The Best Adventure Sports Travel Insurance: World Nomads Review

Do you love adventuring when you travel? Do you go hiking, or canoeing, or hot air ballooning?

Whether you love to play a game of football abroad or go diving with sharks, you need to purchase adventure sports travel insurance.

There have been so many times over the years where I’ve wanted to do a unique adventurous experience, but worried about my safety. I mean, jumping out of a plane from 15,000ft isn’t exactly guaranteed to be safe.

But most travel insurance won’t tell you what adventures they cover or flat out deny coverage for all the fun stuff (seriously, how is a 2 hour hike exempt from your best adventure travel insurance policy??).

That’s why I turned to World Nomads. Their travel insurance includes adventure coverage AND they actually tell you what they cover. So I can travel with the peace of mind that my horseback ride or sea kayak will be completely covered by my travel insurance.

Most Canadians and Americans aren’t aware of just how limited their travel insurance is until they’re in a crisis and need to use it. They buy the cheapest plan, assuming nothing will happen to them.

I created this World Nomads review of their travel insurance for adventure sports to help backpackers like me, who thought they should skip insurance altogether, to understand why it’s so important.

You’ll learn what counts as an “adventure sport” (#2 will shock you!), what World Nomads insurance covers, and how easy it is to get complete coverage without breaking the bank. I’ll even tell you about a few times World Nomads saved my butt abroad.

Let’s dive in and discover what adventure travel insurance is and why you need it.

👉 Find out how much it costs to protect your trip today with World Nomads travel insurance.

Woman rock climbing up a mountain while traveling

Why you need travel insurance for adventure sports

Travel insurance is definitely one of the most important travel accessories that you will ever need.

Adventure travel can take you to all corners of the world and it may be a solo adventure travel or with friends/family, but whatever your case might be; make sure to get travel insurance.

You never know what happens in between destinations when venturing out.

Adventure sports or extreme sports are those travel activities that are done out of the usual and regular travel. For example, rock climbing to summit a mountain or taking part in white water rafting down the rapid rivers.

These sports carry higher risk than normal travel- you can fall off rocks while scaling mountains or get injured by sharp objects at rapids. Getting hurt during these types of sports can cost you thousands in recovery and cancellations.

Travel insurance will help you get travel medical treatment and will pay for travel cancellations.

World Nomads travel insurance is one of the best adventure sports travel insurances in the market with a very good global reputation, so it’s definitely worth buying from them.

👉 Find out how much it costs to protect your trip today with World Nomads travel insurance.

Common Adventure Sports

Some adventure sports may surprise you.

I’m always shocked to see things like hiking and canoeing in “adventure sports” categories, as I think of them as leisure activities.

Don't Forget to Pack the Essentials!


But you are actually in risky situations. Hikes are common spots for minor injuries, like sprained ankles. Canoes often tip over or can get caught in strong currents if you aren’t careful.

To help you understand if you need adventure sports travel insurance, I’ve created a list of travel activities considered “extreme” enough to warrant this type of insurance.

If you plan on doing any of these activities, you should get travel insurance (some of them you wouldn’t expect!):

  • Abseiling
  • Air Guitar
  • Archery
  • Backpacking
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Sports like Football, Basketball, Soccer, etc.
  • Black Water Rafting
  • Mountain Biking
  • Boating
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Boxing
  • Hiking
  • Camel or Horse Riding
  • Camping
  • Canoeing and Kayaking
  • Scuba Diving
  • Caving
  • Cycling
  • Dancing
  • Fishing
  • Dodgeball
  • Dog Sledding
  • Dune Buggy Driving
  • Fencing
  • Helicopter
  • Glacier Walking
  • Go Karting
  • Golf
  • Hang Gliding
  • Ice Skating
  • Kite Surfing
  • Surfing
  • Marathons and Triathlons
  • Paddle Board
  • Paragliding
  • Parasailing
  • Quad Biking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Rollerblading
  • Sailing
  • Shark Cage Diving
  • Skiing and Snowboarding
  • Sleigh Rides
  • Speed Boating
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Swimming with Whales
  • Skydiving
  • Tennis
  • Tubing
  • Wakesurfing and Water Skiing
  • Windsurfing
  • White Water Rafting
  • Yoga
  • Zipline
  • Zorbing

So if you’re planning to go swimming with sharks or to do some extreme air guitar, it’s in your best interests to get travel insurance for your trip.

If you’re unsure if your extreme sport is covered by World Nomads, check out their guide to adventure sports. They tell you exactly what is covered, how often, and by which plan.

That’s how I found out that I needed the Level 3 plan for my skydive coverage.

Important Features to Look for in Travel Insurance for Adventure Sports

Type of Policy – Does the policy cover one location? Multi-trips? Does it have a maximum length? Will it work for someone from your home country?

What is Covered – Before you purchase adventure travel insurance, you need to know that it will cover what you need. Check to ensure the sports you’re planning to do will be covered. You also need to know what liabilities and cancellations are covered.

Exclusions – Are there limits on what will be covered? (i.e. only one skydive but you plan to do four)

Deductible – Do you have to pay anything in order to make a claim?

Coverage Amounts – How much are you covered for each instance? Is the coverage enough for the costs you know you will incur?

👉 Find out how much it costs to protect your trip today with World Nomads travel insurance.

Does credit card travel insurance cover extreme sports?

Some of the travel insurance plans offered by Canadian credit cards include travel medical and trip cancellation coverage so you can be covered if your travel is delayed or postponed due to an injury sustained during one of these activities.

It’s important that people who take part in adventure sports check their policies before they leave for a trip.

For example, my Visa Avion card includes travel insurance BUT it does not include “high risk” activities. These include all types of adventure sports.

It’s not enough to rely on your credit card for your trip.

👉 Find out how much it costs to protect your trip today with World Nomads travel insurance.

Best Travel Insurance Provider for Adventure Sports Coverage

The best travel insurance provider for adventure sports is hands down World Nomads.

They are the best because they offer travel medical and trip cancellation coverage as standard, regardless of activities or pursuits.

World Nomads travel insurance is the best for adventure sports because they cover everything from skydiving to snorkelling – even bungee jumping!

So whether you’re a thrill-seeker who loves zip-lining through rainforests or simply an avid canoe-er, you’ll love using World Nomads.

I’m especially fond of their Adventure Hotline because it’s available 24/7.

No other travel insurance provider offers as much support for adventure travellers as World Nomads – trust me, I’ve relied on them for years!

Person paragliding against a purple sunrise

World Nomads Standard Vs. Explorer Plans

Figuring out which plan to choose from World Nomads can be a challenge. They both cover so much!

I’ve created a handy chart that shows you the different coverage limits for the Standard and Explorer Plans. These are based on a Canadian going on a trip to New Zealand for 1 month; however, they did not change when I experimented with Berlin or Peru as well.

Let’s see what coverage with the Standard vs. Explorer plans looks like:

Adventure World Nomads Standard vs. Explorer

World Nomads CoverageStandard PlanExplorer Plan
Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical Expense$5,000,000$10,000,000
Emergency Dental for Injury$1,000$2,000
Emergency Dental for Sickness$500$500
Meals & Accommodation$1,500$2,500
Bedside Companion Travel ($150 CAD/day for up to 10 days)$1,500$1,500
Emergency Professional Services (i.e. physio, chiro, podiatrist, osteopath)$250$250
Pre-existing Medical ConditionsNot CoveredNot Covered
Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation$500,000$500,000
Repatriation of Remains$5,000$5,000
Trip Cancellation$2,500$5,000
Trip Interruption$2,500$5,000
Trip Delay$700$1,400
Travel Accident$10,000$25,000
Stolen or Damaged Travel Gear/Luggage$1,000$3,000
Baggage Delay$100$500
Replace Lost, Damaged or Stolen Documents$200$1000
Sports Gear Lost/Stolen/Damaged$1,000$2,500
Sports Equipment Delay$400$1,500
24/7 Worldwide Emergency Medical AssistanceIncludedIncluded
Worldwide Security AssistanceIncludedIncluded
LiveTravel Emergency Travel AssistanceIncludedIncluded
Adventure Traveller's HotlineIncludedIncluded
Skydiving1 Jump Covered1 Jump Covered
Bungee Jumping1 Jump Covered1 Jump Covered
Abseiling, Black Water Rafting, Boating, Camping (Up to 6,000 Metres), Canyoning, Glacier Walking, Hiking (up to 6,000 metres), Horse Riding, Hot Air Ballooning, Mountain Biking (up to 6,000 metres),Running, Sailing, Scuba Diving (to 40 Metres), Snorkeling, Surfing, & Zip LiningCoveredCovered
Nannying, Office Work, Retail Work, Scuba Guide, Teaching, Manual Work, Hospitality, Farm Work, & WWOOFingCoveredCovered
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

At the time of writing this guide to adventure sports travel insurance, the World Nomads Standard Plan costs $86 CAD for 2 weeks. The Explorer Plan costs $102 CAD for 2 weeks.

Both plans include Level 1 Extreme Sports Coverage (these are the sports I’ve listed in the chart).

👉 Find out how much it costs to protect your trip today with World Nomads travel insurance.

Level 2 Extreme Sports Package

If you’re planning on doing additional skydives or more challenging climbing, you may want to upgrade to the Level 2 or Level 3 Extreme Sports packages.

The Level 2 package covers all of Level 1 plus:

  • Bicycle Polo
  • Bouldering/Rock Climbing
  • Canoeing (Beyond 3 Nautical Miles)
  • Sea Canoeing
  • Crewing a Vessel Less than 60m from a Safe Harbour
  • Deep Sea Fishing
  • Dragon Boating (Outside Coastal Waters)
  • Fly By Wire
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Kite Buggy
  • Kite Wing
  • Land Surfing
  • Motor Biking (Off Road)
  • Marathon Running
  • Sailing (Outside Coastal Waters)
  • Spearfishing
  • Speed Boating (Outside Coastal Waters)
  • Via Ferrata
  • Windsurfing (Outside Coastal Waters)
  • Zip Line

The Level 2 coverage is perfect for the adventurous spirits who want to climb higher or go deeper into the ocean. I’d get this coverage to do the Via Ferrata in Queenstown or Quebec, where you can scale the side of mountains.

I’ve actually ziplined many times without travel insurance. But let me tell you, once you’re up that high, you suddenly wish you had it covered!

Level 3 Extreme Sports Package

Level 3 includes everything from Level 1 and 2, plus:

  • Off Road BMXing
  • Bushwalking (Up to 6,000m)
  • Camping (Up to 6,000m)
  • Caving/Spelunking
  • Cycling (Up to 6,000m)
  • Deepelling
  • Multi-Day Mountain Expeditions (Up to 6,000m)
  • Ice Fishing
  • Hang Gliding
  • Hiking (Up to 6,000m)
  • Horse Riding for Dressage or Show Jumping
  • Hunting
  • Ice Climbing
  • Ice Skating
  • Mountaineering with Ropes (Up to 6,000m)
  • Triathlon
  • Obstacle Course
  • Paragliding
  • Parasailing Over Land
  • Rap Jumping
  • Rappelling
  • Rock Climbing to 6,000m
  • Scuba Diving to 40m
  • Scuba Diving Guide
  • Segway Tours
  • Shooting
  • Skateboarding
  • Skeleton
  • Ski Instructor
  • Skiing (Cross Country or Downhill)
  • Heli-skiing
  • Skydiving
  • Sledding
  • Snow Kiting
  • Snowboarding
  • Spelunking
  • Swimming (Outside Coastal Waters)
  • Trapeze

How does World Nomads insurance work?

World Nomads works like any other travel insurance provider.

If you have used another provider before, you’ll find it very easy to go through the World Nomads process.

👉 Find out how much it costs to protect your trip today with World Nomads travel insurance.

1. Get a Quote

To get a quote from World Nomads, fill out your details below.

You can make estimations about the length of time and countries you will visit. I ended up going to many different countries on my gap year in Europe, but it never changed the policy cost.

If you’re using World Nomads for long-term travel, it’s a good idea to add in more countries just in case. But unless you’re going somewhere especially risky, it doesn’t seem to impact the policy.

For example, I went to Morocco and Turkey – two countries considered “medium risk” by the Canadian government at the time. It didn’t change the price.

Screen Shot 2021 09 27 at 11.00.18 AM
World Nomads policy for 1 month in New Zealand for a 25 year old Canadian.

2. Decide Between the Standard and Explorer Plans

Based on the amount of coverage you need and the adventure sports you intend to do, you will need to decide whether or not you want to upgrade to the Explorer Plan.

I never opted for the upgrade, as I was on a budget and preferred to use the extra couple dollars for other activities.

I was also young and sort of blindly optimistic that nothing would ever go wrong. Had it gone wrong, I’d have kicked myself for not upgrading.

If you’re not sure what the difference is, scroll down the page to see the comparison chart.

If you’re not ready to buy it yet, get the quote emailed to you for you to consider later.

Screen Shot 2021 09 27 at 11.00.49 AM
Step 3 for World Nomads checkout.

3. Select Your Activity Level

World Nomads knows that their clients are adventurous. That’s why they have a page where you can search all of the activities you’re hoping to do.

So if you were confused by my breakdown of the Level 2 and Level 3 add-ons, this page will tell you whether or not that activity you’re dying to do requires an additional purchase.

Screen Shot 2021 09 27 at 11.02.15 AM
Confirmation for 1 month in New Zealand for a Canadian.

4. Confirm Your Details and Purchase

The final page will include a summary of your trip details, as you’ve entered them.

Before you purchase your plan, ensure these details are correct. There’s nothing worse than paying for travel insurance only to realize you bought the plan for the wrong week (I’ve never done that, but I have done it for hotels and flights!).

Then fill in your Name, Address, Accept the Terms and Conditions, and Checkout like you would on any other online shopping site.

You’ll get your policy emailed to you so you can have an electronic copy with you always.

I recommend printing out a copy as well, just in case.

Sunset kayak ride while traveling

Review of World Nomads Travel Insurance Based on My Experience

I don’t recommend products I’ve never used.

World Nomads is the travel insurance company I’ve been using since 2017. We’ve been to Prague, London, Auckland, Belgrade, Dubrovnik, and more together!

If it wasn’t for World Nomads, I never would have been able to explore the world the way I have. Not only would I have been too nervous to partake in amazing activities, but my family would have dragged me home ASAP at the first sign of trouble.

Using World Nomads gave me the peace of mind that I would be safe, no matter what.

And I needed that peace of mind because I’ve had some bad travel horror stories in my time.

👉 Find out how much it costs to protect your trip today with World Nomads travel insurance.

5 Times I Was Grateful I had Travel Insurance

  1. When I got so sick in Portugal that I couldn’t leave the bathroom for more than 2 minutes. My aunt who I was travelling with was terrified. She called World Nomads and within two hours, a doctor was by my side to prescribe medication and ensure I was alright. The doctor even instructed the hotel on best practices to ensure I stayed hydrated.
  2. When I was volunteering abroad with Workaway in Croatia. On the farm I worked on, I had an accident and thought I’d broken my back thanks to an unhappy horse and a large tree. World Nomads covered my hospital visit and the emergency X-ray I needed (thankfully, it was just a bad internal bruise). They didn’t even fight me on the charges, the way I expected after dealing with car insurance back home.
  3. When my lovely skydive in New Zealand ended up exacerbating a cold. It turned a head cold into one of the worst sinus infections of my life. I required a lot of medication that would have meant spending my week’s budget in a single day. With World Nomads, I didn’t have to worry about the cost. I knew I could have my medication and still afford to eat.
  4. When I was panicking about losing my camera case and memory card in my first 2 days in New Zealand. I must have dropped them on my way to Hot Water Beach, which meant my camera was unprotected and had limited memory for the remainder of my trip. I called World Nomads who walked me through the process of filing a claim to pay for a new bag and memory chip – even though the items weren’t stolen! Again, they were genuinely kind and helpful.
  5. When I needed an X-ray while living in New Zealand due to excruciating hip pain, World Nomads was there. They even helped cover the massage therapy treatment the doctor recommended once we determined it wasn’t sciatica.

👉 Find out how much it costs to protect your trip today with World Nomads travel insurance.

My Rating of World Nomads

I’ve always found it easier for people to understand a person’s rating when you use the star system.

So with that in mind, I’m going to share my World Nomads review star rating to help you decide if it’s right for you:

5/5 stars!

World Nomads has literally never let me down.

They have always filed my claims promptly, so the money was back in my account within a few days. When I’ve needed help finding doctors, they’ve been there. When things got lost, they were there.

I’m very lucky that I haven’t had a serious adventure sports injury or any stolen items that required their help. But I’m confident that they’d be just as prepared to assist me in those instances.

With their award-winning customer service, 24/7 help lines, and dedicated Adventure Travel lines, you’ll feel confident knowing you can get their help.

As a bonus, they’ve added a mental health line since I last used them.

This is such a game changer that I’ve never seen another travel insurance company offer.

Get the support you need so you can get back to enjoying your trip by purchasing World Nomads coverage today.

FAQS about Adventure Sports Travel Insurance:

Is World Nomads Insurance good?

I found World Nomads travel insurance to be a great company for adventure travellers going abroad.
With travel insurance, you want peace of mind that your trip will be covered in case something happens (lost luggage or an injury).
They also offer excellent coverage and rates while travelling around the world.
It is easy to get online and buy travel insurance on their website. With their 24/7 support, you can get help the moment you need it – whether you’re in a Spanish hotel room or somewhere in the Moroccan desert.

Can you extend World Nomads insurance?

It is possible to extend your travel insurance policy with World Nomads travel insurance.
I found that if you are travelling for an additional 60 days, then it’s a good idea to look into extending your trip by purchasing another World Nomads travel insurance plan – since the cost isn’t too high and can save you money in case something happens.
I’ve extended my policies a few times over the years when I’ve added months onto trips unexpectedly.
It’s always pain-free to do it through their online portal. If you’re struggling, their online support system can walk you through it.

Does travel insurance cover extreme sports?

Most travel insurance providers do not cover extreme sports.
In my experience, travel insurance companies do not find adventure sports to be a high risk.
The reason they don’t cover them is because there are generally lower premiums for travel insurance policies – meaning that the cost of including these activities would increase costs overall.
If you’re looking to travel with extreme sports included in your travel insurance, you need to check out World Nomads. Their policies all cover some level of adventure sports. You can even upgrade them to add more thrill-seeking adventures.

Can you get a World Nomads plan when you’re already abroad?

World Nomads travel insurance can be purchased from anywhere online, so it’s easy to purchase a policy when you’re already abroad.
The company is excellent and I recommend their travel insurance policies for anyone looking into travel protection.
You can even adjust your plan while you’re abroad if you need to extend it.

Which is the best Canadian travel insurance that includes extreme sports?

World Nomads travel insurance is the best you can find that provides protection for adventure sports in any country.
The travel insurance plans are flexible and customizable so you can find the best policy for your travel needs.
The travel insurance company is known worldwide as one of the most reliable, always providing good service to Canadians and other nationalities.
You’ll be able to check adventurous activities off of your Canadian bucket list without worry thanks to World Nomads!

Can I skydive more than once on a trip?

Unfortunately, you cannot skydive more than one time with World Nomads‘ Level 3 Adventure Sports insurance coverage. This can either be a tandem or a single skydive.
However, since most skydives cost over $300, it’s probably good for your travel budget that World Nomads limits you!
I know I’d have spent thousands more if it weren’t for the coverage issue – and me trying to maintain my New Zealand travel budget.

Is snowboarding covered by World Nomads travel insurance?

Yes, snowboarding is covered by World Nomads travel insurance, but you will need to purchase the Level 3 package to get this coverage.

Does travel insurance cover scuba diving?

World Nomads includes scuba diving coverage to 30m in the Level 1 plans. If you want to go down to 40m, you will need to purchase the Level 3 add-on.
To do any sort of scuba diving, you will need to be certified before the plan will cover you.

Is rock climbing covered under World Nomads travel insurance?

Rock climbing is included in the Level 3 coverage for World Nomads travel insurance. You can only go up to 6,000m – which seems like more than enough to me!

Are quads or ATVs covered by travel insurance for adventure sports?

Every plan includes quad biking or ATVs for World Nomads travel insurance. That means you won’t have to purchase an add-on to enjoy this fun adventure sport!

👉 Find out how much it costs to protect your trip today with World Nomads travel insurance.

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