 Cover but InsureandGo Travel Insurance also appears to be a good option.
Just to be sure I email the insurance company with the type of trip I'm doing to get confirmation in writing that I am covered!
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
I have used Travelex for all know major trips including Camino Inca
I never had to file a claim but like their policy and options particularly the cancel for any rer
 

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