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World Nomads Travel Insurance

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LAST UPDATED: March 24th, 2021

What originally started in 1990 as founder Simon Monk's travel blog domain, worldnomads.com, later became a travel insurance provider in 2002.

Since then, Australia-based World Nomads Travel Insurance has grown to cover travelers from over 130 countries with different travel insurance policy options that are flexible enough to be purchased after a trip has already started and to be extended multiple times while on the road. 

World Nomads Travel Insurance offers travel assistance, trip interruption insurance, lost or stolen luggage protection, emergency medical coverage, health insurance, trip interruption, accidental death, etc. U.S. plans are underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, which has a high financial strength rating from A.M. Best.

Benefits are administered by Trip Mate, which includes access to your medical records online through Global XPI, a medical records information system that brings your vital information with you, even when you travel.

Keep reading our World Nomads review for the pros and cons of this company's insurance coverage and policies.

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The Good

  • Coverage for Adventure and Extreme Sports
  • Purchase Policy Mid-Trip
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Partnerships with Global Nonprofits
  • Helpful Online Resources

Coverage for Adventure and Extreme Sports

World Nomads travel plans cover adventure activities and extreme sports, without any add-on coverage. The Explorer plan covers 200+ adventure activities while the standard plans covers about 140 adventure activities. It is hard to find a company willing to offer travel insurance coverage for medical expenses for adventurous activities, such as scuba diving, rock climbing, and bungee jumping. World Nomads' automatic inclusion of adventure and extreme sports makes it advantageous if you're planning to scuba dive or something similar on your trip.

Purchase Policy Mid-Trip

Customers can purchase a policy outside of their country of residence for a trip that has already started. This is hard to come by. Most travel insurance companies require you to purchase your medical policy a certain amount of time before your trip starts. This flexibility is beneficial for consumers.

On top of that, customers can extend their coverage online if travel plans are uncertain. Plans can be extended from 1 to 180 days, which is about six months. This is a great way to have peace of mind if your plans are open-ended (like backpackers). Flexibility is an emphasis for the company that stems from founder Simon Monk's experience of not being able to purchase travel insurance coverage in the middle of a trip in the late 1980s.

24/7 Customer Support

Customers can reach out to customer support before or during their trip 24/7. Share with them if you need emergency dental medical assistance, or if you just need general advice. World Nomad's emergency customer support is provided by One Call Worldwide Travel Services Network. Customers can call toll free or collect for assistance 24 hours a day. They can also email for help. 

Assistance is available in many languages and professionals can help with the following:

  • Arranging and paying for appropriate transportation to a hospital or treatment site
  • Emergency cash transfer
  • Language interpretation services
  • Legal service
  • Locating local medical providers
  • Medical advice and referrals in emergencies
  • Travel document and ticket replacement
  • Trip interruption questions

Partnerships with Global Nonprofits

World Nomads partners with global nonprofits working on sustainable projects and community development initiatives. During the checkout process, customers are able to donate money to The Footprints Network and 100 percent of donations go to the nonprofits.

Since the program started in 2004, customers have helped to fund hundreds of community projects with millions in donations.

Helpful Online Resources

With its roots as an actual travel blog, World Nomads still offers the following content to help its community:

  • Destination and travel guides
  • Diverse travel films
  • Safety info and travel alerts sorted by destination
  • The World Nomads Podcast
  • Travel question forums
  • Travel scholarships for budding photographers, writers, and filmmakers
  • Travel writing
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The Bad

  • Insufficient Customer Reviews
  • Age Limits
  • No Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions

Insufficient Customer Reviews

Best Company has not received many World Nomads travel insurance reviews. This lack of reviews makes it difficult to draw conclusions about the customer experience.

Age Limits

Certain products are available for customers up to age 70. If you are an adventure traveler looking for coverage, but over 70, you may need to look into another insurance provider.

No Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions

One place where World Nomads' policies have room to improve would be by adding a waiver for pre-existing medical conditions. Currently, the company doesn't cover medical conditions occurring within 90 days prior to a policy start date. This isn't the most stringent look back period, as other insurance companies can go up to 180 days, but most of them offer a waiver as an upgrade.

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The Bottom Line

World Nomads insurance is ideal for adventurous travelers like backpackers. The company also prioritizes flexibility with its policies-- you can purchase coverage while on your trip or extend coverage up to six months if your plans change. 

No matter which insurance policy you choose, medical coverage, emergency, evacuation, flight delay, travel interruption, baggage theft, loss, or damage, plus 24/7 global assistance are covered. 

While World Nomads is a backpacker's dream, products aren't going to cover pre-existing medical conditions or travelers over 70 years of age. However, travelers will find an otherwise comprehensive travel insurance plan. 

The travel insurance company offers coverage for people in over 130 countries and whether you choose its Standard plan or Explorer plan, extreme sports are included in your insurance policy. The Explorer plan adds additional hazardous sports and activities to its emergency medical coverage.

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