SafetyWing Insurance Review 2022: How Good Are They for Nomads?

by | Sep 23, 2022

SafetyWing insurance is an upstart travel insurance company that started operations in 2017. It is the first travel medical insurance company specifically targeting remote workers and digital nomads.

They are a great choice for long-term travelers, especially for those who are not quite sure about the duration.

The company provides travel insurance to people across 175 countries while they are outside their home country. It will allow you to purchase a policy even when you are already abroad.

SafetyWing Insurance: TL;DR

Subscription Based: You don’t need to pay for the insurance for the entire trip upfront. In their subscription model, they will charge your card automatically every four weeks.

No Travel Duration Limit: You can travel for as long as you want. You only need to renew your policy at the end of every 364 days.

Buy Insurance While Traveling: Unlike most travel insurance companies, SafetyWing will allow you to buy travel insurance when you are already abroad.

Supports One-Way Tickets: If you don’t know when you will be returning home, you will most likely not have a return ticket. SafetyWing will provide travel insurance even then.

No Destination Required: There is no need to select a destination. SafetyWing offers worldwide coverage. You just need to say whether you will be traveling to the US or not.

Coverage for Adventure Activities: Unlike other travel insurances, SafetyWing will not charge a high premium for various adventure activities like bungee jumping, snowboarding, scuba diving, etc. However, there will be some extreme sports that won’t be covered.

Scooter or Motorbike Ride Coverage: In certain southeast Asian countries, scooter and motorbike rides for traveling are quite common. While most travel insurance providers will not cover this, SafetyWing will provide coverage.

Coverage in Home Country: When you return home after 90 days of a foreign trip, SafetyWing will offer limited medical insurance coverage for 30 days (15 if your home country is the US).

Focus on Medical Insurance: Though SafetyWing is a travel insurance company, it focuses on medical emergencies instead of less important things like trip cancellation.

No Cost for Kids: Up to 2 children per family (one per adult) get free coverage. Children must be less than 10 years old.

Maximum Limit: The maximum coverage you get for Nomad Insurance is $250,000 ($100,000 for people over 60) and the maximum cover for the Remote Health plan is $1 million.

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Pros of SafetyWing Insurance

  • Most affordable travel insurance for digital nomads.
  • Affordable monthly payment options start at $42 for 4 weeks.
  • The subscription automatically renews if no end date is defined.
  • COVID-19 coverage is available.
  • Buy insurance online even when you are already abroad.
  • Submit claims online.
  • Clear and simple pricing structure.

Cons of SafetyWing Travel Insurance

  • No coverage for trip cancellation.
  • Limited coverage for adventure activities.
  • Limited coverage for electronics and gear.
  • Coverage is provided only up to age 69.
  • High deductible that you must pay upfront in case of medical emergencies.

About SafetyWing

safetywing travel insurance

A Norwegian startup, SafetyWing offers travel insurance coverage to both digital nomads and long-term travelers.

The company is run by ex-pats and nomads who are well aware of the needs of the target audience.

Unlike other travel insurance companies, SafetyWing offers basic insurance coverage for a small charge.

The cost for their standard coverage is $42 for 4 weeks of travel for travelers within the age range of 10 to 39.

Those traveling to the US must pay $76.72, but that is still lower than most travel insurance companies.

SafetyWing will provide coverage to people within the age group 65 to 69, but they will charge more than $144 a month.

What’s Covered by SafetyWing Nomad Insurance

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Nomad Insurance is the most basic travel insurance plan offered by SafetyWing. Pricing starts at $42 for 4 weeks. That’s as low as $1.5 a day.

SafetyWing covers the following things when you purchase the Nomad insurance:

Medical Coverage

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Nomad Insurance will provide coverage for emergency medical expenses related to unexpected injury or illness. The maximum payout will be $250,000.

Eligible expenses include ambulances, doctors, prescription drugs, and hospital bills. For emergency dental care (such as acute pain), you will receive coverage of a maximum of $1,000 with no deductible.

They will also provide emergency medical evacuation coverage of a maximum of $100,000 (lifetime maximum) with no deductible.

Medical emergency evacuation coverage of $100,000 may sound low, but that is often enough unless you intend to visit a very remote destination.

Unfortunately, you cannot request higher coverage for medical evacuation.

If you don’t like their emergency medical coverage, you can settle for their more comprehensive health insurance called Remote Health Plan.

Covered Activities

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SafetyWing covers various activities and sports. Adventure activities and adventure sports that will be covered include:

  • Camel riding
  • Cycling (under 4,500 meters)
  • Canyoning
  • Bungee jumping
  • Motorbiking
  • Kayaking
  • Horse riding
  • Hiking (maximum 4,500 meters)
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Sailing
  • Skiing (off-piste not allowed)
  • Snowboarding (off-piste not allowed)
  • Surfing
  • Snorkeling
  • Zorbing
  • Ziplining
  • Waterskiing
  • Scuba diving (you must be certified)
  • Windsurfing

Luggage Insurance

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The company will cover lost checked baggage for up to $3,000 for each certificate period and there will be a coverage of $500 per item with no deductible. However, there is no cover for stolen or general lost luggage.

Other Coverages

Emergency political evacuation: $10,000 (lifetime maximum) to fly to a safe destination. This will require a level 3 or level 4 travel advisory issued by the US Department of State after you reached your destination.

Trip interruption: $5,000 maximum. You are eligible for this if your trip ends due to emergency medical evacuation, principal residence destruction, or the demise of a family member and you need to fly back to your home country.

Travel delay: $200 ($100 a day for 2 days) if there is an unplanned overnight stay following a 12-hour delay. $200 coverage for travel delays is also significantly small.

However, if you have travel credit cards on you, they can give you ample coverage. Even airlines provide travel delay assistance.

Natural disaster: $100 a day for 5 days of accommodation.

Lost checked luggage: Up to $3,000 (the maximum value of each item is capped at $500).

Accidental dismemberment or death: $12,500 to $25,000.

Repatriation of mortal remains: $20,000.

Bedside visit: Maximum $1,500 to cover the travel cost of one relative in case you are in ICU battling a life-threatening illness or injury.

Emergency reunion: Maximum $50,000 for a maximum of 15 days to cover transport, lodging, and meals for one relative visiting you following an emergency medical evacuation.

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What’s Not Covered by SafetyWing Nomad Insurance

SafetyWing is a travel insurance company focusing on medical emergencies. It will also cover rudimentary travel setbacks like lost checked baggage and delays.

There are a few things for which SafetyWing coverage will not be available and they include:

Certain Adventure Activities & Extreme Sports

activities-not-covered-by-safetywing

Adventure activities and adventure sports that this global health insurance provider will not cover include:

  • Whitewater rafting
  • Snowmobile
  • Spelunking
  • Parasailing
  • Racing
  • Mountaineering (4,500 meters or above)
  • Martial arts
  • Heli-skiing
  • Base jumping
  • Luge
  • Parachuting
  • Kitesurfing
  • All-terrain vehicles.

Also, if you participate in professional sports and organized athletics, there will be no coverage.

Medical

safetywing-insurance-review-medical-coverage-restrictions

Pre-existing conditions do not come under emergency medical coverage.

In case of an acute onset of pre-existing conditions, there will be limited coverage but those conditions must not be congenital or chronic.

Also, there will be no medical coverage for cancer treatment, preventive care, and regular checkups.

Certain Countries

country-restrictions

You will not receive any travel insurance and/or health insurance coverage if you are traveling to Syria, Iran, Cuba, and North Korea.

However, if you are a US resident with a permit from the US government to travel to Cuba, you will get coverage.

If you are a citizen of North Korea, Cuba, or Iran, you cannot buy SafetyWing travel insurance.

Furthermore, the company will not cover kidnapping or express kidnapping beginning in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Venezuela, or any other country sanctioned by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Others

There will be no travel insurance coverage for:

  • Stolen or lost cash.
  • Stolen or general lost baggage or electronics.
  • Trip cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances or illness if the cancellation happens prior to trip commencement.
  • Incidents related to drugs or alcohol.
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SafetyWing Deductible

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A deductible is also known as excess. Most travel insurance providers do not have this and hence, they cost more.

A deductible is an amount that you pay upfront before an insurance company reimburses you when something goes wrong.

SafetyWing travel insurance does offer comprehensive health insurance at a low price, but they have a high deductible of $250.

Simply put, in the case of any medical emergency (such as an accident) while you are away from your home country, you need to pay $250 upfront for the medical expenses out of your own pocket and SafetyWing will cover the remaining cost.

If your medical expenses run in thousands of dollars, paying $250 out of your pocket will not be difficult. But if the expenses are less than $250, the insurance provider will not reimburse anything.

The good thing, however, is that a few things are not subject to deductible and they include:

  • Emergency dental treatment
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Political evacuation
  • Lost checked luggage
  • Natural disaster
  • Travel delay
  • Trip interruption

What is interesting is that if you get into a second accident within a year from the coverage start date, you don’t need to pay the deductible (that you already paid during the first accident) and SafetyWing will pay out the full expense.

Will SafetyWing Provide COVID-19 Cover?

covid-19-coverage

Yes, SafetyWing will cover COVID-19 but there are conditions. The conditions for COVID-19 coverage include:

  • You must not have contracted COVID-19 before the start date of the coverage.
  • The illness must not fall under any limitation or policy exclusion.
  • Coverage of COVID-19 testing will be provided only when testing is deemed medically necessary by a certified physician.
  • Antibody tests will have no coverage because they are medically necessary.
  • $50 a day coverage for quarantine outside your home country for 10 days. Quarantine coverage will be provided only once in every 364-day period.
  • For quarantine coverage, you must have Nomad Insurance coverage for at least 28 days.
  • Quarantine must be mandated by a government authority for a physician on grounds of either being COVID positive or being symptomatic and awaiting test results.

SafetyWing Nomad Travel Insurance Cost

safetywing insurance costs

The pricing structure for SafetyWing Nomad travel insurance is simple. The only two factors that will impact the price are:

  • Your age
  • Whether you will include the US or not.

Use the form below to get a personal quote;

If you are in the age group of 10-39, there is a flat rate of $42 per 4 weeks. If you include the US, the price increases to $76.72 per 4 weeks.

This is a subscription model where you will be automatically charged until you cancel the policy.

Sadly, the insurance cost increases significantly for people aged 40 and above. There is no plan available for people aged 70 or above.

Here is a complete breakdown of the pricing structure in a tabular format:

safetywing insurance costs

SafetyWing Insurance will automatically charge every 28 days until 364 days have passed or until you decide to cancel the plan. At the end of 364 days, you need to renew.

It is possible to pay a one-off fee by choosing your travel dates. The minimum travel period will be 5 days and the maximum will be 364 days.

This is a good option if your travel will last for less than 28 days. It is also suitable for those who prefer paying upfront for longer trips.

You can pay for your travel insurance using your debit card or credit card.

SafetyWing Insurance Signup Process

signup-process

The signup process is fairly simple. You need to furnish an email ID and choose a password. Alternatively, you can signup using your Facebook account.

To complete the signup process, you must provide some basic information such as your address, your home country, and your date of birth.

To get your insurance, you need to choose the start date and declare whether you will be traveling to the US or not. There are provisions for adding friends or family members.

They have a one-click cancellation option, however, you will continue to get medical coverage and travel insurance for the duration for which you have already paid.

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SafeyWing Claim Procedure

safetywing-insurance-review-safetywing-claim-procedure

Insurance giant Tokio Marine is responsible for administering SafetyWing’s policies. The process is fairly simple.

You need to sign in and then from your ‘My Profile’ dropdown menu, click on ‘Make a Claim.’ You will find a process walkthrough that will guide you through the claim procedure.

You need to digitally fill in the claims form. Once done, upload the form along with photocopies of your receipts to the online portal of Tokio Marine.

You must file your claim within 60 days of the end of your travel insurance policy. Usually, claims are processed within 45 days after they have been approved. Money will be wired into your bank account.

As a SafetyWing health insurance policyholder, you are free to visit any hospital or doctor.

However, you can also enjoy direct billing in certain cases and you don’t need to pay anything by yourself.

To know the options, it is better to call the SafetyWing helpline and inquire about the partnering hospitals.

In case direct billing is not available, make sure that you save the relevant medical and/or police reports and your receipts. You must also save your test results.

When you file for a claim, you must provide all documents.

Difference Between Nomad Insurance and Remote Health

safetywing-nomad-insurance-vs-remote-health

The Remote Health plan offered by SafetyWing is comprehensive health insurance for long-term travellers, remote workers, remote companies, and digital nomads.

Please note it is currently available only to teams, as SafetyWing are in the middle of updating it for individuals. Keep your eyes open for when it becomes available to all!

It provides a host of advantages that Nomad Insurance will not offer. You can select this plan as your primary health insurance when you are abroad for an extended period of time.

The major benefits of selecting this option are:

  • Coverage in your home country.
  • Coverage for cancer care.
  • Provides cover for pre-existing conditions (only the approved ones).
  • Possibility of adding routine dental care.
  • $1 million maximum annual coverage.
  • Cover available for remote workers and companies.

However, such benefits come at an extra cost. Here is a quick list of primary disadvantages include:

Costly: For individuals in the age group 18-39, the plan starts at $153 per month. In case you need coverage for Singapore, Hong Kong, and the US, and also include outpatient care, the monthly payments will increase to $330.

Tenure: You must get the plan for a minimum of 1 year.

Non-medical: For non-medical situations like a trip interruption, lost checked baggage, etc., you don’t get any cover.

Activities: Certain activities will not be included in your travel medical insurance.

SafetyWing Travel Medical Insurance vs World Nomads Insurance

safetywing-insurance-review-safetywing-vs-world-nomads

Similar to SafetyWing, World Nomads is another popular travel insurance for digital nomads and long-term travelers.

With World Nomads, you can get insurance coverage even when you are already abroad or if you are traveling on a one-way ticket.

Unfortunately, they don’t have any clear pricing structure and they will provide a quotation based on your nationality, the countries you will visit, and your age. World Nomads will provide insurance cover to most nationalities.

There are two plans to select from – Standard and Explorer. If you need them, there are several add-ons available.

Some advantages of World Nomads insurance compared to Nomad Insurance of SafetyWing include (assuming that you are 39 years old):

Max Coverage: For a UK national, the medical coverage is £5 million to £10 million but for a US resident, the cover is limited to $100,000. SafetyWing’s maximum coverage is $250,000.

Rental Car Excess: The Explorer plan will give you rental car excess cover in the UK and rental car damage covers in the US.

Cancellation Cover: It is available with World Nomads travel insurance, but it applies only before you leave your home country. Thus, it is of limited use for digital nomads.

Stolen Baggage Cover: It is restricted to £1,000 – £2,000 in the UK or $1,000 to $3,000 in the US. The valuables limit is low, but you can get extra coverage for some high-value items in certain countries. Still, the max limit for each valuable item will be £400.

The numbers can differ significantly depending on your age, destination, and home country.

Some of the major drawbacks of selecting World Nomads as your insurance partner include:

Expensive: Irrespective of age, World Nomads will charge $207 (Standard plan) and $369 (Explorer plan) for a US resident (age-independent) for a 28-day trip worldwide.

Upfront payment: With World Nomads, you must declare the travel dates or trip duration and pay upfront to cover the insurance for the whole trip. No subscription model is available.

COVID-19: World Nomads will cover COVID-19 if you are from the UK, the US, Canada, and some other countries. If the countries you intend to visit have travel advisories, there will be no coverage.

Children: There’s no free coverage for kids.

Moreover, World Nomads will not give any coverage in your home country and you must specify the regions or countries you will visit.

Overall, SafetyWing offers more flexibility and it is cheaper for digital nomads looking for travel insurance that covers medical emergencies.

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SafetyWing Insurance Review: FAQ

Does SafetyWing Cover Dental?

Yes, SafetyWing covers dental expenses for digital nomads, but the coverage is capped at $1,000. Dental resection, repairing or removing damaged teeth or teeth, etc. due to an accident are covered. However, the accident or the activity must be covered by your travel insurance.

Does SafetyWing Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?

SafetyWing travel insurance will not cover any pre-existing condition. However, the acute onset of the condition will be covered provided it is not chronic or congenital.

Does SafetyWing Cover Trip Cancellation?

No, SafetyWing travel insurance will not cover trip cancellation for digital nomads if the trip is canceled because of unforeseen illness or circumstances before the journey begins.

Why is SafetyWing Travel Insurance Good for Long-Term Travelers?

SafetyWing will not ask for destinations and there’s no limit on travel duration. It even allows traveling with a one-way ticket. The company also offers a subscription model for premium payment, making it an ideal choice for long-term travelers.

SafetyWing Insurance Review: Summary

Accidents happen and they can happen when you are traveling. Without insurance, you could be left with a bill that can break your bank account.

SafetyWing travel insurance focuses on covering medical expenses for long-term travelers and offers low-cost flexible global health insurance coverage to digital nomads and remote workers.

With a starting price of $42 per 28 days, it is the cheapest and most comprehensive travel insurance you can find.

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