The world of insurance is not a fun one. It is possibly one of the most boring things you could ever have to deal with.
A little more fun than regular insurance, however, is travel insurance. That’s usually because taking out a travel insurance policy usually goes hand in hand with planning a vacation or some other adventure… and that is awesome.
No doubt you’ve heard of World Nomads.
We like this travel insurance company a lot, but if you don’t know anything about them, you should know, first of all, that they are actually injecting some life and personality into the world of insurance.
But to help you figure out if World Nomads is right for you, we’ve put together this guide, running through what World Nomads covers, what it doesn’t cover, who it’s perfect for, and crucially, why we like it!
What is World Nomads?
World Nomads is a well-known travel insurance provider. But the best thing about these guys is that they are set up for travelers like you!
They bill themselves as being “simple and flexible,” which is perfect for when you’re on the road, making spontaneous decisions and generally having the best time ever. Specifically, this remarkable travel insurance company is geared towards backpackers.
World Nomads is travel insurance for people who want to get out and see the world, off the beaten track, and hike in all the mountains, swim in all the seas, and take all the opportunities they can to basically have an awesome time.
Sound like you?
Then World Nomads just might be the coverage you are looking for. In fact, World Nomads is already a favorite of many world travelers out there and even has the accolade of being a recommended partner of Lonely Planet.
The company began life in 2002 and is made up of a team of “global citizens” obsessed with travel. The mindset behind World Nomads is that travel is a way of life, so they have created an insurance company that works for people who want to keep traveling without having to worry or compromise.
What Does World Nomads Cover?
Generally speaking, World Nomads covers a lot. In fact, it is good for 151 countries and designed to help you travel seamlessly from one country to another without having to renew or change your plan.
Here are just a few of the things that World Nomads is going to cover you for…
Overseas medical expenses
One big thing that World Nomads covers is emergency medical. If you have a big thing happen to when you’re away from your home country – whether that’s an illness or a serious injury – you will have access to round the clock medical support.
That means you will be able to talk to a real human being (multi-lingual assistants) who will guide you to the nearest hospital, help arrange transport, and help with on the spot payment to the hospital or clinic in question.
World Nomads doesn’t cover…
- Non-emergency treatments – i.e., things that can wait until you are safely at home, things that aren’t immediately threatening your health right now… Yeah, this is something that World Nomads will not cover.
- Injuries sustained when you are drunk or otherwise intoxicated.
- Or if you have certain pre-existing medical conditions.
Sometimes the worst does happen, and you have to unexpectedly cancel your trip. This is a major downer, as you have most likely saved up a bunch of money to pay for it in the first place. So you may be wondering if you can get it back.
You’ll be happy to note that World Nomads provides travel insurance policies that can cover some payments for travel that are lost due to unexpected cancellation. Valid reasons for cancellation (and stuff World Nomads will cover) are as follows…
- If you become ill before your already paid-for trip was due to begin.
- If somebody close to you has to be hospitalized or passes away, and you have to postpone your trip, you can get some payments back.
World Nomads cancellation policies will not cover you in the case of…
- Changing your mind. Sorry, but they just won’t be shelling out if you decide a round-the-world trip just isn’t for you.
- If your visa has been refused.
Something like an earthquake, volcanic eruption, tsunami, a flood, a huge typhoon. Something like that is going to shut down transport options and definitely won’t give you enough warning to make provisions to get out of the country.
If you’ve got a policy that covers natural disasters, it will actually vary depending on what country you’re in, but generally, the things that are covered are…
- Trip interruption
- Trip delay
- Medical expenses
- 24-hour medical assistance
Reasons why you won’t be covered in the case of a natural disaster range from hanging around to see what unfolds, not following your own or local government’s advice, or taking out the natural disaster policy after said natural disaster has already happened.
Ah, baggage. Precious baggage. This is a relatively important one as we know many people around the world – ourselves included – who travel for a living (and who live to travel) as photographers, videographers, YouTubers, or journalists.
The thing all these professions have in common is gear. Expensive items like cameras, laptops, and all the equipment and peripherals that go with them are super important for some peoples’ careers. If that’s you, you’ll be happy to note that World Nomads are sympathetic to you and your precious gear. *Note – Although World Nomads covers electronics it’s only to an extent, so if you are traveling with extensive and expensive gear it’s best to purchase a separate photographer’s insurance package.
You’ll be covered if…
- Your stuff has been stolen
- It’s been lost in transit
- Your baggage has been delayed
- It’s been damaged accidentally
- Or damaged by a carrier (baggage handler, etc.)
However, World Nomads will not be covering you for…
- Electronics in your checked-in baggage
- Important stuff left in an unlocked car
- “Mysterious” disappearances
- Theft of items which has not been reported to local authorities
Does World Nomads cover ski trips?
Since we love to snowboard a big question to us was whether World Nomads covers skiing and snowboarding. We were happy to see that skiing and boarding within resorts, terrain parks, heli-skiing & heli-boarding, snowmobiling, ice skating, and snow rafting are all covered!
Is Scuba Diving Covered by World Nomads?
We also love to scuba dive so a big question for us was whether scuba diving is covered by World Nomads or not. Thankfully World Nomads covers recreational scuba diving for qualified divers to 40 meters, Learn-to-dive courses or discover scuba dives, shark cage diving, cavern diving (up to 40 meters – an additional premium applies), snorkeling, island escapes, and live aboard trips.
Who is World Nomads Travel Insurance For?
Though it is, in general, a great insurance company – and though it may work for a lot of people out there, World Nomads is not necessarily going to be for everyone. So, let’s take a look at who will love this insurance the most, and who won’t be that interested in taking out a policy.
World Nomads is for you if…
- If you are a world traveler. Let’s face it – it’s in the name. World Nomads is definitely set up for people who love (and live) to travel, and who want to get the most out of traveling the world.
- If you are a digital nomad. Because digital nomads have flexible jobs are on the road for a long time, and often laden down with tablets, smartphones, and other fancy equipment, it totally makes sense to use World Nomads. Again, it’s in the name! Not only that, but if you aren’t going home anytime soon (often required to renew a lot of insurance policies) and need to renew your insurance, then World Nomads is fantastic.
- You are spontaneous. The fact that you can actually extend – or even start – your policy while you’re actually away means that anybody who likes to make spur of the moment decisions without having to jump through hoops to get an insurance policy started will appreciate World Nomads.
- You love to be active. World Nomads covers all sorts of activities – from jet-skiing and hot air ballooning to quad biking and horse riding, with tons of optional extras to add-on so you can select what you love to do and be covered for it. There are over 200 activities that World Nomads covers.
- You’re going on vacation. If you are going on a one-week trip to Italy or going to Japan for a couple of weeks to hit up Tokyo and Kyoto, then World Nomads offers quick policies that can be purchased online for a one day duration to one week, to one month!
World Nomads isn’t for you if…
- You’re traveling long term. I looked at World Nomads when I did three years of non stop travel and decided against it. While World Nomads is great for people on a shorter trip it acutally would be really expensive insurance to have for years on end.
- You’re over 70. There are actually age limits on many of the policies offered by World Nomads: the highest that many of the policies go to is 70. So if you are an older nomad doing some traveling in your retirement, World Nomads may not be for you. However… World Nomads say they are looking to get coverage for over-70s in the future, so watch this space.
- You want to go somewhere with “extreme risk.” Feel like an epic trip to Pakistan? Not with World Nomads. There are 195 countries in the world, and World Nomads, though it covers many of them, does not cover them all. It covers 151. Specifically, they will not cover countries that your country’s government warns against “all” or “all but essential” travel to.
How Much Does World Nomads Cost?
It depends on many factors. It varies depending on what country you’re from, where you will be traveling to, what you want covered, whether you’re pregnant, have a specific pre-existing medical condition, what activities you want to get up to, and how long you want the policy to be.
I have actually found World Nomads to be one of the most expensive travel insurance options out there, but this is because they cover so many extra things like baggage and theft while other insurance providers usually just provide health insurance. SafetyWings is another insurance provider we have used, you can find the full review of them here.
However, World Nomads does offer two different types of policies. A Standard Plan and an Explorer Plan. Each has different benefits of limits cover. The Explorer Plan has more benefits and higher medical coverage, but it’s also more expensive. You’ll need to choose which one you want before your trip as you can’t change policies mid trip.
Why we Like World Nomads
Sure, it’s great, but why exactly do we like it so much? Let’s run through a few of the strong points of World Nomads that really stand out for us…
Easy to use website
Their website is simple. It’s not just some formulaic, business-minded, corporate site that’s super boring.
Instead, it actually feels like it’s on par with world travelers and understands what people need: simple navigation leading you to where you need to be within minutes. It’s clear and never feels like it’s trying to trick you with confusing words and jargon.
Plus, the site itself is a wealth of travel information! There are travel phrasebooks for local languages, as well as safety guides to different locales, plus tips and inside information for cool things to do in various destinations around the world. It’s all kept up-to-date by a load of writers based around the world, which is cool.
Focus on responsible tourism
World Nomads, like us, are totally not about things that exploit local communities or wildlife. We have seen enough “zoos” on our travels to know that these are not the places to see animals.
They also believe in creating a positive impact with the money they spend, and put their money where their mouth is with their own Footprints organization.
What is Footprints?
Well, when you take out a travel insurance policy with World Nomads, they take a little bit of your money and give it to reputable NGOs and charities. In fact, these guys have so far funded 247 community developments – from turtle sanctuaries to village water schemes.
Simply put, it’s World Nomads’ specialty that we like the most: the fact that you can pick up and renew travel insurance on the road.
Flying home just to take out extra travel insurance is super costly. Even if you’ve got the money, taking the momentum out of a trip or cutting a circuit of the world short just because you’re lacking in insurance is so not what traveling the world is about!
With World Nomads, you don’t have to do that and can do everything you need to from your computer. And we like that. A lot.
Final thoughts on World Nomads
Insurance can be confusing and super limited. But for anybody thinking of traveling through multiple countries and getting involved in a ton of activities – or for people who are on the road long term – World Nomads definitely provides a solution to that problem.
Flexible, transparent, and pretty affordable, being able to make spontaneous decisions with your travel plans – while staying covered in case something happens – is made super easy with World Nomads. It may not be for everyone, but it sure is for us.
Should You Buy Travel Insurance?
Although travel insurance is an additional expense to traveling (which can already get expensive), in my opinion no one should travel without insurance. Like anything in life you never know when something could go wrong. God forbid you get in a motorcycle accident, a volcano erupts on the island you’re staying on, or a war breaks out in the country you are in. Of course, most trips go on unscathed, but there’s always that chance.
We’ve been traveling since 2011. We’ve spent more than five years of our life on the road, and have never had to make a claim on travel insurance. BUT we still have it for those just in case times. Travel insurance is there in case something goes wrong when you are away from home.