Anybody knows what does the climber’s insurance covers?

For those who have climbed Mount Kinabalu before: Did you notice that you paid RM7 (USD2.15) for an insurance coverage?

And do you know what does the insurance covers? Against injuries? Bad weather? Cancellation?

It struck me yesterday when I received an email from one of our readers, Tan Boh Seng. She was asking about that insurance issue, and I personally did not realize it as an issue until she gave me her story.


I hope you can enlighten me on the insurance coverage which everyone has to pay to climb Mt Kinabalu. What does it cover?

Recently (about 1 week ago), my sister-in-law fractured her ankle on her way down from Summit to Sayat-Sayat. She has to pay RM100 for a porter to carry her down to Laban Rata and the following day she has to pay RM800 for 5 porters (taking turns) to carry her down (piggy back) to Timpohan from Laban Rata. Her ankle is now being treated in Kuala Lumpur and in cast.

She appears blur about the insurance coverage. I could not locate any FAQ on this topic. I would appreciate your kind feedback.

Thank you.

Tan Boh Seng

I could not answer her question at this moment, because I don’t have any clue. I replied to her about it, and will be searching for an answer in the next few days.

If you have any, just drop us your comment.

This entry was posted in Mount Kinabalu and tagged on by .

About drizad

A self employed General Practitioner who lives with his lovely family in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. He dedicates his spare time serving people with precious information on climbing the Majestic Mountain of the Borneo, Mt Kinabalu. Reachable at drizad(at)

7 thoughts on “Anybody knows what does the climber’s insurance covers?

  1. Wong Wai Yong

    Regarding the insurance of Mt Kinabalu, I may want to share my experience. Once, during my UMS trip, an Indian junior suffered of a disease where she couldn’t stand the cool, all her fingers and lips turn purple. Then, luckily, my mountain guide that time is Encik Jaldi Jaidi, he didn’t ask any payment from me at all, quickily from Sayat-sayat Hut to Timpohon, he and Encik Safrey Sumping take turn to carry her (on their back) to Timpohon, then the Kinabalu Park 4WD sent my junior to Ranau Hospital. I thought I need to pay, as I was the leader, but then Kinabalu Park said it is covered by the insurance…I m sad to hear Mr Tan BS case…

  2. Murphy

    me also blur blur. last time i asked at their counter whether it covered sickness, besides accident and death, they also blur blur.

    for this sort of no-money-making thing, sad to say that it will be if-u-don’t-ask-u-will-never-get-any. what Tan would need to do is to c the written terms n conditions of the insurance (since we pay, we have the right to know), c if the insurance covers the case, then act from there.

    u bring up a very good case. i don’t know if the park post the insurance terms on the notice board where every climbers can see. even though climbing Mt Kinabalu is very safe, consider the big number of climbers, there would be occasional cases of injury (touch wood!) every month n the park should be very experience in dealing with this claim n answering the question (i am surprised they don’t). i guess many climbers also don’t know the coverage.

  3. drizad Post author

    @ Murphy:

    “no-money-making”? I think there is somebody who is reaping the benefits of our hard earned RM7 for the insurance. Let’s calculate together on this issue.
    Let’s say that there are 170 people climbing Kinabalu in one day (i.e. 140 stay with SSL, another 30 stay with mountaintorq).

    170 x RM7 = RM1,190 per day.
    That would make RM1,190 x 30 = RM35,700 per month.
    Which will be RM1,190 x 356 = RM434,350 per year.

    So, climbers of Kinabalu pays nearly half a million ringgit a year to the insurance they do not know about…

    p/s: I wonder WHO gets the money? Sabah Park? SSL? Sabah State Government? Some big shots? Insurance company?

  4. Murphy

    what i meant “no-money-making” is when they have to pay compensation… everyone is forced 2 buy their insurance without knowing what is inside the PLAN. though it is not big money to me, i also need 2 know how well it can protect me.

    do not wish 4 a helicopter 2 come 2 rescue when we r injured badly on the mountain. last time i got a friend who climbed together with a few other tourists. one of them fell, the skin on the head broke n can c bone. what they did? they used porter 2 send her down for treatment, very very slack rescue method. now i dunno if they have improved (somehow i dun think they do).

  5. drizad Post author

    @ Murphy:

    I think they improved a bit – now they use 4 porters to carry injured climber down…

    With rising oil prices, I don’t think helicopter will be anywhere near Mt. Kinabalu anymore. Especially picking up some injured climbers.

  6. Murphy

    if they don’t offer helicopter to pick up badly injured climbers, they will pay probably 100 times more for insurance coverage, if the climber dies or become handicapped (touch wood!) due to delayed medical treatment.

    2nd thing – if the climber got bone fracture or serious bleeding, are they also going to transport the injured one with porters, over hours on bumpy trail? This might deteriorate the conditions (you know better than me). At the end, besides paying the insurance compensation, they would be sued for being negligent.

    I don’t really concern whether I got paid. How to “enjoy” the $$$ if I am death or handicapped? I more worry about their safety precautions in place. Life is precious.

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