Unless you’re some bionic and supernatural human, most likely you’ve encountered some unlucky circumstances in your life. While I wish all of a safe trip — whether it’s for one week or one year, the reality is that bad things happen, to all of us. Have I ever told you the story of my butt abscess in Thailand? No? Well… Let’s leave it at that. You already know too much. Let’s just say I’m glad I had some form of nomad travel insurance then!
Not the most fun subject but an important one nonetheless — nomad travel insurance. Do you have one? Do you actually need one? Which one should you choose?
Before we get into all things digital nomad insurance, let us kindly tattoo this on your brain: “better safe than sorry” and “if you can afford to travel, you can afford travel insurance”. Take those in and let’s dive right into the wonderful world of travel insurance for digital nomads.
Why you need insurance
Life on the road is no different than when you’re living in your home country. Okay, maybe life is a bit different, but you’re not immune to having things stolen, the flu, broken bones and lost luggage. In fact, these things are even more likely to happen to you while you travel.
Traveling can deplete your immune system due to the late nights or lack of nutrition (and don’t forget to take supplements!) in the local foods and not every person you encounter in your hostel is as honest as you’d expect. Fevers hit and things get stolen. Unfortunately, these are the realities of being a digital nomad!
If you’re a smart digital nomad (like I know you are), you’ll invest in travel insurance now rather than be hit with hospital bills and pay for a new laptop out of your own pocket later.
Travel insurance is always, always worth it!
What to look for when purchasing nomad travel insurance
When comparing travel insurance, here are some things to keep in mind:
* What type of medical coverage does it provide? Are hospital stays included? Emergency surgeries? Dental care? Routine checkups?
* What type of liability coverage does it provide? Aka if you damage property or another person — how much money value do they cover if you get sued? We’re getting real here, people.
* Does it cover trip cancellations or interruptions? If there’s a hurricane or other natural disaster and you’re unable to fly to your destination – will they reimburse you for the plane ticket?
* Does it cover (at least some) of any lost or stolen property? As a digital nomad, you need your laptop to live! What happens if it gets stolen? How much will your nomad insurance cover, if anything?
Which insurance should you choose?
With those things in mind, let’s look at the two most popular digital nomad travel insurance companies: World Nomads Travel Insurance & SafetyWing Travel Insurance.
First off is the well known and often blogged about World Nomads Travel Insurance. While I encourage you to read more into it yourself, here are the basic ins and outs of World Nomads:
* Price: Basic coverage from World Nomads starts at $120 USD/month, but their rates depend on where your home base is, the region you’re traveling to, and what type of coverage you’re after.
* What’s covered?: World Nomads’ insurance offers worldwide coverage, no specific country exclusions. Travel insurance includes any travel delay (missed, delayed or canceled flights) lost or damaged baggage. Health coverage includes adventure sports injuries (with the Explorer Plan), unexpected injuries or illnesses, dental emergencies, hospital stays and prescriptions.
* What’s not covered?: Any type of pre-existing condition such as cancer treatment. Routine checkups and preventive care are also not covered.
Overall: World Nomads is a solid option! They provide extremely comprehensive coverage (with two types of plans: Standard and Explorer) overall reviews are great and they work hard at making sure you’re reimbursed for any out of pocket expenses
A new kid on the digital nomad health insurance block has taken the insurance world by storm: SafetyWing, a travel insurance created by nomads, for nomads. Sounds promising.
* Price: SafetyWing’s price starts at a crazy $37 USD/4 weeks!
* What’s covered?: SafetyWing includes insurance for travel delays but not missed flights. They’ll cover lost luggage but not for your pricier items such as laptops, cameras etc. Health coverage includes unexpected injuries, hospital stays, emergency medical evaluations, and covers you for 90 days minimum in your home country (perfect for digital nomads visiting home). US Citizens only have 15 days of coverage in the USA every 90 days.
* What’s not covered?: Any type of coverage in North Korea or Iran. Injuries due to sport and adventure activities and any type of pre-existing condition such as cancer treatment. Routine checkups and preventive care are also not covered. And missed flights or missing electronic items as listed above.
Overall: SafetyWing provides great medical coverage and they plan on increasing their coverage for theft and loss in the coming year.
While I’ve only used World Nomads for myself and I can attest that they are great, I think that SafetyWing sounds like an incredible new comer and I’ll be delighted to give them a try next time I travel abroad for an extended period of time. Have you tried any of them?
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