The BMC Travel Insurance Review

The BMC Travel Insurance Review

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With the Brexit deadline almost upon us and the current coronavirus pandemic, choosing the right Travel Insurance have never been more essential. The wrong choice now could have disastrous repercussions if you have to claim whilst abroad.

Comparing numerous policy terms and conditions can be daunting as well as time consuming. Our independent rating and review highlights the important points we think you should know about when choosing your next travel insurance policy.

Once you have read this review of British Mountaineering Council and compared polices using our unique search facility, you will have all the information you need to make an informed choice.

Who are The BMC Travel Insurance

The British Mountaineering Council (BMC for short) was formed in 1944 as an organisation to represent the interests of climbers, walkers and mountaineers. As well as promotion of member interests, the BMC has two leading priorities, which are negotiatiing access to crags, mountains and the open countryside and conserving and safeguarding the environment. 

Membership is made up of individuals members, or affiliated club members. In a recent survey 21% of their members stated that access to travel insurance was the main reason for joining the BMC. 

The BMC Travel insurance is available in the form or a single trip or annual policy, which is split into five different categories, Travel (available as a single trip only policy) for those members that only require basic short term travel and are not participating in any sports. Trek cover for the first category, plus hill walking, terkking and backpacking up to 5,000m. Rock cover for the first two categories, plus rock climbing, bouldering and graded scrambling up to 5,000 metres.

Alpine and Ski, cover for the first three categories plus most types of skiing, climbing and mountaineering on most peaks up to 6,500 metres. High Altitude and Remote, covers all activities under the other categories plus all mountaineering and climbing activities, including extreme high altitude peaks anywhere in the world.

You must be a member to take advantage of the BMC's Travel Insurance. Individual annual membership starts at £33.95. 

How to Buy Travel Insurance from British Mountaineering Council

Click on the website link to go directly to the insurance providers website. Visit British Mountaineering Council's Website and Get a Quotation direct

How The BMC Travel Insurance 's Policies have been ranked using our star rating formula?

Click on the white bars on the right side of the policy boxes below. Expand the content to view star ratings of all policies offered by British Mountaineering Council.

Single Trip Policy Ratings Click to Expand

We have reviewed 1 Single Trip Policies from The BMC Travel Insurance. They are - Travel. We have rated these as follows:-

Rating for Single Trip Travel:

The BMC Single Trip Insurance Review

Backpacker Policy Ratings Click to Expand

found no policies available for this section.

The BMC Backpacker Insurance Review

Annual Policy Ratings Click to Expand

We have reviewed 1 Annual Policies from The BMC Travel Insurance. They are - Travel. We have rated these as follows:-

Rating for Annual Travel:

The BMC Annual Insurance Review

Longstay Policy Ratings Click to Expand

found no policies available for this section.

The BMC Longstay Insurance Review
  • Five star policies cover all Primary (core) sections and all Secondary sections under a travel policy.
  • Cancellation cover is above the level of the market average
  • Other Core Sections of cover are either at or above the levels of the market average.
  • Secondary sections of cover are either at or above the levels of the market average.
  • Five star policies provide additional cover benefits over and above standard policies.
  • Five star policies include scheduled airline and/or end supplier failure as standard.
  • Five star policies include natural catastrophe cover, either as standard, or as an option.
  • Premiums are the most competitive in relation to the cover provided.
  • Have clear and consumer friendly, policy wording and explanations of cover.
  • The alcohol exclusion is more customer friendly than the market average.
  • The standard excess is below the level of the market average.
  • Four star policies cover all Primary (core) sections and all Secondary sections under a travel policy.
  • Four star policies have cancellation cover at or above the market average.
  • Four star policies may have a maximum of one core and one secondary section, or two secondary sections of cover lower than the market average or the excess may be above the market average.
  • Four star policies may provide additional cover benefits.
  • Four star policies may not automatically include cover for scheduled airline or end supplier failure.
  • Premiums are competitive in relation to the cover provided.
  • Have clear and consumer friendly policy wording and explanations of cover.
  • Three star policies cover all Primary (core) Sections, but may not offer baggage and money cover as standard.
  • Three star policies have some core covers lower than the market average, or up to one secondary sections of cover missing.
  • Three star policies may have some secondary covers lower than the market average.
  • Three star policies may not provide scheduled airline/end supplier failure cover, or only offer it as an option.
  • The Insurer, may not provide quotations across the full range of scenarios tested.
  • The standard excess may be higher than the market average.
  • Two star policies generally provide cover that is below the market average and/or have Primary (core) and Secondary sections of cover missing from their policies.
  • Two star policies may not offer baggage/money cover.
  • Premiums tend to be much lower than the market average due to the low levels of cover provided.
  • The Standard Excess is higher than the market average.
  • The Insurer may not provide quotation across the full range of scenarios tested
  • Policy wordings may not be as consumer friendly as other Insurers

Key Points you need to know about British Mountaineering Council's policy wording

1. What is the age/classification of a child on the policy?

Children are under the age of 18 and normally resident with the insured adult.

Up to two children under the age of two travel free with an insured adult. 

2. What are the policy age limits?

The single trip and annual travel age limit is 80 years of age, with the exception of the Travel policy which restricts the age to 70.

3. What are the policy Trip Duration limits?

Trek, Rock, Alpine and Ski, and High Alt and Remote allow single trip and annual travel policies. The Travel category only allows single trip policies and excludes worldwide travel.

A single trip policy can be taken out for up to 364 days. Annual travel policies allow individual trips of up to 45 days for a maximum of 90 days in total per year. This can be increased to 60 days per trip and a maximum of 120 days in total, or 90 days per trip and a maximum of 180 days total, subject to payment of an additional premium.

4. What are the options for Winter Sports cover?

Cover only applies if you have chosen the Alpine & Ski or High Altitude and Remote Areas options. The policy covers ski equipment, loss of ski pack, piste closure and avalance or weather delay.

The policy covers over 25 different winter sport activities as standard, including off piste skiing with or without a guide. Note that snowboarding is not covered outside of Europe, unless you have specifically paid an additional premium to include it.

5. What is classed as a family and how many people can be quoted for?

A policy can be taken out by an individual, a couple who are married or living together at the same address and families consisting of two adult partners and their accompanying children.

6. What are the policy rules on reciprocal health agreements (EHIC, Medicare)?

The Eropean Health Insurance card, entitles you to reduce cost or free medical treatment whilst you are in the European Union or Switzerland.

If use of the card reduces a claim for medical expenses, the excess will be waived.

7. What is covered under Sports and Activities on the policy?

Sports and activities are split into the five categories, Travel designed for short term travel and not participating in any sports covers over 60 different leisure activities as standard.

Trek, covers all the Travel activities as well as hill walking, trekking and backpacking up to 5000 metres.

Rock covers the previous two categories plus Rock climbing, Abseiling bouldering and graded scrambling up to 5,000 metres. Note that rock climbs with crevassed approaches or descents or any snow or ice climbing is not covered.

Alpine and Ski covers all of the above plus most types of skiing, climbing and mountaineering up to 6500 metres. It covers all climbing in Europe and most peaks worldwide up to a maximum of 6500 metres. Also included are black water rafting and canoeing and kayaking up to grade 5.

High Altitude and Remote covers all activities under the other categories and all mountaineering and climbing activities, including expeditions to remote areas.

Whilst the policy excludes cover whilst carrying out any of the activities in a professional capacity, it is possible to include this cover (with the exception of personal liability) subject to payment of an additional premium.

This area of the policy is important, we recommend checking the policy carefully, to make sure you have the right category of cover for the activities you wish to take part in.

If you are searching for the policy booklet on the BMC website, they call it "Evidence of Cover".

8. What are the policy Alcohol Exclusion terms?

The policy excludes claims caused by you drinking too much alcohol. The BMC do not expect you to avoid alcohol on your trips abroad, but will not cover claims because you have drunk so much that your judgment is seriously affected and you need to make a claim as a result.

9. Does the policy cover Scheduled Airline Failure or Financial Failure?

Covered up to £2500  as standard.

10. Does the policy cover Pre-Existing Medical Conditions and can I get a quote online?

Pre existing medical conditions are excluded, but you can arrange to have them added, by phoning the medical screening line and answering questions about your condition.

Unfortnately there is no option to underwrite conditions online and if you do not delcare medical conditions, they will not be covered under the policy.

11. What are the policy rules on travelling when pregnant?

Claims for cancellation, curtailment and medical expenses relating to pregnancy are only covered if they are accompanied by complications arising as a direct result of pregnancy.

12. Will I be covered if I want to do Manual Work or Bar Work or other work while I am on holiday?

All policies cover Bar Work, Fruit Picking, Historical Research, Restaurant work, and non manual work e.g. office work or attending a conference.

13. What are the requirements, if I need to claim for lost, damaged or stolen baggage?

The policy states that receipts for items lost, stolen or damaged must be retained to help substantiate any claim.

14. What does the policy cover in the event of war, terrorism or cyber attack?

War is excluded under the policy. Terrorism is also excluded with the exception of claims for emergency medical expenses, hospital inconvenience benefit and personal accident cover.

15. Does the policy cover natural disaster or catastrophe before and during my holiday?

The policy covers reasonable additional accommodation and travel expenses incurred as a result of a catastrophe.

16. Do I have to be a UK resident to be covered under this policy?

This insurance is only available to residents of the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland.

British Mountaineering Council's Mystery Shopping Ratings

That's Insurance have spent some time mystery shopping on british-mountaineering-council-travel-insurance-review's website. The policy wording, website, customer service/buying process have been carefully reviewed and each section awarded a user friendly score, which you can see below.

Policy wording - Marks are awarded for Layout, Readability ,Terminology, Communication and Appropriate information.

Website - Marks are awarded for Layout/Navigation, Access to important information e.g. policy wordings, Clear Explanation/Comparison of policies, including limitations, Frequently asked questions.

Customer Service – Marks are awarded for the Buying process, Customer Service, Clear Quotations, Access to important information/Comparison of quotes.

The scores have been calculated as an overall percentage and shown on the three gauges. You can see how The BMC compares to the industry average. The higher the percentage the better the company performs in each area.

Policy Wording

(layout, readability, terminology)

Awaiting user friendly score

Website

(layout, navigation, access to information)

Awaiting user friendly score

Customer Service

(clear quotes, buying process, customer service)

Awaiting user friendly score

Pro's and Con's for The BMC Policies

We've highlighted Pro's and Cons for The BMC, click on the white bars on the right side of the boxes below. Expand the content to view pros and cons of all policies offered by British Mountaineering Council.

  • The Alpine and Ski covers a wide range of winter sport activities
  • Trek policy covers a wide range of walking and backpacking activities
  • Rock policy covers a wide range of climbing, abseiling and bouldering activities
  • If you are a serious climber or planning an extreme expedition, the High Altitude and Remote policy covers all types of activities
  • Professional activities can be covered as an option (excluding personal liability cover)
  • End supplier insolvency and Catastrophe covered as standard
  • A great three star rated policy suitable for outdoors enthusiasts
  • No ability to underwrite pre existing medical conditions online. (Screening by phone is available)
  • The standard excess is high at £95.00

What Cover do The BMC policies offer.

We've listed below cover levels for policies offered by offered by To scroll through all policies, click on the arrows on the left and right of policy name section.

Policy Name Insurance Provider

  • PolicyName & Policy Type

    Travel

    Single Trip

    Travel

    Annual

Primary Cover toggle

  • Policy Excess
    Policy Excess

    95

    95

  • Medical Expenses
    Medical Expenses Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    10,000,000

    10,000,000

  • Cancellation
    Cancellation Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    5,000

    5,000

  • Curtailment
    Curtailment Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

  • Personal Accident
    Personal Accident Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    10,000

    10,000

  • Baggage
    Baggage Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    2,500

    2,500

  • Single Article Limit
    Single Article Limit Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    500

    500

  • Valuables Limit
    Valuables Limit Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    500

    500

  • Personal Money
    Personal Money Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    750

    750

  • Personal Liability
    Personal Liability Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    2,000,000

    2,000,000

  • Legal Expenses
    Legal Expenses Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    50,000

    50,000

  • Travel Disruption
    Travel Disruption Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

  • Golf
    Golf Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

  • Scheduled Airline Failure
    Scheduled Airline Failure Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

  • Cash Limit
    Cash Limit Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

Secondary Cover toggle

  • Personal Accident
    Personal Accident Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    10,000

    10,000

  • Personal Money
    Personal Money Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    750

    750

  • Hospital Benefit
    Hospital Benefit Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    1,000

    1,000

  • Emergency Dental Treatment
    Emergency Dental Treatment Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    400

    400

  • Burial or Cremation
    Burial or Cremation Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    5,000

    5,000

  • Baggage Delay
    Baggage Delay Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    300

    300

  • Delayed Departure
    Delayed Departure Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    120

    120

  • Missed Departure
    Missed Departure Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    1,000

    1,000

  • Kennel/Cattery
    Kennel/Cattery Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    200

    200

  • Hijack/Kidnap
    Hijack/Kidnap Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    2,500

    2,500

  • Financial Failure
    Financial Failure Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    2,500

    2,500

  • Natural Disaster
    Natural Disaster Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    1,000

    1,000

  • Withdrawal of Services
    Withdrawal of Services Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

  • Concierge Cover
    Concierge Cover Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

  • Gadget Cover
    Gadget Cover Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

  • Travel Disruption
    Travel Disruption Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

  • Wintersports
    Wintersports Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

  • Business
    Business Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

  • Cruise
    Cruise Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

  • Car and Home Excess
    Car and Home Excess Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

  • Search and Rescue
    Search and Rescue Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

  • Mugging
    Mugging Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    250

    250

  • Scheduled Airline Failure
    Scheduled Airline Failure Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

  • Cash Limit
    Cash Limit Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

Optional Cover toggle

  • Kennel/Cattery
    Kennel/Cattery Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    Y

    Y

  • Financial Failure
    Financial Failure Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    Y

    Y

  • Natural Disaster
    Natural Disaster Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    Y

    Y

  • Concierge Cover
    Concierge Cover Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    N

    N

  • Gadget Cover
    Gadget Cover Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    N

    N

  • Travel Disruption
    Travel Disruption Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    N

    N

  • Golf
    Golf Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    N

    N

  • Wintersports
    Wintersports Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    Y

    Y

  • Business
    Business Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    N

    N

  • Wedding
    Wedding Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    N

    N

  • Cruise
    Cruise Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    N

    N

  • Car and Home Excess
    Car and Home Excess Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    N

    N

  • Search and Rescue
    Search and Rescue Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    Y

    Y

  • Mugging
    Mugging Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    Y

    Y

Sample Quotes from British Mountaineering Council.

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