Traveller trekking in the mountains

Travel insurance for trekking

Heading above the clouds? Find travel insurance that covers injury, illness and other challenges you could face on your hiking and trekking adventures.

Trekkers travel insurance covers injuries, helicopter evacuations, lost or stolen gear, altitude sickness, weather cancellations and more – making it just as important as your first-aid kit or sunscreen.

Let it protect you as you face the elements head on.

How do travel insurance policies cover trekking and how do I find the best policy for my needs?

Each insurer may treat trekking slightly differently. We've done the research to check how each brand on finder covers trekking below:

Brand You're covered up to this altitude limit Conditions of cover Apply
1 Cover
  • 3,500 metres
  • No cover if you put yourself at high risk and if your trek requires any climbing equipment.
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American Express
  • 4,000 metres
  • No cover for treks requiring professional mountaineering equipment.
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Budget Direct
  • 5,000 metres
  • No cover for treks requiring professional mountaineering equipment.
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Columbus Direct
  • 6,000 metres
  • If you become an inpatient, you must have someone call Columbus's 24-hour Medical Emergency Assistance within 48 hours of admission.
  • No cover for treks requiring the use of mountaineering equipment such as ropes and guides
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  • No altitude restrictions*
  • If helicopter evacuation if required you must contact Cover-More's Customer Care Team to determine if medical repatriation is necessary.
  • No cover for treks requiring professional mountaineering equipment.
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  • No altitude restrictions*
  • No cover for treks that require mountaineering or mountain-climbing equipment.
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Go Insurance
  • 4,000 metres
  • Treks must not require mountaineering equipment and must be taken through a licensed commercial operator.
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  • 5,000 metres
  • Trek must be with a commercial operator and not require extreme skills or a high level of fitness.
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  • No altitude restrictions*
  • The hike must be made on foot without the requirement of professional equipment or ropes and must be taken through an organised group tour.
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  • No altitude restrictions*
  • No cover for treks requiring rock-climbing equipment or ropes.
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Southern Cross
  • No altitude restrictions*
  • Air evacuation is available but must deemed necessary by the medical practitioner or a licensed tour guide and Southern Cross' emergency assistance team must be contacted it is required.
  • No cover for treks requiring support ropes.
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Travel Insurance Direct
  • No altitude restrictions*
  • No mountaineering or rock climbing if the use of support ropes is required.
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Travel Insurance Saver
  • No altitude restrictions*
  • Mountaineering that requires support ropes, rock climbs and abseils is excluded
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Travel Insuranz
  • 4,000 metres
  • No cover for trek requiring ropes picks or any specialist equipment.
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  • 6,000 metres
  • No cover for treks requiring specialist equipment.
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  • No altitude restrictions*
  • No cover for treks that require ropes or climbing equipment
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  • No altitude restrictions*
  • Emergency medical evacuation is provided if deemed necessary but you are required to contact the Customer Care Team for evaluation.
  • No cover for treks that require mountaineering equipment.
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  • 6,000 metres
  • No cover for treks, if specialist climbing equipment is required.
  • Adventure pack must be purchased.
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*No altitude limits however you must take reasonable care

Will travel insurance cover me if I go trekking?

Trekking is usually covered along with adventure sports like abseiling, kayaking and windsurfing, but insurers will have specific conditions you must adhere to.

Highest point of altitude for popular treks

Can I get cover for treks over 4000m in altitude? What about over 6000m?

Trek Highest point of altitude Brands that will cover this altitude
Fitz Roy Trek 1,200m All brands in the table above
The Snowman Trek 5280m AIG, Columbus Direct, Cover-More, Easy, iTrek, Simply Travel Insurance, Travel Insurance Direct, Virgin, WorldCar, youGo
W Circuit 1,100m All brands in the table above
Pays Dogon 500m All brands in the table above
Everest base camp 5364m AIG, Columbus Direct, Cover-More, Easy, iTrek, Simply Travel Insurance, Travel Insurance Direct, Virgin, WorldCar, youGo
Kokoda Trail 2,190m All brands in the table above
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4200m AIG, Budget Direct, Columbus Direct, Cover-More, Easy, InsureandGo, iTrek, Simply Travel Insurance, Travel Insurance Direct, Virgin, WorldCar, youGo
Kungsleden (The Kings Trail) 1,140m All brands in the table above
Haute Route 2,987m All brands in the table above
West Highland Way 950m All brands in the table above
Te Araroa 1925m All brands in the table above
K2 Base camp Trek 5650m AIG, Columbus Direct, Cover-More, Easy, iTrek, Simply Travel Insurance, Travel Insurance Direct, Virgin, WorldCar, youGo
Markha Valley Trek 4700m AIG, Columbus Direct, Cover-More, Easy, iTrek, Simply Travel Insurance, Travel Insurance Direct, Virgin, WorldCar, youGo

Some of the most thrilling treks in the world are over 4000m above sea level.

Whether or not you can get travel insurance for high altitude treks will depend on the policy you choose. For instance, Woolworths Travel Insurance has a cover limit of 3,000m, while youGo Travel Insurance has no altitude restrictions (provided that you take reasonable care).

Always check the altitude limit

A day before Joseph departed for the Markha Valley Trek, his good friend Kevin decided to join him last minute. Joseph had been told by his travel agent that the Markha Valley Trek was covered by his policy, and he safety assumed all policies would do the same. With this assumption Kevin assured Joseph that the travel insurance on his credit card would cover him.

On the third day of the hike, Kevin sprained his ACL going down a steep set of slippery steps. At this point they had reached over 4,000 metres above sea level and the only method of evacuation was by helicopter.

Kevin was evacuated to the nearest hospital and treated for his injury. After being cleared from hospital, Kevin was confident that his travel insurance policy would cover all expenses. Unfortunately Kevin's travel insurance on his credit card had an altitude limit of 1,000 metres for treks. Kevin was left with a massive hospital bill on top of the cost of the helicopter.

Cost of helicopter evacuation

  • $950

Hospital expenses

  • $500

Insurance cover

  • $0

Out of pocket expenses

  • $1,450


Crucial hiking risks and why travel insurance is a must

  • Altitude sickness. Your body may not be use to the effects of altitude. This can result in headaches, nausea, shortness of breath and even hospitalisation.
  • Injuries. Many treks go for long distances, and feature steep inclines and declines. The combination of fatigue and difficult walks can increase your chances of injury.
  • Food poisoning. When trekking overseas, the quality of food and hygiene may not be of the best standard. Food poisoning on a 10 day trek would be a nightmare.
  • Theft on camp sites. Camp sites of treks can be filled with tourists, trek workers and the possibility of theft.
  • Poisonous animals and plants. Depending on the terrain of the trek, there may be poisonous animals and plants around. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that between 2002 and 2005, over 5,000 hospitalisations in Australia due to contact with poisonous animals and plants.

How can travel insurance protect you as you trek?

Trekking exposes you to the elements for longer periods of time compared to other adventure sports, you run the risk of slips, falls, exposure to adverse weather and even theft. Travel insurance provides you cover while you hike with:

  • Emergency medical expenses. If you're injured and require surgery for instance, travel insurance can cover you.
  • Helicopter and air evacuation. At high altitude, helicopter evacuation may be the only means of assistance.
  • Theft and stolen items. If you're items are stolen, your policy may be able to help you recover some of the cost.
  • Cancellations. If for some reason you're forced to cancel your trek, travel insurance can cover you for non-refundable tour costs.

Am I covered for helicopter evacuations?

If you're injured on your hike, then you can get air evacuation by helicopter under two conditions:

  • It must be medically necessary
  • You must inform your travel insurers emergency assistance team

What is considered medically necessary?

Helicopter evacuation can be considered medically necessary by a licensed medical practitioner or by a licensed tour guide.

Why do I need to contact my travel insurer?

Contacting your insurer as soon as possible allows them to confirm cover with you so that you don't end up liable for a bill that you can't pay. Travel insurance medical assistance teams can also help organise medical evacuation and guarantee payment with the appropriate hospital for you.

Am I covered if I get lost?

According to's research, Insure4Less offers search and rescue cover.

Travel insurance brands typically cover evacuations for medical emergencies, but not for search and rescue operations. This means that any evacuation costs that you pick up as a result of being lost will need to be covered out of your own pocket. The best thing you can do is to organise your trek through an organised tour. If a situation arises where you're lost, the organised tour will have means of rescue.

Do I need to tell my insurer about my plans to go trekking?

Your policy will either:

  • Automatically cover trekking
  • Require you to add it as an additional item
  • Require you to add an additional sports or adventure pack

While most policies do automatically include trekking and hiking, it's a good idea to double check with your policy before planning a trek overseas.

If you need to claim

Duty of disclosure is applicable if you need to make a claim. For instance if you're injured but are not honest with the activity that led to the claim (e.g. trekking with ropes), your won’t be honoured and you’ll be liable for all expenses.

Will I pay more for trekking cover?

This will depend on the travel insurance brand you go with. For example, if you have a policy with Travel Insurance Direct you are automatically covered for trekking cover. On the other hand, if you take out a policy with World Nomad's then you are automatically covered for treks up to 2,000m in altitude. For treks over this height, you will need to upgrade your plan for an additional price.

Tips for staying safe when trekking overseas

  • Equipment. If you aren’t already familiar with maps and GPS units, you should learn how to use them before setting off on your trip. This is especially true if you’re planning to trek alone or as a duo. Be sure that you know how to use all your equipment.
  • Plot your course. Selecting a trekking course starts with being realistic about your fitness levels, safety and accessibility in case of an emergency. If you’re considering a course overseas, it might be a good idea to join a group tour. Group operators always insist that your policy makes provision for medical emergencies and evacuation.
  • Check the weather. Be sure to check the weather forecast for the dates and location you’re planning to visit.
  • Go with a guide. A guide will accommodate to your pace and most likely will know the ins and outs of the trail.
  • Know your limits. Go at your own pace, and don't be afraid to take a rest. Fatigue on tricky walking surfaces can easily result in injuries.
  • Pack light. Take only the essentials and you'll thank yourself over a 5 day hike.

What to do if you injure yourself on your hike

Here’s what to do if you find yourself in a medical emergency overseas.

  • Contact your insurer. You must let your insurer know as soon as possible. A good policy will provide for immediate assistance in a medical emergency and arrange for hospital expenses to be covered. You’ll also have to download, complete and send a claims form to the insurer, along with all the required documentation.
  • Provide supporting information to make the claim. You’ll be asked to provide information to help the insurer better process your claim. This can include medical and police reports, statements from travel providers, original receipts and proof of ownership. Foreign-language documents must be translated into English.
  • Cooperate. Be as honest and forthcoming as possible when providing information and evidence. You must not admit liability or offer to pay for damage without first consulting your insurer.

Review trekking cover policies and conditions

* The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms "Cheapest", 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.
Picture: Shutterstock

Maurice Thach

An insurance researcher and writer for who loves finding an answer to the question "Am I covered for ________?" Maurice has also completed a Tier 1 Life Insurance and a Tier 2 General Insurance Certification under ASIC's Regulatory Guide 146. This means he can confidently provide general advice for life insurance and non-life insurance products.

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    joolianSeptember 28, 2017

    Does QBE insurance cover trekking to Everest Base Camp (no ropes or mountaineering equipment

    • Default Gravatar
      GruSeptember 29, 2017

      Hello Joolian,

      Thank you for your query.

      While most policies do automatically include trekking and hiking, it’s a good idea to double check with your policy provider before planning a trek overseas. You would also need to inform your insurer and ask them directly about cover if no ropes or equipment is used.

      If you would like, you may also review your options on this page:
      Travel Insurance for Nepal and Everest Base Camp.

      Hope this helps.


  2. Default Gravatar
    CarolineJuly 29, 2016

    Good Evening,
    I will be doing the Three Capes Track in Tasmania in August – it is a 4 day/3night hike.
    What type of travel insurance will I need and how much will it cost?
    Thank you Caroline

    • finder Customer Care
      RichardAugust 1, 2016Staff

      Hi Caroline,

      Thanks for your question. is a comparison service and we are not permitted to provide our users with personalised financial advice. To compare costs for travel insurance policies, please enter your travel details into the quote comparison tool on the domestic travel insurance page.

      I hope this was helpful,

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