World Nomads Travel Insurance Coverage Review – Is It Worth It?

Female hiking

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Spending money on insurance to protect our assets is painful. Whether it’s home, auto, liability, or even business insurance, we rarely receive anything in return besides the peace of mind of knowing we’re covered if something should go wrong.

Travel insurance is different — things frequently go wrong. Whether it’s a flight cancellation, missed connection, weather delay, lost baggage, or other incident, chances are you’ve personally experienced some sort of disruption during your travels.

Perhaps you’ve even had to cancel a trip because you, or an immediate family member, became ill or had a fear of getting ill, during your travels.

It’s not difficult to find a reason to purchase coverage for your travels, but finding the right travel insurance policy for your specific needs can be a challenge.

Today we’re going to look at an organization that is operated by travelers just like us. It’s a company that knows the types of coverage travelers need and partners with highly-rated insurance companies to provide those coverages.

In this regard, World Nomads travel insurance is unique in the travel insurance marketplace. We’re taking the time today to invite you to learn more about the products and services it offers and why you’d want to consider the company when it’s time to purchase coverage for your next trip.

What Is World Nomads?

World Nomads is not an insurance company, but you could say that they’re better than an insurance company. World Nomads is an organization based in Australia that offers travel insurance options throughout the world and also gives back to local communities. The organization is made up of travelers, for travelers, so you’ll also find a group of storytellers who additionally provide downloadable guides, recommendations, scholarships, and other travel resources.

The travel insurance offered by World Nomads is underwritten in the U.S. by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and the company’s affiliates. Nationwide is highly rated by insurance financial rating company A.M.Best and has been in business for 95 years, so you know you’ll be dealing with an established, financially sound company. Different insurance companies underwrite World Nomad policies depending on the country.

World Nomads specializes in providing essential travel insurance coverages but also includes coverage for 200 activities, many of which you might not find coverage for with other companies.

Bottom Line: World Nomads is an organization of travelers that provides travel insurance that is underwritten by different insurance companies throughout the world. The company offers a core group of essential coverages plus coverage for up to 200 specific activities that are automatically included in each of its plans. 

Plans and Coverages Offered by World Nomads

Woman walking on path
Image Credit: Nina Uhlíková

Travel insurance can cover a wide range of perils you might face during your travels. Here are the types of core coverages you can expect with the 2 plans World Nomads offers, the Standard plan (in the first column) and the Explorer plan (in the second column).

Medical and Emergency Dental Coverage

World Nomads Medical
World Nomads provides a variety of medical coverages including adventure activity injuries. Image Credit: World Nomads

Both plan options offered by World Nomads provide up to $100,000 for emergency medical expenses, $750 for emergency dental, and $500 if you should need to make a deposit for any hospital admission. If your major concern is having medical insurance while traveling, either plan would work for meeting that requirement.

Plus, whether you’re planning on taking a polar plunge, bungee jumping, or finally making that indoor skydive, you’ll be able to find coverage with World Nomads for up to 200 such activities. The list of covered activities varies by plan.

Additionally, while it appears pre-existing conditions are not covered, World Nomads states that “the pre-existing condition doesn’t apply if the problem is treated or controlled solely by the taking of prescription drugs.” There are other limitations that do apply.

Sports and Activities Coverage

One of the reasons World Nomads stands out in the travel insurance arena is its inclusion of coverage for activities that other companies exclude or for which there may be a surcharge. Here are some examples of the 200 activities that can be included depending on the plan chosen.

Standard PlanExplorer Plan — Includes All Activities on Standard Plan +
Glacier walkingRock climbing
Indoor skydivingSkiing/snowboarding via helicopter
Scuba divingShark cage diving
WindsurfingKickboxing
ZipliningSky diving
ParasailingMotor racing

Bottom Line: If you participate in adventure sports while traveling, World Nomads may have a plan that will cover you. 

Evacuation Coverage

World Nomads Evacuation
World Nomads offers robust evacuation coverage with either plan. Image Credit: World Nomads

Evacuation can be expensive, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing that if you’re injured and need to be evacuated, you could have that expense covered. While having $500,000 in coverage is nice to have, according to Travelex Insurance, an evacuation can cost $25,000 within the U.S., up to $100,000 from Europe and $250,000 from more remote locations. So, $300,000 coverage could be sufficient.

World Nomad plans also include evacuation due to civil or political unrest, natural disaster, or if you are expelled from a county. Of course, terms and conditions apply.

COVID-19 Coverage

World Nomads does not sell Cancel for Any Reason insurance, which can cover you if you decide, for any reason, to cancel your trip, even for fear of getting ill. The company does, however, offer some coverage for COVID-19 related illnesses.

The company offers this explanation of coverage: “Cancellations due to the fear of travel are not covered. Our medical coverage includes benefits for serious illnesses, such as COVID-19, or being placed under strict quarantine by a physician or government mandate, among other scenarios.”

You’ll find some coverage for COVID-19 illnesses within the medical, trip cancellation, and trip interruption coverages.

Bottom Line: You won’t be covered if you cancel your trip due to the fear of getting COVID-19. If you should get ill with the virus, prior to or during your travels, there may be trip cancellation, interruption, or medical coverage (during travel) available.

Trip Cancellation, Interruption, and Delay Coverage

World Nomads Trip Coverage
You have the option to select the level of trip cancellation, interruption, and delay coverages to cover your trip. Image Credit: World Nomads

When it comes to trip cancellation, interruption, and trip delay coverages, the 2 World Nomad policy plans offer very different coverage limits. You’ll want to select the level of coverage that is close to matching any expenses at risk should a covered loss occur prior to, or during, your trip.

Delayed, Lost, or Stolen Baggage and Personal Effects Coverage

World Nomads Baggage
Baggage and personal effects coverage limits differ based on the plan you select. Image Credit: World Nomads

If you’ll be carrying a lot of electronics with you, you’ll want to make sure to select the proper level of coverage, paying close attention to the per-item limit.

Rental Car Coverage

The Explorer plan comes with $35,000 for damage or theft to your rental car. However, World Nomads warns that the coverage may not be accepted by all rental car companies and that the coverage is not available to residents of all states.

Assistance Services

Make just 1 call, 24/7, to receive assistance with emergency transportation, referrals for medical facilities, dentists, and translation services.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment

Both policy plans offer a benefit for accidental loss of life or limb — $5,000 for the Standard plan and $10,000 for the Explorer plan.

Exclusions

With every insurance policy, there are exclusions. Here is a quick summary of losses that are not covered with World Nomads.

  • Pre-existing medical conditions that are not stabilized (terms apply)
  • Participating as an athlete in professional sports
  • War, insurrection
  • Participation in military exercises
  • Being under the influence of drugs or intoxicants, unless prescribed
  • Travel to pursue medical treatment

This is just an abbreviated summary of exclusions. Each coverage has its own list of excluded losses and items that are not covered. You’ll want to read your policy documents thoroughly to be aware of which losses/items are excluded.

Bottom Line: World Nomads offers 2 plans of essential coverages you’d potentially need while traveling. Each plan offers different limits for specific coverages; the greatest differences between plans are for emergency evacuation, baggage insurance, personal effects, and trip cancellation/interruption/delay coverages. If your greatest concern is having medical coverage, either plan could work to meet that requirement. 

How To Get a Quote

On the World Nomads website, you can easily secure a quote and obtain immediate coverage. You’ll need to input the countries you’ll be visiting, the dates of your trip, your country/state of residence, how many people are you insuring, and the age of the traveler(s). You will then have the option to view coverages and select the plan you wish to purchase.

Here is a quote for a single traveler, residing in California, age 35, traveling to Mexico for 1 week.

World Nomads Quote
World Nomads offers 2 package plans that allow you to select the level of coverage you need. Image Credit: World Nomads

Once you’re selected your preferred plan you can proceed to checkout, enter your personal and payment information, and receive coverage for the start date you requested.

After you receive your issued policy, you will have a 10-day period to review it and if you decide not to keep it, you will get a full refund.

How Does World Nomads Compare

While the cost of your policy will vary depending on the level of coverages selected, the length of your trip, the destinations, your age, and your place of residence, we did a quick comparison for similar coverage for a single traveler, age 35, traveling for 1 week in Mexico.

Compare World Nomads
Compare policies on InsureMyTrip.com, SquareMouth.com, and TravelInsurance.com Image Credit: InsureMyTrip

Above you’ll find the results for similar coverages, however, the medical coverage in our examples was just $50,000 compared to $100,000 with World Nomads. Also, John Hancock offers the additional option to purchase Cancel for Any Reason insurance (+$44) and both Berkshire Hathaway and Generali offer a waiver for pre-existing conditions if the policy is purchased within 14 to 15 days of the first trip deposit.

Bottom Line: In our limited sampling, World Nomads appears to deliver a competitive price with competitive core coverage offerings. Your results will vary based on your own criteria.

Filing a Claim

World Nomads walks you through submitting a claim with its simple 7-step process:

  1. Gather your documentation including receipts and invoices.
  2. Log in to your World Nomads account and select Make a Claim.
  3. Select the policy for which you’ll be making a claim; each event requires a new claim.
  4. Answer the questions relating to your claim.
  5. List your expenses supported by your receipts and invoices.
  6. Review your claim, summit, and expect an email confirmation.
  7. Follow up, communicate with the claims team via email, call 844-207-1930 (from the U.S./Canada), or 816-905-3963 from everywhere else in the world.

Remember to take pictures, file any police reports when necessary, and gather documents immediately after the event. It can be difficult to try to obtain supporting documentation once you’ve returned from your trip.

Hot Tip: Be sure to have your policy information with you when you travel, including all emergency phone numbers. Provide these numbers and policy information to any travel companions in case you are unable to make the call. You will be required to contact World Nomads to arrange any medical services and ensure coverage. 

Why We Like World Nomads Travel Insurance

There are a lot of reasons to consider World Nomads travel insurance.

Here are some of the pros:

  • The company was founded and is managed by travelers who understand the needs of travelers.
  • Obtaining a quote and getting immediate coverage is simple.
  • You can receive good value for the premium paid (prices will vary depending on your age, length of trip, destinations involved, level of coverages selected, and where you reside).
  • Up to 200 activities are included automatically without additional surcharges (the list differs by plan).
  • Coverage can be secured or renewed while you’re traveling.

The plans offered by World Nomads are perfect for healthy, active travelers that may travel for extended periods of time, but also serve well to cover just a week-long journey.

Some Drawbacks to World Nomads Travel Insurance

While there are a lot of compelling reasons to purchase your travel insurance policy from World Nomads, there are a few drawbacks and information to be aware of.

  • World Nomads does not sell Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) insurance. Granted, this coverage is expensive, does not cover the entire cost of your trip, and is not offered by every travel insurance company. However, it may be important to you if you want to be able to cancel your trip for any reason, including the fear of getting ill.
  • If you’re in the U.S. and 70 years of age or older, you will not be able to purchase coverage via World Nomads. The maximum age for purchasing coverage can vary depending on your country of residence. You can, however, purchase via its partner company, TripAssure. To learn more about the best travel insurance options for seniors, check out our article on this specific topic.
  • Policies are limited to 180 days in duration. However, World Nomads does offer the benefit of renewing online, even while traveling.
  • There is a policy limitation for baggage and personal items. If you carry lots of electronics, as many travelers do, you’ll want to be aware of these limitations. It’s worth noting that some insurance plans do not cover personal items at all.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for travel insurance, it’s a good idea to check out World Nomads. Plus, if there’s a remote possibility you’ll be participating in any 1 of the 200 activities covered automatically on its plans, that’s even more of a reason to consider the company. Few companies cover all of these activities and some charge extra to do so.

The company’s plans may be the best fit for healthy, active travelers. While both plans offered include up to $100,000 in medical coverage, there is a pre-existing condition limitation for coverage. Once again, if you’re active and your primary medical concern while traveling is getting sick or having an accident, even a minor one, this coverage could be a good fit.

If your priority is securing Cancel for Any Reason insurance, covering pre-existing conditions that are not stable, or purchasing a multi-trip annual travel insurance policy, you may find a better travel insurance fit via insurance comparison sites such as InsureMyTrip, TravelInsurance.com, or SquareMouth.


Frequently asked questions

Is World Nomads travel insurance worth it?

World Nomads is an excellent travel insurance company to consider if you participate in adventure sports or other related activities when you travel as the company covers up to 200 such activities.

Additionally, you can purchase (or renew) coverage while you’re traveling. Most companies have strict guidelines as to when you can purchase coverage and limit the transaction to a defined period preceding your trip.

In the U.S., World Nomad’s plans are underwritten (provided by) Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., a highly rated, financially sound company.

Does World Nomads cover COVID-19?

World Nomads does not cover trip cancellation due to fear of getting ill. In fact, no insurance company does unless you purchase Cancel for Any Reason insurance.

You will find some coverage for severe illness, including COVID-19, under medical and trip interruption/cancellation insurance with World Nomads. Terms and conditions apply.

Does World Nomads offer annual travel insurance?

No, World Nomads does not offer an annual plan. However, the company does offer a plan for 180 days that can be renewed.

The company also offers the convenience of being able to purchase or renew coverage online while traveling.

Is World Nomads better than credit card travel insurance?

The travel insurance that comes with your credit card is not a substitute for a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Also, if you need medical insurance while traveling, you won’t find comprehensive coverage on a credit card.

In addition, most credit card travel insurance is secondary, meaning you must file a claim with any applicable insurance you have first. This could include airlines, travel providers, personal insurance, etc. Having a comprehensive travel insurance policy ensures you’ll have primary coverage in most situations.

Christine Krzyszton

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine, who lives in Northern Michigan, travels about 300,000 miles a year despite her remote location. Her expertise is traveling the world on a weekend with no pre-determined destination in mind, letting the cost of the airfare determine where she will go. She has over four million flown miles and elite status on all three major domestic carriers.

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