Top travel insurance tips to know before you go

Good insurance begins a long way from the departure lounge

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Whether or not you're a boy scout, there's wisdom in the maxim 'be prepared.' This is possibly even truer when adventuring abroad. Carry a first-aid kit. Research local etiquette and customs. Learn some of the language. And most importantly take the time to understand your travel insurance policy and what to do in case you need to use it.

Tip 1: Check if your favorite adventure activity is covered by your policy

World Nomads covers more than 150 adventure sports, activities and experiences. But some activities are more dangerous than others and may not be covered.

Upgrade required?

Depending on your Country of Residence, you may need to include an insurance upgrade when you buy to have cover for some activities. If you don't have the right level of coverage, you won't be able to claim if something goes wrong.

Get it right when you buy

The time to add upgrades or activities is when you purchase your travel insurance – you can't do it afterwards. So if you decide to detour to the ski slopes, make sure you have the policy to match.

What's not covered?

Some activities aren't covered at all. Your policy has the full list, but common sense can help: long walks along the beach – generally OK; dive-bombing to the depths of the Mariana Trench without your flippers – probably not. If you're unsure whether an activity is covered, contact us.

Read your policy wording

Many activities have special conditions and exclusions. If you don't follow these you may void your coverage. These include safety gear requirements, terrain limitations, geographical boundaries and more. And then there's the issue of licenses…

Tip 2: You might need a license for that

Having the right level of coverage is just the beginning. Travelers from some parts of the world need to have valid licenses in their home country as well as at the destination to have insurance cover for some activities. Broadly, these include:

  • Driving rented vehicles, such as cars and motorbikes. For example, you may need to be a licensed motorbike rider at home to be covered to ride the same class of motorbike on holiday. Plus, you'll need to follow your country of residence's laws on safety gear too, such as helmets or safety belts.
  • Scuba diving. If coverage for this is available under your policy, you'll need to be pre-accredited for the dive you want to do.

So before you jump on that bike or strap on an oxygen tank, make sure you already have the permit and expertise.

Tip 3: Gear gone? Stuff stuffed? A little admin makes claiming a cakewalk

It's tough enough when your bags or belongings are stolen or damaged. Keep your claim's process as smooth as possible with some pre-trip prep.

Keep the paperwork for your gear

Save photos of your items and digital copies of receipts, valuations or proof of ownership to cloud storage or your email. It's a good idea to leave copies of any documents with someone at home too.

If something is stolen or damaged

Along with your ownership and value documents, get reports from the police and, if your checked-in luggage went missing in transit, from the carrier (such as the airline).

While this might seem time-consuming, we ask it of all our travelers to help combat baggage claim fraud. Unfortunately, this is the number one reason we have to increase premiums for everyone. And remember, any payments include depreciation of an item's value unless you've nominated it as a high-value/specified item and paid the extra premium.

Tip 4: There are some places travel insurance won't go

World Nomads provides coverage to more than 130 countries but not all. We exclude some places because they are too dangerous for you to go there and too expensive for us to cover.

A 'do not travel' advisory means exactly that.

Before you start booking flights and accommodation or paying deposits, check out the relevant government's travel advisory for your destination. If there's a 'do not travel' advisory or similar, we can't insure you to go there. Please keep in mind that these warnings change regularly and might affect your cover.

Other places we don't cover

Your policy may exclude other regions, such as polar areas or places with political instability. Government sanctions may also restrict us from paying claims in certain countries, so we can't pay expenses incurred there. When you get your quote, World Nomads' online purchase path will tell you if we can't cover your destination country(ies).

All of the information we provide about travel insurance is a brief summary only. It does not include all terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions of the travel insurance plans described. Coverage may not be available for residents of all countries, states or provinces. Please carefully read your policy wording for a full description of coverage.

Tip 5: Stress less with added coverage for some Coronavirus (COVID-19) related events

With COVID-19 affecting our travel plans, it is more important than ever to know that you have access to coverage for some COVID-19-related events. Depending on your Country of Residence and the travel insurance plan you choose, you may also have access to:

  • Emergency medical coverage, evacuation and/or repatriation if you're diagnosed with COVID-19 while overseas;
  • Coverage for some additional COVID-19-related events such as cancellation following a diagnosis to assist our travelers on the Explorer Plan.

To find out what cover applies to you, read our What's Covered for Coronavirus article, which has all of the details, including benefit limits, conditions and exclusions.

Coverage depends on your Country of Residence and varies between plans.

Our policies aren't designed to cover everything, so take the time to read the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions in the policy wording for full details so that there are no surprises if you need to use it. If you're not sure if something is covered get in touch.

What Does my Travel Insurance Cover?

Teeth hit the ground

I put my foot in a funny way while I was walking quickly because it was raining, I just fell unexpectedly to the floor my face first so I put my arm bad and broke the shoulder a little bit and hit the ground with my front teeth so the lip was in blood and one tooth broken.
Claim paid: USD $3441.64
P.R. Italian Nomad.

Travel Insurance Benefits: how we can take care of you*

Trip Cancellation

Been working hard for your trip?

We'll work hard to protect it.

Trip Protection
  • Unexpectedly hospitalized?
  • Travel buddy unfit to travel?
  • Close relative suddenly dies?

We’ve got your back.

Emergency Medical Expenses

Feeling fit and healthy? What if you get sick or injured?

Take the pain out of medical or dental costs.

Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Need meds quick?
  • Accidentally injured?
  • Suddenly sick?

We’ve got your back.

Emergency Medical Transportation

Know where the nearest hospital is?

Don’t stress, we’ll get you there quickly.

Evacuation and Repatriation
  • Banged up abroad?
  • Need a hospital urgently?
  • Suddenly sick?

Help starts here.

Protect your gear

Love photography, filming or sport?

Cover your bags, tech or gear.

Protect your gear
  • Passport or tech stolen?
  • Airline lost your gear?
  • Bags delayed?

Help starts here.

  • Emergency Overseas Medical & Dental Expenses
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation & Repatriation
  • Trip Cancellation or Interruption
  • 24-Hour Assistance Services
  • Baggage
  • And more (depending on your country of residence)
*This is a general summary only. Restrictions, exclusions and limitations will apply. Coverage may not be available for all countries, states or provinces. Benefit limits may vary depending on the plan chosen. Get a quote for full details.

24/7 emergency assistance

Whether you need medical assistance or emergency evacuation, our teams 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?

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

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.