Tour du Mont Blanc Travel Insurance: What You Need to Know

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In between planning your itinerary, booking your accommodation, and deciding what to pack for a trek along the Tour du Mont Blanc there is the critical task of deciding if you’ll purchase travel insurance for this epic hike. While this isn’t the sexiest part of planning your trip, and is hopefully something you won’t end up needing, travel insurance should be considered by every hiker who sets out on the TMB.

It is important to note that this post isn’t financial advice, but rather seeks to be a helpful guide for the various situations you might want travel insurance for as well as some recommendations for companies and coverages.

Of course, your needs will vary dramatically based on your home country, flexibility, and personal circumstances. However, many hikers will come to the conclusion that having some form of travel insurance is necessary for their trip.

We’re here to help with some common issues that travel insurance can help with on the TMB and a few recommendations of places to start.

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Do I need travel insurance on the Tour du Mont Blanc?

For most people, the answer is probably yes.

Of course, the vast majority of hikers who purchase travel insurance will end up not needing it – and that’s a good thing! However, each year there are accidents, lost bags, delayed flights, and any number of other disruptions that will likely make you glad that you purchased coverage.

Generally speaking, coverage for a 11-day hike on the TMB will be relatively affordable in relation to the cost of your trip as a whole.

Travel insurance can provide some peace of mind on your trip knowing you’re covered for the unexpected.

Now we are certainly not insurance experts, so if you’re really unsure as to whether or not you want to purchase travel insurance we recommend speaking to an expert, insurance broker, financial advisor, etc.

It may also be helpful to think of someone who may NOT need travel insurance and is probably fine to hike the route without it. That person’s trip probably looks something like the following:

  • They aren’t flying to get to the TMB – eliminating the risk of lost baggage or delayed/cancelled flights
  • They have excellent medical insurance which will cover them in France, Italy, & Switzerland at a level they are comfortable with
  • They already have an insurance policy that covers them for mountain evacuations (rare, but some Alpine Clubs do provide this coverage)

If those don’t apply to you, our best advice is to purchase some form of travel insurance to give yourself some basic protection against the unexpected.

Ok, I’m convinced I need travel insurance, just tell me what policy to get…

If you’ve read this far and decided that it is a good idea to have travel insurance for the Tour du Mont Blanc and just want to cut to the chase in terms of the best provider/policy for the majority of hikers (especially Americans), we recommend the World Nomads Explorer Plan.

Our Top Pick for Travel Insurance
World Nomads Travel Insurance

We like World Nomads for all of our hiking and trekking adventures. They specifically include coverage for hiking, and offer comprehensive evacuation coverage. Highly recommended!

Pros:
  • Covers hiking & trekking
  • Offers policies with evacuation coverage
  • Easy online interface

It specifically covers hiking/trekking, provides valuable coverages for trip delay & interruption, emergency evacuations, damaged or delayed luggage, and other very helpful coverages for a hiker on the TMB. You can easily get a quote for your trip below:

Get a travel insurance quote for hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc here.

Here is what a sample quote for Emily and I looks like for a sample ~two week TMB trip being from the United States:

Now, here is the same quote for two people with the same dates coming from the UK:

Of course, your own personal situation will be different, but we wanted to give a sense of what you can expect in terms of cost for the coverage. Be sure to fully read what is covered and not covered to be sure it conforms to your needs. The easiest way to do so is to simply get a free quote from World Nomads here.

In addition to World Nomads, we have some other recommendations on providers in the final section of this post.

Now, if you’re still on the fence, let’s jump into some situations you might encounter on the TMB where travel insurance would be valuable.

What situations on the TMB would travel insurance help with?

There are a few common issues that seem to impact travelers on the TMB each year, regardless of how well prepared you are or how well planned out your trip is. Of course, there are a plethora of situations that can come up that travel insurance can help with, but these are the top issues we see among TMB hikers:

Lost or delayed baggage

Your plane has just landed in Geneva and there is excitement in the air! Maybe its been a short flight over from another European city, or maybe your feeling the jet lag start to set-in from a trans-Atlantic flight, but regardless you’re probably elated to finally be nearing the start of your TMB trek!

You head over to the baggage claim with hoards of other travelers and jockey your way into a spot where you’ll be able to see you backpack when it comes through. You wait, and wait, and wait….as the crowd thins you start to realize that your bag isn’t coming. All those months of preparation, advance bookings, and carefully selected hiking gear go out the window as you realize you won’t be able to start hiking without your backpack.

This happens to more and more travelers every year, and is seemingly getting worse. While your airline should help you in this situation by covering the costs for purchasing new gear, there is no guarantee that you’ll have that sorted out in time to begin your trek.

Most travel insurance policies will cover you for the replacement of lost luggage in this situation, and they will be far easier to deal with compared to the airline companies. While it will still be a pain, you’ll at least know you have some coverage to head to one of the many gear shops in Chamonix and purchase the essentials you’ll need to start your trip as planned.

Lost luggage is the one of the most impactful travel accidents that can impact your TMB.

Trip delay/cancellation

On a recent hiking trip in Europe, our flight from Denver to London was delayed by a few hours due to thunderstorms. When we landed in London, we knew our connection would be tight. Sprinting through the airport it soon became clear that we weren’t going to make that connection.

In the end, we were forced to spend the night in London before flying out the next day. One day may not make a huge difference for most holidays, but on a trek like the TMB that can sabotage your entire trip.

All those bookings you meticulously made and tracked are now 1-day off, and you’ll either have to use public transit to skip a stage, or figure out another way to get back on track.

If you have a good travel insurance policy, you’ll be covered for expenses related to the delay or cancellation of your trip. That means all those expensive refuge/hotel bookings that you now can’t make will be reimbursed by the policy.

While this certainly doesn’t make up for the lost days, it does at least soften the blow a bit by avoiding losing the days and also losing all the money you spent on accommodation!

Don’t lose out on those accommodation deposits if your trip is delayed!

Evacuation coverage

This one is very, very unlikely – but always better to be safe than sorry. Should you find yourself in need of an on-mountain rescue, or the need to be transported back to your home country for medical treatment, this coverage will be important to have.

Be sure to closely read any policy documents or check directly with your provider, as not all policies will cover this. Some will even specifically exclude activities like hiking/trekking, so it is very important to check before finalizing your policy.

Our recommend provider, World Nomads, does cover emergency evacuations while hiking (read more about what they cover here), so it is well worth getting a quote from them to compare to any other providers you are considering.

A mountain rescue/evacuation can be extremely expensive. Be sure your policy covers you for such events.

A few recommendations on travel insurance providers for the TMB

Ok, we are by no means insurance experts, but there are several companies that tend to get good reviews for hikers who have completed the TMB. Many of these insurance companies will have different policies depending on your home country, so be sure to fully read the policy documents to ensure you have the coverage you need/want.

Here are a few travel insurance companies to consider for your Tour du Mont Blanc hike:

1. World Nomads

This is generally our top recommendation, as their policies specifically cover hiking & trekking as well as the most common issues you will run into on the TMB. Coverage is affordable, and can be purchased online right up until you leave for your trip.

While we don’t have any personal claim experience with them, we have heard from folks we work with who had a good experience when needing a medical evacuation.

Our Top Pick for Travel Insurance
World Nomads Travel Insurance

We like World Nomads for all of our hiking and trekking adventures. They specifically include coverage for hiking, and offer comprehensive evacuation coverage. Highly recommended!

Pros:
  • Covers hiking & trekking
  • Offers policies with evacuation coverage
  • Easy online interface

Get a quote for travel insurance on the TMB from World Nomads here.

2. Allianz

Allianz is another highly-regarded travel insurance company that seems especially popular for UK residents. They cover all the essentials you’d expect, but do be sure to inquire about medical evacuation/mountain rescue. Not all of their policies provide coverage for those scenarios.

Get a quote for travel insurance on the TMB from Allianz here.

3. GeoBlue

GeoBlue provides medical travel insurance (not trip delay, cancellation, etc) and is a company we have used on longer trips previously. They have top-notch service when it comes to medical issues while you’re abroad, so we highly recommend them especially if you are on a longer trip.

However, you’ll want to have a supplementary policy from another provider for trip delay and cancellation coverage, as GeoBlue does not provide that.

Get a quote for travel insurance on the TMB from GeoBlue here.

4. Travelex

Travelex is a US based insurer that provides travel insurance, including evacuation insurance at competitive rates. We have never personally used Travelex, but they do have good reviews and cover all the essentials for the someone hiking the TMB. They may not offer policies to non-US residents, so if that is you, check out one of the other recommended providers.

Get a quote for travel insurance on the TMB from Travelex here.

5. European Alpine Clubs

One final note on providers is to check with your national alpine club to see if they provide evacuation and mountain rescue insurance. Many do provide this, so it can be worthwhile to become a member and then pair that coverage with a cheaper travel insurance policy from one of the providers above.

Wrap Up

Travel insurance is one of the least sexy parts of planning your Tour du Mont Blanc hike, but it can make or break how your trip goes. We highly recommend all hikers consider purchasing at least a basic policy to provide coverage for the major events that can derail your trip.

Do you have experience with a specific travel insurance company that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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