Nomad Travel Insurance: The Best Backpacker Insurance (2020)

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Nomad Travel Insurance: The Best Backpacker Insurance


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.

There’s also another company that I can recommend called SafetyWing. They have plans which are as low as $37 for 4 weeks for travel medical insurance. 

Here’s the best nomad travel insurance!


Nomad Travel Insurance: The Best Backpacker Insurance (2019)

I 150% recommend getting nomad travel insurance.  Here are some key points you need to make sure are covered.  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”.


1. Make sure you have a large medical 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.  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!


4. Your electronics should be covered!

With this day and age, most people will at least have a camera and a phone.  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.


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 your up Mt 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.


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 and can personally recommend, below.


Nomad Travel Insurance: The Best Backpacker Insurance (2019)

World Nomads vs SafetyWing

So, which insurance company should you pick?  World Nomads or SafetyWing?


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


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 check out safetywing

Both companies have their pros and their cons, however, SafetyWing does come out cheaper than World Nomads which can be attractive, especially for backpackers. Depending on what kind of traveller you are can depend on what plan you need, so do your research and compare both companies yourself before making the decision!


I hope you enjoyed this post.  World Nomads have a great guide to travel safety which you can find here.  You can type in where you’re going and get great articles on how you can be safe!



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1 Comment

  • Reply
    April 6, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    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.

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