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The importance of having digital nomad insurance

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author-photo Danijela Horvat
The importance of having digital nomad insurance

In an ideal world, we could just travel from place to place without worries, but unfortunately, when you travel, especially when you travel often, you need to have a backup plan if anything goes wrong. Digital nomads have the opportunity to see the world, meet like-minded people, and explore places not many people get the chance to. But if something goes wrong, you should have digital nomad insurance to rely on.

Many travelers don’t think about insurance at first. Instead, they are so excited to plan the trip that they forget about nomad insurance. When you travel, unexpected expenses like medical bills, last-minute flights, and cancellations can drain your bank account quickly. In the end, it’s preferable to spend a little now on something you might not need rather than a lot more later because you lack insurance.

What is digital nomad insurance?

Regarding the digital nomad lifestyle, there are two options for insurance. One is travel insurance, and the other is health insurance. So many insurance companies have already started creating different coverages for digital nomads, depending on various indicators, including how often you travel, how many countries you change during a year, etc.

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While some companies are creating specific insurance policies for digital nomads, as a remote worker who travels often, you can also buy any health or travel insurance from any company in your country of residence or destination.

The main idea behind health insurance is that it covers your hospital-related medical costs. Unfortunately, due to the extensive coverage for routine care, health insurance is often more expensive than vacation insurance. Depending on your plan, your health insurance may provide coverage for: vaccinations, medical checkups, dental, cancer screenings, etc.

However, not every insurance is the same, and you should always check what is covered and if you have to pay extra for anything. Nowadays, this insurance must include possible COVID-19 bills as well.

On the other hand, travel insurance is primarily for the traveler who typically spends a week or two on vacation in a foreign country and worries about what might happen if a hurricane strikes, they are robbed, get into a vehicle accident, and need emergency medical attention.

Regular travel insurance covers emergency medical evacuation, trip cancellation, automobile accidents, lost or stolen items, and more. Always check what the policy you are taking covers because some things are more important than others for digital nomads. For example, your working equipment is your main priority, and your insurance should cover stolen phones, laptops, cameras, etc.

Another option is to get the annual travel policy, which will cover things like trip delay, lost luggage, rental car damage, emergency medical expenses, emergency evacuation, etc. It differs from insurer to insurer, but this may be the best plan for which a frequent traveler should look.

Is it any different from normal insurance?

Companies like World Nomads and Safety Wing are leaders in digital nomad insurance policies. They specialize in insurance targeting frequent travelers and digital nomads, offering a unique combination of travel and health insurance.

They are similar to the above-described regular insurance, but since they are for frequent travelers, their coverage is for a digital nomads’ needs. For example, World Nomads offers long-term insurance that is 180 days and can be extended while you are abroad. Safety Wing is subscription-based and can last as long as you are traveling.

Is insurance necessary for a visa?

Many countries that offer digital nomad visas and programs require you to have digital nomad insurance. This can be their local insurance or one of the international plans, but check their requirements, as some countries want you to have coverage in case of COVID-19 emergencies

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Why should you want digital nomad insurance?

Travel can be challenging and dangerous if you are robbed, have a medical emergency, or have lost your luggage, for example. These issues are even more significant if you are not going home in a week but have to fix everything while traveling for several months. This is why you should be prepared and buy digital nomad insurance before your trip.

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For those who love the sports

Travel insurance can cover medical checkups and possible injuries if you are a fan of playing sports, running, hiking, or simply going to the gym. Going to the doctor in a foreign country without insurance can put you in unnecessary debt for years.

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As we could see with the pandemic, and hurricanes in the past, sometimes your trip is interrupted by disasters, global medical emergencies, or even terrorist attacks. In these horrible scenarios, you should be covered and able to go home from anywhere in the world without going bankrupt.

What if you need a surgery

Not every country is as expensive as the US regarding medical bills, but if you don’t have insurance, every country will give you a massive bill after a medical emergency. In case of severe medical diagnosis or urgent surgery, you should be able to present your digital nomad insurance to cover the costs.

If your equipment is stolen

This is a big one for digital nomads because their life depends on the equipment they use for work. For example, if your bag with equipment like laptops or cameras is stolen, it can cost you thousands of dollars to replace it, and also, your job is at risk if you cannot perform it.

For accidents

It doesn’t matter if it is a motorcycle ride in Bali, a bicycle ride in the Netherlands, or an automobile ride in the south of France; any accident can cost you much more than pain if you don’t have insurance to cover the damages. Just a simple rent-a-car damage can break your bank, so better be ready for it and find coverage before your trip.

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What is the best digital nomad insurance?

Which insurance is best for you depends on your needs and style of traveling. Those with a chronic illness have better health coverage, while those who like extreme sports should consider if they are covered for accidents. Here is the list of best travel insurances currently available to digital nomads.

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Safety Wing

SafetyWing is a monthly subscription offering nomads basic health insurance for $40 per month. This flexible plan benefits long-term travelers who might no longer have health insurance in their native country.

World Nomads

Magazines like National Geographic and Lonely Planet all give World Nomads their highest endorsement. You may create a short-term or long-term travel strategy with World Nomads insurance. They have specifically designed their policies to serve digital nomads.

Integra Global

Long-term digital nomads can get international healthcare insurance from Integra Global. They don’t provide traveler’s insurance or advantages like lost luggage claims. As opposed to conventional travel insurance, they offer comprehensive foreign medical insurance that does not just cover emergency care. They also cover chronic illnesses, routine medical examinations, and dental and mental health care. Unfortunately, travel insurance rarely covers these costs.

PassportCard Nomads

PassportCard Nomads is constantly evolving to fulfill the demands of the digital nomad community. They have great coverage for sports and also a lot of flexibility when creating your policy. With their app, it is straightforward to submit a claim, and they will deposit money onto your card so you can start using it immediately.

Cover America – Gold

In light of the recent increase in travel risks, Cover America – Gold travel insurance offers an affordable alternative when visiting the United States. Their programs have been adapted for non-American citizens, so they are covered for any medical emergency.

Allianz Global Assistance

Allianz is a renowned company with a long operation history and a solid reputation. They are famous for offering a wide variety of travel packages. Allianz Travel Easy- Oversea Annual includes up to $1 million in emergency evacuation coverage, $5,000 in baggage loss or damage claims, $2,000 in travel delay coverage, and the availability of pre-existing medical condition coverage.

Travelex Insurance Services

Digital nomads and remote workers can acquire coverage from Travelex travel insurance for various trips, including weekend getaways, remote work in a foreign country, beach vacations, etc. You have all you need under the Basic package, but you can tailor the policy to your specific needs.

IMG Global

Many of the benefits other travel insurance plans offer come in IMG’s packages but are also reasonably priced. They provide several different bundles. For example, the ideal package is called “Global Medical Insurance” for nomads who only need medical insurance coverage and don’t feel the need for anything else.

Insured Nomads

Travel insurance provider Insured Nomads is by nomads who have lived on five continents and are familiar with the needs of travelers. They have two great packages: Global Health and Travel Insurance. It covers long-term travel (year-long or more) and people who work remotely.

InsureMyTrip

InsureMyTrip is a website where you can compare different insurances and find one that works best for you. With just a few clicks, you may access a carefully curated list of travel insurance options for independent contractors. The most significant benefit of InsureMyTrip is its extensive medical coverage that includes diseases like avian flu, COVID-19, or Ebola.

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Entering a life of a digital nomad is not as hard as it may seem in the beginning, but once you learn the basics, how to travel affordably, how to make friends, how to find accommodation, and how to find the best digital nomad insurance you will be ready to go. Start by choosing your first destination, and once you have your plan, you can think of what you need in travel and health insurance.

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