The Best Digital Nomad Insurance (FOR COVID TOO!)
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2020: NOW COVERING COVID INSURANCE TOO! If you’re an expat, a digital nomad or a long-term traveler, you need travel health insurance. Finally, for just over $9 a week, you can have all the health insurance you need around the world for cheap. That my friends, is a fact. What’s also a fact is that I’ve never had it, for 10 years on the road. Stupid? Yup. Lucky? Hmmm, not really. I’ve broken my leg in Thailand, my foot in Korea, suspected Malaria in Burkina Faso, slipped 2 discs in my spine in Australia, broken hands, broken noses, broken shoulders, amongst various smaller injuries around the globe. To treat them, I either ignored them and hoped for the best (because I had no insurance and couldn’t afford to pay) or went to a cheap local hospitals and got sub-par treatment.
Previously I was winging it, and it has been starting to stress me out. Now I realise I NEED health care. What if something goes wrong? Motorbike crash? Mugging? I spend a lot of my time in Thailand, and various other countries throughout the year, and the reality that I had NO health cover anywhere other than back in Ireland & the UK, has been playing on my mind. Not any longer. I’ve finally sorted it, and I’m going to show you guys how to do it too. And for cheap!
*Don’t be like me, having to use cheap Government Hospitals around the world (see below) when you can go to the best private hospitals in the country for $9 a week!
NOVEMBER 2020 EDIT: FIRSTLY, DOES SAFETYWING INSURANCE COVER YOU FOR COVID-19? YES, IT DOES!
SafetyWing is the best digital nomad insurance, or long-term traveler insurance available. If you don’t have travel medical insurance, then get it. You’ll have PRIVATE HEALTH CARE IN ALMOST EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD FOR $9 PER WEEK (CLICK HERE TO GET INSURED)!
SafetyWing’s travel & medical insurance plan costs just $37 for every 4 weeks & with awesome emergency medical and dental coverage, $3,000 of lost luggage coverage and a $250,000 maximum limit. In other words, it offers the best value of any travel and medical insurance plan on the planet.
|Your Age||Monthly Price||Monthly Price (including USA)|
For most digital nomads or long-term travellers, digital nomad health insurance is just something that you’ll get around to. But never do. Then disaster strikes and you wish you did. I know the feeling. And it’s such a complicated world. Deductibles, excess, liability. I was so confused and because of that, I stuck my head in the sand. Finally, this month I decided to get it fixed once and for all. After researching the most famous travel insurance in World Nomads, and then researching the new kids on the block, SafetyWing, I decided to go with the latter. Why?
COMPARING WORLD NOMADS & SAFETYWING INSURANCE
I know, I know. EVERYONE seems to recommend World Nomads. I also used to. It’s user-friendly and super easy to sign up. But wanna know why most bloggers recommend it? Because they pay huge commission compared to any other insurance provider (sssssh industry secret, don’t tell anyone!). So when I finally got my act together to get medical insurance for my travels, I assumed I too would get World Nomads. I always thought it was cheap, I was a little shocked to see it cost about $1300 a year (it’s no wonder I never had it!).
So let’s compare SafetyWing and World Nomads and see why I choose Safety Wing.
SafetyWing: $37 for 4 weeks. Bargain!
World Nomads: Starting* at approximately $120+/month
SafetyWing: You can sign up at home OR when you’re already traveling. The monthly fee is rolling (like Netflix), so you don’t have to sign up for X amount of months, you just keep it running while you travel or live overseas. Every travel insurance should do this, but alas they don’t.
World Nomads: You can sign up at home OR when you’re already traveling. You have to buy a pre-determined amount of time (3 months in South East Asia for example).
TRAVEL MEDICAL INSURANCE:
Safety Wing: First and foremost, SafetyWing is ridiculously cheap medical insurance as you travel. Safetywing insurance covers unexpected illnesses and injuries sustained abroad, including expenses for hospitals, doctors and prescription drugs. It also covers emergency travel-related benefits such as emergency medical evacuation, emergency dental treatment, travel delay/interruption and lost luggage. It even offers coverage in your home country, perfect for the frequent traveler who still likes to visit home once in a while. Americans have 15 days of home country coverage for every 90 days of their policy, while everyone else gets 30 days of home country coverage for every 90 days of their policy.
World Nomads: Triple the price of SafetyWing, similar medical insurance.
SafetyWing: Travel delays out of your control, does not include missed flights Lost checked luggage is covered up to $3k with $500 per item. Stolen and broken electronics are not covered, they’re updated plan later in the year will cover this though. Also, they even cover kidnap/ransom kinda stuff! Quality peace-of-mind when you go join me on my tours to countries like Yemen, Syria, etc (just kidding, we’ll be fine!)
World Nomads: The same as above but also includes stolen goods up to $500 per item. For triple the price, and the slim chance of having stuff stolen, not worth it in my eyes.
SafetyWing: THE WHOLE WORLD (apart from North Korea, Cuba and Iran)
World Nomads: The whole world.
Pretty simple really. SafetyWing is the clear winner. It’s a 1/3 of the price of it’s biggest competitor, World Nomads, AND you pay monthly rather than a one-off fee! It’s an unbelievable product that gives me (or you) private health insurance all around the world, in almost every single country, all year around for $9 a week. That’s honestly crazy. It makes me feel pretty stupid that I’ve never had it before, to be honest. Better late than never though. Click here to finally make sure you’re covered for health insurance while you’re not in your home country.
Quick check about what you’ll be covered for. Yaaay:
I wanted to feel confident in finally endorsing one travel medical insurance above another, so after more and more research, I looked deeper still into SafetyWing so I could outline all their highlights. Here’s why I finally, FINALLY took out insurance with these guys:
- MONTHLY BILLING: NO ONE-OFF PAYMENT! You pay each month, direct from your debit card or credit card, just like Netflix. You don’t need to sign up for any length of time. Month by month. Amazing.
- PRICE: It’s the cheapest, by a mile. Most company’s charge $100+ minimum for private health care insurance. To pay $37 is amazing. Travel insurance finally reached where it’s stupid NOT to have it. At last.
- PRIVATE HEALTH CARE: I never understood how travel insurance worked. But with these guys, you hop into their website, log-in to your profile and check which private hospitals you can visit whether you’re in Bangkok, Bali or Beirut (and it’s almost all of them!).
- Private Health Care in YOUR HOME COUNTRY: Yup, even when you’re at home you can visit private hospitals for up to 30 days for every 90 days you have coverage. Crazy.
- DIRECT BILLING: Unlike most insurance companies, most of the time you visit a hospital you don’t have to pay and then claim it back. The bill goes straight to these guys.
- SIMPLICITY: No bronze/silver/gold stuff. Pay your $9 a week and you’re covered. And sign up, or cancel, at any time. It takes 5 minutes. How it should be.
- YEARLY DEDUCTIBLES. That means ‘excess’ in the UK. So it’s the amount you have to pay when you first claim (like if you’re TV is broken or stolen at home you have to pay like $250 then, the insurance company covers the rest). These guys do a yearly version, so you don’t have to keep paying the first portion of every claim. $250 a year is the max you can pay as an excess/deductible PER YEAR. Unreal.
- OFTEN NO DEDUCTIBLES: For stuff like lost checked luggage, travel delays, crisis response, emergency dental, medical evacuation, trip interruption, personal liability you don’t have to pay any deductible. Pretty cool.
Alright, you got me, sounds pretty epic. But what’s the catch? Why is Safety Wing insurance So Cheap?
They’re smart! They have no middlemen, they don’t treat existing conditions so no big cancer bills, or chronic illness bills, and they only have 1 simple policy.
Now we’re talking! Go to the SafetyWing.com, in the top right-hand corner you’ll see ‘Sign me up’. Click Register, and then register with either your email or your Facebook account, throw in the information (name, country of residence) you’re done and dusted! You’re now officially insured!
Simple. Once you’ve signed up, you hop on SafetyWing.com and at the top you’ll see “Find Hospital or Doctor” right there on the main menu. Search your location, and you’ll see endless private hospitals, clinics and specialists. When you then go to the hospital, show your SafetyWing profile (it’s an online card, but you can print it off if you want). From there, normally the hospital will just send your bill to SafetyWing (occasionally you may have to pay first and then get re-paid, but rarely)
Pretty much every health concern you’re ever going to likely need when you travel or live overseas. Check it out here:
|Benefit Emergency Room Visit||None|
|Urgent Care Center||None|
|Acute Onset of Pre-Existing Condition||None|
|Emergency Medical Expenses||None|
|Emergency Medical Evacuation||$100,000|
|Lost Checked Luggage||$3,000 ($500 per item)|
*SafetyWing’s policy has a maximum limit of $250,000, which means they won’t pay out more than $250,000 in any single coverage period. The items with no limit listed above are also subject to this $250,000 maximum limit.
Those were my questions! Health/medical insurance is when you’re sick or ill and need treatment. SafetyWing is amazing for this. Travel insurance is when your flight is canceled, or delay, or you lost your bag, or you’ve been mugged etc. SafetyWing covers you for most of this stuff too apart from your electronics. The Deductible (or ‘excess’ in Europe) is the amount you have to pay first before your insurance kicks in. Say you break your lef in Thailand in a motorbike crash (errm, guilty. Twice), and the bill is $15,000USD for an amazing first-class hospital, private bed, etc, you have to pay the first $250, SafetyWing picks up the rest. The $250 is known as the Deductible. Insurance companies used it to make sure people are constantly scamming them basically.
Finally, a company who knows we don’t want, or need, to jump through 5000 hoops to cancel something! You just login to their website and click Cancel. You’ll be covered up until the end of your $37 4-week plan. No letters, no phone calls. Done.
Dial the phone number for your local representative as shown on their website. Or you can call their global office at +1-317-262-2132. If you’re filing a medical claim, you can either do it online by emailing the form to firstname.lastname@example.org. (All claims must be filed within 60 days of when the insurance period ends.)
EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD* (almost). North Korea and Iran are excluded, other than that, you’re good to go.
Anyone. Any nationality. You can use it for your travel medical insurance for a short trip, or if you lived overseas, are a digital nomad/expat, or a long-term traveler, you can use it indefinitely as your health insurance (that’s what I now do). Just click here, and within 5 minutes, you’ll be covered too. The value of the peace of mind it brings is crazy. Don’t be like me in my wild youth, get yourself covered HERE.
Remember, never travel without travel insurance! And never overpay for travel insurance!
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