Best Travel Insurance for Long-Term Travel

As you’re planning the trip of a lifetime, you’re already getting excited about the destinations you’re about to discover. You have spin the globe, you booked your flights and now comes the time when you have to spend money again – on travel insurance. Depending on where you’re from, you might be aware of different travel insurance companies. Although, when it comes to long-term travel, long backpacking trips or digital nomad journeys, these classic companies might...
Kathryn D. Lewis June 4, 2019
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As you’re planning the trip of a lifetime, you’re already getting excited about the destinations you’re about to discover. You have spin the globe, you booked your flights and now comes the time when you have to spend money again – on travel insurance.

Depending on where you’re from, you might be aware of different travel insurance companies. Although, when it comes to long-term travel, long backpacking trips or digital nomad journeys, these classic companies might not fit your needs.

There are two very popular companies to consider in my opinion – World Nomads and SafetyWing. In this post, I’ll be comparing both companies to help you make the right decision. At the end of this post, I’ll be answering any questions you may have regarding travel insurances and long trips.

I know – buying a digital nomad or backpacker travel insurance isn’t that fun. So, let’s try to keep it simple!

Pros and Cons of Buying a Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is one of those things that you don’t realize you need it until you really really need it. Like being in a hospital bed in a foreign country faced with a $12,000 bill, need it. As the saying goes, if you can afford to travel, you can afford to purchase travel insurance!

Pros of purchasing travel insurance:

  • When sh*t hits the fan, you’re covered. As much as you think you are, you’re not bulletproof and you’re not immune to Murphy’s Law. Unfortunately, things happen and I’d hate for you to have to return home only one month into your trip because of an emptied out bank account due to an unexpected hospital visit.

Cons of purchasing travel insurance:

  • It costs money. Do you know what else costs money? Contracting malaria or the bird flu while in Vietnam and racking up a hefty hospital bill that you can’t afford so they take your passport. Just buy travel insurance.

Now that you get the importance of travel insurance, which carrier provides the best long-term travel insurance out there? Introducing…the battle of long-term travel insurance providers.

SafetyWing | Long-Term Travel Medical Insurance

SafetyWing is hot off the press when it comes to long-term travel medical insurance. Although new, SafetyWing is backed by some of the biggest insurance companies around. Their slogan is “for nomads, by nomads” so one can only guess it’s excellent travel medical insurance for digital nomads. At the price point, it’s also the perfect cheap backpacker travel medical insurance, too!

SafetyWing has really come in to shake up the travel medical insurance game and here are some important points to note about this long trip travel insurance company:

SafetyWing Travel Medical Insurance Pros:

  • Price point. Coming in at $37 USD/month, SafetyWing is one of the cheapest long-term travel medical insurance options out there. If traveling in the US, it goes up to $67/month which is still cheaper than most high-level health insurances. Worth it.
  • Can be purchased while on the road. I get it. Pre-trip butterflies mean often forgetting things on your pre-travel checklist. If you fly into your destination and have a lightbulb moment that you forgot to purchase travel insurance, you’re in luck. You can purchase a plan at SafetyWing at any point of your travels. Pre-departure or 3 months in, it’s available to you.

SafetyWing Travel Medical Insurance Cons :

  • It’s still new. Which means they’re still working out some kinks. Reports say that it takes them a little longer to file claims and get things organized. Growing pains of a new company that I’m sure they’ll work out soon.

What’s covered by SafetyWing travel & health insurance:

  • Hospital coverage for illness or injury
  • Urgent-care
  • Prescribed medicines
  • Physical therapy and chiropractic care
  • Emergency dental
  • Lost luggage (but not pricey electronics)
  • Travel interruption/delay
  • Natural disaster (a new place to stay)

World Nomads | Long-Term Travel Insurance

World Nomads is a household name when it comes to long stay travel insurance. They’ve been around for a while and they’re supported by countless bloggers and travel companies. While they’re not the cheapest long-term travel insurance option, they do have pretty comprehensive coverage.

Do World Nomads carry the best travel insurance for long-term travel? Check out their pros and cons to decide for yourself.

World Nomads travel insurance Pros:

  • Covers lost/stolen electronics. If you’re a digital nomad, your laptop is your lifeline. Without your laptop, you can kiss your digital nomad life goodbye.
  • Two different policy options.  World Nomads offers two different policies at different price points. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, there’s a policy that covers accidents from your high-risk activities. If you’re traveling for the Instagram photos, maybe you don’t need that intense of travelers insurance (no judgment here).

World Nomads travel insurance Cons:

  • It’s quite pricey.  The basic plan runs about $120 USD/month (but also depends on age and which region you’re traveling to).

What’s covered by World Nomads travel & health insurance:

  • Hospital coverage for illness or injury (must purchase “Explorer” option for sports injuries)
  • Day surgery and outpatient treatments
  • Prescribed medicines
  • Emergency dental
  • Lost, delayed or stolen baggage
  • Trip cancellation (due to medical or related death)
  • Travel interruption/delay
  • Natural disaster (a new place to stay)

Things to Consider When Buying Your Travel Insurance

If you’re feeling still undecided on which insurance could be the best option for you, here are the things you should keep in mind. Note: you should also read the full policies to be fully aware before making any rushed decisions.

  • Where are you going to travel? Some countries are more pricey when it comes to medical bills (the United States for example). Are you going to the other side of the world? Are you heading to Southeast Asia? Some countries have more risks in terms of bacterias, virus, etc. These are all things to keep in mind when choosing your travel insurance.
  • Do you currently have health insurance at home? Some providers are pretty flexible and some others aren’t. When getting your quote, give accurate information to see if you can access the insurance coverage with your current situation.
  • Are you going to travel short-term or long-term? If you’re moving to another country or if you go on one-week holiday will definitely influence the cost of your travel insurance.
  • Will you drive a scooter/motorbike? Will you dive? Or will you do anything “crazy”? You should make sure your insurance will cover you in any potential situations.
  • Will you travel with valuables? Are you planning on insuring them?
  • Do you have any ongoing medical conditions?