Best Travel Insurance for Rock Climbing

Written by Antonio Cala

Last updated on April 19, 2024

Table of Contents

Adventure travel insurance for climbers is an essential consideration when planning a rock climbing trip. Scaling new heights can be a thrilling and rewarding experience, but it can also be dangerous. The risks associated with climbing, including injury, illness, and weather-related hazards, make it important to have adequate insurance coverage.

Understanding adventure travel insurance is crucial for climbers. It is important to know what is covered and what is not covered by a policy. Many policies exclude certain activities or have limits on coverage, so it is essential to read the policy carefully and ask questions if anything is unclear. 

Additionally, it is important to choose the right policy for the specific climbing trip, taking into consideration factors such as the destination, the length of the trip, and the level of risk involved.

In this article we will answer all your questions and show you our preferred insurance choices for rock climbing in 2024. 

Let’s get started.

For an in-depth analysis of insurance choices tailored for adventure travelers, don’t forget 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 next rock climbing adventure. 

best travel insurance for rock climbing - infographic

Rock Climbing Travel Insurance Overview

Understanding Travel Insurance for Rock Climbing

Rock climbing insurance is a type of adventure travel insurance that covers individuals participating in rock climbing activities. It is essential to have climbing insurance, as it provides coverage for medical emergencies, evacuation, and repatriation. These are all crucial components of any climbing trip, and without insurance, climbers could be left with hefty medical bills.

Climbing insurance also covers trip cancellations and interruptions, which can be a significant expense for climbers. It is essential to read the policy carefully to ensure that it covers the specific climbing activities that the individual plans to participate in. Some policies may exclude certain types of climbing, such as solo climbing or high-altitude climbing.

What Does It Cover?

The majority of insurance policies for rock climbing trips typically provide coverage for the following four categories:

Medical Expenses

Incurring injuries during rock climbing excursions can lead to considerable financial strain. While the costs for medical treatment may be covered based on your location, additional charges for services like helicopter rescue and medical repatriation might be incurred.

Most rock climbing insurance policies provide coverage for emergency medical assistance, often to significant limits, but it’s essential to be aware that the coverage for rescue operations might have a capped amount, potentially lower than the coverage for medical treatment.

Equipment Coverage

If you face the unfortunate event of your rock climbing gear being damaged, stolen, or lost, rock climbing insurance typically offers coverage ranging from a small amount to several thousand dollars. You can file a claim for the costs of repairing or replacing your equipment, as well as for the expenses related to renting substitute gear.

Trip Cancellation or Interruption

If an injury requires you to cancel or cut short your rock climbing trip, rock climbing insurance enables you to claim reimbursement for the portions of the trip that go unused. The range for cancellation coverage varies, typically extending from $500 to $15,000.

What Doesn't Cover?

When evaluating specialized travel insurance for rock climbing, it’s essential to be aware of the exclusions. These can include:

Venturing into unauthorized climbing areas: If you have an accident outside of the approved climbing routes and zones, your insurance may not cover the medical costs for these incidents.

Unattended equipment: Some policies might not provide coverage if your climbing equipment is left unattended in public spaces, leading to theft.

Disregarding travel warnings: If you travel contrary to the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, your insurance is unlikely to offer coverage.

Participation in high-risk climbing activities: Engaging in high-risk climbing pursuits such as free soloing, deep-water soloing, or climbing in extremely remote or high-altitude locations may not be covered by standard insurance policies. It’s crucial to verify if your specific climbing activities require additional coverage or a specialized insurance policy.

Best Travel Insurance Policies for Rock Climbing in 2024

Our Pick For

International Trips + Remote Locations + Any Nationality

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 travel internationally or domestically for an independent or organized rock climbing trip. All nationalities are covered and options for people over 75 are available.

Global Rescue is our preferred option for rock climbing trips out of the US.

Our Pick For

Americans + Over 65 + Pre-existing Conditions

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. 

There’s no age limit and, with the Adventure & Extreme Sports Protection, you can even get coverage for free-soloing, which is crazy if you think about it.

We recommend Faye for Americans who want a complete travel protection for their rock climbing trip, including high medical coverage, trip protection cancellation & interruption, and baggage coverage.

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 that covers rock climbing.

We recommend World Nomads Explorers plan for climbing trips if you are not American or don’t want the full-protection that Faye provides.

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 rock climbing trips

When choosing insurance for your rock climbing trip, an important factor to consider is the remoteness of your climbing destination.

For climbers venturing into less accessible areas, Global Rescue stands out as the premier option. Its exceptional medical evacuation services set it apart from other insurance choices.

If your rock climbing journey takes you to more accessible regions and you’re a US resident, Faye is an excellent insurance pick. It provides extensive medical coverage, includes pre-existing conditions, has no age limits, and offers protection for climbing activities, even at high altitudes.

For non-US residents heading out on rock climbing excursions in areas that are not extremely remote, the Explorer Plan from World Nomads is a solid choice. It delivers substantial medical coverage and is recognized for its value for money in the insurance market.

Other Travel Insurance Reviews

Rock Climbing Travel Insurance Reviews Online

When doing your research, you might want to read what other publications have to say about the best travel insurance for rock climbing out there.

Here are some of the most popular articles I found interesting. 

Travel Health Insurance That Covers Climbing?mountainproject.com

3 Top Adventure Travel Insurances For Your Next Rock Climbing Tripweighmyrack.com

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 Rock Climbing
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