Is travel insurance worth it? This is such a big debate in the travel community and I’ve noticed that sometimes the arguments around it can get heated. In the end, it’s a personal choice.
The truth is, if you knew all the facts, you would probably agree that you should never travel without travel insurance. It’s just foolish and risky.
But hey, if you have a few hundred thousand dollars handy just in case you need to get air lifted from an island to the mainland, by all means, skip the travel insurance.
Travel insurance can save you a shitload of money in case an accident happens. And let me tell you, accidents DO happen when you least expect them.
I use World Nomads for all my international and yearly California trips. World Nomads offers comprehensive travel insurance internationally, as well as domestic travel insurance that is at least 100 miles from your home.
World Nomads Insurance Review
What Does Travel Insurance Actually Cover?
Travel insurance can save your ass in so many different ways (and get you reimbursed for your expenses). Here are the main things travel insurance will cover:
If your flight gets delayed or cancelled. This can also cover your accommodation/food expenses in these cases as well.
Emergency medical insurance (probably the most important part of travel insurance)
Unless you have some magical health insurance back home in the US, your health insurance will most likely NOT cover you abroad. I never knew that til about 10 years ago and that’s when I started getting travel insurance. Ignorance is bliss.
If you’re lucky, you may be covered so just call your health insurance to make sure. Even so, I would still purchase travel insurance for all the other benefits like trip protection/baggage and personal effects loss, etc.
Travel insurance will cover medical bills and dental costs in case you have an emergency overseas (examples: you get in a car accident, you catch the flu, you need to be hospitalized for food poisoning/yellow fever, you chip a tooth, etc.).
In case your camera gear/computer/drone, etc gets damaged, lost, or stolen; your baggage gets lost/delayed.
Evacuation and Repatriation
In case you’re on a remote island and need to be airlifted to the mainland. Repatriation means in case of your death abroad, your body will be returned to your home country.
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
CDW is included in the Explorer Plan and will cover up to $35,000. (Note: CDW is not available for residents of NY, OR or TX).
What Travel Insurance Usually Does not Cover
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Most travel insurance does NOT cover pre-existing medical conditions. Sometimes you can add on an extension for this and pay more. In terms of World Nomads, they do not cover pre-existing medical conditions UNLESS they are controlled and stable.
If you do have a stable pre-existing medical condition, such as diabetes or something, I would still call to make sure what exactly would be covered in the event you would need medical treatment related to this.
If you read the fine print, a majority of travel insurance companies will NOT cover you for riding a motorbike. World Nomads DOES cover motorbike activities. However, this is ONLY if you are properly licensed in your home country to drive the vehicle.
For example: if you want to rent a motorbike in Thailand and you’re from the USA, you must have a valid motorcycle license from the USA. I didn’t realize this until recently, so basically all the motorbikes I rode in SE Asia I wasn’t properly covered for. Thank God nothing happened!
You Should NEVER Travel to the USA without Travel Insurance. Period.
Great news! World Nomads covers non-USA citizens for traveling to the USA. I was able to help my boyfriend (who is from Croatia) secure travel insurance for his month long trip to the USA.
The USA is NOT a place you ever want to travel to without travel insurance. The cost of healthcare is RIDICULOUSLY expensive. A trip to the hospital can run you $2,000-$10,000+(for a one night stay).
There is no way around it and if you need medical care while you’re here, you WILL pay the price (they will track you down until it’s paid so be prepared if you visit without travel insurance).
My Favorite Travel Insurance: World Nomads Insurance
I’ve been using World Nomads for the past 4.5 years and I absolutely love them. I have filed 3 claims so far and have gotten fully reimbursed without hassle. I had 2 claims for stolen gear (both in South America) and one hospital visit in Croatia.
Top 5 Reasons Why I Love World Nomads Insurance
- You can file a claim entirely (and easily) online
- Their customer service is very helpful
- You can get reimbursed fairly quickly
- Their coverage is some of the BEST, especially when it comes to emergency medical expenses
- You can extend your coverage easily, even while you’re already on your trip (instead of having to buy a whole new policy)
My real life experiences with World Nomads:
1. After a big trip to Africa I was in Croatia and had severe stomach pains. My hypochondriac self was convinced I had Hepatitis A since I didn’t get the vaccine before my trip. Two hospital visits later and some meds and I was discharged with gastroenteritis.
Type of Claim: Medical Emergency
What was required to file my claim: the discharge letter from the hospital which included my diagnosis and doctor’s signature, copy of my bill, receipt/bill from the pharmacy where I got my prescription, and a copy of my return plane ticket in and out of Croatia.
How Long Did it Take to Get Reimbursed: 6 weeks total to get my check mailed to my door (it was delayed a bit since I forgot to submit proof of my plane ticket…not entirely sure why the plane ticket mattered since it had nothing to do with my hospital visit, but hey, they required it).
Note: it says on the site that documents need to be translated into English, but when I called they informed me that it was not necessary. So I just submitted the doctor’s note in Croatian and it was totally fine.
2. While on a bus in Colombia I had my very expensive camera lens stolen from my bag. My Airbnb host helped me file a police report in Colombia and as soon as I got back I filed my claim.
Type of Claim: Stolen Gear
What was required to file my claim:the police report, receipt of purchase of the camera lens, proof that my credit card was charged for the purchase, and a copy of my return plane ticket.
How Long Did it Take to Get Reimbursed: 4 weeks total
3. While in Bolivia I had my cell phone stolen from me right in front of my Airbnb with 2 security guards. How does this even happen? Ugh.
Type of Claim: Stolen Gear
What was required to file my claim:the police report, receipt of purchase of my cellphone, proof that my credit card was charged for the purchase, and a copy of my return plane ticket.
How Long Did it Take to Get Reimbursed: 5 weeks total
How to Get World Nomads for Your Next Trip
If you want an idea of how much travel insurance is going to cost, you can get a quick quote below:
World Nomads Standard vs Explorer Plan (Which one do you need?)
There are basically 2 different plan options for each trip. The standard is a more basic coverage and the explorer offers a bit more coverage.
If you can’t decide which one you need, the main difference between the 2 plans are as follows:
Activities you plan on participating in:
If you are going to be doing more high risk activities such as cliff jumping, cave diving, scuba diving more than 50 meters deep, sky diving, hiking (up to 22,965 feet/7,000 meters), etc. you probably will need the Explorer Plan.
If you plan on going to to the beach and lounging most the time, the Standard Plan may be more suitable for you.
You can check the list of activities and which plan covers them here.
The Explorer plan also gives more coverage in almost every category including gear coverage of $3000 compared to $1000 in the standard plan, CDW coverage up to $35,000 versus no CDW coverage with the standard plan, etc. Without getting too detailed, you can check the example below:
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Note: I am not getting paid for this post nor did I receive any discounts for using World Nomads. I have been using it on my own for 4.5 years and absolutely love it. After using it for so long, I decided to sign up for their affiliate program which lets me receive a very small commission if you use my links (at no extra cost to you of course). This helps me keep my site ad free (cuz I hate ads when I’m trying to read a site, don’t you?). So THANK YOU! ♥