Be honest: Do you purchase travel insurance when you take a trip?
If you don’t, I’m certainly not judging.
Between airfare, accommodations, food, and sightseeing, travel can be expensive. It’s definitely tempting to pass on a travel insurance policy and use the cash on something a little more exciting.
But here’s the thing: Although you might think you can’t afford travel insurance, the truth is you can’t afford to skip it! The costs associated with emergency medical care in foreign countries can be huge, and it just isn’t worth the risk to your financial well-being or your health.
The good news is that there are lots of travel insurance options out. Some of the best travel insurance companies offer great coverage for decent prices.
Today, we’re reviewing a popular travel insurance provider that is especially great for individual trips and the adventure traveler. In this World Nomads review, we’ll explore the two travel insurance plans they offer, what each includes, how much they cost, and whether they’re for you.
Let’s do it!
World Nomads at a Glance
- Founded in 2002 by Simon Monk
- Offers comprehensive plans that include medical and trip insurance, plus other benefits with no deductible
- Provides coverage for adventure sports and activities
- Covers trips up to a year in duration
- Can be purchased or renewed online while abroad
- Claims can be made 24 hours a day online or by phone
World Nomads Travel Insurance Products
World Nomads offers two travel insurance plans: Standard and Explorer.
As the name implies, the Standard Plan is the base model. The Explorer Plan includes everything that’s covered by the Standard Plan, plus more.
Both World Nomads plans include 24-hour multi-lingual telephone support through One Call Worldwide Travel Services Network. In the event you need to make a claim, they can help you locate the appropriate facilities and arrange treatment. (Claims can also be made online.)
One Call isn’t just for when you need to make a claim, though. They offer a suite of services including, but not limited to, 24-hour legal assistance, interpretation services, emergency cash transfer, and travel document replacement.
World Nomads Travel Insurance: What’s Included?
When it comes to travel insurance, there are two broad types of coverage – medical insurance and trip insurance. As I’m sure you can guess, medical insurance deals with medical expenses you might incur while traveling. Trip insurance protects the investment you make when you plan a trip, such as non-refundable deposits.
The World Nomads Standard and Explorer insurance plans are comprehensive, meaning they include both medical and trip insurance.
Need details? I got you. The table below shows what categories are covered by each plan and how much coverage is available.
|What’s Covered||Amount Covered: Standard Plan||Amount Covered: Explorer Plan|
|Emergency accident & sickness medical expense||$100,000 (includes $750 for emergency dental)||$100,000 (includes $750 for emergency dental)|
|Emergency evacuation and repatriation||$300,000||$500,000|
|Non-medical emergency evacuation||$25,000||$25,000|
|Trip cancellation (covered reasons only)||$2,500||$10,000|
|Trip interruption (covered reasons only)||$2,500||$10,000|
|Baggage & personal effects||$1,000||$3,000|
|Baggage delay (outward journey)||$750||$750|
|Collision damage waiver||Not Included||$35,000|
|Accidental death and dismemberment||$5,000||$10,000|
|Adventure sports and activities||Standard Plan sports and activities||Standard Plan + Explorer Plan sports and activities|
* Current as of November 2018
As you can see, World Nomads travel insurance plans offer fixed coverage per category, which means you can’t customize your plan. You can, however, review what’s provided by the Standard and Explorer Plans and choose the one that best fits your needs.
Also, note that no deductible is payable on any benefit included in either of the World Nomads travel insurance plans. That means you won’t be required to pay anything out of pocket before you can make a claim.
World Nomads Travel Insurance: How Much Does it Cost?
The cost of a travel insurance policy depends on multiple factors, the most important being the plan selected and the length of the trip. Here’s an example, so you can get a sense of how much World Nomads Trip Insurance is likely to cost.
Example: A husband and wife from New York, aged 35 and 36, are visiting Paris for two weeks in April. For the Standard Plan, they would pay a combined $189.26. For the Explorer Plan, it’s just $279.93.
Now, let’s assume they took their 8-year-old daughter along. In this case, they would pay $236.58 for the Standard Plan and $349.91 for the Explorer Plan. The price stays the same even if they brought along their other two children, ages 11 and 14. So, purchasing coverage as a family of four or more offers increased value.
Again, coverage limits depend upon a number of factors including age, your state of residence, your intended destination, and more. You can get a free personalized quote in less than a minute here.
Do You Need the World Nomads Explorer Plan?
As you can see in the table above, both World Nomads plans offer a respectable $100,000 for emergency medical expenses. Although the Explorer Plan offers more coverage for emergency evacuation and repatriation, the $300,000 covered by the Standard Plan is likely to be enough.
So, why bother with the Explorer Plan at all? There are two compelling reasons: Trip insurance and adventure sports and activities.
When it comes to trip insurance, the Explorer Plan offers four times more coverage than the Standard Plan. You can see in the table above that the Standard Plan only covers $2,500 for trip cancellation and interruption. That might be OK if you’re taking an inexpensive trip or if airfare or accommodation payments are refundable, but $2,500 is not a lot of coverage.
Imagine this: A family member back home suddenly gets sick, and you need to get back immediately. You’re booking a last-minute flight, and you’re paying whatever it costs. Same-day airline tickets tend to be very expensive; $2,500 might not be enough. If you prepaid for your hotel, you may not be able to get your remaining nights refunded – now $2,500 is definitely not looking like enough. On the other hand, unless you prepaid for a very lengthy and extravagant trip, $10,000 probably has you covered.
A quick note about World Nomads trip cancellation and interruption insurance: Only certain reasons for canceling a trip or returning home suddenly after departure are covered. Things like illness (you, a traveling companion, or a family member), a death in the family, and work responsibility are covered, plus a few other things.
As always, make sure you read the fine print, so you understand your coverage before you purchase any travel insurance policy.
Adventure Sports and Activities
World Nomads travel insurance has a reputation for catering to the adventurous traveler. That’s because they cover a long list of adventure sports and activities. This means your policy will pay for emergency treatment for an injury sustained while participating in a covered activity. This is not the case for many other insurance providers.
The Explorer Plan, in particular, covers an extensive list of activities above and beyond what’s covered by the Standard Plan. That’s why travelers who know they plan to enjoy some of those activities should opt for the extra coverage.
Included activities vary depending on what country you live in, but for residents of the U.S., over 300 sports and activities are covered. Yes, you read that right, and yes, I counted. I’m not going to list all of them here, but I will give you a snapshot of some gems that jump out at me.
Select Adventure Sports and Activities Covered by World Nomads Travel Insurance
|Standard Plan||Explorer Plan|
|Bungee jumping||Cage fighting|
|Dog sledding||Hot air ballooning|
|Kayaking||Rock climbing up to 22,965 feet|
If you ask me, World Nomads covers an impressive list of adventure sports and activities.
Of course, before you buy any travel insurance policy, make sure your planned adventures are covered. And if you’ve got plans to go bull riding or skydiving, it’s certainly a good idea to strongly consider the Explorer Plan.
Also of note, if you’ll be traveling with expensive sporting equipment, the Explorer Plan covers you for $3,000 in case of lost baggage or personal effects (the Standard Plan covers $1,000).
World Nomads Travel Insurance: What Isn’t Covered?
OK, so now that we’ve talked about what World Nomads travel insurance covers, it’s only fair to acknowledge what they don’t cover.
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Like most policies, World Nomads travel insurance does not cover pre-existing medical conditions.
Some providers will not cover conditions for which treatment was sought within two years prior to the effective date of the policy. This is called the look-back period.
World Nomads is more lenient than many, since their look-back period is only 90 days. That means coverage excludes medical conditions that were present in the 90 days preceding the start of the policy. So, if you had symptoms of an illness or injury and sought treatment, got a test, were advised to get a test, or were prescribed medication within that 90-day period, your World Nomads travel insurance policy will not cover any losses related to that condition.
The pre-existing medical condition exclusion applies to emergency medical treatment, trip cancellation, and trip interruption. It does not apply to emergency evacuation or repatriation of remains.
So, if your pre-existing condition causes you to cancel your trip or requires emergency medical treatment while you’re away, you’ll have to pay for it out of pocket. But, if you end up dying from it, World Nomads will pay for your remains to be returned home. (Morbid, yes, but it’s important to know.)
Like I mentioned before, World Nomads Travel Insurance covers an impressive list of adventure sports and activities. However, there are a few exclusions:
- Base jumping
- Acting as a guide for mountain or rock climbing
- Mountaineering or high altitude climbing over 22,965 feet (less than that and you’re good to go)
- Solo or exploratory climbing expeditions
- Piloting or acting as a crew member of an aircraft
- Extreme sports
I’m a little amused that they say “extreme sports” are excluded, considering the list of sports they cover. I don’t know about you, but cage fighting sounds pretty extreme to me!
According to World Nomads, an extreme sport is “…an athletic pursuit that involves a high degree of danger or risk other than what is listed on www.worldnomads.com.”
If you plan to participate in an extreme sport that isn’t listed as a covered activity on their website, I recommend calling the World Nomads assistance team to inquire. It pays to know exactly what you’re covered for.
World Nomads Travel Insurance: Who Can Be Covered?
The World Nomads Standard and Explorer Plans cover travelers up to age 69. If you’re 70 or over, World Nomads administers trip protection via a partnership with TripAssure.
World Nomads Travel Insurance: Pros and Cons
|World Nomads: Best Features||World Nomads: Where They Fall Short|
|Can purchase or renew while abroad on a user-friendly website||Standard and Explorer Plans do not cover seniors aged 70+|
|Comprehensive plans that include both medical and trip insurance||The Standard Plan trip insurance may be inadequate|
|The pre-existing conditions exclusion only looks back 90 days (shorter than many other providers)||Pre-existing conditions are not covered|
|An extensive list of adventure sports and activities are covered||Coverage is not customizable|
|Can get support or make claims online or by phone 24 hours a day|
Who Should Buy World Nomads Travel Insurance
Anyone looking for medical insurance + trip insurance in one – If you’re looking to protect your trip and your health with one policy, World Nomads travel insurance is an attractive choice. The Explorer Plan, in particular, pairs $100,000 in emergency medical with $10,000 in trip cancellation and interruption insurance for a reasonable price.
Adventurous Travelers – If your idea of a great vacation includes thrill-seeking, then World Nomads has you covered. With over 300 adventure sports and activities covered (for U.S. residents), you can go all out with peace of mind.
Those Planning Extended Travel – Travelers planning to be gone a while can purchase World Nomads travel insurance for trips up to one year in duration.
Wanderlusters Without a Timetable – You can also renew your World Nomads Travel Insurance policy anytime, anywhere. This is great for people who are heading out on an adventure and aren’t sure how long they’ll need coverage. One thing to note: Renewing your coverage means extending the plan you purchased; you can’t upgrade from the Standard to Explorer Plan without buying a new policy.
Who Should Skip World Nomads Travel Insurance
Seniors Aged 70+ – The World Nomads Standard and Explorer Plans only cover travelers until age 69. So, if you’re in the 70+ club, you’ll have to look at other options. World Nomads works with TripAssure to administer trip insurance to travelers aged 70 and over, so that’s one avenue you could explore.
Travelers Looking to Customize Their Travel Insurance – Some travel insurance providers allow customers to choose the categories of coverage they’d like to purchase, as well as the amount of coverage. World Nomads doesn’t offer this flexibility, so if their ready-made plans don’t suit your needs, you should look elsewhere.
Those Seeking More Medical Coverage – World Nomads offers $100,000 (with both plans), which is likely sufficient for most people and situations. However, if you want more, you might want to consider another provider like Seven Corners who specializes in international medical insurance.
How to Buy World Nomads Travel Insurance
If this World Nomads review makes you think the Standard or Explorer Plan would fit your travel insurance needs, getting a quote couldn’t be easier.
Hop online, enter your travel deets, and get a free World Nomads quote in seconds. If you like what you see, you can purchase online then and there.
How to Make a Claim
Hopefully, you’ll never have to make a claim, but if you do, the process is easy.
Simply, use One Call to initiate your claim over the phone with the assistance of the World Nomads team. You can also file a claim online.
Either way, you don’t pay a deductible, and the World Nomads team will support you in making sure everything gets taken care of.
World Nomads Review: Is it a Good Buy?
In this World Nomads review, we’ve explored what’s included in their two travel insurance plans and how much coverage each provides.
In my opinion, World Nomads Travel Insurance, especially the Explorer Plan, offers robust coverage for travelers who are looking for both medical coverage and trip insurance. It also includes a bunch of other perks, like loss of personal effects.
When it comes to the Standard Plan, the trip insurance – at just $2,500 – is a bit lower than I’d like. That being said, if you have alternate trip insurance or if $2,500 is enough for you, the Standard Plan offers solid medical coverage at an economical price.
With that said, World Nomads is a particularly great fit for adventurous travelers who plan to partake in one of the 300 sports and activities covered by their Explorer Plan. If that sounds like you, I’d highly recommend you check it out.