Rescue Insurance

We do not provide rescue insurance as part of our fees

While we do not require rescue and evacuation insurance for participation in our programs, we strongly recommend that you have a policy in place. Helicopter rescue in the Alps can be very expensive, usually upwards of $5000 for a fairly straightforward pick-up, but it can be much more if an unusual amount of helicopter time is involved. At about $90 per minute, it can add up quickly. And the cost of the flight is just the beginning of the total expenses that may be involved in an injury in the mountains. If you need medical repatriation back home for example, this can run to tens of thousands of dollars.

Your own health insurance may cover rescue and emergency transport to the nearest medical facility, but if you have a large deductible policy, the greater part of this might come out of your pocket. You should check with your insurer to see what, if anything, they cover in the way of rescue and evacuation, as well as repatriation to your country of residence.

You might also want to purchase insurance against loss or breakage of equipment, or trip cancellation or curtailment due to injury. The discussion below should get you started sorting out a few appropriate options for insurance if your existing policy is inadequate.

Purchasing rescue insurance

The Rescue Insurance landscape seems to change daily, as clubs and insurers change their policies and offerings.

What you purchase depends mostly on where you are from and where you plan to go. Most national alpine clubs offer rescue insurance as part of, or as a supplement to the club dues. This is a good place to start looking.

The American Alpine Club offers a plan to its members called Global Rescue, but this is not valid outside of North America. It is also not insurance, as Global Rescue personnel do the rescue work themselves; not practical in the Alps! However, as an AAC member you also have access to true insurance offered by their partners, Adventure Advocates. This is not included in your club membership dues, you need to purchase it separately. They offer many different kinds of insurance appropriate to climbing and skiing overseas, look over their offerings here:

Another option we have found to be quite useful, is to enroll in the Austrian Alpine Club's UK section. Cheap, easy to sign up for online (though allow a couple of weeks for their material to reach you), this covers the initial rescue and evacuation from the mountains to the nearest medical facility, and repatriation. Note: it does not cover lost/broken gear, nor travel/trip cancellation. Anyone can join, regardless of residence, and the associated rescue insurance is valid worldwide (with a few exceptions, such as high altitude, flying sports, competitions; read their leaflet for more detail). Visit their website at for more information.

British residents can also choose the Snowcard, which offers a range of coverage options. See for more information.

Last, for short off-piste or touring trips to the Chamonix area, it is possible to easily and inexpensively purchase insurance when you buy your lift ticket.