World Nomads vs SafetyWing: Choosing the Best Travel Insurance

written by local expert Jane Elmets

Jane always knew she wasn't destined for a desk job... She has travelled all over the world and is passionate about noodles, sloths and her hiking boots! When she isn't busy adventuring around the world, you can find her reviewing travel gear and dishing out travel tips to all the places she's visited.

In this article, I am going to do an in-depth comparison between two popular travel insurance providers,  World Nomads vs. Safety Wing.

Update: At this time, we have made the decision to stop using and promoting World Nomads. They have become very expensive and stopped coverage for a lot of people during Covid-19 which was a huge deal breaker for us.

Our insurance of choice to date is Safety Wing and is the plan we both us.

Let’s not beat around the bush: insurance can be daunting. All the technical jargon, fine print and talk of deductibles is enough to make your head spin, which can lead to you not getting the coverage you want or need in the first place.

The average traveler shouldn’t have any issues selecting travel insurance for vacation, but things get a bit more complicated when it comes to digital nomads and long-term travelers. As you’ll be on the road for an extended period of time, the right kind of travel insurance is a must so that you have some peace of mind in case of emergency.

There are two main leaders when it comes to insurance for digital nomads and long-term travelers: World Nomads and SafetyWing. They both offer different plans for those who spend the majority of their time abroad and provide coverage for when you need it most.

To make things simple and help you understand which company may be best for you, here’s a complete breakdown and comparison of World Nomads and SafetyWing so that you can figure out which travel insurance fits your needs best. 

Editor’s Note: Safety Wing now covers the COVID19 Virus! Make sure you check them out if you are looking for comprehensive travel insurance to help you travel safely this year.

Quick Answer: World Nomads vs SafetyWing

The quick answer to World Nomads vs SafetyWing is it depends on the type of traveler you are

  • SafetyWing is a solid budget-friendly option, if you’re looking for insurance coverage in case of an emergency abroad. They also cover a lot of adventure activities which is great.
  • Both providers offer emergency medical coverage abroad so you won’t have to pay out of pocket when disaster strikes. You can be covered for hospital room and board, emergency medical transportation, emergency dental work, and more!
  • World Nomads and SafetyWing both offer around-the-clock global assistance, as well as coverage in case of trip delays.
  • World Nomads provides good coverage for adventure sports and lost or stolen gear, while SafetyWing remains a strong budget option that allows you to make a low month-to-month payment. backpacking

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Travel Insurance

Coming from someone who has been traveling the world for the last 8 years AND has been in the hospital 2x, travel insurance is something everyone NEEDS to get. Get a quote below!

World Nomads vs SafetyWing: Comparison Table

Check out this comparison table to see what both World Nomads and SafetyWing offer with their travel insurance, at a glance.

World NomadsSafetyWing
What's Covered?- Unexpected illness or injury abroad
- Hospital, doctor, dental and prescription expenses
- Emergency evacuation
- Missed and delayed flights
- Lost checked luggage and stolen or lost belongings (covering gear and tech)
- Adventure activities
- Unexpected illness or injury abroad
- Hospital, doctor, dental and prescription expenses
- Emergency evacuation
- Travel delays out of your control and lost checked luggage
- Every 90 days of coverage abroad = 30 days of coverage in home country, unless U.S. which is 15 days
What's Not Covered?- Routine check-ups and preventative care
- Pre-existing conditions
- Cancer treatment
- Routine check-ups and preventative care
- Pre-existing conditions
- Some adventure sports and activities
Where Are You Covered?WorldwideEverywhere but North Korea, Cuba and Iran
Is Equipment Covered?Yes
- Smartphones
- Computers & Laptops
- iPads & Tablets
- Camera and camera gear
No, unless it’s lost checked luggage
Excess/Deductible$100 USD per event claimed, except Emergency Medical Evacuation & Repatriation expenses$250 USD per policy
Adventure Sports CoverageYes (more covered with Explorer package)Some, but not most
Buying CoverageBuy coverage abroad and extend as much as you need while travelingBuy coverage abroad and extend as much as you need while traveling
U.S. CoverageYesCan pay for additional U.S. coverage, otherwise U.S. residents get 15 days of coverage for every 90 days of coverage abroad
Monthly PriceAbout $120 USD/4 weeks (depending on package)About $37 USD/4 weeks (depending on age)
Get FREE Quote from SafetyWing

For a more in-depth look at each company and which one may be best for you, keep reading!

“Do I Even Need Travel Insurance?”

The short answer to whether you need travel insurance or not is a resounding YES!

Accidents happen no matter where you are in the world, so it’s important that you’re covered. In fact, accidents are actually more prone to happen when you’re on the go, as you’re in a new country with different customs and behaviors.

Take crossing the street, for example. Total breeze in the U.S. but a life or death experience in places like Hanoi.

So say an accident does happen. The very last thing you want on your adventures is to have to pay out of pocket for a hospital stay or any treatment you may need. Nothing quite puts a damper on traveling like a quick thousand dollars down the drain.

The risk of accidents and emergencies is compounded for digital nomads and long-term travelers. Firstly, you’re on the go for longer periods of time than the average tourist. Secondly, you’re likely traveling on some kind of budget and/or have gear that is essential and expensive to replace.

With travel insurance, you can be covered for accidents and unexpected emergencies, which is something valuable for even the most cautious of people. You can adventure around with peace of mind, knowing that if anything happens, you’ll be well-taken care of.

doctor notes

Let’s be real for a minute… 

Mistakes and wild mishaps are never planned but really do happen — especially when you’re least expecting it too. Anyone who’s been on the road for a while can tell you that. 

Even the most cautious travelers in the world are at risk just by being out and about. Imagine tripping over a curb and breaking your ankle or taking a tumble and winding up with a concussion. Nothing sounds more nightmarish, now does it?

As a fellow digital nomad and long-term traveler, I know what it’s like to travel around with next to nothing in a savings account. I’ve spent weeks on the road fretting over the possibility of a medical emergency that would drain my account and send me packing to my home country. And would I even be able to afford paying those expenses? 

I know I wasn’t alone in these worries, as there are hundreds (if not thousands) of people like me who are working on the go without the safety net of insurance.

But thankfully these wild worries were put to rest with the realization that I can actually get the unique insurance coverage I need, without being locked into a wild contract or having to pay up the wazoo.  Seriously, getting an insurance plan that works right for me and my travels could not have been easier. 

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Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads and Long-Term Travelers

Since having the right kind of insurance is of the utmost importance for digital nomads and long-term travelers, companies like SafetyWing and World Nomads came to life to create insurance plans that meet your specific needs. 

While each company’s offering varies slightly, they share the overarching goal of protecting extended travelers (like you and me!) in the areas we need it most. 

An insurance plan for digital nomads and long-term travelers that does it all? Yep, you heard me right. Both companies created a hybrid of standard travel insurance and health insurance to cover trip mishaps and health emergencies along the way.

So let’s break things down a bit to clarify all the insurance mumbo jumbo flying around…

Typically, standard travel insurance provides cover for things like flight cancelations, trip interruptions, and lost, stolen or damaged luggage. On the other hand, health insurance makes sure you’re taken care of in case of medical or dental emergencies, as well as extraction coverage in case you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time (think getting a helicopter out of a remote area if you break your leg and need to go to a hospital).

Travel insurance is also handy for digital nomads and frequent jetsetters as your belongings can be covered as well. Some policies can cover electronic theft and provide some compensation if, for example, someone snatches your laptop or your camera on an overnight train.

carryon items camera

Besides travel insurance, you’re still going to want some coverage in the medical realm as well because your health matters just as much as your belongings while on the go. 

And that’s why companies like World Nomads and SafetyWing have come to life! 

World Nomads and SafetyWing both offer a hybrid of travel and health insurance in the form of travel medical insurance. This kind of insurance provides cover for emergency medical treatment, hospital room and board, emergency evacuation, as well as lost checked luggage, trip interruption, delays, and more.

Tip: The bottom line is that what your travel insurance covers depends on the insurance provider and the plan you choose. Reading the fine print is particularly important when it comes to travel insurance so get those magnifying glasses out and make sure you know what you’re covered for.

What You Should Look For in a Travel Insurance Plan

When investigating different travel insurance options, there are a few things that you’re going to want to look for in a policy, especially if you’re a digital nomad or long-term traveler. 

In general, you should choose a policy that covers these things:

  • Emergency medical and dental treatment
  • Hospital room and board
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Local ambulance
  • Outpatient care
  • Crisis response in case of emergency (terrorism, kidnapping, etc)
  • Natural disaster coverage
  • Return of remains
  • Adventure activities

All the items on this list are pretty standard when it comes to travel insurance coverage. 

The only one that tends to vary greatly from company to company is the coverage of adventure activities. Some companies cover the bare minimum and will outline this very clearly in your policy, while others may be more generous in what they’ll cover.

A common example is scuba diving accidents may be covered under your travel insurance, but only up to a certain depth.

pai motorbike

An area that many people forget to look into when purchasing travel insurance is whether motorbikes are covered under the policy or not. Some insurance providers like World Nomads cover motorbike and scooter accidents if you have the proper licence, but other companies won’t cover this kind of “adventure activity” at all.

Tip: It’s important that you’re crystal clear on the adventure activities covered under your plan. If you’re particularly adventurous, consider opting for a plan that gives full coverage no matter what you’re doing.

Besides the basics, there are additional things that travel insurance may cover, such as:

  • Trip interruption
  • Trip cancellation
  • Lost or stolen luggage

These are pretty standard components of normal travel insurance, but as you’re looking at a hybrid of both travel and medical insurance, it’s not guaranteed that these things will be covered by your plan. 

A final thing to look for, no matter which company you decide to go with, is 24/7 global assistance. This means that no matter where you are or what the situation is, you should be able to call in and request help from the company.

Whether you need to be airlifted from a disaster or are seeking basic medical advice over the phone, around-the-clock global assistance is a must when it comes to travel insurance.

Why Choose World Nomads or SafetyWing?

Today, if you’re a digital nomad or a traveler with no end-date, buying the right travel insurance for you is easier than it’s ever been before. 

For starters, both SafetyWing and World Nomads are more affordable than standard insurance plans as they’re catered towards nomads and long-term travelers. This means that we can spend less money on a policy and more on flight tickets!

Besides the competitive pricing, their products also offer flexibility which is crucial. 

Generally, you’re able to start and stop your insurance coverage as you wish instead of being locked into a long-term contract. So whether your travels are coming to a halt soon or you’re thinking about setting off on your next big trip, you’ll have the freedom to either stop your insurance or purchase a policy for the amount of time you’ll be gone for. 

You also have the option to extend coverage while on the road if you’re not sure how long your travels will last… How handy is that?

buying on the go

And finally, now, you’re able to purchase travel insurance on the go

This is a huge game-changer as previously you needed to be in your home country to purchase insurance, but now you can buy it wherever you are in the world and receive instant coverage — talk about convenience! 

No more stressing out over medical bills or disasters! Both World Nomad and SafetyWing have given us the freedom to be covered in our own unique way. 

World Nomads vs SafetyWing Comparison 

Lucky for us nomads and long-term travelers, there are two awesome companies offering travel medical insurance that gives us some peace of mind while on the road.

World Nomads and SafetyWing have the same idea at heart, which is to provide flexible, affordable coverage to those on the go. However, they offer different policies, prices, and coverage that are worth comparing before deciding which company is right for you.

Here’s a breakdown of what you get with each company so you can make your way through some of the mumbo jumbo jargon and get a policy that works best for you.

SafetyWing Travel Insurance: All You Need to Know

On the other hand, you have SafetyWing which costs less than World Nomads but also offers less comprehensive coverage. Depending on what you’re looking for, this could be the ideal plan for you, but read the entire breakdown to see all of the details!


What’s Covered?

  • Emergency and medical coverage abroad for unexpected illness or injury, including hospital stays, doctors and prescriptions, as well as emergency medical evacuation
  • Lost checked luggage and travel delays out of your control
  • For every 90 days of coverage, you get 30 days of coverage in your home country, unless it’s the U.S. in which case you get 15 days.

What’s Not Covered?

  • Routine check-ups and preventative care
  • Treatment for pre-existing conditions
  • No coverage for expensive electronics like laptops, GoPros, iPads, cameras, lenses, etc
  • Limited coverage for sports and adventure activities

Where Are You Covered?

SafetyWing offers worldwide coverage excluding North Korea, Cuba and Iran. There’s coverage in the U.S. but it costs an additional $31 for four weeks.

How Long Does Coverage Last?

SafetyWing operates on a pretty convenient system of offering coverage per four weeks, or 28 days.

When you sign up, you’ll pay for the first 28 days, with the option of automatic extension every four weeks until you decide to cancel it. This can happen for up to a year, at which point you’ll need to purchase another package.

There’s no cap for how long you can be covered by SafetyWing. You can also purchase it while on the go which is awesome if you aren’t sure of how long you’ll be abroad for!

How Much Does SafetyWing Coverage Cost?

The cost of SafetyWing’s insurance depends on your age and whether you need U.S. coverage, but it can be as inexpensive as $37 USD per month!

Visit SafetyWing

World Nomads Travel Insurance: What You Need to Know

The Standard plan has really great coverage for medical basics and general adventure activities but the Explorer plan provides an even wider net of coverage (even cage diving with sharks!).

That said, both World Nomads plans provide cover for the following:

  • Emergency medical expenses abroad, including hospital stays, dental treatment, prescriptions, medical evacuation, emergency medical transportation, and more
  • Gear protection covering lost, stolen, or damaged gear and tech, as well as loss of passport or travel documents
  • Travel delays including missed, delayed, or cancelled flights
  • 200+ adventure activities including motorbike and scooter accident coverage
  • Coverage in the U.S. if you’re a U.S. citizen

What’s Not Covered?

  • Pre-existing conditions that you’ve shown symptoms of or been treated for
  • Routine check-ups and preventative care
  • Cancer treatment

Where Are You Covered?

Coverage depends on your country of residence but in most cases (namely for U.S. residents) you’re covered worldwide!

How Long Does Coverage Last?

World Nomads coverage is totally flexible in the sense that you’re able to choose the dates that you’ll be traveling for and get coverage accordingly. You can always extend your coverage while on the road, too!

How Much Does World Nomads Cost?

Finally, the question and answer you’ve been waiting for. 

World Nomads pricing depends on where you’re traveling, your country of residence, and what plan you’ve decided to go with. Generally, coverage costs around $120 USD per month, which is more than reasonable considering what’s covered.

You can get a free quote for how much your World Nomads insurance should cost below or check out their website for further information.

What is the Best Travel Insurance for Long-Term Travelers and Digital Nomads?

The best travel insurance for long-term travelers and digital nomads completely depends on the kind of coverage you’re looking for.

World Nomads vs SafetyWing: Pros & Cons

Besides the basics, there are some obvious pros and cons when it comes to each company.

For World Nomads, the pros are:

  • good coverage anywhere in the world
  • gear coverage for tech and other digital nomad equipment
  • adventure activities and sports coverage
  • two different packages to choose from

The major downside to World Nomads is it’s pretty pricey. $120 USD every month is a pretty big chunk of change. It’s completely worth it if you’re a wild traveler and want to be covered for anything that could happen. But it may be excessive if you’re not moving around with a ton of gear or partaking in tons of adrenaline-filled activities.

Money, passport and map

On the other hand, the major pro for SafetyWing is:

  • Affordability, as they’re a fraction of the price of World Nomads. $37 USD a month is pretty easy to squeeze into any budget, so it’s more reasonable for those tight on cash.

However, SafetyWing is really lacking when it comes to coverage for adventure sports and gear, which means you’re taking a big risk by traveling frequently with valuables and running wild while abroad. Also, U.S. coverage is spotty so it’s not a great pick if you plan on spending a lot of time in the States.

You may also want to check out World Nomads reviews and SafetyWing reviews on Trust Pilot to see what other travelers think about these companies.

Bottom Line: World Nomads or SafetyWing?

We personally recommend SafetyWing as we believe they offer competitive rates as well as extensive coverage. It’s unbelievably affordable. Plus, it can be stopped and started at any time, no matter where you are, making it a super convenient insurance option and safety net in case something happens.


Hopefully, this article helped you choose a great insurance provider that works for you.

Read these articles for an in-depth review of each insurance:

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World Nomads vs SafetyWing Comparison Guide | Digital nomad or long term traveler who needs insurance coverage? Check out this comparison guide of two leading travel insurance companies: SafetyWing and World Nomads!
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