Photo © Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images

Travel insurance when volunteering

Don't let your good deeds go uncovered

    Trusted by:

  • Trusted by:

From Oxfam to The Salvation Army, the Brits have a proud history of helping out when they travel abroad.

If you want to give back when you travel, World Nomad’s travel insurance allows you to participate in a range of volunteer activities. From summer teaching programmes to clean water projects, volunteering can help strengthen communities, forge meaningful connections and change lives.

What coverage does travel insurance provide for volunteers?

What's Covered

What's not Covered

Want to step out into the world and volunteer your time?
If you need travel insurance when volunteering because you're planning to give back on your trip, World Nomads plans may cover:

• Trip cancellation
• Trip interruption
• Medical emergency expenses
• Emergency evacuation
• Baggage delay
• Theft of baggage and personal belongings.

As a global citizen contributing to good causes, we hope that you'll act responsibly and within your limits. But just to be clear, we won't cover any incidents related to:

• Alcohol or drug abuse
• Reckless behaviour
• Criminal or illegal acts
• Changing your mind about your trip
• Pre-existing medical conditions
• Any volunteer work over 2 meters in height
• Personal liability – this means for example, if you hurt or injure someone intentionally in the course of volunteering – you will need to pay for it.

What volunteer activities are covered by travel insurance?

In both our Standard and Explorer plans, we provide travel insurance cover for a range of non-manual volunteer activities, which may include:

  • Retail work such as helping out in a co-op shop
  • Teaching
  • Clerical work
  • Childcare
  • Some volunteering in communities on projects.

For all volunteering work, you must have the right equipment and clothing, the proper training and be supervised appropriately. When you purchase travel insurance, be sure to add the activity to your quote so it’s included in your policy.  

We also offer an optional upgrade for manual activities such as:

  • World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF)
  • Environmental and conservation work that involved farm hand style activities
  • Manual work or work with power tools under two metres in height not involving the use of mechanical or industrial machinery.

What volunteer activities are excluded?

Some volunteer activities may not be covered as they’re just too risky for us to cover, for example volunteer firefighting,  or activities in places known to be unsafe or dangerous. This includes volunteer work that includes:

  • Work performed over 2 meters in height
  • Work performed offshore, underground or in caves
  • Operating machinery
  • Working with dangerous animals and / or big game.

If you’re not sure about coverage, contact us and we’ll help you.

This is only a summary of cover and does not include the full terms, conditions, limits and exclusions of the policy. You should read your policy wording in full, so you understand what is and isn't covered.

If haven't yet chosen a volunteer program, you can find inspiration in our article about choosing ethical volunteer programs

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.


Here are our most frequently asked questions about overseas medical insurance. You can also find the answers to other questions in our Helpdesk or you can ask our customer service team. If you’re looking for general travel advice, you can ask our community at Ask a Nomad.

  • Does my insurance cover medical costs upfront or do I have to pay and claim later?
    Who pays depends on what happened. If it’s an emergency situation, where medical evacuation is required, World Nomads can cover these costs upfront (provided the incident is covered as per the policy wording and you get pre-approval from the Emergency Assistance team). You must contact World Nomads 24/7 Emergency Assistance if you have a medical emergency.