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Does it cost to hit the SOS button??
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Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Sea Sick on 09/30/2013 14:32:51 MDT Print View

A long time ago a friend of mine was pissed when he was on my little sailboat out on SF Bay and I didn't have a VHS radio to contact the Coast Guard. He was sea sick and it was going to take us a lot longer than planned to get back to dock as the engine (outboard) wouldn't start. I informed him that although it was a big deal to him personally it wasn't an emergency worthy of contacting the Coast Guard (he was trying to get a passing boat's attention in an attempt to get them to contact the Coast Guard). When he did finally get someone's attention I explained the situation to them and they offered to tow us in. They were going to the same marina we were anyway.

This is just another example of something that an inexperienced person thought of as an emergency that the "rest of us" knew wasn't.

Edited by Hitech on 09/30/2013 15:33:45 MDT.

Don Morris
(hikermor) - F
Seasic (sic!) on 09/30/2013 15:30:41 MDT Print View

Transferring from a sailing vessel to a powerboat is likely to exacerbate sea sickness. I don't recall ever getting sea sick on a sailboat.

Just toss your cookies and get on with it.

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: bigger question on 10/01/2013 07:09:40 MDT Print View

I for sure just spent 15 minutes trying to find that airplane in google maps satellite view - with no success... alas. Can you tell I don't want to start the workday yet?!?

costs on 10/12/2013 11:51:08 MDT Print View

My brother recieved a $500,000 bill for a helicopter medivac for his wife to a hospital in a big city. (not a rescue , medical emergency)

He called them up and said, "look, I dont have $500,000".

They asked "did the patient die" He said "yes".

"OK, we will write it off. Thanks."

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: costs on 10/12/2013 12:13:58 MDT Print View

In some areas you can buy rescue insurance for a small cost. I believe you can buy that in Colorado... maybe other places too, but I have not heard of it in CA.

Also. I have heard that if you have medical insurance they may pay for part of all of the cost of evacuation... sort of like ambulance costs. And the cost of the helicopter is often the greatest expense if it is a private company that was used.

Also. If you are a member of the American Alpine Club, they include some rescue insurance with the cost of membership... I think it is 75.00/yr. There are some restrictions on what they will cover so read the fine print.

Bill D.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: rescue insurance on 10/12/2013 17:35:54 MDT Print View

I'm working on a rescue insurance article for BPL, which might be published early next year. Judging from my early work, the whole area is incredibly complex.

Keep those stories and pointers coming!

-- Rex

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Re: rescue insurance on 10/12/2013 17:39:31 MDT Print View

to use the adjective 'complex' for insurance is redundant, me thinks.

Bill d.

. .
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
... on 10/13/2013 08:14:33 MDT Print View


Edited by RogerDodger on 06/24/2015 11:57:24 MDT.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Re: Does it cost to hit the SOS button?? on 10/13/2013 09:19:04 MDT Print View

I wonder if an organization with as many members as BPL could get an insurance company to offer a rescue insurance package tailored to our needs? Similar to what is offered in Colorado, but for all states?

Second thought: well, it appears what I was thinking of in Colorado is not actually rescue insurance exactly:

In any event, I sill wonder if an organization could be formed to get a good deal from an insurance company for rescue insurance? Something like the American Alpine Club offers:

I mean, BPL people are generally not out climbing mountains like American Alpine Club memembers so there should be less risk, right? Less risk should = lower cost right?

Global Rescue provides the package to American Alpine Club. They are in the business of offering rescue insurance. Perhaps approach them about a good deal for BPL members?

Just brain storming... no knives and daggers my way... please?

Bill D.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: rescue insurance on 10/14/2013 21:36:44 MDT Print View


I have the same rescue insurance policy as John Muir had.

You're all kidding, right?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Does it cost to hit the SOS button?? on 10/14/2013 21:51:03 MDT Print View

"Global Rescue provides the package to American Alpine Club" -

Global Rescue's Individual plan:
"Medical evacuations from anywhere in the world to your choice of home-country hospital, any time you are more than 160 miles from home and need hospitalization..." [emphasis added]

80% of my trail time is close to home. A policy like this doesn't really do much for $339 a year.

For a policy without a distance restriction you need to bump up to about $600 a year.

Edited by greg23 on 10/14/2013 21:55:11 MDT.

Mike In Socal
(rcmike) - MLife

Locale: California
Spot GEOS Search and Rescue on 10/15/2013 10:27:27 MDT Print View

GEOS provides the SOS monitoring for the Spot basic service. You can upgrade to the GEOS Member Benefit for reimbursement of up to $100k of SAR expenses. It's $17.95/year and provides GLOBAL coverage except for "six places" like Afghanistan.

Marc Kokosky
(mak52580) - F

Locale: Washington, DC Area
Billing on 10/18/2013 10:22:39 MDT Print View

Just tell them that they already did bill you... last April 15.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Billing on 10/18/2013 11:12:25 MDT Print View

You're assuming it's the government sending you the bill.
May times it's and independent helicopter owner trying to make a living.
They have real fuel costs and labor cost of the pilot and them hellos don't grow on trees... the cost some bucks

Bill D

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Spot GEOS Search and Rescue on 10/18/2013 11:22:00 MDT Print View

Some of the GEOS Exclusions -

This Insurance excludes claims, arising from, or contributed to, by any of the following:
• to obtain medical treatment;
• Any sickness medical or mental condition, injury, illness, chronic or recurring disease suffered or the undergoing of any planned or recommended medical procedure of a Member of the Assured which the Member knew about or, in the Underwriter's reasonable opinion should have known about at the commencement date of such Member's membership with the Assured.
• time trials and/or record attempts;
• Willful exposure to danger except in an attempt to save human life.
• Inadequate provision or training or competence needed to safely complete the trip being undertaken.
• A decision not to travel and/or to not continue to travel
• Any cause, which existed, had started or had been forecast or for which advance warning had been given before the trip being undertaken had commenced.

If you have a diagnosed issue or predisposition, this policy isn't for you.
If you ignore impending storms, this policy isn't for you.
If you are a "risk taker", willfully exposing yourself to danger, this policy isn't for you.

I cannot find any reference to a "distance limitation" - no coverage if you are within say 100 miles of home. I have sent a email asking if it exists.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Rescue Insurance for Backpackers article posted on 01/10/2014 21:06:04 MST Print View

Rescue Insurance for Backpackers was posted a few days ago.

@RogerDodger: I got no reply to my polite inquiry to the Riverside County Sheriff's office for more information on rescues and costs.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread, which helped me with the article.

-- Rex

Brian Mix
(Aggro) - MLife

Locale: Western slope, Sierra Nevada
Re: Rescue Insurance on 01/12/2014 13:07:30 MST Print View

Not sure if this was mentioned but CalStar offers a membership...

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Spot GEOS Search and Rescue on 01/12/2014 14:00:45 MST Print View

> Some of the GEOS Exclusions -
> This Insurance excludes claims, arising from, or contributed to, by any of the
> following:
> • to obtain medical treatment;

I broke a leg and needed medical treatment for it. Does this mean my claim is excluded?

> • Inadequate provision or training or competence needed to safely complete the trip being undertaken.

I could not complete my trip due to a freak storm (or whatever). Does this mean I lacked competence (or whatever)?

Not sure the exclusions don't exclude EVERYTHING.

PS: here in Oz a genuine medical evacuation is always covered.

wiiawiwb wiiawiwb
(wiiawiwb) - F
It shouldn't on 01/22/2014 17:41:21 MST Print View

I would be livid if I got a bill for services. I'd only hit the switch if I felt my life was imperiled.

Do those who call 911 and complain that the local fast-food store is out of chicken mcnuggets get billed?

Does the drunk who runs off the road and hits a tree get billed for the medical services performed at the scene?

Does the confused woman who thinks a forceful breeze is really someone following her get billed when she summons 911?

It's perfectly OK for urban and suburban freaks to summon 911 without fear of financial reprisal regardless of their behavior. Why then should a hiker be billed for his or her calling SAR?

Edited by wiiawiwb on 01/23/2014 02:58:08 MST.