Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.
Friday, September 22nd
World Nomads has been in operation since 2002. As you might guess from their name, this travel insurance company has a strong focus on exploring the globe - and protecting adventurers with simple and flexible policies. You may appreciate their commitment to giving back to the places travelers visit through micro-donation opportunities when you purchase coverage. And, given that World Nomads gets the endorsement of Eurail, Hostelworld, TourRadar, and Intrepid, it's obvious that this service is most used by backpackers, explorers, and other adventurous sorts - and maybe not the family of six taking their first trip to Disney World.
Fewer questions than most sites
To get a quote here, you'll start by entering your country of residence. You'll indicate your travel dates and destination(s), the number and ages of the travelers. For the sample profile we used - two 35-year-olds going to Mexico for a week, approximately six months out from the date of our quote - we were offered the choice of two policies. As a side note, it was surprising not to be asked for the total trip cost, the date we made the first payment, or if we had already paid in full.
Some important options aren't available here
World Nomads' policies are underwritten by Nationwide, and there wasn't much that impressed us between the Standard Plan at $122. 85 and the Explorer Plan for $197.88. Neither one included protection for pre-existing medical conditions or the ability to cancel for any reason - and there was no opportunity to upgrade or add on those coverages. Also note that if you need emergency assistance while traveling, that will be fulfilled by Generali; both Nationwide and Generali are often quoted by other travel insurance websites, and you can be assured that they're well-respected in the industry.
Lots of included adventure sports
If you're planning on participating in activities, sports or other adventures while traveling, make sure to click on the link for the "over 200 adventure sports and activities" to see if it'll be covered under the plan you're considering. For example, scuba diving to a depth of 165 feet is covered under both the Standard and Explorer plans, but deeper than that or cave/cavern diving requires the Explorer plan. The only activities we saw that are completely excluded here are Base Jumping, Mountaineering over 22,965 feet (7,000 meters), and working as a Mountain Guide.
Love/hate relationship with customers
How about reputation? World Nomads had received an "F" from the Better Business Bureau at the time of this review. The BBB said that rating was because the company had 23 complaints filed, and 15 of them received no response. That's never encouraging. In looking at the feedback for this travel insurance in other places, sentiment was fairly mixed. While 1,000+ clients gave World Nomads a perfect five-star rating, nearly 600 gave it the lowest possible one-star score.
Some customers struggle to get covered claims paid (like trip delays due to stolen passports), while others seem to breeze right through the claims process and get reimbursed quickly. At least the complaints outside of the BBB seem to get a response from World Nomads' representatives - but there isn't often any follow-up to know if the policyholders wound up satisfied with the answers they got.
Doesn't deliver what they promise
If you want an insurance policy from Nationwide, you might as well just go directly to their site to buy it - or use one of the travel insurance comparison sites in our evaluation and see if that's really the best insurer for your travel situation. We're all for promoting world exploration and the peace of mind that comes with insurance coverage, but World Nomads just isn't doing a great job of providing that.
With daily news stories of delayed and canceled flights, lost baggage, and travelers stranded overseas in the middle of a natural disaster, it's easy to see why travel insurance is so important. Like most types of insurance, travel insurance is bought in the hopes that you'll never need it. But, for most travelers, it's worth the price for the protection it provides.
Have you ever thought that this coverage was just an unnecessary, added expense? That's fairly common: most people assume that they've got protection through their credit card company, their regular health insurance, even their homeowners' policy. In some situations, that may be accurate - but unless you know the details of those types of coverage, you're more likely to be left paying out-of-pocket expenses you thought were taken care of... but aren't included.
And, even if you do have that kind of protection, travel insurance policies can amplify your benefits. For example, if you choose a plan that offers $500,000 in primary medical coverage, you might not need to touch your regular health insurance: your bills will be reimbursed up to that amount, no matter what your everyday health plan includes. Car rental insurance can go above and beyond what's paid for by your credit card company or even your own vehicle's coverage - and that can be critical if you're driving in another country and have an accident.
What type of travel insurance do you need? Naturally, that depends on your trip, your travel party, and your budget. A single-trip policy will be more affordable than multi-trip coverage - but if you're traveling internationally more than once in a year, the annual policy becomes much more economical. Do you need to be able to cancel for any reason? Is it important to you to have a waiver of the pre-existing conditions exclusion? Are there any children under 18 in your party that might be included at no extra charge, depending on the insurer you select? These are all factors that will influence your decision when picking a travel insurance plan.
Confused yet? You do have a lot of options. Here are some criteria to help you sort through them and ultimately wind up with the travel insurance coverage you need:
To help you get the protection you need on your next adventure, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's most popular sources of travel insurance. We're confident that this information will make it easy to protect yourself and what you've spent on your trip - and to have backup if something goes off track on your journey. Bon voyage!
Select any 2 Travel Insurance Plans to compare them head to head
U.S. News & World ...
Expat Travel Insurance: The 5 Best Options for Globetrotters
Trip cancellation coverage worth up to 100% of the trip cost (maximum of $50,000) Trip interruption coverage worth up to 150% of the trip cost (maximum of $75,000) Emergency medical coverage worth up ...
Fri, 08 Sep 2023