Practical Tips

The Best Travel Medical Insurance for Nomads

Best Medical Travel Insurance for Nomads

When travelling overseas, it’s important to always be covered for medical expenses. You never know what could happen, whether an accident or illness, and the cost of medical treatment can quickly add up, especially if it’s determined that you require a medical repatriation.

The same applies if you’re a digital nomad, and living for a longer period overseas, with occasional visits home. Or perhaps you’re road tripping in a van, along with your pet dog, with no plans to return anytime some. While you may not need full travel insurance (particularly if you don’t need cancellation coverage, as you haven’t booked anything in advance), you still need some type of medical insurance.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive commission if you make a purchase using the links. See my full disclaimer.

Introducing SafetyWing Nomad Insurance

Living the digital nomad life in Thailand

SafetyWing Nomad Insurance is travel medical insurance for nomads. The policy works like a subscription: sign up for a policy and you’ll be charged a set amount every 28 days until you pick an end-date, with the price depending on your age group, plus whether you need coverage in the USA. Coverage is great value, starting from just $40 per 4 weeks, for ages 18-39, excluding the USA.

There’s no need to purchase before leaving home, you can sign up if you’re already on the road. Alternatively, you can also choose to purchase insurance for a set period, like a traditional policy, for shorter trips with a known return date.

The travel medical insurance covers a range of medical assistance you may require after falling sick or having an accident, including hospital, intensive care, ambulance, urgent care, physical therapy and emergency dental. Emergency medical evacuations are also covered.

Note that there are some exclusions, including pre-existing diseases or injuries, high-risk sports activities, and cancer treatment. Click here for the full details, including limits.

Additionally, as long term travellers like to return home occasionally, there is also coverage for 30 days (or 15 days for the USA) out of every 90 days in your home country. Just note that this can’t be at the start of your policy.

Is COVID-19 Covered?

From 1st August 2020, Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is now covered by SafetyWing Nomad Insurance. As long as you didn’t contract COVID-19 before your coverage start date, and the illness does not fall under any other policy exclusion or limitation, coverage is included in all new policies purchased.

Note that testing for COVID-19 will only be covered if it is deemed medically necessary by a doctor. Additionally, the antibody test is not covered, as it is not medically necessary.

What Else is Covered?

SafetyWing Nomad Insurance isn’t a comprehensive travel insurance policy, meaning that it’s more affordable to keep on paying long term. However, there are some additional items that are covered as well as medical assistance.

For instance, there is coverage if you lose checked luggage, your travel is delayed by 12 hours or more, or you need to be evacuated following a travel advisory. Personal liability insurance is also included, as is accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage. For full details of what is included, click here.

What About Coverage For My Dog?

Can travel insurance cover my dog?

Unfortunately, just like other travel insurance policies, SafetyWing doesn’t include medical coverage for your dog. While young children are covered (up to one young child per adult, up to two per family, aged between 14 days and 10 years), this is just restricted to human children.

However, if you’re travelling alone with your pet, and you need to be hospitalised for a period of time expected to exceed 36 hours, SafetyWing does provide coverage for your pet to be returned to your place of principal residence.

If you are looking for medical coverage for your pet while travelling, there are limited options, depending on your country of residence. Some pet insurance options in Europe will cover you in multiple European countries, while this post provides details about Embrace insurance, an option for pets residing in the USA.

Generally, the best option for your dog is to ensure you have an emergency fund in case something comes up. We were lucky when Schnitzel had a mild case of IVDD while overseas that it didn’t require expensive surgery, but we had emergency funds just in case.

What If I’m Living Back in my Home Country?

During the last six months, many of us are no longer travelling and have returned to our home country. In this situation, SafetyWing Nomad Insurance doesn’t provide coverage, as coverage in your home country is limited to 30 days (or 15 days for the USA) out of every 90 days.

To continue meeting your needs, SafetyWing has introduced Remote Health. Remote Health is a comprehensive global health insurance product, that covers you in both your home country and around the world, with no maximum stay period in your home country. This product offers more comprehensive coverage, including cancer treatment and maternity (with an add-on), plus also covers COVID-19.

At the moment RemoteHealth is available for over 175 countries around the world, with the two main exceptions being for those nomads whose home country is the USA and Canada. There is also the limitation that you only have emergency coverage in the USA, Singapore and Hong Kong for up to 30 days, unless you purchase an add-on.

How Do I Purchase Nomad Insurance or Remote Health?

It’s quick and easy to take out a policy. To take out a Nomad Insurance policy, just click here. To take out a Remote Health policy, just click here.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Jackie Lambert
    March 9, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    Good to know. Long term insurance is always tricky to find. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      Shandos
      March 10, 2020 at 8:44 am

      Thanks Jackie, I wish I’d known about this option (although I’m not sure it yet existed) on our last long trip around Europe. I never travel anywhere without travel medical insurance.

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