There's a saying 'Better safe then sorry', and unfortunately, I was too lazy to follow that rule in the future.

I live in Central Europe, which gives me an opportunity for quick, few-days trips to many surrounding countries, such as Poland, Slovakia, Germany, Switzerland etc. As an EU-citizen I can expect free medical services in all EU countries, however rescue is not included, for example in Slovakia.

I've heard from some people met in mountains they've got some insurance valid in mountains in many countries, which should include medical and rescue services, however, I haven't noticed the name of that insurances.

Is there any general insurance policy, good for people, who travel to mountains many times a year, in many regions? It's probably cheapest to buy policy for a given trip, but if there are many short trips, it's simply eating too much time.

Are the travel policies included in credit cards any use in such cases?

  • 2
    Beware: You should not expect free medical services in all EU countries. If you are covered through a statutory healthcare or health insurance system and hold a European Health Insurance Card, what you can expect is coverage on a par with locals. In some countries (e.g. France), it can leave you with not completely insignificant copayments rather than completely free care.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 19:13
  • 1
    Now regarding your actual question, see travel.stackexchange.com/questions/57630/…
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 19:15
  • It would be good to know what type of sports you intend to practice in the mountains (hiking, climbing, via ferrata, ...)? However my answer (see below) is unlikely to change.
    – mts
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 19:27
  • This is far too broad. What insurance policies are available to you depends very much on where you live, and the details of insurance offered with credit cards differ dramatically between cards. Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 20:03
  • @DavidRicherby I disagree, this is not too broad at all, see my answer. Most credit card or other travel insurances exclude mountain sports (or even other sports) so that's not really an option to consider and there exists this neat solution that covers mountain sports worldwide, for anyone. Voted to leave open!
    – mts
    Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 9:01

1 Answer 1


The best I can recommend to you is to become a member of the German Alpine Club (Deutscher Alpenverein, DAV) or the Austrian Alpine Club (ÖAV, all links in German). Membership costs varies depending on the "Sektion" you choose to become a member of (you can choose freely and I know many people who choose one purely based on cost) but is in the range of EUR50 and comes with worldwide insurance for mountain sports (through ASS for the DAV).

@Relaxed suggests in this excellent answer that the ÖAV should be your first try, as they have a Britannia Sektion and some info in English as well as less restrictions in their terms and conditions. I second that advice! What you get is

  • Search and rescue costs up to € 25,000

  • Repatriation with no upper cost limit

  • Reimbursement of expenses due to hospitalisation after accidents occurring in the course of leisure activities or business as well as illness, up to € 10,000

  • Third party liability insurance within Europe for many sporting activities, up to € 3,000,000

  • Legal expenses insurance within Europe for many sporting activities, up to € 35,000

Here is a table comparing the cost of all the German sections (in German, you guessed it). You will want to look to the "A" column (full member) which you can sort. Currently it seems the "Alpenfreunde Euskirchen" are the cheapest at EUR40 annually. At first search I could not find a homepage for them so you might be happier at another, more internet-affine "Sektion".
In Austria the fees seem to be the same across sections and can be found here, currently you pay EUR61 per annum to be a full member, but they mention extra charges for members from abroad due to higher processing expenses.

  • 1
    (+1) The Austrian Alpine club is similar and insurance coverage seems a bit broader in some respects, see travel.stackexchange.com/questions/57630/…
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 19:16
  • @Relaxed thanks and +1 for your linked answer! As far as I know also the Italian CAI only offers insurance during club activities.
    – mts
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 19:21

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