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Travel insurance when on a road trip

Whether you’re embarking on a cross-country adventure or taking the coastal route, travel insurance can be available to prepare for the unexpected.

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One of the best things about road trips is the freedom to explore at your own pace, an on our own terms. Travel insurance is designed for many modes of transport, but there are specific reasons why it’s important for road trips.

Trip cancellation

Anything from falling ill to jury duty can prevent you from taking your trip. With this coverage, you may be able to recuperate your pre-paid, non-refundable deposits.

Emergency medical

Safety is a priority when you’re getting behind the wheel and traveling to new destinations. A trip protection plan can buffer the hazards of being on the road.

Rental car insurance

Car breakdowns and traffic accidents can put a dent in your wallet (as well as your car) if you don’t have vehicle coverage. Some World Nomads plans offer damage collision waiver coverage depending on your country of residence and your choice of a Standard or Explorer plan.

Emergency Assistance

If you’re in a crisis, whether you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere or need urgent medical attention, our Emergency Assistance team is available 24/7 in whatever part of the world you’re traveling.

Trip interruption and delay

You may need help getting your trip back on track when you encounter problems whether that be a sudden illness, or an incident caused by bad weather.

Baggage and personal belongings

If thieves break into your hotel room, you can make a claim for a replacement or a reimbursement of your stolen items.

Travel insurance when on a road trip

If you’re thinking of taking the scenic route on your next trip abroad, World Nomads offers travel insurance coverage so you can enjoy the road less travelled.

It only takes a fraction of a second for your dream trip to turn into a nightmare: your car could veer off the road, your phone or documents could be stolen from the locked glove compartment…or even worse.

Some of the benefits included within our Standard and Explorer plans include:

  • Unexpected medical emergencies on the road
  • Rental car insurance for vehicle damage
  • Emergency assistance at any time of the day or night
  • Road trip interruptions or delays
  • Baggage and valuables coverage
  • Cover for some Coronavirus-related events.

What’s covered when going on a road trip 

Having travel insurance may help with coverage when hitting the road if something goes wrong. World Nomads may offer cover (up to the policy limits) for:

  • Trip cancellation coverage: Kiwis are familiar with natural disasters, especially earthquakes and floods. If something happens to your home before you leave (after you’ve bought insurance) or while you’re on holiday, insurance may cover some expenses associated with cancelling your trip, making a compassionate emergency visit home, or resuming your trip after a break.
  • Coverage for extended stays: if you’re having too much fun and want to extend your road trip, you can extend your policy coverage if you do so by 11:59pm on the day your insurance cover expires.
  • Activities, sports and experiences: let’s face it, New Zealanders are an adventurous, sport-loving bunch. Overseas travel offers exciting opportunities, such as scuba diving, bungee jumping, or white-water rafting. But if something goes wrong you need to know that while World Nomads offers cover for more than 150 sports and activities, our policies don’t cover bull running, but do cover white water rafting. Check before you buy that your flavour of adventure is covered and find out what policy upgrade options may be available.
  • Baggage and personal belongings coverage: both our Standard and Explorer Plans offer cover for theft or accidental damage to your baggage and personal items. The level of cover available varies between the two policies, so check before you buy.

Traveller tip: if you’ve already arrived at your overseas holiday destination and you realise that you forgot to buy travel insurance before leaving New Zealand, don’t panic. You can visit the World Nomads website at any time of the day or night to purchase a policy.

What are the benefits of travel insurance?

Road tripping through a new country lets you explore at your own pace and gives you the freedom to stop along the way. Travel insurance for your road trip means that when things go wrong you have help at hand, for example:

  • Sudden trip cancellations: if, after you buy your insurance, the New Zealand Government issues a ‘Do Not Travel’ warning to your destination country your policy can cover cancellation expenses. If severe weather or a natural disaster delays or cancels your trip, cancellation expenses may be covered. If your trip is cancelled because you’ve been kidnapped, or due to a hijacking, cancellation expenses may be covered if you have the Explorer Plan.
  • Rental car insurance for vehicle damage: to get rental car insurance you’ll need the Explorer Plan and, also, the insurance offered by the car rental company. If you have an accident, the Explorer Plan will cover the rental vehicle insurance excess or the cost of repairing the vehicle (whichever is less). Or if the vehicle is damaged or stolen while in your custody the Explorer Plan may cover you.
  • 24/7 emergency assistance: our team of trained staff is available to help with medical problems, including finding the nearest medical facility and, if required, arranging your evacuation home. The team is available 24/7.
  • Road trip interruptions and delay: road trips can be interrupted for a range of reasons – the car breaks down, an accident involving you and/or your travel mates or missing connecting transport due to sudden illness or an accident. Our Explorer Plan may cover repair costs to the car (or the cost of the excess on the rental company’s policy).
  • Stolen belongings and baggage: if your bags are stolen or accidentally damaged (including any souvenirs) our insurance can pay up to a certain limit. You have the option of upgrading for high-value items. Report any theft as soon as possible to the police and get a copy of the police report – and always keep receipts!

What’s not covered

Travel insurance isn’t designed to cover everything, so it’s important to understand what’s not included:

  • Expenses where you don’t provide receipts or reports.
  • Medical costs associated with an accident where drugs, alcohol or reckless behaviour are factors.
  • Pre-existing conditions as explained in your Policy Document.
  • If you’re road tripping in a rental and you don’t have a valid New Zealand driver’s license, our insurance won’t cover you.
  • Expenses from driving specialised, customised or fancy/antique cars won’t be covered.

This is only a summary of coverage and does not include the full terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions of the policy. You should read your Policy Document in full so you understand what is and isn’t covered. That way there won’t be any surprises if you need to use it. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

The information provided is of a general nature and is provided for information purposes only. It does not constitute financial advice in any form, and should not be relied on as a substitute for obtaining professional advice that is specific to your circumstances. You should seek advice from a financial advice provider if you would like further information about whether a particular product is appropriate for you and your circumstances.

Car theft in South Africa

We parked a rental car in the parking lot of a restaurant in Haut Bay, an area of Cape Town. After eating dinner, we returned to the car to find that a window had been broken and anything within easy reach had been stolen. Luckily for us, we had been smart enough to bring our very expensive camera inside the restaurant with us, only leaving behind the case and an extra lens.
U.S. Nomad

Travel Insurance Benefits: how we can take care of you

Trip Cancellation

Protect your trip from unexpected cancellation.

  • Explorer Plan: Unlimited
  • Standard Plan: $5,000
Trip Protection
  • Unexpectedly hospitalized?
  • Weather delay?
  • Travel companion sick?

We’ve got your back.

Emergency Medical Overseas

Take the pain out of medical costs.

  • Explorer Plan: Unlimited
  • Standard Plan: $5,000,000
Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Need medication?
  • Suddenly sick?
  • Accidentally injured?

We’ve got your back.

Emergency Medical Transport

We'll get you to hospital in a flash

  • Explorer Plan: Unlimited
  • Standard Plan: $500,000
Evacuation and Repatriation
  • Hurt abroad?
  • Medevac home?
  • Need an ambulance?

Help starts here.

Protect your gear

Cover your stolen or damaged gear and tech.

  • Explorer Plan: $10,000
  • Standard Plan: $2,000
Protect your gear
  • Passport or tech stolen?
  • Airline lost your gear?
  • Bags delayed?

Help starts here.

  • Overseas Medical Expenses
  • Emergency dental treatment
  • 24 hour assistance
  • Emergency medical transport & repatriation
  • Cancellation costs
  • Trip interruption costs
  • Compassionate emergency visit home
  • Resumption of trip
  • Theft or accidental damage to baggage and personal items
  • Baggage delay over 12 hours
  • Funeral expenses overseas or repatriation of remains
  • Personal liability
This is a general summary for New Zealand residents only. Restrictions, exclusions and limitations will apply. Benefit limits may vary depending on the plan chosen. Check the policy documents for full details.

24/7 emergency assistance

If you need medical assistance or emergency medical evacuation our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year before and during your trip.

Are you in need of emergency assistance right now?

From New Zealand & Overseas:
+61 2 8263 0470 or
+61 2 8292 1470
(reverse charges via an operator from anywhere in the world)

Within Australia (Free call): 1800 611 210

Travel insurance. Simple & flexible.

Travel insurance for independent travelers. Nobody wants to think about all the things that could go wrong on their trip, but these things can and do happen. So be prepared and get your travel insurance today.