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Date/Time: 07/16/2024 02:04PM
Evacuation insurance

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Previous Messages:
Author Message Text
Savage Voyageur 06/11/2024 09:45PM
I have the Garmin InReach Explorer plus unit, so I have the Garmin SAR 50 Search and Rescue Insurance plan. It is $29.95 for 12 months.
Jaywalker 06/11/2024 08:35PM
One little expense people might get hit with is post rescue gear recovery. While the FS Beavers, MN State Patrol or DNR helicopters, or county SAR canoes will likely not hand you a bill for getting you out of the wilderness, they do not rescue gear.


If you don’t have friends who will promptly go in and get it, you will have to hire someone. I’m thinking about the two recent threads showing canoes pinned in rapids near Little Indian Sioux.
Jaywalker 06/11/2024 08:31PM
ockycamper: "Just heard back from both Zoleo and Global Rescue. Expenses related to transport in a SAR incident are not covered by either one unless a separate policy is purchased….."
Can I suggest you go back and edit your first post on this thread so anyone finding this thread in the future not be mislead. Sometimes people don’t read to the bottom.
billconner 06/11/2024 06:44PM
ockycamper: "


That said, if it is not a medical emergency everything points to the possiblity of you being charged. i.e.: you lose your canoe and need transport out; you become lost through your own fault/activity; a bear ate all your food and you are several days paddle in."



As far as being transported out of the wilderness - like loosing canoe - that's all free courtesy of emergency services. True, once dropped at their base or an EP, you are on your own. They might give you a lift to your car. And if it's a result of you not being prepared or not smart, they'll probably give you a little grief, at which point you can give them a contribution - like 10 years of the $25 premium.
scotttimm 06/11/2024 03:35PM
BdubyaCA: "if I have an in-reach and a person in my group gets seriously injured and needs to be evacuated and I hit my SOS, but they're the ones riding away in the helicopter and/or ambulance, I'm assuming they get the bill and not me, right? Does any sort of bill make its way to me in that situation?"
Correct - I was never on the receiving end of any bills, nor contacted in any way.
BdubyaCA 06/11/2024 03:33PM
if I have an in-reach and a person in my group gets seriously injured and needs to be evacuated and I hit my SOS, but they're the ones riding away in the helicopter and/or ambulance, I'm assuming they get the bill and not me, right? Does any sort of bill make its way to me in that situation?
ockycamper 06/11/2024 01:54PM
I 100% agree with this trip report. EVERY camp should have a Zoleo/Spot/Garmin, etc. The kind with two way communication. Without the two way capability you can't talk to medical personnel until they arrive which may be too late.
scotttimm 06/11/2024 01:45PM
I appreciate the dig-in to the details on Zoleo coverage, thank you!
If anyone is interested in our full experience, you can read the trip report here.
ockycamper 06/11/2024 01:37PM
Just heard back from both Zoleo and Global Rescue. Expenses related to transport in a SAR incident are not covered by either one unless a separate policy is purchased.


I am on medicare. I also checked with them. They will cover ambulance and air transport from the point of incident to the closest care facility. . . .when medically necessary. That's the key.


After all of this I would agree with some of the other posts. In the US the extra insurance is probably not needed for boat/air/ambulance transport in medical emergencies.


That said, if it is not a medical emergency everything points to the possiblity of you being charged. i.e.: you lose your canoe and need transport out; you become lost through your own fault/activity; a bear ate all your food and you are several days paddle in.
ockycamper 06/11/2024 01:25PM
Here is what I received from Zoleo:


Ryan Holmes (ZOLEO )


Jun 11, 2024, 14:04 EDT


Hi Mark,

Thank you for reaching out to ZOLEO Support. We are proud to be partnered with Global Rescue, a leading provider of medical, security, evacuation, and travel risk management services.

Global Rescue's protocols are designed to help travelers and adventurers stay safe and secure while exploring the world. They have a team of experts who monitor global events and provide 24/7 assistance to their clients in case of emergencies.

Any ZOLEO SOS alerts are received by our 24/7 emergency dispatch partner Global Rescue, they dispatch the closest, most suitable emergency service for your emergency.

Global Rescue also offers its own insurance for users. You can view their offerings on the website that I linked above.

If you have any questions for Global Rescue about how they would handle any specific emergencies in your area or insurance inquiries, you can use this form to contact them with any inquiries you may have.





Still unclear. So I sent a message to Global Rescue. Will see what they say


That said, the features in the Zoleo subscription are in fact worth the money. Interactive medical advice alone is worth the monthly subscription plan to Zoleo
billconner 06/11/2024 01:15PM
Speaking for just adventures in US and CA:
I have read Garmin's "interactive sos and Garmin response team" and seems same as zoleo. Quite clearly the fine print from when I was Spot user made clear it was not insurance, but membership, and promised nothing except good wishes.


It's my belief that these are simple additional profit for the companies selling them, like extended warranties and service plans on cars, appliances, etc. I have never bought those either.


Give the money to local volunteer emergency services. And buy health insurance that will provide transport when medically necessary.


Be safe and wear your pfd!
ockycamper 06/11/2024 12:59PM
I read it several times and I am still unsure. As soon as I get a response back from Zoleo I will post it
Jaywalker 06/11/2024 12:56PM
ockycamper: "Double checked it and you are correct. I will send an email to Zoleo to find out


"

I was hoping I just missed it. It seems misleading the way they have it written with Global Rescue services being part of the plan.
ockycamper 06/11/2024 12:45PM
Double checked it and you are correct. I will send an email to Zoleo to find out


Jaywalker 06/11/2024 12:37PM
ockycamper: "From the site:



Yes, ZOLEO Global Rescue Insurance covers the subscriber:
Global Rescue
All active ZOLEO subscription plans include Global Rescue's 24/7 emergency response coordination services and SOS monitoring. Global Rescue's services are available in all countries and territories covered by the Iridium satellite network, as well as international areas, including oceans and international waters.
Medical Assist
ZOLEO subscribers also have access to the Medical Assist feature in the ZOLEO mobile app, which provides direct access to medical professionals for non-emergency help anywhere in the world. This service is included with the ZOLEO subscription fee and remains valid as long as the account is in good standing and fully paid."



I think one of the two of us is misunderstanding something here. I do not see the word insurance anywhere on the Zoleo website and the search function shows no results. There online AI assistant said “ While the communication with our emergency response coordination partner is covered in the monthly plan, please note that the expenses related to the search and rescue operations, such as helicopter rides, are not.”. “Global Rescue” is the name of the emergency coordination company, but they don’t actually do any rescue work, and they don’t cover any rescue costs that I can see.
ockycamper 06/11/2024 12:15PM
From the site:


Yes, ZOLEO Global Rescue Insurance covers the subscriber:
Global Rescue
All active ZOLEO subscription plans include Global Rescue's 24/7 emergency response coordination services and SOS monitoring. Global Rescue's services are available in all countries and territories covered by the Iridium satellite network, as well as international areas, including oceans and international waters.
Medical Assist
ZOLEO subscribers also have access to the Medical Assist feature in the ZOLEO mobile app, which provides direct access to medical professionals for non-emergency help anywhere in the world. This service is included with the ZOLEO subscription fee and remains valid as long as the account is in good standing and fully paid.
Jaywalker 06/11/2024 12:07PM
Two things to keep in mind regarding the Garmin insurance plans (there are two now, one regular risk and one high risk). First, each $40/year policy is on an individual - not the device. If you are with a group of 4 and you buy a $40 policy, it only covers the SAR costs for you - not the others in the group.


Secondly, the policy only works if you have a Garmin device with an active subscription, and that you use the device to initiate a rescue through their emergency response center. If by chance you have cell coverage and call 911, text someone at home who then calls 911, or if you hand signal an overhead plane, you will likely not be covered.


In Scotttimm’s frightening situation, I would expect but don’t know for certain) the Garmin insurance and possibly other SAR policies would not cover the cost of the medical helicopter because by the time you got to Lutsen you were no longer in the backcountry. It would certainly be a good idea before buying an SAR policy to check if it covers cost of getting out of backcountry (which in MN we typically do not get charged for anyway) or does it cover costs all the way to medical attention.
scotttimm 06/11/2024 12:00PM
ockycamper: "Zoleo includes insurance from Global Rescue with any of their plans. I keep my Zoleo active throughout the year which gives me communication access in areas I travel that do not have cellular. More then that, they have a Medical Assist feature where you can open up a chat for help determining how to deal with a situation, and if you really need Xfil.



Most two way PLB commuicators now either provide the insurance with the activation or at a minimal cost (SPOT was $12 when I was with them).



I can't understand trippers that spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on gear to go out in the BWCA but won't spend the small amount of money on a PLB/communicator or rescue insurance. Just skip the stop at McDonalds on the way up or the latte at starbucks and you are there!"



I have a Zoleo, used in this event...but my question is - does the insurance just cover the subscriber, or everyone in the party? I remember with my SPOTX, I had to add my son to the extra insurance...
ockycamper 06/11/2024 11:48AM
Zoleo includes insurance from Global Rescue with any of their plans. I keep my Zoleo active throughout the year which gives me communication access in areas I travel that do not have cellular. More then that, they have a Medical Assist feature where you can open up a chat for help determining how to deal with a situation, and if you really need Xfil.


Most two way PLB commuicators now either provide the insurance with the activation or at a minimal cost (SPOT was $12 when I was with them).


I can't understand trippers that spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on gear to go out in the BWCA but won't spend the small amount of money on a PLB/communicator or rescue insurance. Just skip the stop at McDonalds on the way up or the latte at starbucks and you are there!
scotttimm 06/11/2024 11:03AM
billconner: "scotttimm: "In case this adds to the discussion:




Last year a party member of ours had a seizure on Beth. While the evacuation via canoe with medical personnel did not have cost (planes could not get in due to wildire smoke, but my understanding is there is not a cost for float plane evac); she had another seizure on the paddle out, vitals were going in the wrong direction, and they brought a helicopter to take her from Lutsen to Duluth. There was a six month battle with her insurance company for that bill, which was $66,000. So...while I don't know that insurance makes sense 99% of the time - that $66k helicopter ride could be tough to cover."




Any reason to believe there wouldn't be the same battle with "evac" insurance? I believe the issue centers on "medical necessity"."



I'm not sure. It may be a battle either way. I know some of the back and forth regarding insurance coverage was how "necessary" the flight was, discussion of pre-existing condition (there was none), etc. As mentioned earlier...if someone was going in, knowing there was a chance their medical condition might necessitate evac...that would lead me to believe it would be a more involved dispute. Would throwing $40 at additional insurance make me feel better? It has, and I used it when my son and I did the Kruger Challenge. Will I purchase it for future trips? Probably not. I do remember crunching some numbers, and it was something like $2400/minute in the chopper. Lutsen to Duluth is not that far...I imagine something much further away would easily get to over $100k really quick.
deerfoot 06/11/2024 10:23AM
Garmin offers emergency evacuation insurance, a year of coverage for $40.00.
billconner 06/11/2024 06:15AM
scotttimm: "In case this adds to the discussion:



Last year a party member of ours had a seizure on Beth. While the evacuation via canoe with medical personnel did not have cost (planes could not get in due to wildire smoke, but my understanding is there is not a cost for float plane evac); she had another seizure on the paddle out, vitals were going in the wrong direction, and they brought a helicopter to take her from Lutsen to Duluth. There was a six month battle with her insurance company for that bill, which was $66,000. So...while I don't know that insurance makes sense 99% of the time - that $66k helicopter ride could be tough to cover."



Any reason to believe there wouldn't be the same battle with "evac" insurance? I believe the issue centers on "medical necessity".
quark2222 06/10/2024 08:30PM
May be a good thing for the USFS or SAR to clarify expenses so campers can make a wise choice about insurance in the event that something bad happens. Especially since it is such a rare occurrence and most people don't have a clue as to what the expenses may be in different situations. Is the injury due to an accident, or just being an idiot? Not sure how insurance would cover various circumstances.


Tom
scotttimm 06/10/2024 08:10PM
In case this adds to the discussion:


Last year a party member of ours had a seizure on Beth. While the evacuation via canoe with medical personnel did not have cost (planes could not get in due to wildire smoke, but my understanding is there is not a cost for float plane evac); she had another seizure on the paddle out, vitals were going in the wrong direction, and they brought a helicopter to take her from Lutsen to Duluth. There was a six month battle with her insurance company for that bill, which was $66,000. So...while I don't know that insurance makes sense 99% of the time - that $66k helicopter ride could be tough to cover.
billconner 06/10/2024 06:16PM
Goggle the question. In US and Canada, SAR is like any emergency service - funded by tax payers and donations. So from the road or wherever SAR takes you, your real question is will your health insurance cover the ambulance or helicopter. Mine will. Medicare and a supplement (not an advantage plan). That should be your first task, to determine if your health insurance will cover that. Then decide if one of these plans will. Reading the fine print, there are a whole lot of conditions to qualify for reimbursement.


I prefer to donate to the emergency services like volunteer fire departments who provide SAR and similar services.
jsmithxc 06/10/2024 12:58PM
I encountered a party of two were portaging off of LLC and heading out because one was having a flair up of a known medical condition. I inquired why he chose to enter the wilderness knowing it could get serious. His response was that a helicopter could come and get him. Not sure if he had communication ability or not or if a helicopter could even land nearby. He was not worried at all. We carried his pack across the portage and he told us not to worry about him, again he said he would just call the helicopter!
ockycamper 06/10/2024 12:26PM
I am a Zoleo subscriber. Insurance is included as part of their package. When I have a Spot I took out the SAR rescue insurance. It was only $12 and covered ambulance, helicopter, and all expenses up to and through arriving at the hosital.


When people say "its free and not needed" they are talking about getting you to a road where the ambulance is waiting. You are on the hook for the ambulance, and the air medivac after that. The SAR insurance will pick up here where you health care insurance does not.


One wrinkle that people don't realize is that there are often caveats for "why" the rescut was necessary. Heart attack? Broken leg? Severe medical situation? Probably no cost. Wind came up and blew your canoe away and you need someone to come and get you? Could be a different story,


The cost of the insurance is cheaper then the big mack meal you will eat on the way up. I can't understand people who expect others (tax payers) to pick up the bill
billconner 06/10/2024 05:43AM
It's been discussed here a number of times. In Canada and US, I think it very unlikely it would ever be necessary. It only gets you out of wilderness where an ambulance or other can transport you and doesn't cover from that point. There's a few places - Colorado and New Hampshire at least - where they'll charge you if you were not prepared. I don't think New Hampshire has collected even one time. Pure waste of money IMHO.
Lake Lover 06/09/2024 10:54PM
Hello,
Does anyone purchase evacuation /rescue insurance ? If so, through what company? Approximate cost? Anyone have experience using a policy or not having a policy and regretting not having it?

Thanks for your information!