Sometimes things do not go as you had planned on your working trip. You may lose items, get sick, get involved in an accident in the country you are staying in or experience travel delays that make you spend a little more than you had budgeted. It is always a good idea to plan for the unexpected before you book your flight to the next digital nomad destination. Besides, most countries require foreigners to have some form of insurance. Insurance also provides some level of compensation to keep you from spending your savings on every issue that arises while you are in a foreign land.
There are insurance providers with insurance plans that have coverage specifically for digital nomads and remote workers. They cover the likely risks that you may face while working in a foreign country. This article sheds light on the best travel insurance for digital nomads and other tips to get you started.
Why The Regular Travel Insurance Does Not Work with Digital Nomads
Most traditional travel insurance policies are designed to work for a particular period with predefined timelines. After the period has expired, you must obtain a new policy. Unfortunately, digital nomads are long term travelers, constantly travelling from one country to another.
It would not be practical for them to go back to their home country every now and then to renew their policies or take a new one for each country they visit. They need a travel insurance policy that works with their schedule. Thankfully, there are insurance policies that do not require digital nomads to return home after a given period and can be purchased outside the country.
Reasons Why You Should Always Have a Digital Nomad Insurance Cover
Here are reasons why you cannot afford to travel without having a digital nomad travel insurance.
- Accidents may happen during the travel and stay in the foreign land
- Emergency treatments overseas may be very expensive.
- It is a great idea to protect yourself from huge financial losses
- You will get reimbursed when something happens to your items (and there is a chance you may have items lost or broken during your stay in the foreign country).
- You always have peace of mind knowing that you are covered if there are things that might go wrong.
Choosing Between Travel Insurance and International Health Insurance
Some digital nomads are torn between international health insurance and travel insurance. However, they work differently and cannot be used interchangeably in most cases.
Travel insurance covers more than your health. It is designed to cover other risks that may lead to financial losses and unexpected costs when you are out there, as explained above. In addition, it takes care of emergency medical treatment and healthcare due to accidents.
On the other hand, international healthcare insurance is made available to handle ongoing health needs, including any pre existing conditions, management of chronic diseases, childbirth and related issues. It also handles emergency healthcare, regular medical check-ups, rehabilitation and cancer treatment. While the travel insurance coverage will require you to return home for further treatment when you are fit enough to do so, the international health insurance allows you to remain in the foreign nation and get treatment there. Digital nomads insurance takes the best of both worlds; it covers the luggage, items and general losses and allows you to get treatment wherever you are without forcing you to return home.
Things to Check When Looking for Digital Nomads Insurance
The best travel insurance for digital nomads should have the following features:
Emergency Medical Coverage
It should cover sudden, unforeseen illnesses, accidents and injuries that happen during your travel or in the foreign country that are acute. Acute conditions are those that need immediate treatment. Check the amount that is offered by any travel insurance plan that you are considering and any exclusions for any pre existing medical condition you may have.
Emergency evacuation is a situation where you need to be removed from the country you are in due to some danger that is lurking. Here are reasons why you may need to be evacuated:
- Medical reasons: Your condition needs to be treated in another country
- Political instability: If the political situation in the foreign country becomes untenable, you may need to move out quickly.
- Natural disaster: If you have been caught in the middle of a natural disaster, such as a tsunami, earthquake or typhoon, you may need to be evacuated.
- Terror: If there is a threat of terrorism in the foreign country, you may want to move out of the area as soon as you can.
Sometimes the issue is medical in nature, such as a pandemic. Just before air travel came to a halt, insurance providers such as SafetyWing evacuated their customers back to their home countries. They saved them from unnecessary pain and suffering in a foreign country by doing so.
Electronics are among the most expensive items you will be transporting. They are likely to be damaged or break down along the way. Check if you cover the costs of replacing or repairing the electronics and how much is covered in terms of their value. This way, your most important asset in the trade is covered.
Trip Interruptions, Cancellations and Delays
About 20% of all flights will arrive late. This will be caused by some form of interruption or delay. Sometimes such delays are quite expensive, as they cause you to spend more cash, especially on accommodations.
Apart from flights, your cab may arrive late, get caught up in a traffic jam or stop for any reason. A good insurance policy should include some compensation for any costs incurred as a result of trip delays or interruptions.
If for some reason you need assistance, such as to get treated at a hospital or replace your electronics, your card providers should be reachable to authorise the use of the card or provide a guarantee for the payment. You want a company that is easy to reach and willing to assist whenever you reach them. Read the company reviews to determine the quality of service provided by the company.
Loss of Your Luggage
Baggage losses are common on flights. You may end up losing some working equipment and other valuable items as a result. This means that you will have to spend more money to buy these items again if you are not lucky enough to find your luggage. An ideal insurance policy would cover the loss of items through baggage loss or theft in the foreign country.
The Price of a Subscription in your travel insurance
Check the price of the subscription versus the things that are covered. The ideal policy should cover some of the most important issues that are likely to arise during your trip or stay in a foreign country while remaining reasonably priced.
Some insurance companies will offer add-ons that you can purchase to extend your coverage. When making your decision, just consider what is ideal and the risks that are most likely to occur. Otherwise, you do not want to break the bank with outrageously expensive insurance.
Most travel insurance plans are quite complicated. This makes it hard for you to understand what is or is not covered by the plan. When making a decision, look for a policy that is straightforward and breaks down all of the risks that are covered, as well as their costs. This enables you and the service provider to understand what the policy will be paying for and where you have to dig deep into your pocket. It should also be adaptable enough to meet your needs and lifestyle demands.
Check How Insurance Claims Are Made and Settled
It is important to determine how long it will take to have your insurance claim sorted out. You do not want to end up with a company that will be paying claims after three or four months. You are likely to suffer the loss of whatever you need compensated or some service providers will not take your policy as payment when providing their service.
Read the fine print to determine the process of making claims, what is required and the length of time it takes for the entire process to be completed. You may also ask for an explanation by calling the insurance provider. Consider writing an email rather than calling so that you have some written information as a reference. You can always use the same against the company if it retracts its actions.
Do You Have Pre-existing Conditions? Check Coverage
If you have a pre-existing condition, you want a policy that can handle any emergencies that may occur while you are away. Many travel insurance policies do not cover any existing conditions. However, some will cover any emergencies that may arise from the reoccurrence or outbreak of the symptoms of the condition. Please ensure that this is explicitly covered before choosing the insurance provider. You may also take out extra coverage if you seek to have the condition treated in a foreign country.
The Best Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads
There are several travel insurance companies out there that provide several travel insurance options for digital nomads. You want to use the criteria discussed above to determine the best insurance provider in the market and pick the plan that works for you. Here is a list of some of the best nomad insurance providers and a quick overview of the plans offered.
To make it clear, the selection of the companies here takes into account a middle-aged digital nomad with no pre-existing conditions who comes from European or American countries. Your choice may change if you have some pre-existing conditions or are older. Besides, the prices may change depending on the nationality. Many of the companies listed below accept customers from around the globe.
Safetywing Travel Insurance
SafetyWing is arguably the best health insurance for digital nomads. It provides various packages and coverage plans that you may want to look into when looking for coverage. The reason for the popularity of the insurance provider is that the plans offered are primarily focused on the needs of digital nomads. Therefore, they cover most of the risks that you will find there when travelling.
Besides, the insurance plans that it offers are very flexible, allowing digital nomads to pick whatever meets their needs. These plans are also very cost-effective. They will not cause you to break the bank in order to pay for the premiums.
Another great feature of the company is the subscription-based pricing. Digital nomads subscribe for coverage for 28 days. It automatically renews coverage until you cancel it. The company does not require you to give them the list of countries that you expect to visit and the exact days that you will be heading there. You just pay for coverage and your issues are sorted.
The only downside with the company is the length of time it takes to have the claims paid out. It may take several months at a time. However, it all depends on the issue that has been covered and the factors surrounding its occurrence.
Some Coverage Highlights in Safetywing Travel insurance
Here are some of the things that SafetyWing insurance covers:
- Maximum coverage limits: $250,000, but there is a $250 deductible.
- Medical expenses covered: hospital care, ambulance, room and nursing services, emergency dental
- Physical therapy and chiropractic care for up to $50 per day
- Travel delay costs: up to $100 per day for a maximum of 2 days
- Lost checked luggage: Covers up to $500 per item.
- Lost or stolen passport and visa: yes
- Coverage for natural disasters: 5 nights for up to $100 per night
- Political-related and emergency medical evacuation: yes
- Personal liability coverage: yes
- Accidental death and dismemberment coverage: yes
This insurance provider covers pre-existing conditions but has very stringent requirements that the policyholder must meet to get covered. Besides, the insurance provider covers you for 30 days in your home country with every 90-day renewal. This means you can go home to great friends and family members while still being covered. Visit the company website for more information on the conditions that are covered by the insurance provider and the requirements for each.
On the other hand, the insurance provider does not cover high-risk sports. This includes fun activities such as scuba diving. You will also not get coverage for missed flights or trip cancellations. You also need an international motorcycle licence to be covered for scooter- or motorcycle-related accidents.
This cover costs $42 for 28 days for digital nomads between 18 and 39 years old. US citizens and people over the age of 39 pay slightly more for the same coverage.
Genki Nomad Travel Medical Insurance
Genki is another insurance company with digital nomads in mind and has crafted plans to meet their needs. It has gained a reputation for offering some of the most transparent plans on the Internet. The sign-up process is quite fast and smooth. You will also get your questions answered quite fast.
The company is backed by insurance heavyweight Allianz Partners, with claims handled by another reputable company called DR-Walter. Both companies are known to pay claims rather quickly, which is one of the advantages of taking insurance coverage from Genki.
Genki offers a monthly subscription that will automatically renew on the lapse of the period for up to two years. This allows subscribers to renew and cancel the coverage anytime they want without incurring other obligations as a result of their action. Unlike the SafetyWing coverage that expires on the 28th day of the month, Genk renews coverage on the same day every month. In essence, the coverage goes for 30 to 31 days. This means that you will be paying less compared to SafetyWing over the course of a year or two years.
Besides, the company offers most benefits without limits. It means that you will not be looking for many out-of-pocket expenses for most of your medical expenses. Here is a quick overview of the risks covered by Genki.
- Intensive care unit admissions, outpatient care and surgical procedures are all emergencies. No limits
- Medications, treatments and dressing materials: no limit
- Simple dental fillings, pain relief, dental therapy and the repair of worn-out dentures and dental prostheses cost: € 500 per case.
- Accident-related dental care that is medically necessary: € 1,000
- The cost of outpatient beginning mental health treatment: € 1,500
- First-time mental or emotional disorders: €20,000 for inpatient emergency treatment
- The price of transportation to the closest hospital (using ambulance vehicles): There is no limit
- There is no cap on the cost of returning transportation to the insured person’s native country.
- Delivery of the insured person’s remains (repatriation costs): no limit
Unlike Safetywing, Genki also covers sports. This means that the holders will get a chance to enjoy their time in the foreign country without worrying about the costs that will come with treating any injuries that may occur while they are having fun. Here are some of the dangerous sports activities that the insurance provider covers:
- Motorcycle and car racing
- Bungee jumping
- Mountaineering (where you need specialised equipment)
- Base jumping
- Free climbing
- Scuba diving
Why We Like the Insurance Providers
- There are no limits to most medical risks that the insurance company covers
- It offers great value for a low monthly premium cost
- When you subscribe to the insurance policy, you get two years of continuous coverage without giving it much thought
- It allows the digital nomads to buy insurance outside their home country and cancel when they want to
- It has low deductibles for its coverage
However, the coverage does not cover any other issues except for medical-related risks. Therefore, you will not be getting coverage for travel delays, trip interruption or lost checked baggage. Besides, it targets people below the age of 30. Many of this age will pay a significantly higher amount.
You will pay €35.70 a month to stay covered. Those above 30 years of age pay €54.60. If you wish to have a plan without any deductibles, the price starts at €45.00. If you are looking for comprehensive medical insurance while out of the country, Genki makes the best travel insurance for digital nomads.
World Nomads Travel Insurance for digital nomads
If you are looking for flexible and simple travel insurance with higher benefits, then World Nomads Travel Insurance is the best choice. It covers citizens of several countries around the globe. However, coverage comes at an extra cost over what the other two providers offer their customers. The reason for the higher price is that it uses several companies around the globe to underwrite the claims.
This company has a good reputation when it comes to honouring claims. It has responsive customer service and the process of signing up and making claims is rather smooth.
Plans Offered by the Insurance Company
World Nomads Travel Insurance offers two insurance policies to its customers: the standard and explorer plans. Its standard package covers over 200 sporting activities. It is the cheaper option and has lower coverage caps compared to the Explorer plan. On the other hand, the Explorer plan adds more sporting activities and has higher limits.
|Standard Plan||Explorer Plan|
|Maximum Limit||$100,000 (no deductible)||$100,000 (no deductible)|
|Medical Expenses||Hospital, ambulance, nursing care and emergency dental services||Hospital, ambulance, nursing care and emergency dental services|
|Trip Interruption (for any reason)||Up to $2,500||Up to $10,000|
|Lost Checked Luggage during your trips||Up to $500 for each item||Up to $500 for each item|
|Stolen or lost Passport and Visa||Yes||Ues|
|Natural disasters of any kind||Yes||Yes|
|Emergency Evacuation (including political)||Yes||Yes|
|Personal liability cover||Yes||Yes|
|Accidental Death and Dismemberment||Yes||Yes|
The cost of insurance varies from one person to another. The company sends individual insurance quotes to those who would like to come on board. On average, you will be paying $126.65 for the standard plan and $226.40 for the explorer plan.
While the price is high, the extensive coverage makes World Nomads Insurance the best travel insurance for digital nomads. It is ideal for sports- and fun-loving digital nomads and those who wish to be constantly on the move.
There are several other companies that offer travel insurance for digital nomads, including Atlas Travel Insurance, IMG Global Travel Insurance and Insured Nomads, among others. Use the criteria above to evaluate them and pick the best travel insurance for digital nomads based on your needs.