Is World Nomads travel insurance the best in 2024?

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Sunny Yadav updated on 16 August 2023

World Nomads is a prominent travel insurance provider that extends its coverage to Canadian travellers. The company specializes in catering to the insurance needs of individuals engaged in adventurous or extended travel, including backpackers, digital nomads and enthusiasts of various outdoor pursuits.

But is World Nomad's travel insurance any good? What are its pros and cons? How much does it cost? Should you chose it over another company?

This review will cover all aspects of World Nomad travel insurance for Canadians, including its plans and quote. Let’s start with our five key takeaways.

5 key takeaways on World Nomads travel insurance

  1. World Nomads' Standard and Explorer plans are tailored for individuals seeking adventurous experiences.
  2. Coverage for typically excluded activities like scuba diving and rock climbing.
  3. No "Cancel for any reason (CFAR)" coverage; no coverage for individuals aged 66 and above.
  4. Its Digital Nomad travel insurance plan emphasizes on location-independent lifestyles and a variety of travel scenarios.
  5. Coverage for pre-existing conditions varies between plans.

Our 2024 review of World Nomads travel insurance

World Nomads is a well-known travel insurance provider that offers annual and single trip coverages for travellers, including Canadians. The company specializes in providing insurance for people who are engaged in adventurous or long-term travel, such as backpackers, digital nomads and those participating in various outdoor activities.

World Nomads' Standard and Explorer plans are ideal for travellers seeking thrilling adventures such as mountain biking, skydiving and heli-skiing. Here are the pros and cons of World Noman travel insurance to give you more insights into its travel insurance policy:

Pros of World Nomad:

  • Coverage for activities that numerous insurers typically exclude, including scuba diving, rock climbing,and skydiving
  • Up to $500,000 in coverage for emergency medical evacuation
  • Round-the-clock travel assistance hotline for immediate support
  • Coverage for the theft or loss of sporting equipment in both plan options

Cons of World Nomad:

  • The "Cancel for any reason" option is missing
  • Excludes coverage for individuals aged 66 and above
  • Lower trip cancellation/interruption maximums
  • No coverage for certain riskier activities, such as high-altitude expeditions

Overall, World Nomads travel insurance is a great choice for travellers since it includes all basic coverage options along with coverage for scuba diving, rock climbing and skydiving.

Before you chose World Nomad's travel coverage, compare it to the offers of other insurers:

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What are the different World Nomads travel insurance plans?

World Nomads presents travellers with two distinct plan options: the Standard and Explorer insurance plans. Here’s a quick overview of both:

World Nomads' Standard Plan

Designed with budget-conscious travellers in mind, the Standard plan encompasses pre- and post-departure coverages.

  • It includes provisions for trip cancellation, trip delay, trip interruption, emergency evacuation, emergency medical insurance and coverage for baggage and personal effects. 
  • The plan extends emergency medical assistance and evacuation services to instances of injury during participation in high-risk activities like parasailing, mountain biking or bungee jumping.

World Nomads' Explorer Plan

The Explorer plan builds upon the foundation of the Standard plan, offering an elevated level of coverage. This comprehensive travel insurance plan encompasses all the features of the Standard plan but incorporates higher coverage limits.

  • Emergency medical expenses surge from $5 million to $10 million.
  • Trip cancellation coverage expands from $2,500 to $5,000.
  • Coverage for the theft or loss of sporting equipment sees an increase from $1,000 to $2,500.

What does World Nomads travel insurance cover in Canada?

World Nomads travel insurance coverage typically includes a range of benefits and protections designed to address various travel-related situations, including:

  • Medical repatriation
  • Adventure sports and activities
  • Baggage and gear
  • Delayed baggage
  • Overseas dental
  • Terrorism
  • Overseas medical
  • Trip cancellation
  • Death overseas
  • Pregnancy
  • Domestic travel
  • Travel accidents

World Nomads provides coverage for over 250 different types of adventurous activities, but it all depends on the specific plan you select. Activities for all include:

  • Curling
  • Glacier walking
  • Indoor ice skating
  • Horse-drawn sleigh rides
  • Kite surfing
  • Sailing/Yachting
  • Snorkelling
  • Surfing
  • Speed boating
  • Water skiing/wakeboarding
  • Aerial safari
  • Bungee jumping
  • Canyon swing
  • Fly by wire
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Zipline
  • Camel ride or trekking overnight
  • Camping up to 4,500 metres
  • Caving/spelunking
  • Cycling/mountain biking up to 6,000 metres
  • Dune buggy
  • Rock climbing/bouldering
  • Stilt walking

Optional extras include:

  • Skiing/snowboarding (resort)
  • Cross country skiing
  • Heli or cat skiing/snowboarding
  • Snowmobiling
  • Black water rafting
  • Fishing/angling
  • Free diving up to 50 metres
  • Kiteboarding
  • Parasailing
  • Scuba diving to 50 metres
  • Shark cage diving to 50 metres
  • White water rafting
  • Abseiling/rappelling
  • Parachuting/parasailing
  • Skydiving
  • Backpacking up to 6,000 metres
  • Canyoning
  • Kite buggy
  • Cycling/biking on an independent cycle tour
  • Trekking up to 6,000 metres

What is Digital Nomads travel insurance? 

Digital nomad travel insurance is a type of insurance specifically designed to cater to the needs of individuals who live a location-independent lifestyle and work remotely while travelling or living in different countries.

What is not covered by World Nomads' travel insurance?

Even with the extensive range of activities that World Nomads covers, there exists a comprehensive list of general exclusions that pertain to your coverage, such as:

  • Injuries or illnesses occurring within 48 hours after your departure date
  • Pre-existing conditions not meeting stability criteria
  • Non-emergency medical treatment or surgeries
  • Travel for medical treatment purposes
  • Pregnancy or childbirth
  • Alcohol-related sickness, injuries or deaths
  • Participation as a national representative in international events
  • Engagement in extreme sports.
  • Participation as a professional athlete
  • Martial arts competitions or bouts
  • Piloting or crewing of aircraft
  • Search and rescue operations or costs
  • Self-inflicted harm, suicide or attempted suicide
  • Any cancellation because of acts of foreign enemies, civil war or civil unrest
  • Travel to Iran, Syria, North Korea or the Crimea region

If World Nomad's exclusions do not fit your needs, you might want to take a look at other travel insurance options. Check out the best comprehensive offers on the market using our free comparison tool below:

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Exclusions under the adventure sports coverage

There are also exclusions for specific sports or activities:

  • Backpacking over 6,000 meters
  • BASE jumping
  • Big game hunting
  • Bull riding
  • Cavern diving to 40 meters
  • Cliff diving
  • Crewing a vessel less than 60 miles from a safe haven
  • Crewing a vessel more than 60 miles from a safe haven
  • Crewing on a cruise ship
  • Cycling over 6,000 meters in elevation
  • Deep water soloing
  • Expeditions, including activities over 6,000 meters, unsupported or exploratory activities, activities in remote or inaccessible regions or activities in the Arctic Circle, Antarctic or Greenland without a licensed tour operator and guide
  • Extreme pursuits
  • Flying as a passenger while stunt flying
  • Free diving
  • Free soloing
  • Gliding
  • High-altitude climbing, mountaineering or expeditions over 6,000 meters
  • Hiking over 6,000 meters
  • Horse riding (bareback, polo or rodeo only)
  • Martial arts (cage fighting, mixed martial arts, kickboxing and Muay Thai)
  • Mongol Rally
  • Motor racing
  • Mountain biking over 6,000 meters
  • Mountain guide (mountaineering, rock climbing instructor or guide using ropes or specialist equipment)
  • Parachuting and skydiving more than once
  • Parkour
  • Potholing
  • Powerlifting
  • Rickshaw run
  • Rock climbing, outdoor, over 6,000 meters
  • Rock fishing
  • Running (ultramarathon)
  • Running of the bulls
  • Scrambling over 6,000 meters
  • Scuba diving over 40 meters
  • Snowmobiling on frozen lakes and rivers
  • Speed flying
  • Speed trials
  • Stunt flying
  • Tandem skydiving more than once
  • Tramping over 6,000 meters
  • Trekking over 6,000 meters
  • Triathlon, ultra-distance or more
  • Wingsuit flying
  • Yungus Road (Death Road)

World Nomads maintains a set of conditions that render you ineligible for any coverage, including:

  • Diagnosis of a terminal condition by a licensed physician
  • Undergoing a bone marrow or organ transplant necessitating anti-rejection or immune suppression drugs (with corneal transplantation being an exception)
  • Requiring dialysis for any form of kidney disease
  • Having been prescribed or utilized home oxygen therapy within the last 12 months

Does World Nomads travel insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

World Nomads classifies pre-existing conditions as such: those for which you exhibited symptoms, sought or received medical treatment or had prescriptions altered in terms of type, usage or dosage within a specific timeframe before your policy's commencement.

Certain instances may entail coverage for stable pre-existing conditions treated with prescription medication. If you are under prescription treatment for a pre-existing condition that solely requires prescription drugs for treatment or control and no adjustments have been made to the prescription within a particular number of days before your policy's initiation, World Nomads' description of pre-existing conditions will not be applicable.

The duration for pre-existing conditions varies according to your age bracket:

  • Individuals aged 0 to 49 will not receive coverage for any expenses or losses related to their medical condition if it wasn't stable or controlled within the 90-day period before the policy's start date.
  • For ages 50 to 59, this duration extends to 180 days and for ages 60 to 65, it expands to 270 days.

Good to know

World Nomads will not extend coverage if you've been directed to use nitroglycerin for a heart condition more than once within seven days or if you've needed to take oral steroids like prednisone for a lung condition.

How much does World Nomads travel insurance cost?

The cost of World Nomads travel insurance will depend on a couple of factors, such as:

  • your destination,
  • your age,
  • your place of residence,
  • your trip expenses and other relevant considerations.

Here are a few quotation examples for your reference to help you compare the Standard Plan with the Explorer Plan across three distinct scenarios involving travellers from Ontario:

Traveller's profileTrip destinationStandard Plan CostExplorer Plan Cost
Couple, age 27
Mexico, 7 days$132.15$171.78
Individual, age 50
UK, 10 days$78.00$101.03
Couple, age 65
Italy, 21 days$260.00$310.29
World Nomad travel insurance quote

Watch out!

Note that your age must be under 66 at the time of purchasing the policy.

How to make travel insurance claim with World Nomads?

Following the steps below to get a travel insurance refund with World Nomads:

  1. If you purchased a policy as a member, sign in to your World Nomads account.
  2. If you bought it as a guest, either create an account or get in touch with our customer service team to request paper forms.
  3. Fill out the claims form electronically and attach the necessary supporting documents.
  4. Save your confirmation letter, which includes a reference number, to monitor the status of your claim.

Good to know

Initial reviews of claims may take up to 10 business days or potentially longer if additional documents are necessary for processing.

How to contact World Nomads travel insurance?

You can fill out an online form and someone from the team will get in touch with you. Alternatively, here are World Nomads' contact details: 

  • New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Saskatchewan residents within Canada and the continental USA can call this World Nomads' phone number: 1-888-566-8028.
  • International collect: 1 819 566 8028.
  • People from all other provinces can use this number: 1-866-878-0192.
  • International collect: 1-416-646 3723.

If you prefer email, use this: [email protected].


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Sunny Yadav Copywriter

Sunny has over six years of experience curating engaging content spanning across industries. Specifically in finance, his expertise is insurance reviews and lending and investment topics.