Choosing a travel insurance company can seem like a daunting task, especially when you’re already spending a ton of time planning for your next big trip.

Not all insurance is equal… believe us. You need to make sure that your plan will cover you for everything you intend on doing. In our experience, World Nomads is the best insurance for backpackers.

Already know and trust World Nomads? Get a Quote Below

Why Trust Us?

We’ve been travelling for over 7 years and we’ve tried numerous different insurance plans. We’ve even bought in-country health insurance. We know what insurance plans work, and which ones do not.

We’re backpackers, long-term travellers and adventure seekers just like you. We’ve been sick, injured and stranded on the road and we know just how important it is to have the right coverage.

horse riding over pass
Climbing A Mountain Pass on Horseback in Kyrgyzstan? World Nomads Covers That.

We would never recommend an important service that we didn’t use, trust and fully endorse. We believe that World Nomads is the best travel insurance for backpackers… hands down.

Why Do You Need Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance gives you peace of mind when you’re on the road. You never know what will happen when you’re travelling and insurance just gives you that extra confidence to travel how you want to.

You may be thinking “I travel to cheap countries, if I get sick I’ll just pay my hospital bills”. While this can be true, you should keep in mind that medical bills can add up quickly… even in cheap countries.

World Nomads is incredibly affordable so even one visit to the doctor will probably cost you more than a couple of months on your plan.

If you need to call an ambulance, Medivac or be air lifted to a nearby hospital, your insurance will cover you… your backpacker’s budget WILL NOT. (Average Medivac in Europe = £25,000)

Travel insurance only costs a few dollars a day, so you’d be crazy not to get it.

You wouldn’t drive your car without insurance, why risk your life?

Travel Insurance for Backpackers

How Much Will World Nomads Cost?

The cost for travel insurance always differs depending on what country you’re from. You can use this handy tool below. Just add in your nationality and proposed dates of travel and World Nomads will give you a quick and easy quote. It’s as simple as that.

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What Does World Nomads Cover?

World Nomads covers almost every activity imaginable. Their plans are comprehensive and designed for adventure and long-term travellers.

Got mugged on the street and had all of your belongings stolen?

You’re covered. World Nomads covers you for unprovoked assault by a third-party, and you would be covered for replacement of your personal belongings and medical bills.

Caught in an avalanche while skiing?

You’re covered.

Attacked by a lion on a wildlife safari in Africa?

Unlikely, but… you’re covered.

Animals Of The World Too Close For Comfort - Addo National Park, South Africa
If This Lion Decided To Attack… World Nomads Would’ve Covered Us.

Starting to get the picture? So long as you’re not doing something stupid like getting intoxicated and chasing tigers nude through the jungle, World Nomads will probably cover you.

All the adventures you can think of.

Most insurance plans won’t cover you for extreme sports like bungee jumping, canyon swinging, scuba diving and kite surfing, but World Nomads plans cover a whole range of wacky adventure activities, and they’re still cheaper than many of the plans that don’t.

Travel Insurance For Backpackers Coverage

World Nomads will cover you for $5,000,000 out-of country medical expenses, $500,000 emergency medical transportation, $1,000 trip cancellation, $2,500 for your luggage and personal belongings and $10,000 for trip accidents.

(Remember, coverage varies based on nationality and age, to find exact coverage for you, click here)

What Makes World Nomads The Best Option For Backpackers & Long-Term Travellers?

Aside from its amazing coverage, excellent rates and 24-hour customer service, World Nomads is the only travel insurance we know of that you can obtain and extend while on the road.

Most policies require you to be in your home country to purchase, renew or extend… not World Nomads. If your trip goes a little longer than planned, you can easily extend your plan online.

Are you reading this article from the road and you’re currently not covered? Visit their website now and buy your plan… from wherever you are in the world.

backpacking tajikistan
Helicopter Ride? Covered.

Why Do We Prefer World Nomads?

World Nomads prides itself on being the best travel insurance for on-the-go travellers who want optimal coverage with excellent rates, and we can vouch for them. We have used them time and time again and love their easy claims system and superb customer service.

After being on the road for over a year and wanting to extend, World Nomads was the only travel insurance we could find that we could renew while we were still away travelling.

We’ve personally had to make claims while in Africa and World Nomads streamlined the process and allowed us to make claims online. We know how terrible internet can be in some places.

Imagine trying to Skype from a slow internet cafe while your sick, trying to negotiate your claim (been there). Not with World Nomads. They make claims easy and straightforward and if you do decide to call, their 24 hour customer service agents are friendly, patient and efficient.

We’ve used World Nomads because we’re backpackers, adventurers and long-term travellers. Simply put, they are the best provider we’ve found to cover our needs at a price that we can afford. Period.

Goats On The Road Disclaimer:

We weren’t asked to write this article to promote World Nomads. We aren’t being paid for this article, we just recommend World Nomads and have used their services multiple times.

If you choose to book your travel insurance through links on this page, we will receive a small commission, but it will not cost you a penny extra, and it helps to keep this site running.

We didn’t write this post for the commissions, we just thought that people should know what travel insurance we use and trust. You should aways do your own research and make sure you know exactly what your policy covers before you purchase it.

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Why World Nomads Is The Best Travel Insurance For Backpackers

Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, we receive a small commission. This will never cost you extra and in many cases you receive a special discount. We appreciate your support!

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Nick Wharton & Dariece Swift

Written by

Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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49 thoughts on “Why World Nomads Is The Best Travel Insurance For Backpackers

    1. Do not buy this insurance. It is NOT a good product! They do not cover theft of electronic equipment from a motor vehicle. (Section 21.3 b) and does not provide cover of cash. They are also absent in case of medical issues! there are plenty of better product on internet so please stay away from buying the insurance from this company.
      From and EX-customer
      Nino Atria

  1. This is probably going to shock anyone who reads it, but I’ve never had travel insurance. After my experience last year with tearing a hamstring on my honeymoon, and having our passports, keys, credit and debit cards (pretty much everything you need to live/travel), I’ll be looking into this now!

  2. Great stuff. We use World Nomads as well and have thankfully never had to make a claim. I found your description of the claims process helpful. When we were looking to buy, I searched and searched and found plenty of people recommending WN but couldn’t find much in the way of “how easy is it to actually file a claim and be paid.”

    1. Thanks Adam. Glad you could find some useful info 🙂 Since getting any sort of Skype signal abroad is usually pretty difficult, it’s nice to be able to do everything online.

      Cheers! Safe travels.

  3. Many people who travel forget the most important thing–their travel insurance. Planning for a perfect journey and vacation is not worthwhile when you’re not covered by a protective travel policy. I find World Nomads very helpful!

  4. Great info thank you! I’ve been lurking on your site for a couple months now and found it extremely helpful (packing, planning, things I never knew I would need, etc.). I’m leaving today for a 3 month trip that starts in Europe for a couple weeks and then off to India and Nepal for 2.5 months! Including a trek in the Himalayas and a stay at a yoga ashram in Rishikesh. I just purchased some insurance through your link to help you keep this going!

    1. Thank you so much Nupur! Enjoy your trip. It sounds like you have some pretty epic plans 🙂 The Himalayas are incredible and an ashram stay is very spiritual and a great place for some introspection.

      Happy travels !

  5. Hello, We are in the process of planning a one year Europe trip, we where wondering if you have used Worldnomads for their health insurance? Have you had to visit a doctor or emergency room? how was the claim process?

    Also you mentioned to have the model and serial numbers of the cameras etc, if they steal your posessions what does world nomads require when you file a claim?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Rudy,

      Yes, we have used World Nomads and it was easy to make a claim. The bill wasn’t for very much though, just a few hundred dollars. We just called them, and they sent us claim forms by email – but I believe you can do an email claim as well.

      I’m not sure about the camera claims, you’ll have to speak with a WN representative regarding that.

      What we really loved though was that we could extend our policy while out of Canada – usually you have to be at home in order to get travel insurance, or extend.


  6. Hey there,
    You have a pretty nice blog, but I just wanted to mention that World Nomad doesn’t insure Québecois…. witch is quite annoying. I wouldn’t say that is the best option just for that reason.

    1. Hi Cynthia, I am currently in Thailand and my RAMQ is not valide anymore because I’ve been out for more than 182 days ( also already used the 6 months extension last year).

      I’m from Quebec and now can’t find any international insurance… Did you have another one that covers Quebecois??

      Thank you!

        1. Hello,

          I am also a quebecoise who doesn’t have health insurance anymore. Any recommendations on travel insurance companies that will cover me?? I found caremed, but am looking to find any other companies to compare. Sadly world nomads doesn’t cover our province 🙁

  7. Hello! Your blog has been super helpful to my husband and I! We are planning to spend about three months in SE Asia, and a bit of time in Turkey and Georgia. I am just setting us up for travel insurance now. While we are from Canada, we are in the process of moving across the country, so you could say we are ‘between provinces.’ I cancelled our BC health insurance, but we aren’t yet eligible for OHIP. When I went to complete my purchase I noticed that because of this our coverage for emergency medical, dental, and emergency transportation dropped down to $20,000.

    I am wondering if you have any experience with this? Seeing as you are almost always out of the country, do you maintain your provincial health care plan? I really hope nothing happens to us when we are travelling, and $20,000 still seems like a lot, but it just got me worried! Thanks again for all your great travel advice and tips!

    1. Hi Adriana!

      Thank you for the kind words about our site. It sounds like you have an exciting trip planned!

      Unfortunately, you do need to have Provincial coverage in order to get the full coverage from World Nomad. Is there any way you could reinstate your BC insurance? What if you contacted the Ontario healthcare and told them you need it asap? Perhaps you could hold off on getting coverage with World Nomads until your ON healthcare has kicked in – or will that not be until after your trip?

      If not, $20,000 isn’t so bad 🙂 I wouldn’t worry too much about it. You’ll want some sort of coverage, and 20K is better than nothing.

      For us, we are considered expats now, and don’t have any coverage from Canada anymore. We have to pay for expat insurance, which is quite expensive!

      I hope this helps.

  8. Hi ! 🙂

    Fellow Canadians here! We are a couple from Manitoba planning on going traveling for 10 months in November (!!). Not sure which province you guys are from but in Manitoba you lose your provincial health coverage after being gone for 6 months and World Nomads clearly indicates that they’ll only cover you if you’re covered under your provincial insurance…Did you have to deal with that problem ? if yes, how?

    PS : I love your blog and come back to it really often to plan our trip. Super useful !!

    Thank you!

    1. Hey Canadians!

      As Albertans, we were able to stay away for 2 years. I suggest contacting healthcare Manitoba and see if they make exceptions – they often do. All we had to do was contact them when we returned and they reinstated our healthcare for the year that we returned to Canada.

      Hopefully it’ll work for you! Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for “expat” insurance, which costs much more…

      Thanks for following and for commenting, we’re glad you find our content useful! If you use one of the links in this article to purchase your World Nomads Insurance, we receive a small referral commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks in advance for your support 🙂

  9. Hi,
    I love your website and I’m glad I came across this blog post – I am currently looking to book travel insurance to travel India for 4 months. Both you and Lonely Planet recommend world nomads, and I really trust your opinions, however when I did a quick google review search I came across tripadvisor and productreview – both with almost all absolutely terrible reviews of WN (links below). Apart from 2 (out of about 200) they all had horrible experiences and said do not book. I see in your article you write about how they are great because they cover everything, easy to extend etc…..but what about when you actually have to claim? This seems to be the problem according to the reviews… I wonder what your opinion on this is? I am in no way undermining your opinion! Just stuck in a bit of a conundrum…
    Thanks for any advice you can offer! Clem.

    1. Well, we don’t get involved with Product Review because the site is run by a bunch of Russians who accept payment in return for ranking the reviews in favour of who pays the most. We’ve also found companies that pay their customers to write nice things about them, which is hardly fair nor ethical, so be warned.

      I can however say clearly that World Nomads help a ton of people (the things we see happen you don’t want to know) and pay millions in claims. No, we don’t pay all claims because there are policy exclusions which we try very hard to highlight.

      I created the company to cover people like me, people who travelled but whose plans often changed. We can’t please all of the people all of the time, but the origin of the company and the values that continue to drive it successfully are all genuine.

      Hope that helps

    2. Hi Clem!

      I am SO SORRY! I didn’t see your comment until just now, after the awesome WN team already answered it 🙂 I personally would go by what other backpackers, guidebooks and bloggers say rather than a review site. Claiming can be done online, which is amazing when you’re on the road.

      A comment from below on this thread reads:

      “+1 for World Nomads! Anne and I have received ~$4,000 in compensation from our hospital bills so far. World Nomads processed the claims fast and fair!”

      Obviously, you’ll do your research and make your own informed decision, but we (and many others) recommend WN 🙂

      Good luck and happy travels!

  10. I will get insurance from World Nomads because they were the most clear about what they cover or not on their website. Thanks for the post, it helped me to choose it too.

  11. +1 for World Nomads! Anne and I have received ~$4,000 in compensation from our hospital bills so far. World Nomads processed the claims fast and fair!

  12. Hi, going to USA, central and south America on a year long trip in April. Every blog etc I read suggests world nomads but they don’t cover central and south America! To me it makes no sense that so many people would suggest insurance that doesn’t cover a major backpacking area. It’s left me very confused because I want to make sure everything is covered but I obviously can’t use world nomads. Do you have any other suggestions? Thanks

    1. Hi Josie,

      I just tried booking insurance, and entered Guatemala and Argentina as where I was going… and there were no issues. Which country are you from? I put that I’m from Canada – maybe there is an issue with where you’re from? I know that being Canadian, World Nomads won’t cover us for Cuba, but it will cover those from the UK, Australia, etc.

      1. I am from the UK so perhaps this is why ( I haven’t seen central and south America being a problem on any other insurance) but obviously can’t book it so that is that.

        I am now looking at true traveller which does a similar policy where you can extend when out of the country.

        Thank you for your reply!

        1. Hi Josie,

          I believe that the issue you were having was that you were typing in “South America” or “Central America”. I just tried Honduras, Argentina, Peru, etc. and put my home country as the UK and had no issues.

          Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner.

          Happy travels

  13. Hi guys,

    I looking to get a travel insurance for digital nomads now, I like WN but I have some doubts regarding the process of payment for medical expenses. Do I have to pay the bills first and then make a claim to get the money back, or if I call with a medical emergency/illness they will indicate an approved doctor/hospital and pay it directly?

    I had a travel insurance that I used (for a minor illness) while traveling in India a few years back and it was sooo helpful that they paid directly to the doctor/clinic so my only concern was getting to the clinic. But, I need to be home to renovate that insurance again, so it doesn’t work or my nomad lifestyle anymore 🙁

    1. Hi Mariana,

      It may depend on where you’re from, but this is what I’ve found on WN site:

      “This information is for residents of United States only (Change)

      If you need to get to hospital or see a doctor for a sudden and serious illness or after being injured in an accident, then call the emergency assistance team and they can direct you to the nearest, most suitable medical facility.

      If required, the assistance team can sort out your admission to hospital, arrange emergency transport and talk directly with your treating doctor about your condition. Where cover is confirmed, they will also arrange, through your insurer, for your bills to be paid direct.

      If you’ve been taken to hospital already, have received medical treatment or need emergency transportation, then you (or someone else) must contact the emergency assistance team as soon as reasonable. If you don’t let them know, your cover may be affected. If you’ve paid the bills already, you can make a claim online through your membership page.”

      Happy and safe travels!

  14. Hello fellow Canadians,

    I am an Expat currently living in South Korea as a visitor for the next 6 months after having completed 6 years of consecutive department of education contracts. I am originally from Nova Scotia however, my provincial health care plan has expired (as I was covered by my Korean employer for over 6 years). I am not planning on returning to Canada until the fall of 2017. I was interested in purchasing World Nomads insurance as it ‘seems’ to cover all of my travel needs, however, I just read your comments and replies above and now realize that I am in need of Expats Insurance instead.

    Which Expats Insurance company are you currently with? Were you able to get a quote and purchase a plan online? Can the plan you have be purchased while outside of Canada?

    I have been searching through various policies and travel websites over the past week for these details but their ‘definitions’ are vague and my head is spinning. I’d appreciate any information you can offer me in this regard.

    Thank-you kindly

  15. I’m planning on traveling to the Philippines for 6-7 weeks and would like to find out more about your travel insurance. I have medical issues but I’m covered with my medical insurance …I just want to have an insurance that if I need to be back in the US earlier, if I can be covered and not pay extra for changing my flight?

  16. As a long term traveler, World Nomads are now the only company I would use!

    Most companies don’t cover you if you are traveling more than a year, so they are an absolute gem.

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  18. Extraordinary stuff. We utilize World Nomads too and have fortunately never needed to make a claim. I discovered your portrayal of the cases procedure accommodating. When we were hoping to purchase, I looked and sought and discovered a lot of individuals suggesting WN however couldn’t discover much in the method for “how simple is it to really document a claim and be paid.”

  19. Hi Nick and Dariece! I am looking into getting World Nomads but they said that the “trip” length is defined in coverage as 90 days, meaning I’d need to return home every 90 days for my annual coverage to be active. How do you get around this or do you have a specific plan? I’m a US resident by the way if that matters

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