Unsure how travel insurance works, and why you might need it? Get your answers here.

  • Trusted by:

Frequently asked questions

We do our best to make travel insurance both simple and flexible, but questions still come up. Here are answers to some of the questions we get asked the most.

This is just a brief summary – for more details, or if you have a question that's not on this list, please visit our online Help Desk or contact us.

This information is for residents of the United States only.

  • What is travel insurance?

    Travel insurance is designed to help cover your expenses if something goes wrong on your trip, and fill any gaps that wouldn't be covered by your primary medical insurance or other insurance you may have. It's not meant to be a substitute for primary medical insurance and won't cover non-essential medical treatment, such as routine exams.

    Travel insurance usually covers travel at a certain distance from your home (100 miles or more, in the case of World Nomads). You pay the insurance company a fee, called a "premium," which can vary based on where you're traveling, how long your trip is, your age, and what activities you plan to participate in. The insurance company agrees to cover costs (up to a certain limit) for things like emergency medical treatment, lost or stolen luggage, delayed flights, or nonrefundable expenses should you have to cancel your trip.

    Travel insurance can be an affordable way to protect yourself against unforeseen events. Having to cancel your long-anticipated trek in Patagonia due to a family emergency is bad enough without having to forfeit all your costs as well. Also, your personal medical insurance may not cover costs while traveling out of the country or might exclude certain activities. With travel insurance, you can explore your boundaries (within reason, of course) and still be covered.

  • What's covered and what's not?

    The full list of things we cover is too long to include here, but in general our coverage includes:

    • Emergency medical and dental expenses (including accidents that happen while participating in one of our many covered sports and activities)
    • Emergency evacuation (medical and non-medical)
    • Trip delay, cancellation, or interruption due to an unforeseen event
    • Lost, delayed, damaged, or stolen gear or bags

    Travel insurance isn’t designed to cover everything. Terms, conditions, and exclusions do apply, so be sure to read the full Travel Protection Plan to avoid surprises. You can view your policy after getting a quote.

    Here are the main things that aren’t covered:

    • Expenses related to a pre-existing medical condition (see below)
    • Non-emergency medical expenses, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses, routine physical exams, or cosmetic procedure
    • Items left unsupervised in a public place or unattended vehicle
    • Gear damaged while in use
  • What activities, sports and adventures are covered by World Nomads?

    We know our World Nomads like to get active when they travel, so we cover more than 200 sports and activities at a range of levels, depending on whether you buy our Standard or Explorer Plan. Check out this complete list to see if the adventure you're after is on it.

    But we don't cover carelessness. You must be acting responsibly at all times and not put yourself deliberately in danger (for instance, riding a motorbike without a helmet in Thailand).

  • What is my country of residence?

    The US is your country of residence if you're a U.S.A. citizen or resident with a U.S.A. residential address and unrestricted right of entry into the US. You must be able to provide documentation (a driver's license, for example) to prove your U.S.A. address.

    For purposes of this insurance, the U.S.A is all US States, the District of Columbia and overseas US Military bases. It does not include US Territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, the US Virgin Islands, and American Samoa).

    Why do I need to provide proof of residency?

    If you get sick or injured on your trip and need to be transported back home, it's important for us to know where you live (for obvious reasons). And while no one likes to think about this, we need to know where to transport your remains if you die.

    We also need to make sure we connect you with the right travel assistance team, who can coordinate with your home doctor and insurance provider if necessary, and help with other country-of-residence-specific things like replacing a lost passport.

    Why does coverage differ between different countries of residence?

    Insurance partners and regulations vary depending on your country of residence, so what's covered under your U.S. policy may differ from what's covered under your Aussie or French or Canadian travel buddy's plan. For the same reason, prices will also vary for travelers from different countries, even if they're on the same trip. And regulations can even vary between states, which is why you need to select a home state when you ask for a quote.

  • Am I covered if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

    Not typically. Pre-existing medical conditions – unless they are controlled and stable – are not covered under our policies for US residents. Not to get too technical, but a pre-existing condition is defined as something that you have showed symptoms of, been treated or tested for, recommended you be tested for, or received a prescription for in the 90 days prior to the effective date (or six months prior, for policies purchased before June 7, 2017). Get more information in our Help Desk.

  • Does my travel insurance cover medical costs upfront?

    It depends. World Nomads will arrange and pre-pay emergency medical evacuations.

    For other covered medical expenses, the insured pays out of pocket and then submits a claim to be reimbursed.  

    In all cases – even if your injury or illness seems fairly minor – you should call our 24-hour Emergency Assistance number.

    • +1-855-878-9588 (toll free within the US and Canada)
    • +1-603-328-1329 (toll free outside the US and Canada)

    Our team can help you with finding the most suitable medical facility, negotiating fees, and expediting payment. This will also establish a claim record, so the claim can be resolved more quickly.

    Keep in mind, World Nomads travel insurance is secondary to any health coverage you have at home, which means it does not cover care or treatment that is payable under your other policy. Our coverage will pay additional expenses (up to the policy limit) after your primary insurer has paid whatever it is obligated to pay.

  • How can I make a claim?

    You can claim online while traveling or after you return home. You can also contact the Customer Service Team for help.

    Claiming online is easy. If you're already a World Nomads member, you'll just need to sign in, follow the claims path and attach your supporting documents. If you're not a member, you can either create an account which lets you lodge most claims electronically or you can get in touch with our customer service team, who'll send out a paper form for you to complete.

    Before you submit your claim, gather all relevant bills, invoices, and other documentation providing evidence of the covered incident, which will help the claims team assess and process your claim. Depending on the type of claim, these documents might include:

    • A copy of your trip itinerary and/or invoice showing departure or return from the US
    • A copy of your US driver’s license or government-issued I.D.
    • Statements showing your payment for the trip
    • Proof of ownership for stolen or damaged items
    • An official written report (police, hotel staff, airport staff etc.) of lost, stolen, or damaged items
    • Credit card statements showing payment for medical services rendered
    • Written documentation of trip cancellations or delays, including reason for delay, revised itineraries, and receipts for additional expenses incurred

    If you're unsure what documents you’ll need, just call our Customer Service Team:

    • 1-816-905-3963 (Direct/Collect)
    • 1-844-207-1930 (Toll-Free within USA)

Have a question that's not on this list?

You can visit our online Help Desk, or contact us anytime:

  • 1-816-905-3963 (Direct/Collect)
  • 1-844-207-1930 (Toll-Free within USA)

We’re here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Back to top

Did you know travel insurance covers...

You can also buy away from home or buy more cover if you extend your trip. Plus, you can claim online anytime, anywhere in the world.

Travel Insurance Benefits: how we can take care of you

Trip Protection

Protect your hard earned vacation from unexpected cancellation.

  • Explorer Plan: $10,000
  • Standard Plan: $2,500
Trip Protection
  • Are you or your family sick, injured or dead?
  • Natural disaster or terrorist attack where you’re going?
  • Called to active service?

We’ve got your back.

Emergency Medical Insurance

Take the pain out of medical or dental costs.

  • Explorer Plan: $100,000
  • Standard Plan: $100,000
Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Need drugs quick?
  • Accidentally injured?
  • Suddenly sick?

We’ve got your back.

Evacuation and Repatriation

Emergency medical transportation: we’ll get you to hospital or home quickly.

  • Explorer Plan: $500,000
  • Standard Plan: $300,000
Evacuation and Repatriation
  • Banged up abroad?
  • Need a hospital urgently?
  • You or a family member dies?

Help starts here.

Protect your gear

Covers the loss, theft or damage of your bags, tech and gear.

  • Explorer Plan: $3,000
  • Standard Plan: $1,000
Protect your gear
  • Go Pro Gone?
  • Laptop Lost?
  • Sports Gear Stolen?

Help starts here.

  • Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical Expense
  • Emergency Evacuation & Repatriation
  • Trip Cancellation
  • Trip Interruption
  • Trip Delay
  • Baggage & Personal Effects
  • Baggage Delay (outward journey only)
  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) – where permissible
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment
  • One Call 24-Hour Assistance Services
  • One Call Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation Services
This is a general summary for US residents only. Restrictions, exclusions and limitations will apply. Benefit limits may vary depending on the plan chosen. Check the plan documents for full details.

We cover 200 activities you love + more

Snow 13 activities
Water 31 activities
Air 11 activities
Land 31 activities
Sports 32 activities
Extreme 24 activities
  • Scuba diving
  • Mountain biking
  • Surfing
  • Bungee jumping
  • Skiing
Blue activities are included in the Standard Plan. Orange and blue activites are included in the Explorer Plan.

24/7 emergency assistance

Whether you need medical or dental assistance or advice, emergency evacuation or travel assistance, our team are 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?

Telephone +1-855-878-9588 (toll free within the US and Canada) or +1-603-328-1329 (toll free outside the US and Canada)

Contact the team
Wherever you are, we’re here 24/7 to help you in any emergency.
Aurelie's portrait photo
Aurelie Menard,
Emergency Assistance, World Nomads

Get a quote

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

Underwritten by: