Best Travel Insurance for Annapurna Circuit

Written by Antonio Cala.

Last updated on April 13, 2024

Table of Contents

For those venturing on the Annapurna Circuit trek, whether you’re a seasoned hiker, nature enthusiast, or adventure seeker, having suitable insurance is crucial. Having trekked globally, the Annapurna Circuit remains one of my favorites. It was one of the first long hikes I did overseas, and I still remember it like it was today.

In this guide, we’ll explore insurance options tailored for the Annapurna Circuit. We’ll address specific considerations for this journey through the stunning Himalayas of Nepal, highlight essential features for your insurance plan, and offer our top recommendations for 2024.

For a comprehensive exploration of insurance options designed specifically for hikers and mountaineering, be sure to explore both the insurance guide for hiking trips and the insurance guide for mountaineering trips and high altitude trekking.

Finally, for a complete overview of insurance options for adventure travelers, make sure to check out the Ultimate Guide to Adventure Travel Insurance.

Quick Recommendations

If you want some quick recommendations, here is our infographic to help you choose the best insurance for your trip to the Annapurna Circuit. 

Best Travel Insurance for Annapurna Circuit - Infographic

Annapurna Circuit Travel Insurance Overview

When it comes to getting travel insurance for the Annapurna Circuit Trek, altitude is key. With its highest point at Thorong La Pass reaching 17,769 feet (5,416 meters), it’s crucial to have coverage for such elevations.

Standard travel insurance often caps coverage at lower altitudes, typically around 9,000 feet (2,750 meters). To ensure you’re protected at higher altitudes, consider an add-on or adventure policy.

Altitude-related sickness, like altitude sickness, poses risks. Adequate acclimatization is essential, allowing your body time to adjust.

If altitude symptoms persist, descending is the only solution. You may rely on local resources, but keep in mind that services may not be as readily available.

For peace of mind, opt for insurance covering up to 20,000 feet (6,000 meters). This ensures comprehensive protection throughout the trek, without worries about evacuation or medical expenses.

What Does It Cover?

The majority of insurance policies typically offer the same coverage as a traditional travel insurance policy but specifically cater to hiking at high altitudes. The main four categories are as follows:

Medical Expenses

If you face an unforeseen injury or illness on the Annapurna Circuit Trek, specialized adventure insurance is a game-changer. It ensures coverage for emergency medical costs at overseas facilities.

This comprehensive policy caters to diverse medical needs, from minor treatments to major procedures. Whether it’s swift first aid or extensive care, a well-designed insurance plan provides the financial support essential for your well-being amidst the rugged landscapes and high altitudes of the trek.

Equipment Coverage

If your gear suffers damage, theft, or loss while trekking the Annapurna Circuit, specialized adventure insurance is your go-to. It typically covers these incidents, from trekking poles to backpacks, with varying amounts up to several thousand dollars. This feature lets you file a claim and alleviate the financial strain of repairing or replacing your essential trekking gear.

Trip Cancellation or Interruption

In the event that you need to cancel or cut short your trip due to injury, specialized insurance tailored for these activities provides the flexibility to claim reimbursement for the missed portions of your adventure.

Emergency Evacuation

This coverage is paramount for an Annapurna Circuit Trek or any high-altitude adventure. It facilitates emergency medical evacuation to the nearest appropriate facility for treatment or repatriation to your home country.

What Doesn't Cover?

If you’re opting for alternative routes back from the Annapurna Circuit, like scaling peaks around the region, standard trek insurance might not suffice. While Thorong La Pass is typically covered, it’s part of this route, elevations exceeding 6,000 meters may require additional coverage.

Review your itinerary carefully, especially if it involves non-standard routes or mountaineering. Consider reaching out to your local mountaineering association for advice on securing suitable mountaineering insurance.

Best Travel Insurance for Annapurna Circuit

Our Pick For

Best Rescue Services + Any Nationality + Medical/Evacuation Only

Nationalities: all nationalities are covered.

Pre-existing conditions: Yes.

Seniors Over 65: People aged 65-75 are included in the Individual Plan. Extended Plan memberships are available to those age 75-84 and include all services but are contingent upon completion of a medical form and a physician’s medical verification.

Trip Duration: Short term policies (7, 14 or 30-days) and long term policies (1 to 5 years) available.

Groups: Individual, family and student plans available.

Situations covered: It covers civil unrest, natural disasters, government evacuation orders and other security emergencies (when purchasing the Security package).

Reasons To Buy

Remote locations coverage. Coverage available for 65-84. Pre-existing conditions accepted. All nationalities accepted​.

Reasons To Avoid

The price is a bit higher than other insurance policies. However, no other company provides the same coverage as Global Rescue. It doesn’t cover trip cancellations or delays. It doesn’t cover equipment.

Worldwide field rescue (up to $500,000) in remote or dangerous environments. Global Rescue’s deployable teams are standing by to rescue their members from the point of illness or injury for any serious medical emergency.

 

Medical Evacuation. Global Rescue’s fully deployable medical teams have unparalleled capabilities to transport our members back to their home hospital of choice from anywhere in the world. This includes global COVID-19 transport.

 

Medical & Security Advisory Services. Global Rescue’s operations centers are staffed by experienced nurses, paramedics and military special operations veterans. Global Rescue also has partnerships with the Johns Hopkins Emergency Medicine Division of Special Operations, Elite Medical Group and Partners HealthCare, the Harvard Medical School affiliate.

 

Security Membership. Global Rescue’s teams of military special operations veterans are available to provide advisory, consultation and evacuation services for events like natural disasters, terror attacks and civil unrest when you are in danger.

 

Destination Reports & Event Alerts. Destination reports for 215 countries and principalities worldwide include entry requirements, COVID-19 travel status and restrictions, detailed health and security assessments and required immunizations. Keep up to date on health and security events worldwide.

 

My Global Rescue Mobile App. Access Global Rescue services in one location. Browse destination reports and alerts, activate emergency assistance, real-time virtual health visits and keep track of the people you care about with GPS tracking and messaging.

Security Package. Physical extraction when you are in danger of bodily harm. It includes civil unrest, natural disasters, government evacuation orders and other security emergencies.

 

High Altitude Evacuation.. This is for individuals traveling above 15,000 ft (4,600 m) during any part of their trip (excluding airplane travel). It also includes emergency physical transport due to injury or illness.

Global Rescue is the most comprehensive travel protection available worldwide. It has the least restrictions and biggest coverage than any other medical insurance.

It’s a medical-only protection designed for adventure travelers planning to go remote in an independent or organized adventure trip. All nationalities are covered and options for people over 75 are available.

For the Annapurna Circuit, a route that is remote, in high-altitude and in a country like Nepal, there’s no other company like Global Rescue. 

Global Rescue is our absolute preferred option for Annapurna Circuit trekkers.

Our Pick For

Americans + High Medical Coverage + Trip Protection

Nationalities: Only US citizens and residents are eligible.

Pre-existing conditions: Pre-existing conditions can be covered for Trip Cancellations and Interruptions, as long as you purchase your plan within 14 days of your initial trip deposit, and are medically able to travel when you purchase your plan.

Seniors Over 65: There is no maximum age limit.

Trip Duration: All plans cover trips up to 180 days.

Groups: Insurance policies for solo travelers, couples and families are available.

Reasons To Buy

The prices are very competitive.

Plans are very customizable with plenty of extras available and the option of removing items you don’t need.

Pre-existing medical conditions accepted.

24/7 chat available with the Faye Mobile App

     

Reasons To Avoid

Only available to American residents.

Emergency Medical Expenses: Up to $250,000. If you experience sudden illness or injury in-trip, including COVID-19. We can cover prescription drugs, hospitalization and physician costs.

 

Emergency Evacuation: Up to $500,000. Coverage of transportation in the case of illness or injury that is acute, severe or life threatening when adequate medical treatment is not available in the immediate area.

 

Trip Cancellation: Up to 100%. If you need to cancel your trip for covered reasons, including if you get sick, contract COVID-19, or a travel provider goes bankrupt. We can cover flights, hotel bookings, tickets & activities, and quarantine accommodation.

 

Trip Interruption: Up to 150%. When you must unexpectedly cut your trip short or extend it for covered reasons, including if you contract COVID-19.

 

Trip Delay: Up to $4,500. Up to $300/day, for delays of more than 6 hours. When you’re stranded in transit due to reasons outside of your control such as flight delay or theft of passport.

 

Lost or damaged Belongings: Up to $2,000. Reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged luggage, including clothing, personal items and professional equipment like a phone or laptop.

Cancel for Any Reason: Up to 75% of Trip Cost. The ability to nix your trip for reasons other than those covered in your plan’s trip cancellation coverage, including fear of contracting COVID-19, as long as you purchase this coverage within 14 days of your initial trip deposit and cancel at least 48 hours in advance of your scheduled departure date.

 

Pet Care: Up to $2,500 in veterinary expenses & 
$250 for kenneling. Coverage of veterinary expenses if you take your furry friend along (including pet sickness or injury), or kenneling costs if you arrive back home later than expected.

 

Adventure & Extreme Sports: Up to $250K (international trips) or $50K (domestic trips) for accidental & sickness expenses. Medical and transportation coverage if you become injured while participating in an adventure or extreme sport, like skydiving, bungee jumping, motocross or free diving.

Faye insurance provides American residents one of the biggest medical coverages on the market at a very competitive price. 

We recommend Faye for Americans who want to have the trip cancellation & baggage cover for their Annapurna Circuit trek, that Global Rescue doesn’t provide. 

Our Pick For

Non Americans + Budget

Nationalities: Most nationalities can purchase insurance from World Nomads, including residents of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Australia, or New Zealand. However, as of the current writing, most European residents are unable to buy a World Nomads policy.

Pre-existing conditions: Not covered.

Seniors Over 65: Travelers aged 70 and over are not covered.

Trip Duration: All plans cover trips up to 365 days.

Groups: Insurance policies for solo travelers, couples and families are available.

Reasons To Buy

The price is competitive.

   

Reasons To Avoid

Prices and coverage vary greatly by the country of residence.

Some European nationalities are not covered.

Pre-existing medical conditions not covered

Max age is 70 years old.

Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical Expense: Up to $100,000. Coverage is for medical expenses for emergency treatment of an accidental injury that occurs during the trip. Emergency treatment must be medically necessary and performed during the trip. Refer to the certificate / policy for complete details.

 

Emergency dental treatment: Up to $750. Coverage is for emergency dental treatment for accidental injury to sound, natural teeth. The injury and treatment must occur during the trip.

 

Emergency Evacuation: Up to $500,000. Coverage is for an accidental injury or sickness occurring during the trip that results in your necessary emergency evacuation. An emergency evacuation must be ordered by a physician who certifies that the severity of your accidental injury or sickness warrants your emergency evacuation. Refer to the certificate / policy for complete details.

 

Trip Cancellation: Up to $10,000. Reimburses for prepaid, non-refundable cancellation charges if you must cancel your trip (after the effective date) due to covered sickness, accidental injury, or death of you, a family member or traveling companion; inclement weather, unforeseen natural disaster at home or at your destination, strike or other covered reasons. Refer to the certificate / policy for complete details.

 

Trip Interruption: Up to $10,000. Reimburses for prepaid, non-refundable, unused expenses if you must interrupt your trip (after departure) due to a covered sickness, accidental injury, or death of you, a family member or traveling companion; inclement weather, unforeseen natural disaster at home or at your destination, strike, or other covered reasons. Refer to the certificate / policy for complete details.

 

Trip Delay: Up to $3,000. Coverage is for unused portion of pre-paid accommodation or additional expenses, on a one-time basis, if you are delayed en route to or from the trip for 6 or more hours due to a defined hazard as explained in the certificate / policy.

 

Baggage & Personal Effects: Up to $3,000. Reimbursement is for loss, theft or damage during the trip to baggage and personal effects (including sporting equipment) owned by you, provided you have taken all reasonable measures to protect, save and recover the property. Per article limit of $500.

 

Activities covered based on 4 groups. You pay more for higher group. The Explorer plan includes more activities than the Standard Plan. Extreme activities not covered (cave diving, free soloing, etc)

The World Nomads Explorer Plan is a great option if you’re looking for an affordable travel insurance with good medical coverage and some equipment coverage (up to $3,000) under the same policy.

We recommend World Nomads Explorers plan for Annapurna Circuit if you want the trip & baggage protection that Global Rescue doesn’t provide, and live outside the United States. 

Comparison Table

Company
Plan
Medical Expenses
Emmergency Evacuation
Trip Cancellation
Trip Delays
Equipment Coverage

Travel

$100,000

$500,000

None

None

None

Adv Sports

$250,000

$500,000

100%

150%

$2,000

Explorer

$100,000

$500,000

$10,000

$3,000

$3,000

Conclusion

Best travel insurance for Annapurna Circuit Trek

When seeking insurance for the Annapurna Circuit trek, the key is ensuring coverage up to 19,500 feet (6,000 meters). 

For top-notch rescue services, Global Rescue stands out with unmatched medical evacuation and coverage worldwide, making it ideal for remote areas like Nepal.

For US residents desiring trip cancellation/interruption and luggage coverage, Faye is an excellent choice. It offers high medical coverage, accepts pre-existing conditions, and provides adventure sports protection for trekking above 9,000 feet.

Outside the US, the Explorer Plan from World Nomads is a solid option. It offers substantial medical coverage, including up to 19,500 feet (6,000 meters), and affordable policies with trip protection and baggage coverage.

Other Hiking Trails

Other Travel Insurance Reviews

Annapurna Circuit Insurance Reviews Online

During your research, you might want to consider checking out articles from various publications that provide insights into insurance options for the Annapurna circuit.

Below are a few articles that I thought were interesting about the trek.

Travel Insurance for Nepal hikesAnnapurna Foothills

Annapurna Travel InsuranceAlpine Ramble

About the Author

Antonio was born and raised in Southern Spain, and quit his job in 2013 to travel the world full-time with his wife Amanda for 10 years straight. Their passion for adventure took them to visit 150+ countries.

They cycled 25,000km + from California to Patagonia, sailed over 10,000NM around the Caribbean & Sea of Cortez, rode their motorbikes 30,000 kms+ across West Africa (Spain to South Africa) and visited Antarctica, among many other adventure expeditions. Today, they’re still traveling,  currently around the USA with an RV.

Traveling to so many places, remote destinations and by different means taught them a lot about travel insurance, which policies to hold depending on the area and the type of adventure they were doing. Antonio now publishes regular content to help other travelers choose the best travel insurance for adventure trips.

Together, they also run the travel community Summit, the RV site Hitched Up, the boutique accommodation blog Unique Places and the popular newsletter Adventure Fix, where they share their knowledge about the places they’ve visited and the ones still remaining on their list.

Antonio Cala

Co-Founder of Adventure Fix

Best Travel Insurance for Annapurna Circuit
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