World Nomads is a provider of well-known travel insurance which suits global travelers and ex-pats alike.
Today, I am reviewing the travel insurance plans from World Nomads, what they cover, the facts, some tips, the pro, and cons.
A British friend, married to an Indian, had suggested that I check them out a few years ago.
Since that, I have been using their services for the both of us again and again and I had to file a claim only once and my dad had to file one when he got his done for the first time.
So, far it has been useful.
I went on a hike at 4600 meters altitude in the Himalayas when I slipped and fell into a thorny bush with tiny thorns which went through my palm.
The whole area doesn’t have a hospital but the folks from World Nomads were such a great help!
(but that’s another story for another time!).
😱 My scary moment on a trip with my parents
I had a recent shock experience!
My dad came to Goa India, with some of my family members back in November 2017 when we were there so that we could do a little road trip together to the ancient city of Hampi.
Within the first 3 days after his arrival, he had horrible abdomen pain.
I took him to the best hospital in the surrounding and there they quickly found out that it was a kidney stone causing the trouble.
Before we registered him in the hospital, we called World Nomads.
I was super stressed but the folks from World Nomads were so reassuring and told me exactly what to do (paperwork, collect doctor reports, etc).
My dad stayed over 2 nights, the kidney stones came out (which was my 30th birthday by the way) and the rest was claimed later on.
Two days later, we traveled on a road trip from Goa to Hampi and all was fine. Holiday saved!
Why you need a travel insurance
My medical case story is a good example of why it’s a good idea to have travel insurance if something goes wrong…
There are other situations when you can file a claim.
Travel insurance may cover you when your airline cancels your flight when your equipment, as in laptop and camera, has been stolen or when you are somewhere stuck in the Himalayas and you need a helicopter ride to get down because 5000m altitude sickness was completely unpredictable.
Even if you plan on staying in a comfortable hotel on a city trip, you will be happy to have travel insurance covering you.
What if you need to cancel your booking 2 days before the arrival date because of a death in the family?
If you didn’t set up insurance, you would have to pay at times somewhere around 90% of your booking. If the booking was for 2 persons in a decent 4-star hotel, at € 120,-/$ 140,- per person, for a 7 day holiday, you would end up paying a big chunk of money from your pocket.
Can you imagine paying that for a holiday which never happened?
Or if you had to pay for that holiday ride to come down from the Himalayas?
Or what if the repatriation cost crossed $ 25.000?
These situations that went wrong remind us that buying travel insurance seems like a super good idea after all.
🩹 Policy Coverage
The insurance from World Nomads may cover the following.
(Read the policy details to ensure that it’s right for you.)
- Emergency Medical Expenses
- Loss or Theft of Baggage
- Trip Cancelation
- Emergency Medical Transporation, Repatriation, and Evacuation
Emergency Medical Expenses
What sets World Nomads apart is the fact that they specialize in covering adventure activities.
So, if you are into snowboarding and you break your arm during your snowboarding holiday and you are insured with World Nomads, they will cover you.
They cover over 150 activities such as hiking, bungee jumping, scuba diving, safari, motorbiking, elephant riding, and many odd activities and experiences.
That said if you are planning to teach abroad, say as a skiing instructor, they do cover that too.
Dental problems are also covered by World Nomads which I think is a huge plus point if you have an unexpected infection or if you broke your tooth when coming out of the hotel pool.
Loss or Theft
Baggage loss, delay, or damage is still a common problem.
You can claim from World Nomads if your carrier lost your baggage in the transit or if your baggage was damaged in a natural disaster (i.e. forest fires, tsunami, volcano eruption).
Also, your passport is covered, and if your case may be as well (to a certain extent).
They do help you with credit card theft too via the hotline but World Nomads doesn’t seem to be able to cover losses.
Again, that goes through their website details and talk to them, they will explain everything in detail, because it depends on your country of residence and the destination country.
If you leave your bags unattended on the bus during a stopover while you go to the bathroom and the bags are missing when you come back, insurances may not cover that.
However, with World Nomads, you have the option to purchase an extra cover for high-value items such as your laptop, your photography gear, or if you plan on buying a special item on your travels and you know that already before you set out.
This is something I always do for my laptop and camera because as a Digital Nomad I don’t want to risk my expensive electronics getting damaged and that way I have at least peace of mind.
Grab a hot coffee and read through the Terms and conditions properly before you decide if it’s the right thing for you.
World Nomads may cover the cost for your trip cancelation if your doctor certifies that you are unfit to travel or if a close relative or your travel buddy dies.
I have never seen travel insurance that will cover your trip cancelation because the weather forecast is predicting rain for the destination and you changed your mind.
Besides, if you have pre-existing medical conditions, you will need to mention that to your insurance because there are some medical conditions that most insurances will exclude, including World Nomads, if you have to cancel a trip.
That is why you need to carefully read through your policy before you buy it (can’t stress enough on that point).
I spend a lot of time reading through the useful Help Desk section on the World Nomads website.
Emergency Medical Transporation, Repatriation, and Evacuation
World Nomads covers emergency medical repatriation back home.
Say you were involved in a bike accident in South East Asia, they will organize your transportation back home.
Some friends of my sisters traveled to Las Vegas when one of them had a kidney stone problem (which seems to be a common issue these days).
They didn’t want to operate on him for whatever reason, so the insurance plan covered that by sending a doctor from Europe to the USA who had to travel back in business class with the patient.
Imagine if you had to pay that yourself!
If you are caught up in a terrorist attack, World Nomads will work on getting you out there by communicating with hospitals and your consulate.
World Nomads has another perk for US residence regarding Terrorism abroad, where the trip can be canceled if there has been a terrorist attack in the destination country.
(I know a lot of my US readers worry about Terrorism)
In the case of death overseas, world nomads may cover the cost to return your remains back home and will help with the local laws and formalities.
These are all tough things to think about.
I took my time reading through so that I know what I am buying.
💡 Pro and Cons
- Suitable for Adventure Travel and Digital Nomads
- Coverage around the World for Multiple destinations
- You can extend your claim online anytime even during your trip
- 24-hour emergency assistance
- Claim online with supporting documents
- You can pick a suitable plan
- Doesn’t cover people above 70 years of age
- You still have to read through all the details in the policy to make sure you understand everything before buying the insurance
- The phone assistance is not toll-free
🤹♂️ What to look out for BEFORE you pick a policy
Don’t sign up for something you do not understand.
If something is unclear, call the insurance and ask until you are satisfied before you buy the policy.
Get a free quote so that you get an idea of what may be covered at what price.
Always read the TOS (Terms of Service) before you agree.
If you don’t read through, how will you know what you are paying for and what your insurance covers?
Then ask yourself the following questions:
- What does the insurance cover? Does the insurance cover all destination countries?
- What’s the claim range? How can I file a claim?
- What do I need (first contact, documentation proof) to initiate my insurance claim?
- How to extend the policy if needed?
You need to be upfront too with your insurance.
If you have any pre-existing medical condition, tell your insurance.
Because if you don’t and something happens during your trip, they might refuse to cover you.
Insurances can access medical records and if they find out differently, they can have the right to decline your claim.
💻 How to file an insurance claim
I make an emergency call.
The insurance provider will guide you and reassure you.
They will tell you to step by step what you need to look out for or what you should do next.
The best example of why you need to contact World Nomads first is the helicopter evacuation case in Nepal.
When you call World Nomads, you essentially take the first step to register yourself and in some cases, they are the ones who call for transportation.
Basically, World Nomads will tell you what to do step by step so that you can make a proper claim afterward.
Collect every single receipt, bill, ticket, invoice.
I collect everything during my travels and keep the papers in my bag where I can find them easily without the paper being in my way.
I also keep my laptop bill, mobile phone bill, my suitcase bill (because a proper suitcase is valuable).
During a medical emergency, I collect every report from the doctors and the hospital.
They have to provide you with the full medical report of the doctor who treated you and they have to give you a detailed bill of all the expenses that occurred.
If your bag has been stolen during your trip, file a police complaint, within a reasonable timeframe!
Get the report and send it in as a supporting document to your claim. World Nomads mentions all the details in the TOS.
If you missed your connecting flight, your flight was canceled due to another airline strike, or your baggage was lost by the airline, get a written confirmation.
Basically, get everything in writing.
You need proof to be able to claim anything.
That’s the way with all insurances!
Tip: Something I always do, and this is something a lovely lady at World Nomads suggested I should do, take pictures of all the reports and important receipts and save them in the cloud.
That way I have copies, which I can access if devices go missing because I saved them online in a private folder.
I also take a picture of my baggage before takeoff, just in case.
To summarize it, in doubt call your insurance.
Talk to them, they can guide you.