Injured Abroad: Why You Must Buy World Nomads Travel Insurance

world nomads travel insurance

Like everyone else on the planet, I hate buying travel insurance. It's boring to work out which is the best travel insurance and I've struggled for a long time wondering if travel insurance is even worth it. Spoilers alert: travel insurance is worth it and the best travel insurance out there by far is World Nomads Travel Insurance. I've written this post for you as a one-stop shop to answer all your questions about travel insurance.

Why trust us? We've been travelling the world for the past four years and in that time we've analysed over 20 different providers and between the two of us tested out four different ones. We're a sucker for the best deals and will spend hours searching for better alternatives. After much consideration and with first-hand proof that World Nomads actually work, having been injured abroad ourselves a few times, we've come to the conclusion that World Nomads Travel Insurance is by far the best travel insurance. In this review of world nomads travel insurance I'm going to tell you:

  • Why you must buy travel insurance;
  • Why World Nomads Travel Insurance is the one we buy;
  • Pros of World Nomads Travel Insurance;
  • Cons of World Nomads Travel Insurance;
  • What is covered on World Nomads Travel Insurance;
  • What is NOT covered on World Nomads Travel Insurance;
  • Is there a World nomads alternative;
  • How much is travel insurance;
  • Is World Nomads Travel Insurance worth it (and how to make it cheaper);
  • World Nomads Travel Insurance Discount Code;
  • Is an EHIC card a substitute for travel insurance;
  • Is Reciprocal health care enough for Brits in Australia;
  • True travel horror stories (when we were injured abroad);
  • Almost travel horror stories (when we narrowly avoided getting injured abroad)

1. Why You Must Buy Travel Insurance

This is something I struggled with for ages, as a Brit I'm used to free healthcare (which is something I'm eternally grateful for) and the idea of paying for travel insurance seems ludicrous to me and like a giant waste of money. Seriously, if you've ever wondered if travel insurance is worth it - I've been there, and I can guarantee I've wasted more time wondering about it than you have. It seems like if you buy travel insurance you lose either way right? Well, it's either either

a) You buy it and nothing happens thus travel insurance is a waste of money and it's not worth buying or

b) You buy it and something does happen and you have an injury abroad - sure you use your travel insurance and it wasn't a waste of money to buy it, but you're still injured abroad.

It's a lose-lose. Like what else do you buy in the hope that you don't have to use it? I've had this eternal struggle for years and there were times when we first started travelling where I travelled without insurance.


The longer we travelled, the more times we were injured abroad - it's just a numbers game, I would probably have been injured in the UK too. And the number of times we were almost injured abroad rose too, and the number of stories we collected about friends being injured abroad rose exponentially.

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One of the times we were injured abroad: Tanbay broke his arm in Australia

It's simple statistics, the longer you travel for, the more likely you are to get injured abroad and thus need travel insurance. But even if you've just started travelling, there's still a chance you could get injured abroad immediately. Travel insurance is a must, like looking for flights it's something that just has to be done. Because if you don't buy travel insurance and you do get injured abroad you will end up paying hundreds of thousands of pounds on medical bills abroad.

But if it helps, I don't even like to think of it as buying travel insurance, I like to think of it as buying peace of mind. One time, we were travelling in Slovenia hanging out with friends and swimming in the river. Next to the river was a rope swing and a slide. Everyone was having fun swinging and sliding. I got to the top of the slide (it was super steep) and I thought "I don't have travel insurance, if something goes wrong here - if I fall from this height, if I cut myself on this rusty slide, if I hit a rock in the water, anything I will be in deep shit"

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I still slid down the damn thing, and I was fine, but it scared me so much and I felt so dumb I bought World Nomads ravel Insurance the next day. Travel insurance is never a waste of money and world nomads travel insurance is always worth buying.

2. Why You Must Buy World Nomads Travel Insurance

Hopefully, by now I've convinced you that Travel insurance is worth it and something you simply can't go abroad without (if it's not, skip to the end where I lay out some injured abroad examples of when we were so grateful to have travel insurance). And for those of you that want travel insurance, which one do you buy? With so many companies out there it can feel like a nightmare trying to choose the right one.

I'm happy to announce that after many years and a lot of research, World Nomads Travel Insurance is by far the best travel insurance. Put simply, they offer a number of (essential) things that other travel insurance companies don't offer. We renew our policy with them every year and will continue to do so unless a better option comes onto the market.

3. Pros of World Nomads Travel Insurance

#1. They cover everything we could possibly need

This is a basic need from a travel insurance company, but funnily enough, many travel insurance companies don't even bother covering your basic travel insurance needs. This is so important I've dedicated a whole section to what World Nomads Travel Insurance actually cover (see below).

#2. You can buy travel insurance once your trip has started

This is exclusive to World Nomads Travel Insurance. So this applies to you naughty people (like me) who realise once your trip has started that you need travel insurance. (I'm so proud of you for seeing the light and finally getting travel insurance). But note this is something that's exclusive to World Nomads Travel Insurance no other company will let you buy travel insurance outside of your home country aka when you've already started travelling.
But this extends past naughty people and also applies to long-term travellers and/or people living abroad. You've been away for a year, you bought your yearly travel insurance before you left, now you need to renew it, but you haven't gone back to your home country yet. Which is the only company that will let you buy travel insurance abroad? World Nomads Travel Insurance.

#3. You can extend your policy abroad

This is also exclusive to world nomads travel insurance. The flexibility of this is something that's perfect for nomads, backpackers and all manner of long-term travellers. Loving life in Thailand? Found a soul-mate in Argentina? Found a dream job in Berlin? Not ready to come back yet? World Nomads Travel Insurance caters to you, you can extend your policy without coming home something no other travel insurance company offers.

#4. They were created by travellers, for travellers

Fellow travellers who were sick of being taken for a ride by travel insurance companies became the founders of World Nomads Travel Insurance. This is one of the main reasons I trust them - they know what it's like to be in our shoes. Literally!

#5. The things NOT included by World Nomads Travel Insurance are reasonable

I've read through a lot of fine print on a lot of travel insurance companies (I'm a loser), and let me tell you, the number of companies that don't include things that should definitely be included is criminal! World Nomads Travel Insurance isn't like that - like I said it was created by real life travellers and thus you can trust them not to screw you over by not covering simple things. But more on what they do and don't cover below.

4. Cons of World Nomads Travel Insurance>

#1. The costs differ depending on where your home country is

How much your travel insurance is with World Nomads depends on lots of different factors, like age and where you're going, which kind of make sense. But the one that annoys me the most is where your home country is. For example, Tanbay's World Nomad Travel Insurance costs more than mine, because Tanbay's home country in Germany and mine is the UK. I'm not 100% sure why this is, perhaps because healthcare in the UK is paid for by general taxation, whereas in Germany individual health insurance is compulsory to the entire population. I don't know. But more on how much is travel insurance below.

#2. World Nomads Travel Insurance doesn't cover you if you're drunk (or high)

As someone who is drunk a lot, this is really annoying. And really, let's face it a lot of accidents happen because people are drunk, and what are we going to do, not drink? So if World Nomads Travel Insurance finds out that you were drunk (or high) they will reject your claim. This is also true for all travel insurance companies. But for us, the pros highly outweigh the cons, and this is something I consistently hear from all my other travelling friends (who, incidentally all use World Nomads). Next, let's now look at what is and isn't covered on World Nomads Travel Insurance:

5. What is Covered on World Nomads Travel Insurance

The main things that World Nomads Travel Insurance covers are:
  • Emergency medical expenses abroad
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Emergency dental expenses abroad
  • Trip delay, cancellation or interruption due to an unforeseen event
  • Delayed, damaged or stolen goods if they've been checked with a carrier

6. What Is Not Covered in World Nomads Travel Insurance

Like all travel insurance companies, World Nomads Travel Insurance won't cover everything - one of the main reasons we like them though is the things they don't cover are pretty reasonable like:
  • Items left unsupervised in a public place
  • Non-emergency medical expenses like contact lenses
  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Expenses related to a existing condition unless your policy says otherwise.  

7. Is There a World Nomads Alternative?

Put simply, no. There is no World Nomads alternative, or rather there are but they just don't compare. No other travel insurance out there offers both the flexibility and security that World Nomads Travel Insurance offers you.

8. How Much is Travel Insurance

The cost of World Nomads Travel Insurance depends on many things including where you're travelling to, what's your country of residence*, your age, the best way to find out how much travel insurance is for you is to use this quick checker:

*Wondering what your country of residence is? It's the place where you have all of the following:
  • Are a citizen or a legal, permanent resident 
  • Have access to long term medical care through a national health insurance scheme and/or private health insurance (not including reciprocal health agreements) 
  • Will be repatriated to for ongoing medical care if you're unable to continue your trip 
  • Have unrestricted, unconditional right of entry 
  • Have a residential address

9. Is World Nomads Travel Insurance Worth It (and how to make it cheaper)

So you've looked at your prices, and you're wondering is World Nomads Travel Insurance worth it. Personally, we think yes. For me, a 26 year old whose country of residence is the UK, worldwide travel for one year (standard plan) costs me just £1.27 per day. This is absolutely worth it for peace of mind. Prices do depend on where your country of residence is though. For Tanbay, a 30 year old whose country of residence is Germany, worldwide travel for one year costs £2.84 per day. More than double that of Brits, but still, £2.84 a day is nothing compared to what you will have to pay if you don't buy travel insurance.

Because it's something I'm interested in and I have no life, I did a quick search for 25 year olds travelling for one year from different countries. The numbers really do vary depending on your country of residence, the second cheapest I found was for Australians - £1.95 per day and the highest was of course the USA (sorry guys) at £5.35 per day.

Residents of Italy, Hungary and Norway were similar to German prices (£2.81, £3.17 and £3.18 respectively), and residents of Philippines and India were a little higher (both £3.47), but still not as high as the USA. But speaking of the USA, according to cnbc, Americans spend on average £19.83 a day on health insurance!! Another example of how travel can often be cheaper than staying at home.

Back to if travel insurance is worth it, I think spending £5.35 (or under) a day on peace of mind is absolutely worth it, but I recognise I say this from a place of privilege where I can afford this. Putting it frankly though, if you can't afford travel insurance you can't afford to travel - the amount you would end up paying if you did get in an accident would be astronomical and way more than £5.35 per day. Don't worry though, I've got a few tips to make travel insurance cheaper including World Nomads Travel Insurance Discount codes!

10. World Nomads Travel Insurance Discount Code

#1. Yearly World Nomads Travel Insurance Discount Code

World Nomads Travel Insurance offer incredible discounts if you opt for year long travel insurance. For example, going back to my insurance of £1.27 a day for year long cover, if I look at the same coverage for one month, it costs me £4.53 per day. That's a staggering difference! So if you know you're going to be travelling for 6 months or so, have a quick check and see how much World Nomads Travel Insurance is for 12 months, you will find that the daily cost is a lot cheaper and you might even find that the overall price is cheaper too! You can checkYearly World Nomads Travel Insurance Discount here.

#2. Continental World Nomads Travel Insurance Discount Code

Depending on where you're going and where you're from, you might find some continents are cheaper for you. For example for me, I found that travelling just in Europe was a fraction of the cost of travelling world-wide, even if I then added on separate countries as a separate transaction: I knew I was going to be travelling around Europe for the next 6 months, but I wanted to take a 5 day trip to Morocco too. I checked worldwide, I checked Europe and Morocco, and I checked Europe + a separate transaction of 5 days in Morocco. The latter choice was a fraction of the first two - the only thing I had to do was remember to book my Morocco insurance once I had set dates!

how much is travel insurance

Similarly, excluding the USA from your travel plans will often make your insurance a lot cheaper - Canada has a lot of the perks of the USA without a lot of the bad things :P, but if your heart is still set on travelling the USA, consider just getting USA travel insurance for your dates. For example, last year we checked 'worldwide excluding the USA' and then (in a separate transaction) bought USA insurance for the 18 days we were in the USA - it was so much cheaper! You can check Continental World Nomads Travel Insurance Discount Code here.

#3. World Nomads Travel Insurance Discount Code

Last, and certainly not least it always pays to use a World Nomads Travel Insurance Discount code, luckily there are always a few of them floating around. Here are some ones I've tried that work: [updated May 2019]: Use and insert 'WNFIND5' at the Enter Promotion Code box for a 5% World Nomads Travel Insurance. If that doesn't work try JW83YG87 with the above link.

11. Is an EHIC Card a Substitute for Travel Insurance

Short answer: no. Long answer: the EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) entitles the holder to the same medical treatment that local citizens are entitled to - aka free or heavily discounted. It's valid in all 28 EU countries + Iceland, Norway, Switzerland. If you're from one of those 31 countries you can get a card (the card is free, but if you're not from you're not entitled). It's definitely not a substitute for travel insurance. For starters it only covers medical care, not all the other things travel insurance covers - lost luggage, theft, missed flights etc.

Secondly, you only get free health care in those countries where the health care is free for local citizens, which isn't true for all those 31 countries. Travel insurance covers the rest. Thirdly, there are 195 countries in the world, 31 countries is a lot, but it's not all of them. It's definitely still worth getting your hands on one though if you're from an eligible country, they last for five years (which is a blessing and a curse, I forgot mine needed renewing and tried to use it two weeks after it had expired. See below. lol).

12. Reciprocal Health Care Agreement between the UK and Australia

There is a reciprocal health care agreement between the UK and Australia which entitles British citizens travelling on a British passport to limited subsidised health services in Australia. This does not mean you do not need travel insurance! There are lots of exclusions for this including pharmaceutical use, medical evacuations and (depending on the state) ambulance use - these are all insanely expensive. It also doesn't cover existing conditions, non-emergency situations and if you're studying in Australia is doesn't cover you at all.

13. Injured Abroad: Why You Must Buy Insurance

Speaking of Australia, let's look at some incidents where we got injured abroad and definitely needed World Nomads Travel Insurance:

#1. Tanbay broke his arm in Australia

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Tanbay and I spent a romantic evening together on New Year's Eve at the Gold Coast in Australia. Just as the fireworks started going off at midnight, it started to rain. Eager to find cover, we stepped off the beach, onto the concrete pavement. There were some stray grains of sand on said pavement, and thanks to the rain things had started to get slippy. Tanbay slipped, fell and showed me a swollen wrist.

The ambulance came and they confirmed that his arm had been broken (or as it's really called, fractured). Tanbay had to spend two nights in the hospital, he had x-rays, injections, a tetanus shot, his arm was put in a plaster and of course, he had an ambulance ride too. All of this would have cost thousands. But thanks to World Nomads Travel Insurance this wasn't something we had to worry about at all.

#2. I sliced my finger open in Italy

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On a house sit in Italy, I cut my finger in the most middle class way possible - by making hummus. It was also in the dumbest way possible - by putting my finger in the blender to try out said hummus and then accidentally turning it on... I'd been having a stressful few weeks, I was hungry. I don't know, I still catch myself going to put my finger in the hummus blender to this day, so maybe I'm just dumb. But my point is, you don't have to be doing daredevil things abroad for injuries to happen, I was doing an every day task when it happened and that's why you need travel insurance.

After a ten hour wait in Italian A & E, I was seen to by two doctors (one of them was literally wearing an Italian football shirt), had aesthetic injected into my finger, had some tetanus shots, had 7 stitches and was sent home with a prescription for antibiotics. My trusty EHIC card had run out two weeks before, but it wouldn't having covered everything anyway - like the prescription and the shots. Which is why it was so important that I had my travel insurance!

#3. Tanbay had Traveller's Diarrhoea in the Philippines

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The first time we went to South East Asia we had bad tummies a lot. (Interestingly, the first time we were eating meat, the second time we went to the Philippines as vegans and didn't get sick once). Anyway, mostly the bugs were gone within 24 hours, but one time we knew it was something extra.

I won't go into super gross details (ask me about it irl though and I will immediately tell you), but it went on for a few days and Tanbay was really really sick. So sick we had to call a doctor to the hotel we were staying in - Tanbay couldn't leave the room. She checked him over, gave him some antibiotics and told me off because he was dehydrated (soz). A home visit from a doctor isn't cheap, even in the Philippines. Again we were so pleased we had travel insurance. You can buy yours here.

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Getting injured abroad can happen at any time and any place. We've had a few near misses I want to tell you about too, to highlight how easily things can go wrong:

14. Almost getting injured abroad

#1. I got bitten by a dog in Thailand

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Walking home one night with friends in Thailand, we walked past one of the many stray Thai dogs. One dog looked super cute, but scared, so I held my hand out to it so it could sniff me (lol). I do this with dogs all the time. This one was so scared it bit me. Luckily the dog didn't have rabies and luckily it didn't break the skin, that would have been a one way ticket to the hospital. After feeling bad that I'd scared the dog, grateful that I wasn't hurt, my third thought was "damn I'm pleased I have travel insurance."

#2. Tanbay got stung by a bee in Australia

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Surprisingly, according to the the Guardian, Australia's bees and wasps are as dangerous as its snakes. Aka the same number of people die every year in Australia from wasp and bee stings as from snake bites. They're unsure whether this is because people take bees and wasps less seriously, or if Australians on a whole are more likely to be allergic to bee stings than other nationalities, or if the bees and wasps are more toxic in Australia.

Whatever the reason this was the first thing in my mind when Tanbay trod on a bee (and got stung in the foot) at the beach in Australia. He'd never been stung before and we had no idea if he was going to have an allergic reaction or not. Additionally, the beach we were on had taken a 2 hour trek to get to - it was unreachable by cars and if he'd needed an ambulance he was going to need an air ambulance. Luckily, Tanbay is not allergic to bees and we carried on with our day. But if he had been that air ambulance would have cost hundreds and thousands of dollars, something we would not have been able to afford without insurance.

#3. I got stung by a bee in Hungary

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Similarly, but a far less dramatic story, was when I got stung by a bee in Hungary. Again we had no idea if I was allergic to bee stings. Turns out I'm not. If I had been the story wouldn't have been so dramatic because we were in the centre of town, surrounded by Hungarian friends who would have (hopefully) taken us to hospital. But even with easy access to hospital and friends to take us, I would have still had to have paid for whatever I needed - assumably a doctor's time and an epipen. Something I'd rather my insurance paid for.

#4. I cut my finger open in Western Australia

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Another reason why I shouldn't be allowed in the kitchen, and another clear example of how Travel Insruance is an absolute must in Australia. We were doing a house sit in Australia when I accidentally cut my finger open trying to cut bread (lol). We were miles and miles away from everything. Literally, the nearest city was Perth - the most isolated city in the world - and Perth was a nine hours drive away. Luckily I missed all the important parts of my finger and the cut wasn't deep. But there was an initial moment of panic followed by "it's okay, if I do need medicare, I have insurance".

#5. Motorbike crash in the Philippines

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When we first went to the Philippines we spent a long time in El Nido. We were annoyed with the price of a tricycle ride from the restaurant to our hotel so we decided to walk. The walk was harder than we expected, mostly because it was pitch black (no street lights) and there was no pavement. Tricycles and motorbikes roared past us and we walked in single file.

Then boom, 100 metres in front of us, a tricycle collied with a motorbike. The tricycle broke in two and the motorbike man was thrown from the crash. He seemed okay, luckily he was wearing a helmet - which we tried to make him not take off (he took it off). After we'd tried to help everyone out we went back to our hotel and both said how grateful we were that we hadn't been hit and/or been in the tricycle, and how we're grateful to have travel insurance.

There are so many more incidents where we nearly had an incident that I've forgotten about, and even more where friends have really been injured abroad, we know people who've broken knees, teeth and even backs! Split open heads, had dengue, had malaria etc etc. My point is, please please please make sure you get Travel Insurance.

15. Wrap Up: Why You Must Buy World Nomads Travel Insurance

So there you have it, hopefully, this has helped you work out whether Travel Insurance is worth it or not. In our honest opinion, World Nomads Travel Insurance is the best travel insurance. To get your own, simply click this link and use WNFIND5 for a 5% World Nomads Travel Insurance discount code!

Disclaimer: We are affiliates for World Nomads Travel Insurance, which means for every sale we send them, we get a normal portion of their profits (at no extra cost to you), it's essentially a kind of thank you to us for sending you there. But travel insurance is a big deal and we wouldn't recommend them to you unless we hadn't personally tried and loved them. Like I said we use them every year. In fact here's an email I had from them when I renewed this January:

world nomads travel insurance discount

Also, here is a video we made about our best and worst travel moments (including our accidents and injuries), enjoy :)

P.S.: In case you're interested, a way of travelling and getting accommodation cheaply is housesitting (yeh, also very middle class but there's less wage labour involved at least!). was kind enough to provide us and our readers with a 10% discount, click on the link to use it! :)

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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