If you are a long-term traveler or an untethered digital nomad, you understand to expect the unexpected and that having insurance coverage is very helpful, if not critical, while living the life you dreamed of abroad. Therefore, researching insurance options for your short- or long-term travel needs is just as important (although less glamorous) as finding ‘the one’ spot you love to visit.
Without insurance, you could end up in debt if it is something serious or just be annoyed if it is a trivial matter which, either way, will detract from your goal of better experiencing life while traveling. Take a look at some of the options we found that can cover virtually any type of traveler.
A subsidiary of a powerful global insurance company, Tokio Marine, SafetyWing is specifically designed for nomads offering medical and travel coverage. Given the company was only founded in 2017, they already have a great track record with the launch of a worldwide primary health insurance called Remote Health and their long-term goal is to offer a complete suite of products to build a country-independent social safety net for digital nomads.
Best for: Frugal travelers
Top 3 Pros:
- You don’t need permanent residency in any country to receive medical insurance
- You are still covered when visiting your home country for 30 days
- 1 child per adult and 2 children under 10 years old per family can also be included free of charge
- Total coverage maxes out at $250,000
- Some activities that are not considered very risky by most, such as scuba diving and ice hockey, are not covered
For more information see: safetywing.com
World Nomads is the most recognized travel insurance company on the market and is a great option for those traveling with adventure in mind, covering over 200 activities in 130 countries. Recommended by top brands such as National Geographic and Lonely Planet, World Nomads has a checklist online when searching to see if your activity is covered.
Best for: Adventurers / Backpackers
Top 3 Pros:
- You can only get an estimate for 180 days of coverage online but you can simply keep extending coverage indefinitely
- Claims can be done online and are handled quickly
- Offer specified benefits for US residents if you test positive for COVID-19 while traveling
- Cost and coverage can vary widely depending on area
- You must have coverage in your home country in order to receive their add-on coverage
For more information see: worldnomads.com
Integra Global does not offer traveler’s benefits, such as lost luggage claims or trip cancellation insurance but, rather, comprehensive international medical insurance that is not limited to emergency care. They also cover routine health exams, dental, and mental health services (including chronic conditions) which is something most travel insurers rarely cover.
Best for: Long-term digital nomads
Top 3 Pros:
- After the deductible (range of options) is paid for the year, coverage is 100%
- They work with any licensed hospital or doctor
- They cover a much higher amount of medical expenses per year than travel insurance health care plans do
- You will have to purchase separate travel insurance for everything other than medical needs
- You must purchase a policy for a year or more
For more information see: integraglobal.com
Allianz Global Assistance
Allianz has a good reputation and has been in business for a long time but this legacy tends to have premium prices to match. Known for their large array of packages for travelers, Allianz is a great choice for extended trips as well as families because it is one of the few providers that offer free coverage to travelers under the age of 17.
Best for: Extended trips abroad
Top 3 Pros:
- A lot of flexibility within the plans they do cover
- Extended insurance plans have options that cover up to a years’ worth of travel, where most companies typically top out between 3 to 6 months
- Allianz Travel Easy – Oversea Annual offers up to $1 million in emergency evacuation coverage, $5,000 in baggage loss or damage claims, $2,000 of travel delay coverage and pre-existing medical condition coverage availability
- Packages are fixed in their offerings, once purchased
- Required to purchase insurance coverage before you leave for your trip
For more information see: allianz.com.my/allianz-travelcare
For those that are vacationing with families, going on less-adventurous trips, or taking shorter US-based vacations, IMG offers an assortment of plans that cover a variety of different travel at a very affordable price. Also, many of their options are geared towards people living with dual residences, multinational employers, and those just looking for health care coverage while abroad for extended periods of time.
Best for: Short vacations / Family trips
Top 3 Pros:
- Cancel for any reason or interruption for any reason, coverage is included without an extra fee
- Extending and renewing your policy is much cheaper than with most other insurers
- Great customer service
- US citizens are not allowed to return home while the policy is in force
- Generally do not directly bill medical providers, so you will have to wait to be reimbursed
For more information see: www.imglobal.com
Pro Tip (for US citizens)
Affiliated with one of the top health insurance companies in the US, BlueCross BlueShield, GeoBlue Xplorer was designed for US citizens who live and work abroad or spend a lot of time outside the US. There are other options within GeoBlue but we found the Xplorer plan a great option to get the best of both worlds (worldwide with comprehensive US coverage).
Of course, there is one catch—you must spend at least 3 months outside the US (during a yearly coverage period). Not necessarily a ‘stretch’ for a digital nomad. Additionally, we discovered that the price of this policy is commensurate (if not better) to the price of an individual policy in the US and also allows you to utilize a larger network not just in your individual state but in all 50 states. US insurance policies and structures are quite cumbersome and maintaining quality coverage while in the US is always an important consideration for most people.
For more information see: www.geobluetravelinsurance.com/products/longterm/xplorer-5-overview.cfm
For more information on the best destinations and top locations for your nomadic adventures, HotelsCurated will lead you to find your soon-to-be favorite spot.