World Nomads Travel Insurance Review
FULLY TESTED - Coverage, Conditions and What Happens When You Make a Claim
Whether you’re planning on traveling for a week or a year, you know it’s important to cover yourself.
The problem with backpacker insurance is ensuring you are actually covered for the things you need and IF you need to make a claim - how hard is it to get paid?
Hi my name is Bre - I chose WorldNomads for my big adventure overseas but I did not expect was to fully test their service.
As you may know, travel insurance covers sickness or injury, emergency evacuation, trip cancellation/delay/interruption, lost or stolen luggage and belongings, electronics damage, etc.
Basically anything that can go wrong - and we desperately hope never does - will be covered.
But what many insurance companies don't cover is activities which a world traveller often does! That is one of the main reasons I decided to go with World Nomads.
It’s not a fun purchase to make, but it is a necessary one. World Nomads is quickly becoming one of the most popular travel insurance companies for budget travelers (AKA backpackers) and adventure enthusiasts.
It comes highly recommended by backpacker favorites Lonely Planet, Rough Guides and Hostel World as well as NatGeo Adventure (among others).
Here’s how it works:
1. Get a quote
Add the destinations you plan to visit, your permanent country of residence and how long you plan to travel for and you’ll be shown two insurance plans.
Standard - for the common traveler who will mostly stick to the tourist trail and partake in common/less extreme activities.
Explorer - for the more adventurous thrill-seekers who will be caving, diving, rock climbing, parachuting, etc. Also includes higher insurance coverage for emergency evacuation, trip cancellation/interruption, personal effects, rental car damage, and accidental death or dismemberment.
Try it yourself:
In the US you’re covered anywhere further than 100 miles from your permanent residence, so as long as you don’t get injured in your hometown, you’re covered*. (*Note: pre-existing medical conditions are also not covered)
2. Choose your plan
The longer term you purchase, the better deal you get. This is 4 weeks vs 6 months (quotes will differ based on your country permanent residency and where you travel - my examples are based on a U.S. residency and travel in Australia and Asia):
For just one month of traveling, the total is $110 USD, but if I purchase a 6-month policy upfront, the price comes out to be $55/month.
Once you have decided which policy you want and the length of time you want it for, simply click “Buy Now”, sign up for a World Nomad’s account, and enter your credit card details.
You will receive a confirmation e-mail and receipt from World Nomads, as well as a separate e-mail from their insurance partner TripMate with the policy certificate for you to print. The policy will go into effect on the day you entered for it to start. (I recommend printing out multiple copies, one to carry with you and one to leave with a relative or friend.)
Your World Nomads Account
Once you’re all finished signing up and purchasing your policy, you have instant access to your dashboard which includes a community of other travelers that you can ask questions, a “travel journal” to document your trip (if you so desire), and managing your policy/filing a claim/requesting emergency assistance/etc.
Making a Claim
Filing a claim for reimbursement is a fairly simple - albeit sort of long - process. It’s all done online through your account dashboard. I filed a claim after my flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap was cancelled, and I wasn’t able to get ahold of the airline to request a refund.
The World Nomads/TripMate team was quick to respond, and very polite and professional with detailed instructions of how to proceed. They e-mailed me a claims form that I needed to print and e-mail back to them (this was the only inconvenince since I was traveling and didn’t have easy access to a printer, but at least I didn’t have to mail the forms in).
Eventually, I emailed them a photocopy of my forms, along with all the documentation they requested to process the claim:
They also contacted the airline to request more information regarding the flight cancellation. And in the end, the airline ended up reimbursing me for the flight after World Nomads kept bugging them on my behalf, so my claim was closed. Even though going through all of the trouble of submitting my claim documentation turned out to be a waste of time, I still got my refund and learned never to buy a flight with Angkor Airlines again!
The customer service reps also kept me updated on the processing time and what they were waiting on throughout the process (which in my case was a response from the airline). At one point, there was a miscommunication and I received the same request from multiple customer service reps despite already responding, but they were very apologetic and moved my case to the front of the line so that it was dealt with promptly.
All of these messages throughout the claims process were directly through my World Nomads secure online account, so all I needed to communicate with them was an internet connection!
I have been traveling for 7 months now and haven’t needed to file another claim (knock on wood), but I know that if I do I will be well-taken care of!
Why I Chose World Nomads as My Insurer
In this review, I have focused on what it is like to sign up and make a claim however in my opinion there are some very good reasons to use World Nomads in the first place.
Apart from being endorsed by almost every authority that matters, the biggest reason is that coverage is tailored to longer term flexible travel with activities we backpackers are likely to participate in.
Right from the start, you get to choose your own adventure by chosing what you do want to be covered for and not paying for additional coverage that you do not need.
Selecting your resident country and the countries you are travelling to is just the start but an important one.
Also having coverage for work and activities was extremely important to me. (You might be very surprised to find what you are not covered for in other policies)
Optional additional coverage for personal items like my laptop and iphone where you get to choose the amount you are covered for is a great comfort. (You can also get coverage for ipads and camera gear)
One last thing that makes World Nomads pretty awesome is their all of their resources to help make your travels as seamless as possible, as well as their “Scholarships” which gives talented travelers the opportunity to win a travel scholarship in writing, photography, film, food or language in exciting destinations around the world. They have a strong social media presence that is fun to interact with and a lot of engaging content on their website that eases the pain of dishing out a chunk of your travel money on insurance.