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 an AM Best Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior). 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 pros and cons of this company’s insurance coverage and policies.

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The Good

  • Adventure Travel and Extreme Sports
  • Coverage Available Mid Trip
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Donations
  • Additional Media

Adventure and Extreme Sports

World Nomads travel insurance 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.

Coverage Available Mid Trip

With World Nomads travel insurance, 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.
 
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 just about six months. This is a great way to offer peace of mind if customer's plans are open-ended (like backpackers).
 
This is a main emphasis for the company, originating from founder Simon Monk’s experience in the late 1980s, where he was in the middle of a trip and needed to purchase travel insurance coverage, but couldn’t.

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 assistance, 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

Donations

World Nomads partners with global non-profits 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 non-profits.

Since the program started in 2004, over one million customers have helped to fund more than 200 community projects with over $3 million in donations. Current donations are helping to fund projects in the following countries:

  • Belize
  • Botswana
  • Costa Rica
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Uganda
  • Vanuatu

Additional Media

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

The Bad

  • Age Limits
  • Pre-Existing Conditions

Age Limits

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

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.

The Bottom Line

World Nomads offers travel insurance for travel lovers like backpackers, with an emphasis on flexibility. 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. Customers can even extend their coverage while on the road, up to about six months at a time.
 
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. For the most part, most other travelers will be covered with an impressively comprehensive plan. The company offers coverage for people in over 130 countries and whether you choose the Standard 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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