Me and a couple of my close travel buddies where just discussing this the other day… “How indeed the face of travel has changed, in the past 10 years”.
Let me see… in the past decade or so, the power of collective knowledge has been the formidable force behind how we think about and experience travel. We now document on the world wide web, plainly for folks we don’t even know, to see, notes and tips about places, people, and, yes, especially problems, all for the benefit of strangers that will visit after we do.
There has also been a huge shift in accessibility of travel – you just need to look at the annual numbers of people now criss-crossing the globe to know this is true. Rather than a luxury enjoyed by few, travel is now a given right, and everyone travels… starting at a much younger age. Nomadic travel has exploded – no more burdensome ties to long term mortgages, or slogging 2 jobs, to pay off expensive assets.. just me, my bag and my skills setting up home any place I like, and working from where I choose, with anyone who will hire me.
But one things for sure, the more uncertain the travel lifestyle, the more important the certainty of travel medical insurance should be. Should any ill tidings befall you in a foreign land, you need to be certain that you are well taken care of.
Enter SafetyWing Insurance.
What Is SafetyWing Insurance?
Well to put it plainly in a nutshell, it is one of the best value for money, travel medical insurance plan on the planet, I kid you not.
SafetyWing is the World’s First Travel Medical Insurance founded by Norwegian Digital Nomads and is designed for Digital Nomads and available for purchase in 180 countries worldwide. It is specially designed to meet the medical, travel and lifestyle disruption needs faced by Digital Nomads and other remote workers while they are outside of their home country. It is a Y-Combinator company and the policy is administered by Tokio Marine which is one of the largest insurance companies in the world.
Well more importantly it’s also super affordable.. ie. its base rate is $37/4 weeks (higher if your travels include the US), and has a medical insurance plan with impressive emergency medical and dental coverage, $3,000 of lost luggage coverage and a $250,000 maximum limit.
SafetyWing covers unexpected illnesses and injuries sustained abroad, including expenses for hospitals, doctors and prescription drugs. It also covers emergency travel-related benefits such as emergency medical evacuation, emergency dental treatment, travel delay/interruption and lost luggage. It even offers coverage in your home country, perfect for the frequent traveler who still likes to visit home once in a while. Americans get 15 days of home country coverage for every 90 days of their policy, while everyone else gets 30 days of home country coverage for every 90 days of their policy.
So how much does the insurance cost? It is calculated based on age. Check insurance cost here.
SafetyWing’s policy excludes the same things as just about every other travel medical insurance policy: cancer treatment, pre-existing conditions (though it does include the acute onset of those pre-existing conditions) and routine check-ups.
So why is it so affordable?
Their $37/4 weeks plan is due to the fact that, they have less overheads. SafetyWing believes in building a global safety net that offers a worldwide travel medical insurance tailored to the needs of online freelancers and entrepreneurs.
SafetyWing cuts out the middlemen by eliminating agents and selling insurance directly to the consumer.
A focus on fairness
If even one customer bills their cancer treatments to SafetyWing at $10,000 a pop, that means every other customer has to pay for them through higher fees. SafetyWing avoids this cost asymmetry by excluding high-cost, highly specific items like cancer treatment from its policy entirely, while still providing coverage for the acute onset of pre-existing conditions
The Ideal SafetyWing User…
If you meet these three criteria, SafetyWing is built specifically for you:
You can definitely still be an American citizen as long as most of your travels in a given year take place outside of the United States, otherwise, the insurance policy will be more expensive. However, still affordable compared to other insurance providers.
Travel without expensive equipment
You don’t travel with lots of expensive equipment. By expensive equipment, I don’t mean a MacBook, an iPhone and some Bose noise-cancelling headphones (you definitely need those gadgets as a digital nomad) — these are exactly the type of people SafetyWing is built for. I’m talking about top-of-the-line photography equipment, professional-grade drones and other electronics worth $5,000 or more per piece.
Not a Hell-Raising, Risk-Taking, Adrenaline Junkie
Surfing or Rock climbing doesn’t quite cut it—those are all covered by SafetyWing, don’t worry! ☺ I’m talking about seriously dangerous sports such as, people that are heli-skiing, base-jumping or basically anything that involves throwing yourself off cliffs of high places. See page 19 of SafetyWing’s policy for a full list of sports and activities they don’t cover (if you don’t consider yourself a true thrill seeker, you probably don’t need to read the list).
1) Who can purchase Travel Medical Insurance from SafetyWing?
You can be covered with SafetyWing from 18 to 69 years of age. Per adult, one young child between the age of 14 days and 10 years old can be included on the insurance without added cost. There is a limit to two children per family.
Although the product is designed to meet the unique needs of Digital Nomads, Remote Workers and Freelancers, others can buy or be covered by the insurance too. SafetyWing can be purchased in 180 countries around the world, unless your home country is Iran, North Korea or Cuba.
2) What Does Home Country Coverage Mean?
If your Home Country is the United States, you are covered for up to 15 days in the U.S. for each 90 days that you are covered. For other countries, you are covered for 30 days for each 90 days of coverage.
3) How do I find a Legit Medical Provider?
Simply login to SafetyWing.com and select “find hospital or doctor” from the menu to search for a provider close to your location. They have a worldwide network of qualified doctors, specialists and hospitals. However, it is not necessary to use their network of doctors and hospitals, you can go to any doctor of your choice.
4) What do I do when I get to the hospital?
For the hospitals and doctors in their network, direct billing is sometimes an option (for bigger sums only), with the medical office submitting the bills directly.
After any doctor’s visit, you will need to submit a claim and give detail of what has happened as well as provide copies of your bill and payment receipts from the doctor.
5) Who do I call in case of an emergency?
For those in the US, simply call 911 and for those in other countries contact an ambulance or the local emergency phone number for that country. For claims, a doctor referral or other issues concerning your coverage, contact Tokio Marine HCC-MIS Group: Inside the U.S.A. call 1-(800) 605-2282 Outside the U.S.A – you can check their website for tollfree numbers.
Finally.. who should get SafetyWing…
1. Digital nomads and frequent travelers who plan on spending a large amount outside their home country annually travelling the world.
2. Expats living abroad
3. Foreign workers living and working in another country
And why should you put your faith in SafetyWing?
SafetyWing took part in the Winter 2018 cohort of Y Combinator, the Silicon Valley-based startup accelerator that’s known to be the best in the world. That means they’re joining the likes of Airbnb, Dropbox and Reddit as Y Combinator graduate companies.
On top of the Y Combinator blessing, SafetyWing has also raised about $500,000 from investors like NordicVest Angels, the Norwegian Investment Authority and other individual investors. Their founders do hail from Norway, after all.
On the insurance side, SafetyWing has hired senior insurance experts with 30+ years of industry experience to set up their plans. They’ve partnered with the worldwide insurance giant Tokio Marine for all of their plans.
So based on these points, I’d say SafetyWing is one of the best options for travel and medical insurance plans for Nomads! Do yourselves a favour and get covered asap!