Protect the freedom of carrying everything on your back.

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For many nomads, backpacking is a rite of passage – a chance to travel cheaply and adventurously around the world, meeting new people, discovering new cultures, and finding a new purpose. Whether exploring your distant past or setting out to find your future, nothing unmasks a destination like your own footsteps.

Even if you like to travel with everything you need on your back, travel insurance is still a good idea in case backpacking mishaps (or worse) surprise you on the road. World Nomads travel insurance is designed for backpacking abroad – whether you’re heading to Thailand, Vietnam, Spain, and Australia or South America, the Caribbean, Italy, or further afield.

Why buy travel insurance for when you’re backpacking?

World Nomads travel insurance plans offer cover for sudden and unforeseen costs such as if you’re injured in a traffic accident and need urgent medical treatment, or if your transport carrier damages or loses your much-needed pack with everything in it, or a crafty pickpocket swipes your phone from under your nose.

What’s covered when backpacking?

Our plans offer cover (up to the benefit limits) for:

  • Overseas emergency medical expenses for sudden injury or illness.
  • Overseas emergency medical evacuation or repatriation back home.
  • Loss, theft or damage to baggage or personal items. Always get a Property Irregularity Report from the relevant travel supplier or carrier as soon as you discover the loss or damage. You’ll need it to submit your claim along with a police report, copies of the original receipts and any luggage tickets.
  • Checked-in baggage delayed for more than 24 hours and the cost of buying essential clothing and toiletries while waiting for your baggage (keep those receipts!).
  • Your non-refundable costs of cancelling or curtailing your trip due to sudden injury or illness to you or your travelling companion.
  • Cover for cancellation caused by official travel warnings advising against all travel or all but essential travel advice issued for your destination after you’ve received your Certificate of Insurance (Explorer Plan only).
  • Cover for travel delays and natural catastrophe (Explorer Plan only).

Does my plan include cover for Coronavirus related events?

Our Standard and Explorer plans offer cover for emergency medical assistance if you get sick with Coronavirus (COVID-19) overseas (excluding pre-existing medical conditions, as defined in the policy wording) – cover includes medical assistance, repatriation and hospitalisation benefits.

Our Explorer Plan also offers cover for some coronavirus-related events such as cancellation, trip interruption expenses and some quarantine costs following your diagnosis of coronavirus, as well as additional cover for healthcare workers, residential care workers and law enforcement officers who have their pre-arranged leave cancelled by their employer due to Coronavirus. Exclusions and benefit limits apply.

What’s not covered for backpacking?

Some things we do not cover include:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions, as per the policy wording.
  • Expenses that can be recovered from other sources e.g. transport carriers, accommodation providers or other insurance policies.
  • The policy excess amount as shown in the policy wording.
  • If you refuse to be repatriated or evacuated.
  • Any loss from being intoxicated with drugs or alcohol.
  • Reckless behavior such as heading somewhere remote or into a war zone.
  • If you don't keep your gear safe and secure at all times.
  • If you don't report any loss to the police and appropriate carrier or authority as soon as possible after the loss is discovered. Don’t forget to get written reports to support any claim you may make.
  • Personal baggage stolen from an unattended vehicle between 9pm and 9am (local time).

Choose a plan to suit your needs

Both our Standard and Explorer Plans have many of the same benefits, while the Explorer Plan offers travellers further covered events and higher benefit limits and/or sub limits.

If you’re planning on doing extra activities such as scuba diving, rock climbing or manual work, for example, our article on covered sports and activities can help you select the optional upgrades you’ll need to add to your plan when you buy your policy. Keep in mind some types of work and high-risk activities may not be covered at all.

Some FAQs

Am I covered if I travel to a country not specified on my policy?

Backpacking often means going wherever the breeze blows you, but before you decide to cross the border into a country not specified on your Certificate of Insurance, check with our customer service team to check if your policy will extend to that region.

Can I extend my policy while still travelling?

Yes, it’s possible to extend your existing policy while still travelling and before its expiry date, for up to 12 months from the start date.

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 wording 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, get in touch.

Travel Insurance Benefits: how we can take care of you

Trip Cancellation

Protect your trip from unexpected cancellation.

  • Explorer Plan: £5,000
  • Standard Plan: £3,000
Trip Protection
  • Unexpectedly hospitalised?
  • Travel buddy unfit to travel?
  • Close relative suddenly dies?

We’ve got your back.

Emergency Abroad Medical Expenses

Take the pain out of medical costs while traveling abroad.

  • Explorer Plan: £10 million
  • Standard Plan: £5 million
Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Need meds quick?
  • Accidentally injured?
  • Suddenly sick?

We’ve got your back.

Emergency Medical Transport

Expenses included in Emergency Medical limits.

Evacuation and Repatriation
  • Banged up abroad?
  • Need a hospital urgently?
  • Medivac home?

Help starts here.

Protect your gear

Cover your lost, stolen or damaged gear and tech.

  • Explorer Plan: £2,000
  • Standard Plan: £1,000
Protect your gear
  • Passport or tech stolen?
  • Airline lost your gear?
  • Bags delayed?

Help starts here.

  • Emergency Medical Expenses
  • Baggage & Personal Belongings
  • Cancellation
  • Trip Curtailment
  • Personal Accident
  • Loss of Passport or travel documents
  • Personal Liability
  • Legal Expenses (Personal Liability)
This is a general summary for United Kingdom residents only. Restrictions, exclusions and limitations will apply. Benefit limits may vary depending on the plan chosen. Check the plan documents for full details.
Pre-existing medical conditions

World Nomads policies cannot cover claims due to Pre-Existing Medical Conditions (PEMC), regardless of whether the condition is serious or not (this includes if you're on separate or joint policies). You can still purchase a World Nomads policy, but the PEMC exclusion is not removable. 

For travel insurance providers that offer cover on PEMC, visit the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) Money Helper website, or call 0800 138 7777. BIBA's (The British Insurance Brokers' Association) Find Insurance Service offers information on serious PEMCs and travel insurance providers that may cover these conditions. You can also contact them on 0370 950 1790.

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.

Wherever you are, we’re here 24/7 to help you in any emergency.

Are you in need of emergency assistance right now?

For policies purchased on or after 1 September 2021:
+44 (0) 2030931750 (Call via an operator reverse charges. Not toll free.)

For policies purchased before 1 September 2021:
Phone: +353 21 237 8005 (Call via an operator reverse charges. Not toll free.)
Phone: +61 2 8263 0470 (Call via an operator reverse charges. Not toll free.)

Contact the team

Travel insurance. Simple & flexible.

Travel insurance for independent travelers and intrepid families. 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.