World Nomads Travel Insurance Review

While its medical insurance isn't as comprehensive as we would have liked, World Nomads is still our perfect choice when it comes to adventurous travels; you won’t find many travel insurance companies willing to cover activities like bobsledding and hang gliding. There are even fewer companies that let you donate to a cause so you can give a little something back while you’re out seeing the world.

The Claim

World Nomads claims to provide “inspiration, opportunities and travel insurance to help you fuel your curiosity, find your journey and travel bravely.”

Is it true?

Yes, for the most part. While some of those claims might seem a little lofty, it is true that World Nomads provides the travel insurance and, as a result, the opportunities to travel bravely and confidently. The company’s travel insurance covers a huge variety of adventurous activities, allowing you to strike out and see the world from high in the air or on the open sea. We weren’t the only ones to notice just how in-depth the coverages are; Mountain IQ Travel Expert Mark Whitman also spoke to the “detailed activity disclosure offer where [you] can quickly search for an adventure or sports activity, like hiking up to 6,000m or water-skiing, and add the activity to [your] policy to ensure full coverage.”

We were also impressed with WorldNomad.com’s Stories section, which delves deep into life-changing experiences across the world. Perusing that section alone will give you insight into the various cultures and unique excursions to be had. On top of all that, the company also makes it possible to donate to community development around the world and provides useful insights to help you be a more responsible and respectful traveler.

“I've used World Nomads insurance personally on every trip I've taken in the past three years and also highly recommend them to my clients. They cover a very wide range of activities (including extreme adventure activities) and their platform makes it easy to extend, update, and add additional countries to your trip insurance plan.”

Product Overview

  • In business since: 2002
  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: N/A
  • Policy types: Travel, medical, extreme activities
  • Pros: adventurous travel plans, educational resources, a chance to donate to worthy causes
  • Cons: No preexisitng condition coverage, few plan options

Features

Standard Plan
Explorer Plan
Trip protection
$2,500
$10,000
Emergency medical insurance
$100,000
$100,000
Evacuation and repatriation
$300,000
$500,000
Baggage loss and theft
$1,000
$3,000
Number of activities covered
67
140

Adventure sports coverage

World Nomads’ travel insurance covers all sorts of adventure sports activities, including skiing, parachuting, whitewater rafting, and more. Many travel insurance providers don’t cover these types of activities because of the increased potential for injury. If you plan on participating in adventure sports during your vacation, you should definitely consider this coverage from World Nomads, which takes care of your trip and any medical bills.

Excellent online learning resources

World Nomads offers an extensive amount of online resources to help you learn more about your destination and about traveling safely. If there’s a natural disaster or safety alert that might make travel to a particular location dangerous, you’ll know about it via safety updates on the company's website and Twitter page. Its Ask-A-Nomad service lets you ask questions to other members of the World Nomads community, and online journals help you find fun activities to participate in at your destination. If you’re traveling to another country and want to learn some common words and phrases, World Nomads also offers 25 free language phrasebooks.

Option to support a cause

When you purchase a travel insurance policy from World Nomads, you can choose to make a small donation to one of the ongoing Footprints projects, which help improve communities all around the world. Some of the projects involve improving education for children, while others work toward ensuring clean water for rural towns. Although this obviously doesn’t have an impact on the overall quality of its travel insurance, it’s nice to see World Nomads giving something back to others who are less fortunate.

Possible drawbacks

Doesn't cover preexisting conditions

Not only does World Nomads not cover any medical treatment due to a preexisting condition, it also don’t accept a preexisting condition as a reason for canceling, interrupting, or delaying your trip. Although World Nomads isn’t the only travel insurance provider with these restrictions, it is one of just a few. If you’re worried that a preexisting condition of yours may impact your trip, it might be a better idea to choose a travel insurance provider that does include this coverage option.

Only two plans

World Nomads offers only two plans: Standard and Explorer. While the differences in the emergency medical coverage and the evacuation and repatriation aren’t that noticeable, there are sharp declines in coverage in other areas. For example, Standard trip protection is $2,500, while Explorer jumps all the way to $10,000. The Standard plan also covers less than half of the activities that are covered under Explorer. It would have been nice if World Nomads offered a middle option instead of presenting a seemingly all-or-nothing decision.

The Competition

  World Nomads HTH Travel Insurance John Hancock
Our review Our review
Available plans
2 7 3
A.M. Best financial strength rating
N/A A- A
Annual plans
24-hour travel assistance service
Compare rates Compare rates Compare rates

World Nomads vs. HTH Travel Insurance

World Nomads has far fewer plans than HTH Travel Insurance. HTH’s plans are also more flexible than those of World Nomads, allowing the traveler to choose their coverage and deductible. However, we would not recommend HTH over World Nomads if you are going to be doing any zip lining or hang gliding, as HTH does not cover those kinds of extreme activities.

World Nomads vs. John Hancock

While John Hancock doesn’t have an abundance of plan options, it does offer one more tier than World Nomads — giving you a little more flexibility when searching for coverage. However, if you're looking to participate in "extreme" activities on your trip, World Nomads is still a better bet; John Hancock will not cover these activities on any of its plans.

World Nomads FAQ

Does World Nomads cover pregnancy?

It depends on when you have purchased your policy and how far along you are. In most cases, World Nomads classifies pregnancy as a preexisting condition, which means that very little (if any) of the details related to your pregnancy are covered. This means that your policy might not cover medical costs associated with childbirth or follow-up tests. You will want to speak with a licensed representative to get the full story.

What charities does World Nomads work with?

World Nomads partners with a variety of charities, including:

  • Oxfam
  • Plan International
  • WaterAid
  • Sea Turtle Conservancy
  • The Australian Himalayan Foundation
  • Care
  • Save the Children
  • The Wildlife Conservation Network
  • SurfAid
  • The Fred Hollows Foundation

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a great insurance provider to cover all of the exciting activities in your globe-trotting journey, World Nomads might just be the one. While we weren't impressed with all of the coverage, it was nice to see a company that prides itself on giving travelers the chance to expand their horizons and experience (and respect) unique cultures around the world.

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