evacuation insurance for a grand trip - Mountain Buzz

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Old 09-23-2007   #1
no tengo
mania's Avatar
Baytopia, Colorado
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evacuation insurance for a grand trip

so I have this grand trip coming up and the park regs are like the trip leader is responsible for paying for rescue costs if the victim doesn't pay and that is pretty lame so I am thinking of forcing the group to buy insurance.

I ran across this site: Travel Insurance - InsureMyGroup.com

and ran a little quote form and it came up with like $20 to $25 per person for a 19 day trip with $100k evac and even $10k medical from AIG (it gets quotes from a bunch of insurers).

Is this a good deal or am I missing something?


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Old 09-23-2007   #2
Join Date: Jul 2005
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You're taking people on a Grand trip that you wouldn't trust to pay for their medical and evacuation costs? I think if I wasn't sure about that, I wouldn't put the kind of trust that is entailed in Grand permit in those people.

Sorry, I'm just spouting paranoia because I've been watching people draw permits on their first try while I've been on the list for 6 years, had whoever's in charge screw me out of my extra chances and still have nothing to show. I'm starting to get a little pissed at the system here.
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Old 09-23-2007   #3
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This is an interesting area. While the Park regs do say exactly that, the instances of when NPS has actually done it seem to be rare. Or at least no-one has complained about it recently. But don't depend on this post as your argument if the Park were to do so.

However..... and it's a big however. There are accounts periodically of an evacuation where the Park choppers were not available and a commercial evacuation was arranged from the river. In those cases, the commercial operator may be more inclined to go after someone for the costs.

I also understand that even if the Park chopper gets you to the rim, if you have to be taken to Flag or elsewhere by air, that separate flight would be by commercial air evac. Again, the chances of having to pay for that are likely greater.

On a trip I did a few years ago, there were a few people who did not already have some kind of hospitalization insurance that covered air evacuation -- which is something to check. Those folks used Travelex, which IIRC was in the $50 per person range.


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Old 09-23-2007   #4
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Boulder, Colorado
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Insurance and Hunting/Fishing Liscence

Hey, I have heared, though it is only heresay, that the wildlife stamp that I bought when I got my hunting liscence ($9.00???) covers search and rescue costs for the year that the wildlife stamp is valid... As I said, it is a perk of getting a liscence that I was TOLD about, I have not looked into it yet, but the story was about back country skiers who were not hunters, but bought these stamps as insurance in case they had an epic experience... Don't know if it is true or valid in a NP situation, but I would look into it, might be a cheap way to go, that would give all trip members insurance not only for the trip, but for the year, each would purchase individually. Also, I believe the money from sales goes to wildlife habitat protection, another perk. Worth exploring. Have a great trip, I can't wait for my next one!!!
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Old 09-23-2007   #5
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Boulder, Colorado
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Insurance, Hunting/Fishing liscences

I just found some of the info (I got curious). Check this link. It looks like it helps significantly, but is NOT insurance... Also this is Colo. info, not AZ, but it still is in my opinion a good thing to give $10.25 to regardless, and could help out significantly in the event of an emergency!State Search and Rescue Fund
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Old 09-23-2007   #6
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I know that the Colorado fishing license comes with S&R and a Habitat Stamp and I regularly buy it for this reason (about $30). It is valid for six months but I assume that it just covers you in Colorado.
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Old 09-23-2007   #7
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Boulder / Tennessee, Colorado
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Yeah, It wouldn't make sense for Colorado Search and Rescue insurance to cover any incidents out of state. (You can purchase just a "search and rescue" card for $3/year sans fishing license, by the way).

I tried to find a similar thing for Arizona, with no luck.

It looks like diver's insurance companies also cover "recreational boating", so I guess that includes kayaking.

According to the Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association, it seems that most rescues performed by the NPS are not billed...I guess tax money goes to that.

Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association

good luck,

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Old 09-24-2007   #8
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Durango, Colorado
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I had a grand trip in 1995 as TL. One of the people on the trip flagged down a motor rig and called in the NPS chopper while the rest of the trip was on a loop hike. We gathered our stuff and tried to prepare for the helo when he came swooping in. They evac'ed him right there no questions. Needless to say the pilot I was freaking out about the very thing you are worried about. Nothing ever came of it and I did a grand trip the next year with no repeurcussions.(sic) I guess it was covered by taxpayers and all those fees we pay at the put-in.
Good luck.
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Old 09-24-2007   #9
Join Date: Aug 2004
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A bit of a side bar on the Fishing Liscence thing... The way I have always understood it is as A FUND, and NOT AS INSURANCE... I believe the way it is implimented is that so much money goes into a fund; Most SAR are a volunteer division of the Seriffs department for the county. Should they incur costs and / or need to recoup costs incurred through a rescue / evac, holding a fishing liscence allows you or the Sherrif to petition for access to this fund. Petition being a key concept here. This petition can be denied for several reasons, like the fund has been used up, or the costs incurred were deemed unneccesary (like you got a helicopter evac for a hangnail...).

All in all, I think $20 per person evac insurance sounds more than reasonable, as helicopter evac from the canyon is like a minimum 2 hour deal at somewhere like $1000+ / hour (i'm not one to quote on fees, but just call it wicked expensive...)
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Old 10-02-2007   #10
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at my house, Montana
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DAN (Divers alert network) membership comes with a big insurance policy for travel accidents. As long as you are 50 miles from home it applies. $29 membership fee.

DAN Divers Alert Network : Membership : Member Benefits
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