Nomad Travel Insurance: The Best Backpacker Insurance 2024

Last Updated on November 6, 2023

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Travel insurance can seem like a tunnel of confusion. There are some main points you need to think of when looking to find which nomad travel insurance you need.

Do not think of travel insurance just as a safety net if you get sick. It is vital for a whole bunch of different reasons.

For one, it covers you if the airline loses your luggage or if prized possessions like your phone or camera get broken or stolen.

Also, it can give you an allowance if you need to get home suddenly or if your flight is cancelled.

My nomad travel insurance provider is World Nomads. With all the points I cover below, they deliver every single time. They offer the best travel insurance, backpacker-approved!

best nomad travel insurance, group of four friends sitting on a wall overlooking water
Photo by Sammie Chaffin on Unsplash

There’s also another company that I can recommend for travel insurance for nomads called SafetyWing.

This travel insurance for backpackers comes highly recommended within the community as it provides some of the cheapest backpacker travel insurance.

They have plans which are as low as $37 for 4 weeks for travel medical insurance and are popular with nomad backpackers.

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. I recommend either SafetyWing or World Nomads.

What to look for in the best nomad travel insurance!

I 150% recommend getting nomad travel insurance. Here are some key points you need to make sure are covered with any insurance for nomads you are considering.

There have been many nightmare stories where the provider hasn’t paid a medical bill because the client simply did not read the fine print.

It goes something like this ..”Here’s 1 million dollars for your medical bill, but to get this you must be from Mars, have 5 feet and know how to speak 10 languages”.

Why choose World Nomads travel insurance, POV shot of a pair of legs sitting above a river with clear turquoise water running through grey rocky waterways with green shrubs and foliage to the sides

Below are all the main things you want to check the policy for when considering travel and health insurance for nomads.

I have found that World Nomad travel insurance does all this and more, which is why I recommend them as the best travel insurance for backpackers and other nomads.

1. Make sure you have a large medical allowance

Having medical expenses covered is probably the first thing people think about when they look for medical nomad insurance. But make sure to consider the actual allowance.

I know 1 million dollars can seem like a lot, but if you got really sick and needed a number of operations, this could add up quite easily so make sure that number is a high one!

Anything over $100,000 is a good amount for nomad medical insurance. You can’t put a price on your health and staying alive!

2. How much are you prepared to pay in excess?

If all you care about, is if your luggage goes missing, then what’s the point in having a $150 excess to access money to pay for your new luggage?

You need to think about how much money you are prepared to pay, to get the money in the first place!

3. Make sure that the countries you are going to, are covered.

Sometimes policies can say, includes all of Asia (except Thailand). Double-check with your provider every single country you are going to is covered in your plan.

The worst thing you could do is pay for an invalid insurance policy!

best nomad backpacker insurance, person in brown woolen sweater sitting at wooden desk with laptop, person sat at table typing on open laptop
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

4. Your electronics should be covered!

With this day and age, most people will at least have a camera and a phone. And for nomads, this is especially true!

Those looking for the best nomad backpacker insurance will want to ensure ALL of their electronics are covered and offer a reasonable replacement cost.

If you’re a lover of technology then you will want to double-check that part of the policy, which brings me to my next point…

5. If you have got an insurance policy to cover your phone make it sure it covers the TYPE of phone you have.

Many insurance policies will cover every other phone, except for the iPhone.

So when this goes missing you get suddenly told ‘no your policy didn’t cover it so we are not paying up’. Usually you will have to pay a little more to cover iPhones.

📦 PACKING TIP: Don’t leave home without a solar powered battery pack so you can keep your devices connected at all times.

6. Make sure your plan covers emergency evacuations

This can be important if you have a medical issue. This will determine how you can get to the hospital or to some sort of help in an emergency.

For example, if you go up Mount Everest, this needs to cover the price of a helicopter ride to evacuate you from the scene.

7. Your plan should cover any legal expenses

Such as if you are stuck in a legal battle and need an expensive lawyer to help you fight your case.

health insurance for nomads, yellow arrow shaped sign that reads open 24 hours again dark background
Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

8. Make sure the company has a 24-hour service

This is where some people can get caught out. If you are in an emergency you won’t have time to wait until the company opens again on Monday.

You want to be paid out and you want it now!

9. Personal liability is so so important

This covers your arse if you damage someone else’s property or belongings.

For example, if you accidentally burned down someone’s house, then this will cover you for the cost of the damage.

Have all the details of your insurance policy and the contact phone number in a hard form, not just on your cell phone.

Have a couple of ways to keep the number you will need to ring in an emergency. Don’t just put it in your phone or just in your wallet.

Put it in both and a copy in your luggage as well. Write it on your forehead if you have to! It is also a great idea to leave a copy with a family member.

Make sure you shop around and when you find a travel insurance policy, check with someone else to make sure everything is covered.

Prices can vary quite a lot so don’t be afraid to ask around! I know it’s boring but read the fine print! You will regret it later if you don’t.

I have one company I use again and again for my backpacking travel insurance, and can personally recommend: World Nomads travel insurance.

📸 PRO TIP: My go-to camera for all my travels is the Sony A7iii – I highly recommend it!

Best travel insurance for backpackers and digital nomads, long wooden boardwalk jetty with person sitting at the end looking out onto a gorgeous still lake surrounded by tall rocky mountains covered in patches of trees leading off into the distance under a bright clear sky

World Nomads vs SafetyWing

So, which nomad insurance company should you pick for your nomad or backpack travel insurance? World Nomads or SafetyWing?

Whether you are looking for the best backpackers travel insurance, or comprehensive digital nomad health insurance, here’s what to consider when choosing between SafetyWing vs World Nomads.

World Nomads pro’s

  • Full coverage from health (including dental visits) and travel delays (delayed, missed and cancelled flights)
  • Option to insure expensive products like laptops, camera etc
  • Worldwide coverage
  • 2 options for plans (standard and explorer plan)

World Nomads con’s

  • More expensive than SafetyWing
  • You are NOT covered for any pre-existing medical conditions that you had up to 6 months prior to purchasing the plan.
  • Coverage does NOT cover Iran and North Korea
Best backpacker travel insurance, two women sitting on top of white vehicle under blue sky during day time
Photo by Raphael Rychetsky on Unsplash

SafteyWing pro’s

  • More affordable than World Nomads. You can get plans for as low as $37 for 4 weeks!  It’s a 1/3rd of the price of its major competitor.
  • Full health coverage
  • Very reliable company with better reviews than World Nomads on the likes of Trust Pilot.
  • Worldwide coverage INCLUDING home coverage (up to 30 days every 3 months)
  • 1 child between the age of 14 days – 10 years old can be included in your plan at NO extra cost

SafetyWing con’s

  • Coverage does NOT include Iran, North Korea or Cuba.
  • Does NOT include electronics (however they hope to change that soon!)
  • The policy does NOT include missed flights
  • You are NOT covered for any pre-existing medical conditions

Check out World Nomads travel insuranceCheck out SafetyWing travel insurance

Both companies have their pros and their cons when looking for backpacker or digital nomad travel insurance.

However, for cheap backpacker insurance, SafetyWing does come out more affordable than World Nomads backpacker insurance.

Thich can be attractive, especially for nomads on a budget, or anyone looking for cheap backpacker travel insurance.

Depending on what kind of traveller you are can depend on what plan you need, so do your research and compare SafetyWing vs Worldnomads yourself before making the decision!

Make sure to check lots of the best backpacker travel insurance reviews to see what people are saying about payouts, customer service and wait times.

World Nomads have a great guide to travel safety which you can find here, along with more World Nomad reviews.

You can type in where you’re going and get great articles on how you can be safe!

🎫 TOP TIP: Looking for tickets to some of the best shows, activities and passes? I highly recommend booking via Viator for the best prices and deals!

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ Can you extend World Nomads insurance?

Yes! If you already have a policy with World Nomads, you can extend it online. However, a waiting period might apply, so don’t wait until last minute!

✅ Does World Nomads have an age limit?

Yes, the age limit is currently 70 years old. However, they are hoping to extend this in the future.

✅ Is it OK to travel without insurance?

While it is perfectly legal to travel to many countries without travel insurance, it definitely isn’t advisable. If you are in an accident or have any items stolen, you will have to pay entirely out of pocket. And as much as we don’t want these things to ever happen, none of us can predict the future. It is also required sometimes to have insurance to travel for certain visas or passport holders, so always check before you travel!

I hope you enjoyed this post on the best nomads travel insurance. If you have any more questions about nomad health insurance or the best backpacker travel insurance, let me know in the questions!

Other articles you might love:

Nomad Travel Insurance: The Best Backpacker Insurance (2019)

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The Comments

  • beyondthewall_travel
    April 6, 2017

    It’s been quite a nightmare for us looking at travel insurances that cover rental car damage. Unlike many other countries, Indian insurance companies do not offer rental safety as part of travel insurances no matter what plan one takes. If there’s a global one that takes care of car rental issues, it will be great to know! Thanks for the post. Useful as always.