The Best Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads (that also covers Coronavirus)
The digital nomad lifestyle is one of the most exciting ways to live your life and luckily it’s now more achievable than ever. Many freelancers and remote workers now have the freedom to travel full time and indefinitely as they can work anywhere where there’s an internet connection. While it may seem like the perfect lifestyle (and it almost is) there are still complications and boring real-life stuff that you need to take into account before you hit the road to live your dream life of being a digital nomad. Finding the right travel insurance for digital nomads is one of the most important things to consider.
Read More: Why I travel full time and how I afford it
The benefits of having comprehensive travel medical insurance are, in my opinion (and after experiencing a few mishaps including airlines losing my bags and being hospitalised in India), always worth the investment. However, until now, there has been a bit of a gap in the market that left digital nomads like myself falling through the cracks.
Update 2022: Now more than ever travellers and digital nomads need to have travel medical insurance. SafetyWing include cover for Coronavirus/Covid-19 as standard with all new policies. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be covered as I was traveling against the advice of my government but SafetyWing assured me that I was still covered. What a relief!
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Most travel insurance companies have strict policy rules that require you to pre-determine your travel plans, or if they do have more flexible policies, then they also have much higher premiums. This means that many digital nomads such as myself have skipped on travel insurance that we really should have purchased (only to later wind up in a hairy situation and having to fork out our precious travel funds to pay to sort it out!)
I know it’s not fun or nice to think about getting injured or sick abroad but I’ve been traveling full time for over 6 years now and things often happen on the road that you’d never have anticipated. It’s horrible being sick and alone abroad, but even more stressful if you have no insurance or money or support to get things sorted.
SafetyWing – Travel insurance for digital nomads by digital nomads
Luckily SafetyWing is here! SafetyWing is a digital nomad specific travel medical insurance company that has finally made having travel insurance for digital nomads much more affordable, flexible and easy to manage. SafetyWing is made by digital nomads especially for digital nomads. It’s the world’s first international travel medical insurance developed to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and remote workers travelling or living abroad worldwide.
SafetyWing has re-occurring, month-to-month, cancel-anytime travel medical insurance payments and for me this is a game changer. This really suits the adventurous and unpredictable nature of my digital nomad and travel blogging lifestyle, as I can never quite be sure where I will be and for how long! In the past I’ve bought travel insurance for 6 months or so (luckily my insurance was valid when I was hospitalised with typhoid fever in India), but then I’ve extended my trip or decided to visit another destination and then haven’t been covered (like when I had a nasty eye and ear infection in Bali). It was also hard on my budget to fork out for the expensive premiums for long term travel insurance and hard to arrange insurance as I didn’t really know how long I would be gone for and where I would end up.
Now SafetyWing has made it pretty much illogical not to have travel insurance as a digital nomad. Keep reading on to find out why I say this!
5 Reasons digital nomads need travel insurance
These are the most common reasons travel insurance for digital nomads may just end up saving your wallet:
- Accidents & sustaining an injury – you don’t want to think about it, but it happens. Life on the road can be thrilling when times are good, though none of us are exempt from the risk of accidents or getting injured. Whether it’s taking a fall on a scooter in Southeast Asia or taking a rickshaw across town, you just never know, and it’s wise to be covered for hospital visits, long term inability to work and even needing to catch an emergency flight home.
- Getting sick – whether you’re immunised or not, there are plenty of illnesses you can pick up on your travels, particularly if you like to frequent places where there are lower health standards. And there are still many diseases out there for which there is no vaccine available. If you catch a mosquito borne virus such as malaria or dengue fever, you may need to see a doctor and even spend some time recovering in the hospital with medication. A great thing about my travel insurance is that when I was sick in the hospital in India with typhoid fever my insurance company flew my Mum out to look after me.
- Lost or stolen possessions – be it your passport, your laptop, or your entire bag, you’ll be more than thankful to be able to replace these items especially if you make a living by working online as a digital nomad.
- Lost or delayed baggage by airlines – this has also happened to me, more than once, and take it from me, missing bags when you arrive at your destination isn’t how you want to start off your trip. It’s nice to know you can go and get the essentials till your bag reaches you or replace everything if it’s really gone AWOL!
- Trip delays or cancellation – if you get sick or wind up in hospital and can’t travel, you’ll be thankful to have the ability to cancel or postpone your onward travel plans and get reimbursed on flights and accommodation costs.
So you can see that even though life as a digital nomad is super exciting there are also SO many things that could go wrong. This is why you really shouldn’t be leaving home without being insured, and why I’m so glad that I found out about SafetyWing.
Reasons to love SafetyWing
The key benefits of the SafetyWing travel medical insurance policy versus other travel insurance for digital nomads are:
- Affordable low price of $37 for 4 weeks (*price is higher if you are travelling in the US)
- Able to purchase insurance in 180 different countries around the world
- Easy monthly payments. Instead of forking out a large chunk of money to pay for insurance to cover your whole trip at once, Safety Wing is like a subscription. The insurance automatically extends every 28 days until you pick an end-date. You can choose your start date and cancel any time, there is no cap on the duration of a trip and you don’t even need to know how long you’ll be travelling or what destinations you’ll visit. Perfect for digital nomads who like to be spontaneous and go with the flow.
- You can sign up for SafetyWing insurance even if your journey has already started or you are already abroad – most travel insurance companies don’t let you sign up once you’ve left your home country so this is a big plus.
- Includes an additional and unique to SafetyWing feature of 30 days’ coverage in your home country (within every 90 day period), so you’ll also be covered for those sporadic home visits too (or 15 days for every 90 days if your home country is the US)
- Free additional coverage for young children from 14 days up to 10 years (1 child for each paying adult in the family, maximum 2 children), which is amazing for families who love the travel life too!
- SafetyWing is a Y-Combinator company and the policy is administered by Tokio Marine, one of the largest insurance companies in the world.
- The SafetyWing team are always available to help you. They offer 24/7 support and come with a network of medical partners.
There are a couple of current exclusions however to keep in mind, which help to keep their monthly premium price low:
- Currently SafetyWing does not cover your electronics for theft, loss or damage, so if you feel you really do need this cover you should consider another plan that will cover your gear. As a digital nomad my laptop is my life and my way of making money so it’s really important for me that it’s covered and, in my opinion, insurance for digital nomads should cover electronics but I’m told that they are working hard to make this happen so fingers crossed it will happen soon.
- There is currently no cover for all those high-risk extreme sports activities such as paragliding, kite surfing, heli skiing, so if you are super adventurous then you would need a specific plan that covers extreme sports such as World Nomads. SafetyWing are planning to launch a more comprehensive adventure sports option by the end of the year.
- If you decide, after purchasing your plan, that you want to visit the US you will need a new plan so you’ll need to cancel your current plan and purchase one with US coverage.
The good news though is that SafetyWing are currently in the process of revising their policy and will soon be able to cover these exclusions that are currently left out. They also aim to eventually also offer comprehensive health insurance followed by a disability plan and then a pension plan, in addition to the current travel insurance plan.
I know it’s not fun or nice to think about getting sick or things going wrong while you’re living your dream digital nomad lifestyle, but unexpected things have happened to me and most of my friends who travel long term. There’s no doubt that you do need travel insurance. Luckily, with SafetyWing, getting travel insurance for digital nomads just got much easier and more affordable. Check out www.safetywing.com for more info.
By the way: This post was brought to you in collaboration with SafetyWing and contains affiliate links.