Travel Insurance for adventure sports and long term travel

Best Travel Insurance for Adventure and Extreme Sports

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Adventure travel insurance is one of the most important things, if not the single most important thing, you can take with you on your trip. Accidents happen when you least expect them, and the last thing you want to do is be stranded in a foreign country with thousands of dollars in medical bills and expenses.

Travel insurance becomes even more important if you plan on doing any extreme sports or activities, like skiing, boating, or even bungee jumping. We love thrilling sports and adventures but we also know that doing those fun things don’t come without risk.

That’s why we never travel without adventure sports travel insurance. It doesn’t just protect us against travel mishaps and medical emergencies, but it also gives us peace of mind so we can enjoy our trip (and all the fun, exciting activities we do) without worry!

Our experience with travel insurance

Only on the third day of our trip around the world, Kelly got really sick. We were in Romania when she suddenly had a lot of pain in her belly. Not only did we have to visit the hospital, but she also had to have emergency surgery to remove a cyst the size of a tennis ball that started to leak. Without adventure travel insurance, we would have to pay all those bills out of our own pocket and our world trip would be over within a shorter timeframe than our average holiday. But luckily, we were insured well, so we didn’t even see a single bill. And as soon as she was recovered, we could continue our travels without spending a dime on hospital or medical costs. 

Sure, the chances that something major like this happens on your trip are pretty slim. But we can tell you from experience that these things are always a possibility. No matter how cautious, experienced, or well-traveled you might be – you simply can’t predict the future! Accidents can happen anytime and to anyone.

Adventure Travel Insurance vs. Regular Travel Insurance

Not all travel insurance is made equal! While most travel insurance providers have coverage for medical emergencies and trip protection, very few of them offer protection for adventurous activities. That’s why it’s important to know the difference between regular travel insurance, and adventure travel insurance.

Regular travel insurance should usually cover the following:

  • Emergency medical and dental
  • Emergency evacuation to the nearest hospital
  • Trip delay, interruption, or cancellation due to an unforeseen circumstance
  • Lost, stolen, or damaged luggage and personal property

However, adventure travel insurance is a little different. While it also should cover the situations described above, it should also provide coverage for extreme sports and activities. So in the rare instance that you get injured, let’s say while hiking, then you’ll be reimbursed for any medical bills related to your incident. 

On the other hand, regular travel insurance will only cover low-risk activities, like sightseeing. While this is generally fine for most people, more adventurous travelers will need more robust coverage to protect them in a variety of outdoor situations.

World Nomads Insurance

World Nomads is one of the biggest names in the adventure travel insurance industry. A lot of avid travelers, sports enthusiasts, and digital nomads use them for their international trips since they cover medical emergencies, trip cancellations and interruptions, and of course, extreme sports.

In fact, there are over 200 activities that are covered with a World Nomads travel insurance policy. 

Their most affordable plan (the Standard Plan) includes protection for numerous activities like skiing, kayaking, surfing, quad biking, and ziplining. However, more extreme activities, like shark cage diving, cliff jumping, or sky diving are not included with this plan. If you are spending your trip doing more adventurous sports, then we recommend upgrading to the Explorer Plan.

Check here our in depth review of World Nomads

The Explorer Plan includes coverage for all the sports listed for the Standard Plan plus way more. You can see a full list of what is covered under each plan on their website.

SafetyWing Nomad Insurance

SafetyWing may be one of the newest insurance providers for travelers, but they’re quickly becoming one of the most popular. Their Nomad Insurance plan is targeted specifically at digital nomads, arming them with protection against medical emergencies and a variety of outdoor activities.

And don’t worry if you’re not a “digital nomad” per se. All travelers spending time abroad are able to apply for a SafteyWing travel insurance policy!

While SafetyWing provides decent coverage for medical emergencies and evacuation, they also protect you when participating in extreme sports and activities. Practically all recreational sports and activities are backed by your SafetyWing policy, from bungee jumping and hiking to kayaking and surfing.

Check here our in depth review of SafetyWing

Keep in mind there are about 40 activities that aren’t covered (like running with the bulls, whitewater rafting, and boxing). You can see the full list here.

Safety Wing vs. World Nomads

SafetyWingWorld Nomads
Minimum coverage period5 days1 day
Costs per monthWorldwide coverage without US:
– $40.04 for 4 weeks (age 19 -39)
– $64.48 for 4 weeks (age 40-49) 
– $101.64 for 4 weeks (age 50 -59)
– $137.76 for 4 weeks (age 60-69) 

Worldwide coverage with US:
– $73.08 for 4 weeks (age 19 -39)
– $120.40 for 4 weeks (age 40-49) 
– $198.24 for 4 weeks (age 50 -59)
– $270.76 for 4 weeks (age 60-69) 

Children 15 days – 9 years are free
Price depends on destination, nationality, age, and length of trip.
– Rough average for Standard Plan: $113 for 4 weeks
– Rough average for Explorer Plan:$203 for 4 weeks
Deductible$250– $100 AUD (Australian)
– $100 NZD (New Zealand)
– €70 (The Netherlands)
– No deductible (USA and Canada)
Maximum amount for medical health care– $250,000 (age 19-64)
– $100,000 (age 65-69)
$100,000 (Standard and Explorer Plans)
Maximum amount for travel insurance (delayed flights, lost passports etc.)– Trip interruption: $5,000
– Lost checked luggage: $500 per item up to $3,000 per certificate period and $6,000 per lifetime
– Travel delay: $100/day for 2 days
– Lost passport: $100
Standard Plan:
– Trip cancellation: $2,500
– Trip interruption: $2,500
– Trip delay: $250 per day up to $500
– Lost baggage/personal items: $500 per item up to $1,500
– Baggage delay: $150 per day up to $750

Explorer Plan:
– Trip cancellation: $10,000
– Trip interruption: $10,000
– Trip delay: $250 per day up to $1,500
– Lost baggage/personal items: $1,500 per item up to $3,000
– Baggage delay: $150 per day up to $750
Extreme sports and activities includedYes. All included activities can be found under “Sports and ActivitiesYes. Included activities can be found here.
Extreme sports and activities that can be covered when you pay extraN/AExplorer Plan includes extra activities.
Extreme sports and activities that are excludedEx: Parasailing, white water rafting, quad biking, etc. Excluded activities can be found under “Sports and ActivitiesEx: 
Language of customer supportEnglishEnglish
How to reach customer supportBy phone or emailBy phone, e-mail or an online form
How to file a claimOnline using a formOnline through their client portal
Apply from your home country?You can apply from your home country or while abroad (excluding Iran, North Korea or Cuba)You can apply from your home country or while abroad
Coverage in your home country?15 days during a 90-day period (US citizens) 30 days during a 90-day period (all other nationalities)No
Covid-19 restrictionsFull protection if you contract Covid-19– Full protection (US, Canadian)
– No protection (UK, Australian,  the Netherlands)

Check coverage for your nationality on the COVID-19 page of World Nomads.
ReviewCheck out our SafetyWing reviewCheck out our World Nomad review
Get insuredGet a quote for your SafetyWing adventure travel insuranceGet a quote for your World Nomads adventure travel insurance

Which is Better? SafetyWing or World Nomads?

It’s hard to say point-blank which adventure sports travel insurance provider is better. Choosing between SafetyWing and World Nomads will depend on numerous factors, like where you’re going, what type of sports you plan on doing, and how much coverage you want to have.

World Nomads may be the pricier option, although they do provide more coverage for things like trip cancellation and lost or damaged property. While SafetyWing includes coverage for trip interruption and lost airline checked luggage, they don’t offer any reimbursement if you have to cancel your trip before you leave or if you lose valuables once you’re at your destination.

On the other hand, SafetyWing does offer a higher maximum amount of coverage for medical emergencies ($250,000 vs. World Nomad’s $100,000). This can be a huge deal if you end up spending a lot of time in the hospital or require major surgery.

When it comes to sports coverage, you’ll need to look specifically at each provider to see if your exact activity is covered. Some activities may be covered with SafetyWing and not World Nomads and vice versa.

But at the end of the day, both SafetyWing and World Nomads are excellent options for digital nomads, world travelers, and adventure enthusiasts.

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We love to hear from you

Thanks a lot for checking out this comparison guide between the two most popular adventure travel insurances: SafetyWing and World Nomads. If you have any questions, concerns or if you think this guide was just really helpful, please leave us a comment below!

Don’t forget out to check out more of our travel tips and the reviews of SafetyWing and World Nomads for more information on any of these adventure travel insurances.

2 thoughts on “Best Travel Insurance for Adventure and Extreme Sports”

    1. Hi John, good question! This was the SafetyWing insurance. They helped us out very well and checked in every day to see how I was doing.

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