Travel insurance for digital nomads can be a bit tricky…
This is because of the nature of being a digital nomad.
Many digital nomads are not resident in any one country, and/or spend long periods of time away from their home base. Many insurance policies are limited to residents of certain countries only, and not all provide cover for extended stays.
But there are two insurance companies that cater to the specific needs of digital nomads: World Nomads and SafetyWing.
World Nomads has been popular with long-term travellers for some time now. But more recently, SafetyWing has been popping up on digital nomad forums and online groups and is quickly becoming a new favourite.
We’ve used True Traveller in the past, and found them super cheap and flexible. But unfortunately as of January 2021, they are now only available to UK residents. Boo to Brexit.
We’ll tell you more about nomad insurance in a minute…
But first, we want to tell you why digital nomad insurance is absolutely necessary.
Many digital nomads like to do things their own way, so the approach of some to insurance is often to not bother with it at all. The thinking goes: Why bother if you’ll be staying in a country like Thailand, India or Mexico, where you can get high-quality care in private hospitals for much less than what you’d spend on an insurance policy? We can certainly see the logic… but the problem with this approach is that it overlooks the very real possibility of unexpected mishaps.
During our own travels, we’ve heard of a few unfortunate situations. The uninsured Australian who suffered a serious head injury after a motorbike accident in Goa. The American without insurance who tripped while trekking in Nepal and smashed her jawbone. A vegan friend who moved to Canada and assumed her diet was a good enough health insurance until she broke her ankle.
The travellers in these cases racked up huge medical bills they couldn’t afford, and paying for medical evacuation was not a possibility.
Even if you’re young and healthy with no medical conditions, you’re always at risk of injuries and accidents. That’s why as a digital nomad you should sign up for travel insurance and make sure you’re covered for emergency medical care.
Then there are other misfortunes like thefts, natural disasters, or deaths in the family… Before leaving home, you’ll want to know if your insurance covers you in these unexpected situations.
Here are a few other things to take into consideration when considering digital nomad insurance:
- Does your policy cover medical check ups and long-term health care if you’re staying put in one country for an extended period?
- Will it cover you if you have a chronic health condition that needs regular attention?
- Do you also need to insure your work equipment (laptop, camera, electronics)?
- Does the policy exclude adventure sports or any activities deemed ‘risky’?
- Is the insurance valid in all the countries you’ll be staying in?
- Another consideration is COVID-19: What happens if you get infected while abroad? Will your policy cover cancellations and delays in the case of newly introduced travel restrictions?
Now let’s have a look at the pros and cons of the two options out there for digital nomad insurance:
SafetyWing Nomad Insurance
Created by digital nomads with their fellow nomads in mind, SafetyWing nomad insurance provides coverage to all citizens visiting all countries except Cuba, Iran and North Korea.
SafetyWing nomad insurance plus points:
+ You don’t need to be resident in any country to buy a policy.
+ There’s the option to pay monthly.
+ There’s no limit to the duration of the coverage.
+ It covers sudden illness, injury and medical emergencies, medical evacuation, and accidental death.
+ Also included: natural disasters, emergency political evacuation, compensation for trip interruption, travel delay, lost checked-in luggage, lost passport, personal liability.
+ If you’ve spent over 90 days abroad, you’re even covered once you return home for 30 days (15 days for Americans).
+ Covid-19 is covered if contracted after the start date of coverage.
+ One child per adult and two children under 10 per family can be also included free of charge.
SafetyWing nomad insurance minus points:
– Routine check-ups and preventative medical care are not included.
– Treatment for pre-existing medical conditions is not covered.
– Cancer treatment is excluded.
– It only covers lost checked-in luggage and passports. The theft of electronics/equipment is excluded.
– Adventure sports and activities are not covered.
– Trip cancellation is not covered.
World Nomads Insurance
World Nomads provides coverage to travellers from 130 countries but since they partner with different insurance providers around the world, the extent of coverage varies depending on your country of residence. This guide is written with the US Plan in mind, so please check their website to see if all the points we cover below would apply to you.
Also, note that currently, they do not offer coverage in countries under a COVID-19 travel ban. For the latest COVID-19 information, check their FAQs.
World Nomads insurance plus points (USA Plan):
+ They sell long-duration policies for travel up to 180 days
+ 24/7 emergency assistance
+ Cover for an unexpected illness, personal injury and medical emergencies, medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains.
+ Cover for unexpected events that prevent you from travelling or disrupt your trip, including natural disasters.
+ Covers the loss, theft or damage of your bags, tech and gear.
+ Cover available for Adventure sports and activities
World Nomads insurance minus points (USA Plan):
– You need to be a resident within the United States to buy a policy.
– There is no cover for non-emergency treatment or surgery and routine examinations.
– Treatment for pre-existing conditions as defined in the policy wording is not covered.
– Cancellations due to fear of travel are not covered. Learn more here www.worldnomads.com/travel-insurance/coronavirus
Get a quote from World Nomads
Stuff you need to know:
All World Nomads Travel Insurance plans are different, depending on your county of residence, the policy you choose and any options or upgrades you buy. The coverage described here may not be available for travellers from all countries, states or provinces. Please carefully read your policy so you know what’s covered, not covered and any limits, terms and conditions which may apply. That way there’ll be no surprises if you need to use it during your trip. If you have any questions, just ask World Nomads.
Dreaming of the day when you can finally pack up your laptop and get back on the road? Read about our favourite vegan destinations for digital nomads in Asia!