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Utah Launches Search and Rescue Insurance Type Program

Utah Launches Search and Rescue Insurance Type Program
June 05
14:36 2017

Outdoor enthusiasts in Utah can now buy search-and-rescue insurance through the state.

The Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation announced the Utah Search and Rescue Assistance card program last week. Proceeds from the USARA card will fund training for search-and-rescue volunteers and maintenance costs for emergency vehicles and equipment.

Every year, more than 1,400 people require rescue by Utah crews. 63% of those people are rescued in counties where they do not live.

The card doesn’t replace medical insurance; card-holders are still responsible for all medical costs following a rescue.

People with a policy will only be charged for the often-steep costs of a rescue if they have been extremely reckless or negligent in their actions.

Joe Dougherty with the Department of Public Safety said, “It’s not hard for a search to get up to $10,000, especially if you’re deploying helicopters.”

An individual can purchase coverage for $25 a year; $35 will cover a family.

Usually, after a search, counties charge those they rescue, absorb the costs itself or request reimbursement from the state.

The state has generally reimbursed tourist-rich counties with small tax breaks for search-and-rescue costs.

 

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