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Travel Insurance for Japan backcountry?

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Stratus, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. Stratus

    Stratus A Local

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    What's everyone using? Given many (not all) resorts technical "boundary's" are limited to piste / near piste only...
     
  2. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    AAMI
    (Fingers crossed)
     
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  3. mijs

    mijs Hard Yards

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  4. grantn

    grantn Addicted

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    AAMI for me now. Also fingers crossed for me too. QBE used to be good (successful claim for me 2 years ago) but they have changed their stance on backcountry.....
     
  5. Inclder

    Inclder Addicted

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    Insure4less
     
  6. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Did you see the one I shared in the above link?

    Basically all it is excluded was competing!
     
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  7. Stratus

    Stratus A Local

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    Thanks guys.

    Has anyone contacted AAMI confirming any exclusions to cover for recreational snow sports?
     
  8. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Numerous times!

    Read the other thread!
     
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  9. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    That got pretty expensive pretty quick adding in backcountry cover. $570 for a 2 week trip for one person
     
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  10. Inclder

    Inclder Addicted

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    Yep, it does. But seems like good cover.

    I made a curtailment & resumption claim with them last year to attend a funeral mid-holiday and they paid up no worries.
     
  11. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I'll look for a cheaper option I think. I'm covered for a lot of stuff with my credit card package. But it doesn't cover off piste or backcountry activities. AAMI or iTrek look like reasonable options, I might give iTrek a call today just to nail down what the product offers.
     
  12. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    your not going to try IAG?
     
  13. nfip

    nfip Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    yes just phoned them.
    Off piste is not in the list of sports excluded from the policy.
    Mountain climbing and rock climbing is excluded.
    $164 for 2 weeks rest of the world. ( Japan )
    I have claimed before , injured inthe Backcountry Japow , and was 100% satisfied.
     
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  14. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Who me? In the end I went with fastcover with the add on snowsports pack.
     
  15. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah,

    They had no exclusions at all.
     
  16. nfip

    nfip Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hmmm not so sure...


    6= Must be accompanied by a professional instructor or guide.
     
  17. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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  18. nfip

    nfip Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    hey Ozgirl - not being smart arse and no legal quals at all but , this just caught my eye....

    What is not covered Losses, liability or expenses that are for, related to or as a result of: . D8. You not taking precaution to avoid a claim after there was a warning in the mass media of a strike, riot or bad weather or other circumstances.

    Thinking Japan , or my experience the weather tends to be not good.
     
  19. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    It's a minefield, having a close look at some of the PDS, it seems like most insurers offer no cover for your gear while you're actually using it.
     
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  20. nfip

    nfip Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    yeah totally agree , think they load them up with so much shite you cant be fd reading it all.
    even AAMI today when I rang and asked about cover , I said why can't you simply say off-piste is included ..
    laughed and said "that's not how insurance works ".

    as I mentioned in other threads...
    I only know AAMI good for it from past experience is all and as in the other thread , they covered me front to back with everything from physio , MRI , biz class flights and private transfer , even had medics ringing me everyday make sure I was ok and if needed anything....
    https://www.aami.com.au/aami/documents/personal/travel/aami-inttravel-pds-a01465-26-12-09-g.pdf

    I did use IHI Bupa for Kashmir trip few years back as they covered for Heli.....
     
  21. Stratus

    Stratus A Local

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    Reply from AAMI received just before about whether there are any skiing exclusions.

     
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  22. Stratus

    Stratus A Local

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    Awesome, this is good to know.
     
  23. Whatever really

    Whatever really Addicted

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    This was the one I was recommended by a Guide, never did get it as NZ has insurance for all visitors,
    It covers off piste without a guide
    http://www.skiclubinsurance.co.uk/
     
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  24. pedub

    pedub One of Us

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    I'm using AAC (UK) insurance specifically for out of bounds stuff.
    Haven't claimed before. Can't vouch for it on experience but I have contacted them about specific things and gave me enough assurance that i'm covered... we'll see.... right...?

    Mountain rescue covered
    Medical costs covered
    Repatriation is covered, although outside of Europe they have to do "wing-to-wing" i.e. subcontract the trip. Sounded a little tricky by do-able according to them.
    Also no liability insurance outside of Europe

    I also have normal travel insurance to cover me on "commercial ski resorts" so if I'm close enough to make my way in-bounds then I probably would.
     
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  25. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Pricing of off piste cover went up a lot (or disappeared from offerings) a couple of years ago after a few large ($100k+) claims went through.
     
  26. nfip

    nfip Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have this as a part of my Spot subscription.
    Covers for Search and Rescue.
    Looks like can get individual cover but need a supporting Device. , such as Spot.
    http://www.geostravelsafety.com/
     
    #26 nfip, Jan 16, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
  27. Stratus

    Stratus A Local

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    PDS states you need to be UK resident..?
     
  28. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Why woudl you go back country if weather was iffy?

    And if weather was iffy gates wouldn't be open.

    I get what you are concerned about but not sure if it is really an issue in Japan!
     
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  29. MickeyE

    MickeyE Hard Yards

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    I went with No worries. They cover unaccompanied off-piste & side country including OOB.
    Will not cover if using Heli, Cat, any kind of touring gear. Lift based skiing only.
    That suits my group which refuses to walk further than a few minutes.
    Cost was $230 for 17 days per person.
    AAMI sounds better coverage with fewer exclusions but based on past negative personal claims experience with AAMI (admittedly car not travel) have always viewed AAMI with deep suspicion. Interestingly a friend did have a recent AAMI non ski travel claim turned down only to have his credit card insurance (Chubb) accept.
     
  30. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Had this issue when living in the UK.

    Other is, if you are living in the UK and therefore take this out (as a backpacker like i was) repatriation is only to the UK. As that is your residence!

    A friend needed consular assistance. They would only help her return to Aust (Australian consulate) not the UK.

    The UK would help her as she wasn't a citizen.

    Be careful.
     
  31. nfip

    nfip Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Was thinking that the weather in Japow is generally shite.
    Jan - Feb that is.
    and when it's chucking down at it's best , and usually blowing , the goodies are definately on offer.
     
  32. nfip

    nfip Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    My questions to AAMI today ..

    >Can you please confirm that you do cover skiing in the back country i.e outside of the resort . ?
    >We will not be hiring a guide.
    >Do you cover for rescue ? and ambulance transport.?

    Advice as follows... ( don't think they realise you may likely not be in a position to make reverse charge phone call :rolleyes:)

    We can confirm that you are covered for Skiing and Snowboarding as long as you are not participating in any competition.

    In our travel insurance Product Disclosure Statement which you can read by clicking this link http://bit.ly/2sINT1z, on page 5 under the heading 'What to do if you require emergency assistance'
    "Please call us on +61 2 8987 1674 (we accept reverse charges through the international operator) at any time during your journey for emergency assistance with medical treatment including: Finding medical facilities and monitoring your
    medical care. Evacuation or repatriation – we will decide if evacuation or repatriation is appropriate. Direct payment of hospital bills to the hospital if your claim is approved. Contacting the issuer, when passports, travel documents or credit cards are lost.Rescheduling travel plans disrupted by an emergency if your travel agent is not available to assist.

    Take what you want from that .
    I'm still unsure how it would wash up if you couldn't make the phone call due to an emergency situation , incapacity or simply out of phone service area.
     
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  33. Whatever really

    Whatever really Addicted

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  34. Chillybin

    Chillybin Addicted

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    You can access backcountry without using or entering a resort. This is exactly how I’ll be spending he large majority of my month long trip in February. What s classed as “iffy” weather? Snowpack is the main concern. Obviously weather plays a part but it’s not the number 1 concern
     
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  35. pedub

    pedub One of Us

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    This is what I am referring to above.
    You don't need to be a UK resident, its a worldwide club and insurance is worldwide (with some limitations).
    Note: it only covers you for a maximum of 6 week trip I think.
     
  36. Stratus

    Stratus A Local

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    Just had a skim of the PDS...

    Cover is for membership year (calendar year) and includes mountain rescue and repatriation.
    *Cost is ~$90AUD / per year

    "Rescue" component is valid throughout the year in mostly any country.
    * From a snow sports perspective it just excludes competitive / professional.
    *They will cover only up to 25,000EUR per claim/incident.

    - "Repatriation" component is valid for the first 8 weeks of a journey.
    - If you are in Europe you also have some liability insurance included.
     
  37. pedub

    pedub One of Us

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    It also includes 10,000 EUR for medical costs after rescue

    How do these numbers compare to the other options?
    I realise a complex rescue may well cost more than 25,000 EUR.
    But I would think in most cases its enough or close to enough.
    Depends how much risk you can take and how much you want pay

    Anyone have experience in what mountain rescue can cost in Japan?
    I recall seeing a sign, perhaps at Rusutsu saying that it may cost 500,000 JPY if you need rescue OOB
     
  38. Stratus

    Stratus A Local

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    Some interesting stats here (though not skiing specific):
    http://ridgelineimages.com/musings/hiking-in-japan-why-insurance-matters/


    Average rescue cost: ¥398,000 ($3,500 USD)
    Highest single rescue cost: ¥3,300,000 ($29,100 USD)
    Highest multi rescue cost: ¥4,950,000 ($43,700 USD)


    (35k EUR is Y3.4M)
     
  39. pedub

    pedub One of Us

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    This is roughly what I expected to be honest. 25,000 EUR is a decent amount, its about $30,000 USD
    For $100/year......
     
  40. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I was on Otoe cats near Kamui last year and a Canadian guy hit a tree and smashed a knee. We got him down to the cat, it got him to a flat area where police, ambulance and fire brigade all were waiting. A heli with two rescue doctors arrived, they took him into the ambulance to get his boots and pants off and administer pain killers, then flew him to Furano hospital for scans and more meds. Diagnosis..no bones broken, every ligament damaged. Total bill, about $50 for the scans and pills.
     
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  41. pedub

    pedub One of Us

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    Was this by any chance on the run out to the cat from any of the runs?
    I found when I was there, sometimes Hans cut the track through some very tight trees and snowboarders all going last through them at much higher speeds they maybe he realised.
    So actually I also smashed my back knee on a tree getting between 2 tight ones, and then I told him to pick more friendly lines for us :) it was sore but didn't stop me that day
    It was so deep we couldn't take our own line on those runs outs
     
  42. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    No not the run out, but on a nice gladed section with a deep gully. He wasn’t a very quick turner, on skis, and it all got away from him. Really good experience helping Hans put his outback rescue skills to the test, forming a sled out of blue tarp, sewing him into it then sliding him gently down hill. Glad I was a helper, not the victim.
    Ok, back on topic. No cost for actual rescue that day.
     
  43. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Also the NZAC have an Aus chapter I believe, some climbers use that for insurance and may be worth a look.

    As per the other thread I use AAMI to supplement my non skiing annual policy.
     
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  44. Stratus

    Stratus A Local

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    Unfortunately it only covers Australians travelling in NZ.

    https://alpineclub.org.nz/living-in-australia/

    "
    Please note, this is travel insurance for travel to New Zealand only. Unfortunately we are currently unable to offer cover for trips to other worldwide destinations. "
     
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  45. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ahh ta.
     
  46. lowkey

    lowkey First Runs

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    AAMI no longer the pick, received this message upon enquiry:

    "We confirm that we cover on-piste skiing and snowboarding providing you are not skiing or snowboarding competitively.

    This means that any medical related expenses including evacuation, repatriation, search and rescue costs would be covered if you were skiing or snowboarding leisurely on-piste (on a standard groomed run that everyone can use).

    For example, if an avalanche occurred and you required search and rescue services or medical attention, that would be covered under our international travel insurance policy.

    We do not (no longer) provide cover for skiing or snowboarding off-piste (e.g; outside the resort), back country, side country or cat-skiing with a tour operator.

    I hope this provides you with some clarity on what we do and do not cover specifically in relation to skiing and snowboarding overseas."
     
  47. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yet they haven't changed their PDS!

    And no please do NOT bug them about this... hopefully it takes years for them to change it!
     
  48. SkiBeach

    SkiBeach Hard Yards

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    I emailed AAMI on 31st July (as I have done for the last 6 years) to check they still cover off-piste, backcountry, cat skiing, search and rescue etc etc and received a definite yes to all. I then purchased insurance on the 9th August. So as they are yet to change their PDS and I have 6 years of emailed confirmations from them I'm going to trust (yeah I know trust and insurance companies don't necessarily go together!) that they will cover us should something shitty happen.