Why to have travel insurance?
Have you got yourself covered for your next trip?
There could many kind of insurance which you can buy as a digital nomad or as a traveller or expat, but the most essential one would be travel health insurance.
This post is going to list down the options which you can use for getting your travel health insurance for your next trip or the health insurance which you need as an expat.
If you ask me why taking an insurance is important?
My answer would be that it is always wise to cover yourself with insurance in case of unforeseen event in the country you are travelling. So that in case of emergency the travel health insurance plan will cover your medical bills in case of accidents and serious illness abroad and this is what you’ll need.
Do you need to insurance your stuff?
While some insurance is important. Getting an insurance for your belonging is the best thing to do after researching about the place you are going.
Getting too much insurance could cost heavy on your pocket and I would not recommend you to do that.
When we visited Singapore we just took the travel health insurance but we didn’t took the insurance for our camera gears or the belonging as we researched and found that Singapore was a safe country.
While the same situation was different when we travelled to Malaysia, In that case we took both the Travel Health Insurance along with the Insurance for our belonging because one of our friend lost her Phone and Camera during security check-in in Malaysia.
But the main idea about my personal policy is to save myself from the cost which could destroy me when I am out of country.
The chance of loosing your belongings is very slim so you can skip taking the insurance for belongings if you are travelling to safe country.
Self-insure for the little things ?
There are people who pays too much insurance premiums. I understand that it brings a peace of mind knowing that you are covered under some insurance.
But eventually you end up a paying a lot of money for the complete insurance yearly.
One another things you can do here is get a quote for everything you want to insurance which gives full coverage.
Let us say it is somewhere around 2000 Euro per year.
Now get an idea about how much it is going to cost you by only taking the travel health insurance.
Let us say it is going to cost you around 500 Euro per year.
In that case you just take the minimum Insurance i.e. your Travel health insurance and save the rest of the amount of the premium under your saving account which could earn you interest.
See the main idea behind this is that you never want to end up in a situation when you have to claim the insurance and if the need arise. You are already covered for your medical bills.
And for your material loss you can always get the material from the money you have been saving in your other bank account. We would like to call this money as self insurance fund.
Which one is the right insurance for you?
Let’s take a look at the different types of insurance you should consider getting for your trip.
Travel Health Insurance
If you are not in your home country and you end up in an accident which needs to be treated locally?
You’ll very quickly end up with medical bills in the tens if not hundreds of thousands. Unless you have insurance, that is.
A good emergency medical travel insurance will take care of any costs of any life threatening treatment you get locally.
It’s important to note that most travel health insurance policies are not “primary” health insurance policies. They rely on you being entitled to treatment somewhere, and will ship you there if needed for long-term care.
So even if you get travel health insurance, it’s important that you make sure you’re covered for long-term treatment at “home”.
You can checkout my upcoming articles for all types of insurance for nomads in my future articles. Please subscribe to Chasing Whereabouts to get notified when it is ready.
Many travel health insurance plans come with emergency medical transportation built in or emergency medical evacuation as it is sometimes called. There are also individual emergency memberships, which for equivalent coverage appear to be quite a bit more costly.
What exactly is covered by such policies, what limit is sufficient for your needs, and do you actually need it?
Typically an emergency evacuation procedure may kick in when it is not appropriate for the original hospital or medical centre to provide sufficient treatment for the emergency.
The decision to move you elsewhere will usually be made by the local doctor and your insurance company’s medical advisor.
While the policy will cover transportation to a suitable hospital, there is no coverage for the medical costs upon arrival — unless part of a travel health insurance policy. In other words, the standalone memberships of evacuation usually only cover you until you reach the hospital
Because of their nature, emergency evacuation policies are most critical if you often go hiking in remote areas, traveling or staying in less developed countries for a long time, etc. If you spend most of your time in developed countries’ big cities, that is less important. In this scenario, you can also make sure that you are protected for specific trips that you are making where it can be convenient.
The policy limits usually range from $25,000 up to millions or even unlimited. Since evacuation costs can get really high in extreme cases, I’d recommend a policy with at least a $100,000 limit. Perhaps even more if you’re traveling in very remote and underdeveloped areas.
I am living as an expat here in Germany and the current Health Insurance which I have has the cover for $100,000. Also if you are travelling to Europe the minimum insurance required for you should have the cover of $34,000.
While all the various types of policies we have provided up to now could come under the group term travel insurance, I ‘m referring in this section to items like delayed or lost luggage, missed flight connections, car rental insurance, etc.
If you have it included in a credit card or similar for free, then of course it’s worth having. Rental Car insurance can save you some money as well, but make sure to read the fine print.
Many travel health insurances include some coverage for these things as well, so if you’re anyway getting that kind of insurance (which you should) and the price differential is small, it can be worth to get it bundled. As you’ll see below, my recommended all-in one insurance (SafetyWing) is actually cheaper than the already affordable health insurance in market.
If you are not covered under your credit card insurance is it worth to get a travel insurance?
I think it could be a terrible deal and here is the reason for that
- It is unlikely that something like this is going to happen and if it does the insurance policy may have an exclusion.
- If something happens it is going to be relatively cheap to deal with personally.
- In many cases you can get compensation from airlines or others, even without insurance
Let’s take one example; missed flight connection insurance. Most policies require from two to four hours in between flights to be valid.
Ask yourself, how often are you traveling with connecting flights on separate tickets? Perhaps some times, but likely not that often.
And how many flights are more than two to four hours delayed? Only about 0.1% to 1.5% of flights, depending on airlines.
That means you have a very slim chance for that. So it is better the save the money of premium into your Self Insurance Fund which I described above.
Things to Keep in mind while picking your Policy
- Usually whenever you extend your policy (technically, when you enter a new period of coverage) any things that happened before the extension will now be treated as pre-existing conditions, and will often no longer be covered.
- Most traditional travel insurance policies offered by insurance companies in your home country will only cover you if:
- You’re a legal (tax) resident of that country. If you’re traveling long term you might not be.
- For trips of a certain length (often 30 or 60 days, but I’ve also seen 90 days) before you have to return to your home country. Many even require you to have purchased round trip flight tickets before embarking on your trip for your coverage to kick in.
- If it’s a credit card policy, if at least 50% or even 100% of the trip costs have been pre-paid with the card in question.
- Many insurance policies (even some of those included in this article) limit the number of visits that you could make to your home country during the policy ‘s lifetime. Say you buy a standard one-year policy, and you happen to visit your home country more than once during that time for whatever reason, the remainder of your policy will be cancelled without any refund.
- When it comes to deductibles, look out for if the deductible is per incident or per policy period (which can typically extend to a year). The latter is obviously better, because you don’t have to pay the penalty for the remainder of the period / year if you already had to pay the deduction once.
What are the available options in market for Travel Insurance?
Now let us take a look at the options which you can consider while booking your travel Insurance. Now the options which I have shared goes along with the home insurance which you have.
I’ve included policies that meet these basic requirements:
- It should be possible to buy and renew the insurance while already traveling.
- They should be available to the residents of many if not most or all countries.
- There should not be any upper limit for how long you can travel before returning home.
Note that all prices are rounded to the nearest dollar.
Feel Free to Read our post related to Travel Insurance in which we covered the point related to
- Is travel insurance worth it.
- What are different kind of travel insurance
- What is the factor for price of travel insurance
- Some more points about the policies from SafetyWing and World Nomads which are the best insurance providers in market
Premium based insuraNce
A relatively new one in the market and an interesting one which has become my favourite and quiet popular in the travelling industry. Their insurance policy is backed by Tokio Marine, one of the most solid insurance companies in the world. So in the unlikely event that something were to happen to SafetyWing, you would still be taken care of by Tokio Marine.
Their long term goal is to offer a complete suite of products to build a country-independent social safety net for freelancers and digital nomads.
They are building a global social safety net tailored to the needs of online freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote companies. We started with travel+medical insurance (Nomad Insurance) and are adding comprehensive health insurance (Remote Health) to our offering before moving on to disability and pension.
Some of the key things which you should know which makes SafetyWing stand out from other insurance provider is
What makes SafetyWing stand out from the others?
- It is Flexible: it works like a subscription, you can choose your start date and cancel any time. There is no cap on the duration of the trip and no need to know how long you’ll be traveling in advance. You can set up monthly auto-renewal payments to avoid having your coverage expire and forgetting to renew in time.
- It is Affordable! Travel medical coverage starts from $37/4 weeks. This is 1/3rd of the price of the biggest competitor for similar coverage.
- Offers worldwide coverage as well as limited home country coverage (up to 30 days every 3 months).
- Reliable: SafetyWing is a Y-Combinator company and the policy is administered by Tokio Marine, one of the largest insurance companies in the world.
- Available for purchase in 180 countries and can be purchased while already traveling.
- SafetyWing offers 24/7 support with great response times. Talk to a real person who is also a nomad!
- Young children included: 1 young child per adult (up to 2 per family) aged between 14 days and 10 years old can be included on the insurance without added cost.
- SafetyWing is the first insurance product built specifically for nomads, by nomads. Our long-term mission is to build the first country on the internet offering global health insurance, pensions and disability, as a replacement for national welfare systems.
- SafetyWing is a simple and straightforward insurance product. No hidden fees or rules.
They are also Constantly improving the insurance product based on feedback.
Pricing for 18-39 Years Nomad already Travelling
Travel insurance: simple & flexible
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from over 130 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
7 things you should know about travel insurance from WorldNomads.com