Best Travel Insurance for Hiking Trips in 2024

Written by Antonio Cala

Last updated on April 17, 2024

Table of Contents

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, nature enthusiast, or an avid adventurer, ensuring you have the right insurance is paramount. In this article, we will examine the best travel insurance for hiking trips currently on the market. We’ll delve into the unique aspects of hiking travel insurance, highlight key features to consider, and present our top picks for 2024.

For a comprehensive exploration of insurance options designed specifically for adventure travelers, be sure to explore 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 hiking trip. 

Best insurance for hiking trips - infographic

Hiking Trips Insurance Overview

What is Hiking Trip Insurance

Most insurance companies include coverage for hiking and backpacking within their standard policies, marketing it not as “hiking insurance” but as regular travel insurance or “adventure travel insurance.”

However, there are usually limitations, and not all types of hiking are covered. Climbing in remote or inaccessible regions, exploratory expeditions and new routes, high-altitude climbing over 6,000 meters, mountaineering expeditions, or activities within Antarctica, the Arctic Circle, or Greenland are typically not covered unless an add-on is purchased.

In the following section, we will delve into the specifics of what a typical hiking trip insurance covers and does not cover.

What Does It Cover?

The majority of hiking trip insurance policies typically provide coverage for the following four categories:

Medical Expenses

In the event of an unforeseen injury or illness during your hiking expedition, comprehensive hiking insurance ensures coverage for overseas emergency medical expenses incurred at a hospital or medical center.

This coverage extends to a range of potential medical needs, encompassing everything from essential treatments to more complex procedures. Whether it’s immediate first aid or extensive medical care, having a robust insurance plan in place guarantees financial support for your well-being while exploring the great outdoors.

Equipment Coverage

In the unfortunate circumstance of damage, theft, or loss of your hiking equipment such as trekking poles or backpack, comprehensive hiking insurance generally provides coverage, ranging from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. This coverage enables you to file a claim to cover the costs associated with repairing or replacing your hiking gear.

Trip Cancellation or Interruption

If you find yourself needing to cancel or shorten your hiking trip due to injury, hiking insurance provides the flexibility to claim reimbursement for the missed portions of your adventure.

Emergency Evacuation

This is arguably the most crucial coverage for a hiking trip. It facilitates emergency medical evacuation to the most suitable medical facility for treatment or repatriation back to your country of residence.

What Doesn't Cover?

Every insurance provider has its own limitations on what they cover and what they don’t. Here are the most common exclusions:

High Altitude: Hiking at an altitude over 19,500 feet (6,000 meters) is normally not covered by most insurance companies, unless you purchase an add-on.

Leaving belongings unattended: Certain policies may not offer coverage if your personal items are left unattended in public spaces, increasing the risk of theft.

Traveling contrary to government advice: If you choose to travel against the recommendations of the U.S. Department of State, it is unlikely that your policy will provide coverage.

Extreme activities: Activities like free mountaineering, climbing in remote or inaccessible regions, exploratory expeditions and new routes and mountaineering expeditions  may not be covered by standard policies. Verify if your chosen activities require additional coverage or specialist insurance.

Remote Regions: Activities in remote locations such as Antarctica, the Arctic Circle, or Greenland might not be covered by certain insurance companies.

Best Travel Insurance for Hiking Trips in 2024

Our Pick For

Remote Locations + Independent Trips + 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 go remote in an independent or organized adventure trip. All nationalities are covered and options for people over 75 are available.

Global Rescue is our preferred option for hiking trips, particularly those in remote locations.

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 a complete travel protection for their hiking 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 with good medical coverage and some equipment coverage (up to $3,000) under the same policy.

We recommend World Nomads Explorers plan for Everest Base Camp if you are not American and want the trip & baggage protection that Global Rescue doesn’t provide.

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

Hiking Trip Insurance

When it comes to finding insurance for your hiking trip, everything boils down to how remote you plan to go.

If you plan to go hiking in remote areas, the absolute best choice is Global Rescue. Its robust medical evacuation system is simply unmatched by any other provider. 

If you are not planning to go very remote and you are a US resident, the optimal insurance choice is Faye. It provides high medical coverage, accepts pre-existing conditions, imposes no age limit, and offers adventure sports protection if you plan to hike over 9,000 ft. 

For non-US residents who don’t plan to go hiking in remote areas, a good option is the Explorer Plan from World Nomads. It provides a substantial amount of medical coverage, and its policies rank among the most affordable in the market.

Insurance for Specific Hiking Trails

Other Travel Insurance Reviews

Hiking Trip Insurance Reviews Online

During your research, you might want to consider checking out articles from various publications that provide insights into the best hiking trip insurances available.

Below are a few articles that caught my interest.

3 Best Trekking Travel Insurance Policies – We Seek Travel

Travel Insurance for Backpacking Trips – Forbes.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 Hiking Trips in 2024
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