Digital nomads and long term travellers have much bigger choice when it comes to travel insurance than before. The two biggest players on the market – World Nomads and SafetyWing – offer similar benefits, but which is better? Today I will try to answer this question.
During the recent years I have tried many travel insurance policies. I used American Express, the UK’s Post Office and a couple others. I have also decided to try out those that target specifically digital nomads and long term travellers. I don’t consider myself an expert, but I think I gained enough knowledge to write about my experiences and help you a little in navigating the complicated world of travel insurance.
I have also used both World Nomads and SafetyWing. If you are wondering which one is better, I’m here to assist you. I hope that thanks to this article you will be able to make the right decision for yourself.
Who is this guide for?
This guide is for people who travel a lot, stay abroad for quite a long time, are freelancers, work remotely, have their own remote businesses. If you only want normal travel insurance for your 2-week holiday, I recommend reading this article about buying good travel insurance.
Do you need travel insurance?
Of course you do! If you are planning to travel and stay abroad, you need travel insurance. Don’t even question it. The only thing you need to consider is which policy to choose.
What to consider when you buy travel insurance
There are a few things to remember about when buying travel insurance policy.
Not everything is covered by the insurance. There are cost limits and you need to fulfill certain requirements. Usually, when you get a quote, you will get a long list of things that are included. Study that carefully and compare it with other companies.
This is the amount of money you will have to pay from your own pocket. The larger this sum, the cheaper the policy.
Not all countries are covered in the insurance. For example, when I went to Iran I had to buy a policy from an Iranian company as no company in Europe wanted to insure me.
The company was created in 2002 by an Australian, who recognised the need for insurance for people, who travel long-term. It was the first such company on the market.
World Nomads – What do they offer and who is it for?
World Nomads is insurance for backpackers, long-term travellers, those that travel often as well as freelancers and digital nomads that live abroad.
The policies cover:
- Urgent medical care.
- Urgent dental care.
- Any costs associated with death abroad.
- Medical repatriation.
- Unrest repatriation.
- Lost luggage.
- Cancelled travel plans.
There are two packages – Standard and and Explorer plans. The latter is slightly more expensive, but offers much more.
What’s not covered by World Nomads?
- If you’re on drugs or have been drinking alcohol excessively.
- If you’re doing an activity the policy doesn’t cover.
- If you’ve been acting illegally.
- If you ride a motorbike without a helmet or the correct licence.
- Dental work other than that related to emergency dental pain relief.
- Cosmetic dentistry or whitening.
- Pre-existing dental problems.
- Major dental work, such as crowns, dentures, bridges and implants.
- Loss of life through suicide.
- Dying from drugs or alcohol.
- Having a pre-existing medical condition that results in death.
- Doing anything illegal that results in your death.
- If you don’t keep your gear safe and secure.
- If you don’t report the loss to the police and appropriate carrier or authority within 24 hours of the loss being discovered. Get a written report!
- Any item that is covered under another insurance policy or where it is recoverable from another source.
- Personal baggage stolen from an unattended vehicle between 9pm and 9am.
- Sporting equipment while in use.
How much is it?
The cost depends on a few things: where you’re going, how long the policy’s for, how old you are and where you come from. You can quickly check the price on their site.
Pros and cons of World Nomads
The biggest advantage of the insurance is that you can be abroad however long you want. There is 24/7 customer service and you can claim the money online.
There are a couple of disadvantages. First of all, the price. The insurance is quite expensive comparing to SafetyWing. They also don’t cover you when you’re in your own country of residence.
I think the insurance is great if you want to be away from home for a long time. Personally, I used them for 2 years while in Thailand and never had any problems.
If you don’t have insurance in your own country, then it’s better to look elsewhere.
World Nomads doesn’t provide cover for COVID-19.
SafetyWing started in 2019. They are developing very fast, always adding new products to their offer.
SafetyWing – What do they offer and who are they for?
SafetyWing is insurance for freelancers, entreprenouers and people working remotely and travelling the world. This is a medical travel insurance.
For the last couple of months they have added new products to their offer. Here you will only find information about their Nomad Insurance.
This is a travel insurance for digital nomads and it covers you in case of:
- Sudden illness.
- Delayed flights.
- Lost luggage.
- Natural disasters.
- Causing an accident and damage to other people or property.
- Covid-19 tests if you’re symptomatic.
- Covid-19 quarantinne if you’re symptomatic or you tested positive.
- Medical care related to Covid-19.
What’s not covered?
The policy doesn’t cover:
- High risk sports.
- Pre-existing conditions.
- Cancer treatment.
How much is it?
The premium starts from $37 per month. The final price will depend on your age.
Pros and cons of SafetyWing
The advantage of this insurance is that it covers you also in your home country.
The money is deducted from your account every month, so you don’t need to worry about renewing your policy.
The price is lower than World Nomads, which is a big plus for people who are just starting out with their digital nomad journey.
I used SafetyWing for a couple of months, but I didn’t have any situations where I had to call them, or deal with any medical expenses. However, one of my students used them and was very happy with the service.
I think they convince me with two things – being covered in my home country and not charging a fortune.
Conclusion and final advice
SafetyWing and World Nomads both provide great service and I think they are both worth considering.
I would say that you need to think through what exactly you would like to do and how you want to use the insurance.
World Nomads is for backpackers and long term travellers and SafetyWing will suit a freelancer or a nomad more.
Your budget here is also important, so take that into consideration.
Whatever you do, I hope you will travel safe.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!
This post includes affiliate links.