Being a digital nomad and travelling the world, exploring exotic locations and working wherever you feel like from the convenience of your laptop, sounds like a dream come true.
And in many ways, it is.
But travel isn’t all roses, and from time to time, things go wrong.
It can be a delayed flight, lost luggage, or a car accident.
Finding insurance products that suit digital nomads has been tough in the past. So SafetyWing created the first travel medical insurance product designed especially for digital nomads.
Challenges Faced by Digital Nomads
Most traditional travel insurance providers have restrictive limitations. These include: requiring you to be in your origin country when purchasing, short coverage time limits, and limits on the maximum time spent outside your origin country.
Those restrictions don’t really mesh within the open-ended, free-floating lifestyle of a digital nomad.
So what are you supposed to do?
SafetyWing has a long-term vision to create a country on the Internet for digital nomads, with a comprehensive global social safety net. Nomad Insurance is the first step toward that future.
What is SafetyWing Nomad Insurance?
SafetyWing launched an affordable subscription-based insurance plan in 2018 called Nomad Insurance. It’s designed for digital nomads, remote workers and budget travellers. The price is a fraction of what bigger competitors charge, but the coverage is also less comprehensive. So it’s important to be aware of the limitations and exclusions (see later).
Plan prices start at US$45.08 per 4-week period, and the rate goes up based on age (over 39 years), or if you travel to the US. At the top end, seniors aged 65-69 pay $157.36 per 4-week period (not including US travel).
Nomad Insurance Inclusions
For travellers under 64 years, the plan inclusions are:
- US$250,000 in emergency medical coverage
- US$1,000 for emergency dental care
- US$100,000 for medical evacuation (US$25,000 if the cause of medical evacuation is acute onset of the pre-existing condition)
- US$10,000 for an evacuation due to political upheaval
- US$5,000 for a trip interruption
- Up to US$200 for a travel delay
- US$12,500-25,000 for death or dismemberment
- US$20,000 for repatriation of remains
Fortunately, it now covers COVID-19, including hospital visits and quarantine (where applicable). 1 children aged under 10 can be included free of charge (per 1 adult, up to 2 per family).
Nomad Insurance Exclusions
Nomad Insurance is designed to cover medical emergencies and simple travel challenges.
However, it does not cover trip cancellations, extreme sports and adventure activities (such as cliff jumping, martial arts, paragliding, and quad biking), or pre-existing health conditions.
The travel delay payout is pretty low, but you might be covered by airlines or your credit card perks (if it provides basic travel coverage). So you may never need to use Nomad Insurance for that.
Digital nomads should be aware that Nomad Insurance does not cover stolen luggage (except for passport replacement), so your expensive laptop, camera, phone, and drone are not covered.
You can find the full description of Nomad Insurance coverage, with inclusions and exclusions, here.
One way to think of it is the money you save on “regular” travel insurance (up to 60%) can be put into a piggy bank each month, and after one year, you can use those funds in the unfortunate situation if your laptop or phone gets damaged or stolen.
Nomad Insurance is not the same as comprehensive travel insurance (which covers trip cancellation, theft, 3rd party car accidents, and more). And it’s not the same as comprehensive health insurance, but fortunately, SafetyWing offers a separate product called Nomad Health for that. Nomad Health, launched in 2023, covers regular check-ups and many pre-existing conditions and is available in 2 pricing points – standard and premium - to suit your desired coverage.
There are a lot of reasons to like Nomad Insurance from SafetyWing:
- SafetyWing’s flexible policies can be started almost anywhere in the world (180 countries), for any trip length from a few days to a year (after 1 year, you’ll need to start a new policy at the current price).
- Visits to your home country are covered – up to 30 days in a 90-day period.
- SafetyWing’s policies are administered by Tokio Marine, one of the largest insurance companies in the world, and underwritten by Lloyds.
- Customer support is available 24/7 – via live chat or a phone call.
- Hands-free subscription payments – automatically deduct every 28 days until you choose to cancel or set an end date.
- Over 55,000 people trust SafetyWing, and you can find positive reviews on TrustPilot.
My Experience Making a Claim with SafetyWing
Back in February 2022, I was in Thailand, and the COVID-19 protocol at the time required a negative test within 48 hours before departure. The day before I was due to fly out, I picked up my test result from the clinic, and my jaw dropped - I was positive.
What followed was a flurry of events which included calling SafetyWing to get advice on how to proceed, booking a quarantine hotel, rescheduling 2 flights, and re-doing a bunch of documents that were required for my next destination (and changing accommodation on that end too). All of that while being sick.
While the local hospital and immigration department in Thailand only added to the frustration and confusion, dealing with SafetyWing was a breath of fresh air. The customer support on the phone was friendly and sympathetic, and told me exactly what to do.
I was covered up to $50/night for the quarantine hotel, and the payout occurred on schedule – about 45 days, which is standard for SafetyWing.
Apart from the slow-ish payout schedule, my only gripe was that the claim process was rather tedious and manual. The claim form was a PDF, and there was some duplication in the data I had to provide. It didn’t give an automated calculation for the expected payout. A previous travel insurance company I used offered a fully automated online claim submission process which was pain-free, and I was used to that. But at the end of the day, the most important thing is that I received my payout.
Get A Free Quote from SafetyWing
Find out how much you can save with SafetyWing Nomad Insurance:
The Bottom Line
Simply put, Nomad Insurance from SafetyWing is worth the money. It’s the best bang-for-your-buck travel medical insurance I could find for digital nomads, and it’s saved my bacon.
And once you’re aware of the limitations of coverage, then you can adjust your savings strategy to save up for the rainy day, if it ever happens.
And if it never does, you’ve got yourself a pretty piggy bank.