World Nomads is one of the most popular travel insurance companies for travelers, and this piece will collect and summarize comments from people who have used it.
So far, we’ve collected just 9 submissions from digital nomads, with (very roughly speaking) 4 positive reviews, 3 neutral/OK reviews and 2 negative reviews. We’ll update this post as more submissions come in (if you’ve used World Nomads, please make a submission here), and have listed all the submissions so far below.
I am a frequent World Nomads user and I'm very happy with my experiences with them. I recommend them every chance I get. I _have_ had to make a claim and can say I was shocked at how easy, straightforward, and fast the process was. Plus, World Nomads noticed something I overlooked in my claim and went ahead and issued a reimbursement for it, no questions asked.
--Ashley Smith, My Wanderlusty Life
I've used World Nomads for several years and have made multiple claims—from motorcycle accidents to lung infections to stomach bacteria. I was reimbursed for everything I claimed, but the process wasn't always easy. First of all, if your injury involves multiple doctors visits, pharmacy charges, transportation, etc, it's a huge pain to fill out the claim form. Now that I know how tedious and time consuming it is, I no longer claim anything that costs less than $50. It's not worth the hassle. Second, your deductible and benefits depend on your home country. I learned this the hard way. When I purchased my plan as a US resident, there was no deductible. But a few years later when I purchased a new plan as a resident of Colombia, the deductible was a couple hundred dollars. I had an incident and took the time to file the claim, only to realize the claim amount was less than the deductible. What a waste of time! Moral of the story: Read the fine print.
--Mitch Glass, Project Untethered
In October 2018 I found out after taking one flight, that my next would never happen. I was stranded in Washington DC and the airline that was scheduled to take me to Europe to begin a major tour with G Adventures had declared bankruptcy! It's amazing that airlines can do this, just file and strand thousands of travelers in between destinations with no way to get home or continue on their trip! I was horrified and had no idea what to do. I found out from some news articles that Primera Air had even suspended their phone and email operations so you couldn't get any information from them. I immediately called World Nomads, which I had THANKFULLY booked for the trip with their standard insurance. Unfortunately the event had to result in trip cancellation, but I was able to get all my money back! I sent them a claim with the news articles about the airline collapse and all my receipts and within a few weeks them mailed me a check! G Adventures kept my deposit on file and I was able to use it for a future trip. If I had been in the middle of my trip, World Nomads would have allowed me to book a new flight home and claim that as trip interruption. If I didn't have this insurance I would have lost $3,000 in total for my flights and tour cost. Since then I have always booked insurance with them and recommend it to everyone I know. I had a great customer experience during a traumatizing time talking to their reps about what to do. Now that I know how important insurance is I usually get the upgraded option so I have more coverage on trip cancellation and medical costs, but all of their plans are very good.
--Summer Austin, TravelingSummer.com
I purchased World Nomads for my recent Everest Base Camp trek in March 2020 (just before Nepal's nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19).
My experience was that purchasing it was really easy, but the main concern and reason I had purchased it was because of anxieties over altitude sickness (AMS) in the mountains and thereafter requiring an emergency evacuation via helicopter. The terms were such that despite paying USD 250, I would have to pay an additional USD 750 if I was to hire a helicopter down and this had to be done through World Nomads.
I ended up needing a helicopter evacuation. In addition, our flights were all cancelled and we ended being stuck for two weeks in Kathmandu (some where stuck in Lukla) before we managed to get out. This entire debacle was covered even on Al-Jazeera!
We wrote to World Nomad who specifically told us that the costs we had incurred during this lock down/flight cancellation etc could not be claimed. But that we could nevertheless submit a claim for the same. There is a specific exclusion clause for insurance coverage for pandemics.
We have not heard back since.
I would recommend World Nomads only in the sense that at least for Malaysians, there are NO other insurance choices available. All other insurance companies have refused to provide coverage for emergency helicopter evacuation due to AMS. It is better to have some coverage than none at all although retrospectively, I wish I hadn't gotten it.
I am a digital nomad and I have used this company 3 times, had 3 claims but I never got my money back. They always have a good excuse,
The first time, I was in Brazil and the flight I book was cancelled because the airline went bankrupt. I understood they didn't want to pay me back because most insurances don't in this case.
The second time, my hospital fee in Mexico weren't expensive enough. It had to be over $70 dollars ant it was $63.
The third time, I experienced bad food poisoning in Mexico. I should have called them before going to the hospital but I really couldn't as I was very sick. I sent them all the paper. In the beginning, they were denying all the papers I've sent, so I had to threaten them that I was part of a digital nomad community and that I would talk about them if they don't pay me. Then they said they'll pay me. It's been 3 months now that I am waiting for their payment. I was wondering if this company wasn't fake of something... I don't think they'll pay me back... My food poisoning cost me around $150.
I chose this insurance because it was a little bit cheaper than other ones, but next time I'll definitely take someone else's services.
--Caroline, Facebook profile
We used World Nomads as a sort of bridge insurance when our initial policy ran out part way through our 7 month trip in Asia and Australia. It was great that everything could be sorted on the day we purchased insurance and some coverage was applied straight away. This was quite limited to very serious things like personal injury though, not covering minor issues. In addition to their initial 48hr limited coverage, we found them quite pricey compared to our previous insurer. This was a deal through a bank though so it may have offered much better rates than publicly available. Using World Nomads was extremely easy and allowed us to get coverage part way through our trip, I would probably use them again if their prices were more competetive the next time we checked.
--George Driscoll, immyandgeorge.com
I had a GoPro Hero 6 stolen from my bag on the first day of a trip abroad. I contacted World Nomads and they advised me of the documentation I needed to provide to start my claim. In this case, I had to get a police report of the incident, send a copy of the receipt showing the purchase of the item, and fill out a form with my personal information. I was able to send this all through e-mail/attached pictures of the claim forms, which was great because I was traveling and did not have access to a printer or fax. Within a couple of weeks, my claim had been processed, and World Nomads reimbursed me the full price that I paid for my GoPro 6 ($650 CAD). Because I had just bought the GoPro before leaving, they reimbursed me for the entire value since there was no depreciation amount to factor in. Overall, the claiming experience with World Nomads was very smooth. Just a day into the trip and the cost of my travel insurance had already paid for itself. It definitely made me a World Nomads customer for life!
--Lora Pope, Explore with Lora
Is World Nomad travel insurance any good? Out of five stars, I'd give it 2.5
- Very easy to set up a plan: go on their website, input details of your trip, pick your coverage, pay and you're done
- It's not hard to reach a human being if you have questions during the purchase process, while you're traveling, or when you have to file a claim
- System to file a claim isn't hard to navigate: it lets you start and save and give you some details on documents needed
- Although you can get a human on the phone for questions, it's hit or miss if they'll be able to help you. I had to file a claim and spoke to several different customer service reps. Each time I asked a question it was like they were reading off of a script and not listening to m question. I'd rather they say I don't know or I can't answer those questions than getting an attitude with me for asking them to actually answer my question. Much can be improved with their customer service training
- They're essentially just a sales portal so when you have a real issue you'll be directed to several different places to get a resolution. The customer service of these places is iffy. Another company provides the actual insurance, another company deals with the claims, and yet another company deals with payment for the claims. You have to search around for the correct place to go and numbers to call. World Nomads should have it all on their site if I paid them for the service
- They need to update their policies to reflect the complicated law enforcement/government landscapes in certain countries: it's not always easy to get police reports for items lost or stolen. If you've submitted all other necessary documents proving loss of personal items they will reject your claim. Understanding they don't want to get taken advantage of, but they should know which countries are harder to navigate and put other requirements in place for documentation required
- Coverage better for medical needs while traveling, but note that it's for when you need to be hospitalized or worst, not for I got mild food poisoning and need to pay for medicine
- Coverage not great for protection of personal items: they base how much they reimburse you on how old the item is (fair) and how much they think it has depreciated (not fair) especially when you ask how they got to that number and you're not given any real explanation for their formula. As with all insurance, they make money when you pay your premiums and they have to pay you back little to nothing. Don't expect much back for loss of personal items.
- Read you're policy in detail: Document states what you'll need to file a claim, make sure you have everything
--Kemi Adewumi, travelerpartyofone.com
As full-time digital nomads, my husband and I have been customers of World Nomads for over two years. Thankfully, we have only made one claim so far, but had a great experience with them. A few months back, my husband slipped on a hike and hurt his shoulder. While it wasn’t an emergency, we wanted to check it out. After waiting on hold for awhile, we finally connected with a World Nomads customer service rep who explained the claim process to us, and assured us that an MRI would be covered for his shoulder. Three hospital visits and one MRI later, World Nomads refunded us for 100% of the cost, which was approximately $250, in about 3 weeks. It was simple and easy to do submit the claim online.
Recently, we have been using SafetyWing traveler’s insurance, but switch between them and World Nomads. While World Nomads is more expensive than SafetyWing, recently SafetyWing stopped covering costs associated with COVID-19. World Nomads, which doesn’t expressly cover pandemics, does however cover the costs associated with COVID-19 as if they were typical doctor and hospital visits. Another benefit with World Nomads is that they will cover you in your home country (the United States for us) if you are over 50 miles from your home address. SafetyWing, on the other hand, only covers 15 days in the US every quarter.
--Alex Davis, ryanandalex.com