In many years of solo travel I have used different types of travel insurance. As a student the thing I mostly worried about was trip and flight cancellation. Then over the years my travel style changed. I started travelling overseas, being more active in the outdoors and do adventure activities.
While travelling to remote destinations and being far away from home I became aware of one thing: Travel insurance is an important part of any overseas trips.
And all those “what if questions” looming over my head brought me to this conclusion:
Why shall I let the unexpected put a damper on my trip, when I can have peace of mind for a few dollars a day?
Since I started travelling solo around Australia, I have tried different kinds of travel insurance. From policies purchased through travel agents, in my early trips, to local insurance providers.
It's only in 2012 that I started using travel insurance from World Nomads. In the last 4 years I purchased 9 travel insurance policies. Fortunately nothing ever happened to me – and I keep my fingers crossed – so I never needed to make a claim. However I know that this travel insurance has a well-balanced coverage for me and will continue using it for my future travels.
On this post I tell you a bit more about WorldNomads.com and why it's my favourite travel insurance.
What is World Nomads – their best features
WorldNomads.com offers travel insurance from international established and reliable underwriters, including BUPA Denmark, to travellers from over 150 countries travelling to 196 worldwide destinations.
World Nomads has been crafted for the adventurous traveller, from the youngest backpacker to the mature traveller, who is active in the outdoors (hiking, biking, swimming, etc.) and do adventure activities (abseiling, scuba-diving, snorkeling, and more). You can take a look at the complete list adventure sports and activities covered from World Nomads.
8 reasons to choose travel insurance from World Nomads
Since 2012 I have been using World Nomads travel insurance not only because of their competitive prices – I spend approx 3 Euro/day – but because the World Nomads Explorer Plan is what best suits the type of travels I do and includes everything I want to have covered.
Here are the top 8 reasons why I choose travel insurance from World Nomads:
- Unlimited medical expenses are covered, for reasonable amount of money (350,000 Eur) including medevac, hospitalization – due to illness or injury – and repatriation. Special treatment like physiotherapy and more are part of the policy. I think this is a fair coverage, there are other travel insurance providers that offer policies for around 1,000,000 Eur or dollars, but I don't need that.
- Flexible travel insurance. I don't have to buy it months before travelling. I can buy travel insurance on the same day of travel for the length of time I want. Let's say I buy it for the first 4 weeks of my trip. Should I want to extend my policy, I can either extend it before it expires or let it expire and then purchase a new travel insurance policy while I am travelling overseas. I tried out last year for the first time. I had purchased a policy which expired. After my house sit gig I purchased a new one for 5 more weeks of travel adventures. The first 72 hours are however not covered, except for a medical emergency situations. The 72 hours are used as an anti-fraud clause, which means if you got sick or had an accident just before purchasing the insurance, this would breach the policy.
- Worldwide coverage. It does not only covers you in the main country where you are planned to spend most of your travelling time, let's say Australia. It includes all countries in transit. For instance I spent 4 days in Singapore – as a stop-over on my last trip to Australia – so my insurance policy covered me for those days in Singapore too. In July 2015 I went from Perth to Bali for 5 days and I was covered in Bali too.
- Pre-Trip Cancellation Coverage including missed flights, theft of baggage or docs, etc are all covered for a reasonable amount of money. Who needs an exorbitant coverage for pre-trip cancellation. The coverage with the Explorer Plan for the pre-trip cancellation comes with 7,000 Eur.
- Policy is easy to understand online quotes comes with an easy-to-understand version of standard vs explorer plan. Each plan has a clear coverage breakdown. It only takes me a couple of minutes to go trough both plans and see the main differences. I always buy the explorer plan as it best suit my travel style. It has a higher coverage and also includes more things. You can take a look at this example of World Nomads Plans, for a couple of travelling to Australia for 5 weeks. Or get a quote here.
- Everything happens online – From getting a travel insurance quote to purchasing a policy, to following up questions to making a claim. They are known to have a 24/7 top-notch efficient online customer service – I personally never called them as never had an issue – but rest assured that you get a prompt feed-back when you make a claim or have a question. This is something very important for me that I travel solo and drive alone to remote areas of Australia.
- They care for your safety and help you stay safe when travelling. All members have access to up-to-date travel safety alerts. They run an online World Nomads Travel Safety Hub with lots of safety tips and advice for all countries.
- Great online resources like an online journal to help find resources and activities. They have a traveller forum and offer 10 free iPod & iPhone Language Guides. This isn't so important to me but it is a bonus for many other travellers. I also take part in their donation footprints projects to support communities all over the world. While this does not really have an impact on the quality of their services, it's always nice to know that they are involved in a good cause and help improve the eduction of children all over the world.
Who is World Nomads Travel Insurance good for
I think the travel insurance from World Nomad is best suited if you are an independent traveller and the following points resonate with you.
- adventurous traveller – are active and do adventure sports & activities.
- fit traveller – have no medical pre-existing conditions, they are not covered.
- long-term traveller – i.e. RTW-backpacker, working-holidayer, career-breaker, etc.
- single traveller or couples or family – they do not cover groups.
- traveller up to 66 years – Older than 66? Beware there is an age limit.
If there are things that you wish to ask you can contact WorldNomads.com directly or you can use the widget here below to get an online quote:
What you need to know before buying travel insurance
There is a lot of confusion about travel insurance with regards to these questions:
Do I really need travel insurance
My answer is yes. But it much depends on what you do and where you travel to and your personal situation. If your domestic travel insurance covers you overseas or not. Do you want to take the risk and are you prepared for paying out your pocket for unpredictable events like illness, injury or accidents like stolen baggage or valuables. In some countries it may cost a little fortune, at least 10-25 thousands dollars if not more only for medical assistance.
When can I make a claim
Apparently quite a few people tend to think they can use travel health insurance like domestic health insurance. But travel insurance has a completely different purpose, it's only for emergency. And it does not replace your domestic health insurance.
For instance some travel insurance providers, including the ones from World Nomads, do not cover pre-existing conditions for medical treatment nor for trip cancellation or interruption. So if you do have pre-existing conditions, that you feel it may have an impact on your trip, then World Nomads will not suit you and you'd better look for another travel insurance provider.
That being said,
What if I only need a doctor for a prescription
For minor health issues, you might be able to use your domestic health insurance (many offers basic coverage overseas). My Italian health insurance, for instance, offers basic medical coverage in all EU countries and in some overseas countries – including New Zealand and Australia. I had a couple of issues with insect bites in Oz, where I needed to consult a doctor. In this case, I didn't make any claim with World Nomads travel insurance, instead I used my Australian MediCare card which covered the expense for a consultation and medical prescription.
So you will now think: why do I need an Australian Card and World Nomads Travel Insurance on top. My MediCare Card only covers me for local and basic medical assistance, World Nomads covers me for emergency assistance and all the rest.
You first need to evaluate the situation before making a claim
If something happens I personally would soon notify the travel insurance provider on the phone and clarify what the next steps are. Bear in mind that 70 Euro or 100 AUD will be deducted from your claim, once approved. So it's pointless to make a claim for something that can be solved in a cheaper and faster way.
Make sure you don't break any policy rules
So before submitting a claim, first read carefully the wording of your policy, that you find in your account. If in doubt I would ask questions through the hotline 24/7 to understand whether you can start a claim or not. Be careful not to break any rules listed in the wording, because this would make your claim invalid.
Travel insurance – how to choose the best one for your travels
Travel insurance is probably one of those things we all would avoid, if we could, or skimp on. We not only need to invest money in purchasing travel insurance, we also must take our time for researching online and finding a good value travel insurance policy that is well-balanced and best suits our needs.
While there are many websites and blogs for advice, you can check this page with a list of World Nomads travel insurance reviews to get an idea of fellow travellers experience are. Reviews.com is another website where you will find more reviews.
Disclaimer: While I think it's good idea to buy travel insurance for your overseas trips, it's up to you to evaluate whether it's good thing for you too. These are tips based on my personal experience. I think World Nomads is good value and can recommend it. If you plan to buy it, you can use any of these links, from which I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
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