Before you roll your eyes and sigh, thinking this is another boring insurance article, give me a chance. To be perfectly honest, I was one of those people who never gave much thought to travel insurance. In fact, during my first trip around the world, the only reason why I took out a plan was because it was a mandatory requirement for visa applications.
At that time, I admit to taking out the cheapest plan possible, without giving much afterthought to what it actually covered. This was up until I found myself getting rushed to the Emergency room in an ambulance in Vietnam due to multiple lacerations in my arm and hands (more about this later).
Since that accident, insurance has become more than just a haphazard thought and because we travel for a living, we’ve sought out the best insurance provider out there (trust us, we’ve compared a few) which is what led us to World Nomads Travel Insurance.
- Why Trust Our Travel Insurance Recommendation?
- World Nomads Travel Insurance: Why They are the Best
- World Nomads Travel Insurance Coverage
- How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost
- World Nomads Travel Insurance Reviews and Why We Love Them
- Tips on Making Travel Insurance Claims
Why Trust Our Travel Insurance Recommendation?
Before I get started, why trust us? Both my partner Tom and I have been traveling continuously for over four years now. As we run an adventure travel website, naturally, we’re inclined to do some pretty crazy stuff. Scuba diving with sharks, check. Paragliding over an exploding volcano, check. Epic motorcycle trips, check.
Given all the crazy stuff that we do for “work”, getting good coverage is priority number one for us which is why we’ve spent a lot of time and resources into really comparing insurance plans. Please know that we are not getting paid to write this article- nor are we getting paid to promote them. They are a brand whose services we just happen to really like and trust.
World Nomads Travel Insurance: Why They are the Best
The best thing about World Nomads Travel Insurance is the fact that it was built by travelers for travelers. Unlike most insurance companies backed by large conglomerate companies, World Nomads was born out of a need to provide backpackers with a comprehensive enough plan that was easy and flexible.
Founder, Simon Monk took out a year-long plan, expecting to be back home by the end of his insurance coverage. Due to unforeseen circumstances, he found himself a year later in China, with no means to get any sort of extension to his current plan. For us, all great companies are born out of a problem or need which is why World Nomads terms and coverages are very pro-traveler and not just a sneaky money making scheme like most insurance companies.
World Nomads Credibility
Apart from being the trusted insurance provider of large companies like Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Intrepid, and Tour Rader, it is a large brand that is well known and well trusted. Like you, I don’t have unlimited money to spend and as travel insurance is such a large purchase, I want to make sure that I get good value for my money.
World Nomads Travel Insurance Coverage
So now that we’ve established how reputable (and awesome) World Nomads is, it’s time to actually delve into what an insurance plan with them actually covers. Contrary to popular belief, travel insurance doesn’t just cover you for accidents. To save you hours of reading, here is a quick summary of the World Nomads Travel Insurance coverage.
Medical emergencies is the most common uses of travel insurance. Apart from the actual hospital bills, any additional medical expense from evacuation, repatriation will also be covered. Depending on where you are from, World Nomads Travel Insurance has various plan coverages.
If you are from the US, for their most basic plan, they cover up to $100,000 for any medical emergencies and another $300,000 for any medical evacuation if in case you get into an accident that would need med evac. This means that if you break a leg while snowboarding (knock on wood), or find yourself injured while hiking in the middle of the woods with no way to get back, they will cover the expenses to get you to the nearest (or best) medical treatment facility.
In Europe, helicopter evacuations start at around $20,000. Unless you are super loaded, forking out that kind of money is just not feasible. We’ve all seen and heard of those Go Fund Me pages with people who get into accidents while abroad. Don’t be one of those people and put your friends and family in a tough financial situation.
Apart from the medical evacuation coverage, you also are covered for these key features:
- Emergency Dental
- Return of Minors (If you are hospitalized for more than 7 days, minors traveling with you will be flown home)
- Repatriation (double knock on wood-but if anything does happen to you, your remains will be flown back home to your family)
Trip Cancellation, Delay or Interruption.
World Nomads will reimburse you for any prepaid, non-refundable cancellation charges if you ever have to cancel your trip due to sickness or accidental injury. At the same time, they will also pay if you ever have to cut a trip short due to any type of accident, injury, or the death of a family member.
I vaguely remember meeting this girl in a hostel in Laos who had to fly back to Brazil because her mom got into a car accident and was on life support. She had just started her trip and barely had any money to afford the $2000 ticket back to South America as she was planning to work and travel in Asia as a yoga teacher.
Bottom line, if something happens to you, a travel companion, or any family member, World Nomads has your back. Although not as extreme, I’ve lost money on canceled trips due to bad weather. Flights were all canceled or delayed and there was no way for me to get to my destination. I lost out on my hotel bookings which I couldn’t cancel and missed out on a few work opportunities.
Although not as extreme, during my pre-insurance days, I’ve lost money on canceled trips due to bad weather. Flights were all canceled or delayed and there was no way for me to get to my destination. I lost out on my hotel bookings which I couldn’t cancel and missed out on a few work opportunities. I’ve also been in a position where I missed my connecting flight due to a flight delay.
As I booked a budget airline (damn my thrifty-ness!), they wouldn’t cover my flight re-booking fees. This too caused me an arm and a leg. While medical accidents are not as common, travel delays and curtailments are.
Baggage Delays, Theft, and Loss
One of the awesome things about World Nomads is their coverage for baggage loss, delays, or even theft (they even cover sporting equipment like surf boards, etc.) For their basic plans, they have a maximum coverage of $500 per item while their explorer plan covers up to $1500 per item.
If your bag is delayed for more than 12 hours, you can get reimbursed for up to $750. If you are held up in gun point while in the streets of South America, don’t fret, whatever you loose, World Nomads is likely to cover it.
Adventure Sports and Activities
Last but not the least, one of the things that makes World Nomads so unique is their coverage for adventure sports. The very first insurance that I got during my first around the world trip didn’t even cover snorkeling. I mean, come on! World Nomads has a pretty comprehensive list of activities and sports that you might do during a trip, regardless if you’re an adventurous traveler like myself.
Everything from trekking, golf, abseiling, fruit picking (hah!), kayaking with a coverage to over 150+ activities. You name it, they probably cover it. While I know it is difficult to predict what you’re going to end up doing during a trip, you know your travel style so you can more or less check if things you enjoy doing like scuba diving, snorkeling, or rock climbing are covered in the plan that you take out.
Insider Tip: When getting out any type of insurance policy, remember to read the fine print. For example, one common misconception is as long as you have travel insurance, you are covered when driving scooters or motorbikes.
FACT: You are only covered if you have a valid motorcycle license from your home country. So even if the rental shops in Bali or Thailand allow you to rent and drive a motorbike without the necessary paperwork, it doesn’t mean that it’s okay to do it. Bottom line, as with any insurance company, ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT.
Another key feature that World Nomads Travel Insurance has is The One Call Assistance Services. Made up of a team of multi-lingual professionals who are available 24 hours a day to give help and advice. They will also help you locate physicians, dentists, or medical facilities and if needed, will even arrange and pay for transportation including an escort if required.
To summarize it for you, if you take out a World Nomads Travel Insurance plan, you will be covered for:
- Trip Cancellations
- Baggage Delays
- Trip Delays or Interruptions
- Medical Expenses
- Medical Evacuation
How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost
I won’t lie. Travel insurance is expensive. But compared to the thousands of dollars that you may need to potentially spend, it still isn’t much. Someone wise once told me (Hi mom!), if you can’t afford to pay for travel insurance then you shouldn’t travel at all. While I’m pretty sure she ripped that off from an insurance commercial or something, she is right.
Being a budget traveler, having to fork out $1000 or so is a big deal but trust me that if in case anything bad, $1000 is nothing compared to the hundreds of thousands in medical bills. While there is no fixed cost for travel insurance as a lot of it would depend on how long you are traveling for, where you are heading, as well as your country of origin, the best way would be to get a quick estimate using this widget below.
World Nomads Travel Insurance Reviews and Why We Love Them
Now I know that no matter how much I rave about this company, making a large purchase based on one person’s opinion is tough to do (especially if you’re taking a year-long trip!) To help ease your mind, why not take a look at what other people are saying about the company. You can check out a few travel insurance reviews on their Facebook page in order to get a better understanding of what you can expect from them.
I won’t lie, generally speaking, most insurance companies have bad reviews online due to the fact that most people don’t read the fine print. Get to know what exactly your plan covers and the proper way to file a claim. With insurance claims, the more thorough you are, the better.
For us, going with a company like World Nomads Travel Insurance makes sense due to the fact that they are one of the very few companies which allow you to purchase a policy even if you’re not in your home country. If you take a look at the screenshot below, those are images of when my partner Tom was taking out another policy while he was here in Bali for our upcoming tuk tuk race in Sri Lanka. Apart from booking your actual policy claims can also be done online!
Apart from that, the excellent coverage of adventure sports and activities make their policy one of the best and most competitive out there. To us, these two key features made them a good option.
Tips on Making Travel Insurance Claims
Photograph- Take photos of your items (if you are traveling with a lot of expensive gear (travel cameras, laptops, iPads, and the like, make sure you take photos of them including serial numbers. This will help you make claims in the long run
Document EVERYTHING- If anything is lost or delayed, get a statement from the airline. If something is stolen, get a police report. Travel insurance companies always need proof of receipt so they can justify reimbursing you. Yes, making travel insurance claims is a pain (it is with every company out there) but as long as you have the proper documents and paper work, the easier it can get.
Make Backups- If you are sending in doctors reports or any other important documents, make sure you make copies as things can get lost. As soon as you file a claim, keep spare copies for worse case scenarios.
Going back to my Vietnam ER story, after getting rushed to the ER in an ambulance because a glass shower door collapsed on me, I left the country with 21 stitches all over my hands and arms. I couldn’t pick up my backpack and had to stay in my friend’s place until I could fly back home to the Philippines. I
f I didn’t have insurance, the entire accident would have cost me over $5000. Luckily, I’ve never had to make a claim since apart from the annoying baggage delays and what not. Stealing another line from a bumper sticker, travel insurance is one of those things that you wish you never had to use but you would be glad to have if you need it.
Regardless if you decide to go with World Nomads or not, hopefully, if you got anything out of this review, it is the fact that getting travel insurance is a MUST and isn’t something that you should take lightly. Adios and safe travels!