Travel insurance and the much hyped World Nomads

Just shopping around for a 51 day single trip travel insurance for a Canadian resident in British Columbia that will not be going to USA and I noticed some staggering price differences.

The much commended “World Nomads” costs an arm and a leg compared to its competition.

World Nomads:

Emergency out of province expense: $5,000,000; emergency medical transportation: $500,000

World nomaAt $228.38 for 7 weeks (56 days), I expect a lot. However, this plan excludes me from rock climbing, caving, mountainnering, skydiving, zorbing!?, etc. Basically it excludes me from having fun.

Extra bonuses are: electronic goods of $500 per item up to $2500; Trip cancellation and interruption and sporting equipment.


But what if I don’t care about the extra bonuses and just want to be covered for my health?


A quick check on a Insurance comparison website shows 51day travel insurance for someone in their 20’s to cost from $58.14 for Travel Underwriters to $110.16 for Travel Insurance.

However most of the insurance companies have the exclusion:

“Your participation in rock or Mountain Climbing; participation in a motorized race or motorized speed contest; Your participation as a professional athlete in a sporting event”


“High-risk activity(ies) mean(s) heliskiing, ski jumping, skydiving, sky-surfing, scuba diving (except if certified by internationally recognized and accepted program such as NAUI or PADI, or if diving depth does not exceed 30 meters), white water rafting (except grades 1 to 4), street luge, skeleton activity, mountaineering, or participation in any rodeo activity.”

This Exclusion makes me worry because I enjoy rock climbing and would never want to limit myself in trying out a new activity like skydiving justs because I fear my insurance policy will not assist me had I required the need.


Luckily, there are some companies that save the day:

The only 2 insurance companies I found that don’t limit “high risk activities” are

Travel Insurance RSA @ $83.64


World Escapades @ $74.97

World escapadeIn both these policies their only limitation to sports were paid ones:

“Participation in:
a. any sports as a professional athlete (person who engages in an activity as one’s main paid occupation);
b. any competitive motorized sporting events, racing or speed contests.”


In the end I chose World Escapades. True, I won’t be covered for stolen goods but truthfully, the thought of filing a police report on a stolen camera worth $200 in Cambodia isn’t all that appealing to me. Also, as I will be rock climbing in Hong Kong and Thailand I was not willing to take the chances.

A word to the wise however, I did contact World Escapades and they informed me for them to insure me I must still be covered by my provincial health care plan (which I am). This effectively limits travelling overseas for 6 months except in special circumstances.

So currently, my savings between choosing World Nomad and World Escapades for a 51 day trip is $153.41. Sure, there are tradeoffs but if you are a budget backpacker like me carrying little valuables and enjoy rock climbing,  I say that is a steal!

For an additional comparison, if M and I were to go on a 6 months trip excluding USA, using World Nomads would cost us as a couple $814.90 whereas World Escapades would cost us $486.00.

Lastly, this savings only applies to Canadians. A quick comparison for World Nomads for a Swedish with no “electronic insurance” would cost 440 Euros while World Escapades cost 513 Euro.




Hong Kong. Travel. Climb. In that order.

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