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Travel insurance when volunteering

Don't let your good deeds go uncovered

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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 Medical Insurance

Take the pain out of medical costs.

  • 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

We'll get you to hospital pronto.

  • Explorer Plan: £10 million
  • Standard Plan: £5 million
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
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.
Customers with pre-existing medical conditions

You can still purchase a World Nomads policy if you have a Pre-Existing Medical Condition (PEMC) – whether it is serious or not – but we won’t cover any claim/s made by any traveller under the policy as a result of this condition (this includes if you’re on separate or joint policies). This exclusion can’t be removed from the policy.   

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) has a travel insurance directory on its Money Advice Service website, or you can contact the service on 0800 138 7777. This service provides details on what may be considered a PEMC, and travel insurance providers that may cover serious PEMCs, which may assist travellers wanting cover for these conditions. 

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?

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
Wherever you are, whatever has happened, our multi-lingual assistance teams are here to help you and your family.
Aurelie's portrait photo
Aurelie Menard,
Emergency Assistance, World Nomads

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.

World Nomads Travel Insurance was reviewed on Trust Pilot on 1st August 2017 and rated 4 stars


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.