SafetyWing Review: Insurance for Long-Term Travel

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by Michael Rozenblit


Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. That means if you click a link and make a purchase, we make a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, see our privacy policy.

This article was originally sponsored by SafetyWing in June 2019 however it has since been updated several times to reflect the latest information. All opinions are our own.


Embarking on a stint of long-term travel comes with a lot of considerations. What type of luggage should you choose? What are the most important items to pack? However, arguably the most important thing to consider is choosing the best insurance for long-term travel. This SafetyWing review will hopefully help you decide if this insurance might be the answer for you!

Taking out an insurance policy for a longer trip comes with a whole set of different considerations compared to short trips. Despite this, until very recently, there weren’t companies that focused exclusively on the longer-term travel market and instead, travellers would take out insurance policies from traditional travel insurance companies.

With the rise of digital nomads and long-term travellers, SafetyWing insurance aims to fill that gap in the market by offering travel medical insurance designed specifically for nomads.

Is their product right for you? This SafetyWing Insurance review outlines what we think are the best aspects of their policies and what makes them ideal for people who travel full-time. We will also cover some limitations to be aware of if you are considering taking out a policy with them.

This review focuses on their nomad insurance policy, however, they also have a new remote health policy that is aimed towards individuals and companies wanting a more comprehensive health insurance policy.

The main advantages of the remote health policy are that it covers pre-existing conditions and cancer while the nomad insurance policy is available on a short-term plan and includes various travel benefits. A comparison between the two policies is in the table below.

Safetywing Nomad Insurance vs Remote Health Comparison
Infographic provided by SafetyWing

Why Choose SafetyWing Insurance?

There are a number of reasons why SafetyWing Insurance makes a compelling case as the best insurance for long-term travel and digital nomads around the world.

1. SafetyWing is very affordable

SafetyWing Insurance is undoubtedly one of the cheapest options available on the market, which makes them a great choice if you are a penny-pinching backpacker or simply a digital nomad who is just getting started and doesn’t want to spend a lot on insurance.

Their prices start at $45.08 for 4 weeks, which covers people aged up to 39 years old who are not travelling in the US. Prices increase to $83.44 for 4 weeks if travelling to the US (this option is only available to non-US citizens).

Prices then start to increase to $73.92 for 4 weeks for 40 to 49-year-olds, $115.92 for 4 weeks for 50 to 59-year-olds and $157.36 for 4 weeks for 60 to 69-year-olds. Unfortunately, Safetywing doesn’t provide a quote for over 70s. These prices all refer to policies that don’t include US travel.

To get a specific quote for your own circumstances and travel dates, click here to get a Safetywing quote or alternatively, fill out your details in the box below.



2. Flexible Policies

One of the great aspects of SafetyWing is that they offer a lot of flexibility for purchasing a policy. Many long-term travellers and digital nomads don’t necessarily know how long they’ll be on the road and SafetyWing ensures you don’t end up paying for coverage you don’t need.

For their standard policy, you are charged every 4 weeks and can cancel at any time within that period if you don’t need coverage for the following 4-week period. At the end of a 364-day period, you will be asked to renew again.

SafetyWing also offers the flexibility of buying a fixed-length policy like a standard travel insurance policy and, unlike many other companies, you can buy a policy once you are already on the road. The former is really helpful if you need proof of health insurance for any visa applications.

SafetyWing is a great option for long term backpackers
SafetyWing is a great option for backpackers on long trips

3. Worldwide Coverage

As long as you are not travelling to any country that is sanctioned by the US, UK, EU and UN, you are covered under your SafetyWing Insurance policy. There are also some limitations to benefits for items such as kidnapping in higher-risk countries. However, for the most part, you can travel worldwide and know that you are covered.

4. Lots of Activities Covered

SafetyWing include a huge range of sporting activities as covered items within their policies, meaning you can fully enjoy the destinations you are exploring! Whether you are planning on kayaking, horse riding, taking yoga classes or tackling popular hiking trails — SafetyWing covers you for these types of activities.

Make sure to read the full list of activities covered in their Terms & Conditions when taking out a policy to ensure there are no nasty surprises if you have to make a claim.

yoga class covered by safetywing insurance
SafetyWing covers yoga classes!

5. Some Home Coverage Included

One of the challenges of conventional travel insurance policies is that they often don’t provide any coverage if you are visiting your home country. SafetyWing once again makes the case for being one of the best insurance options for longer trips by providing some coverage in the policyholders’ home country.

For every 90 days, you are covered for up to 15 days if your home country is the USA or for up to 30 days if your home country is elsewhere.

Keep in mind that you are only covered for incidents that occur when you are back in your home country so you can’t specifically travel back home for treatment and be covered under their policy. Nevertheless, this feature is still a big improvement on what several other insurance companies offer.

6. 24/7 Support Provided

If something unfortunate happens when you are on the road, you can be confident in knowing that SafetyWing offers 24/7 support for its policyholders. As well as having a database of hospitals and medical providers online, they also have a hotline you can call 24/7 if you want to speak to a staff member directly.

7. It Covers COVID-19

SafetyWing’s nomad insurance also covers COVID-19. This means if you are abroad and contract the virus after the start of your policy date, you will be covered! The coverage works in the same way as for other illnesses so it’ll be subject to the same policy limitations and exclusions.

This also includes coverage for testing if it’s required by a medical professional but not for any antibody testing.

8. Family Friendly

If you’re travelling as a family, Safetywing offers you the ability to include up to 2 children under the age of 10 for free as part of your policy. There is a limit of 1 child per adult, however, if you’re travelling with your partner, you can cover 2 children without paying any extra!

Limitations of SafetyWing Insurance

As one of the most affordable policies currently available, it’s important to be aware of the limitations of their product to ensure you make an informed decision about whether it is right for you.

1. It’s not a travel insurance policy

SafetyWing markets itself as a travel medical insurance policy, which means it doesn’t cover a number of items that are often included in a conventional travel insurance policy.

While SafetyWing does provide some coverage for trip interruption, lost luggage and travel delays, there are a number of notable exclusions.

For example, you are not covered for any theft of electronics (even if it’s part of your lost luggage) unless you purchase a separate add-on and are not a resident of the United States – which is bad news for American digital nomads!

Electronics aren't covered by SafetyWing's policies
Electronics aren’t covered by SafetyWing’s policies

You are also not covered for trip cancellations, which might be a concern for travellers who book flights in advance.

Despite the travel exclusions in SafetyWing’s policy, their affordable prices mean you might still be better off covering their exclusions separately through other third parties (e.g. getting separate electronics insurance) and still pay considerably less when compared to conventional travel insurance.

2. It’s not a replacement for traditional health insurance

In the same way that SafetyWing is not a typical travel insurance policy, their nomad insurance is also not designed to be a replacement for conventional health insurance.

This means that, while you are covered if you get sick or have an accident abroad, you won’t be covered for most pre-existing conditions or things like cancer treatments and routine checkups.

If you’re after a replacement to more traditional health insurance then it’s worth looking into their remote health policy.

It is targeted at nomads and expats who don’t have health insurance in their home country and for people who spend most of their time in one country as opposed to moving around regularly. It also covers additional items such as pre-existing conditions.

3. Certain sports aren’t covered

While most of the activities not covered by SafetyWing are unlikely to be a concern to a typical traveller, there are a couple of items that jump out that travellers should be aware of when deciding whether SafetyWing is the right travel insurance for them.

Some forms of football such as American & Aussie Rules aren’t covered in their policy, meaning that if you have a friendly game and injure yourself, you might not be covered under their policy. And if you plan on running with the bulls in Pamplona, not that you aren’t covered for injuries relating to that, either.

Some other water sports such as parasailing and white water rafting also aren’t covered so make sure to read the policy exclusions list in detail before purchasing a policy. If you are interested in adventure sports, then you can purchase an add-on to the insurance (that is if you’re not a resident of the US) and many of these sports can be covered.

Our Experience Claiming with SafetyWing

While we’ve been fortunate that we haven’t had to make significant claims on our travel medical insurance policies over the years, we have had experience making claims through Safetywing for minor illnesses during our travels.

In order to make a claim with SafetyWing, you need to submit a claim form along with a medical report and an invoice outlining what you paid for. Within three business days, you should receive a confirmation that the claim has been submitted and it can then take up to 45 days for the claim to be processed. Reimbursements occur via bank transfer.

The process outlined above was exactly what we went through when Maggie got unwell when visiting Australia in early 2020. After visiting a GP and paying out of pocket for the consultation and the medicine that was prescribed by the doctor (including some over-the-counter medication), Maggie made an online claim through the SafetyWing portal.

She received a confirmation and then within a month the claim had been processed and approved for the full amount paid, including the over-the-counter medication. You can read more details about the claim process here.

SafetyWing makes a compelling case for arguably being the best insurance for long-term travel. Their affordable rates, flexible policies and home coverage are just a few of the reasons to consider them when buying insurance as a digital nomad. Click here to read more about SafetyWing and to get a quote!

Are you looking for travel insurance? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments below!

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Michael is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Both solo and with his partner, Maggie, he has travelled to over 50 countries across the globe and has a particular affinity for the Balkans and Eastern Europe. He’s lived in numerous countries worldwide but currently resides in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Read more about Michael

Comments

  1. Nice review on Safetywing, good stuff. I have researched them too and consider them a great insurer overall, though far from perfect still. We’re collecting and have collected a ton of user reviews for them and most are positive.

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