In this article, I am going to do an in-depth comparison between two popular travel insurance providers, World Nomads vs. Safety Wing.
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.
- Quick Answer: World Nomads vs SafetyWing
- World Nomads vs SafetyWing: Comparison Table
- “Do I Even Need Travel Insurance?”
- Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads and Long-Term Travelers
- Why Choose World Nomads or SafetyWing?
- World Nomads vs SafetyWing Comparison
- What is the Best Travel Insurance for Long-Term Travelers and Digital Nomads?
- Bottom Line: World Nomads or SafetyWing?
Quick Answer: World Nomads vs SafetyWing
The quick answer to World Nomads vs SafetyWing is it depends on the type of traveler you are.
- World Nomads is a good choice if you’re more adventurous and partake in thrill-seeking activities or a digital nomad moving around with lots of electronics and/or gear.
- SafetyWing is a solid budget-friendly option, if you’re just looking for insurance coverage in case of an emergency abroad.
- 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.
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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.
For a more in-depth look at each company and which one may be best for you, keep reading!
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“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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?
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.
World Nomads Travel Insurance: What You Need to Know
Take a look at some of the basics of World Nomads travel insurance.
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.
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!
- 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!
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.
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.
Bottom Line: World Nomads or SafetyWing?
The bottom line is that there is no bottom line! The insurance you choose really depends on the kind of traveler you are.
For the most adventurous travelers who are big into scuba diving, motorbike riding, bushwacking and more, World Nomads is an obvious choice. With adventure as a central part of your travels, it’s important to have the best coverage when it comes to accidents that may happen.
Besides adventurous travelers, digital nomads who have a lot of valuable equipment traveling around with them can really benefit from being covered by World Nomads. Under this plan, there is some cover for gear that is lost or stolen, be it your smartphone or laptop, because let’s face it, it’s a big financial expense to buy an entire new set of tech if something catastrophic happens!
On the other hand, if you’re a more laid-back traveler who’s just looking to be covered in case of emergency, SafetyWing is the way to go. 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.
As you can see, it’s impossible to tell you exactly which insurance to buy and what plan is best for you. It all boils down to how you travel, what your main desire for coverage is, and how much you’re willing to spend.
But let’s just put it this way: it’s better to be safe than sorry — so get insured!
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Read these articles for an in-depth review of each insurance:
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