How does a digital nomad get travel or health insurance?
Depending on your point of view, health cover is the biggest headache for long term digital nomads, or you can bury your head in the sand and prey you don’t become ill! I strongly advise that you do not take the latter option, because medical expenses can be enormous, and don’t think that just because everything is cheap in Bali, that the hospitals are going to be too!
The issue is that normal travel insurance doesn’t work, because usually you will have to be six months resident in your country before you leave, that’s great if you it’s your first time out, bit not so for the long term nomad!
Why do I need Travel Insurance?
You might ask yourself why the do I need travel insurance? What does is it provide exactly?
Generally speaking, travel insurance covers you for the following:
Medical Costs—Hospital visits, emergencies, evacuations.
Baggage Loss—Luggage and their contents
Travel Issues—Accommodation and transportation expenses
Traditional Travel Insurance is not suitable for digital nomads or long term travellers.
Expat health insurance would be another option, but some tie you into one country, and they are mostly very expensive, aimed squarely at the rich Expat on a corporate package it’s not your typical 30 days travel insurance that you can buy online!
So where does that leave the digital nomad who is getting by on $1000 a month?
Reviews of Digital Nomad and Long Term Travel Insurance
Here are the best options that I have managed to find for long term traveller health cover.
Globelink Travel Insurance (for residents of the UK and EU countries)
Globelink Travel Insurance for Non UK and EU residents
– Travel Insurance for All EU Residents
– Career breaker? Globetrekker? Globelink offer the budget solution for long stay journeys.
– Cancellation or Curtailment – up to £2,000 in total;
– Emergency Medical Expenses – up to £5,000,000 in total; Baggage – up to £1,000 in total
Online quotes from £16.00
WorldNomads.com, at this point in time are the only Worldwide provider who will extend your travel insurance while you are overseas, and therefore get round the six months residency rule.
Travel insurance: simple & flexible
You can buy, extend and claim online, even after you’ve left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from over 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
7 things you should know about travel insurance from WorldNomads.com
- Trusted reliable underwriters
WorldNomads.com is backed by a suite of strong, secure, specialist travel insurers who provide you with great cover, 24 hour emergency assistance and the highest levels of support and claims management when you need it most.
- Value for money with the cover you need
WorldNomads.com provides cover for what’s important for travellers from over 150 countries. By focussing on what you need and leaving out what you don’t, World Nomads prices are some of the most competitive online.
- Flexibility when you need it most
Had a change of plans? You can extend your policy or claim online while you are still away. You can even buy a World Nomads policy if you’re already travelling.
- Cover for a range of adventure activities
From skiing & snowboarding in New Zealand to whitewater rafting in Colorado, WorldNomads.com covers a range of adventure activities, giving you peace of mind to get the most from your travels.
- World Nomads keeps you travelling safely
All WorldNomads.com members have access to up-to-date travel safety alerts, as well as travel safety advice and tips online through the World Nomads Travel Safety Hub.
- More than just great value travel insurance
All WorldNomads.com members can learn the local lingo through a series of iPod & iPhone Language Guides and can stay in touch with family and friends with an online travel journal.
- Commitment to exceptional customer service
We want to make sure you get the most from WorldNomads.com. You can find out more about why travel insurance is important for your trip. If you have any questions about your travel insurance or travel safety in general, please contact WorldNomads.com directly.
For most backpackers though, World Nomads covers you for over 140 countries and provides the right level of cover for the majority of typical backpacker problems.
World Nomads is easy to purchase, they are very reputable, and is easily customised based on where you plan to go backpacking.
If you love traveling or even just the idea of traveling in the future then there has certainly been a moment at some point along the way where you asked yourself, “Should I buy travel insurance?”
The reality is you never need insurance until you do. If you don’t have travel insurance when times get tough, basically you are screwed. Or at least you are out a ton of money.
Traveling always comes with inherent risks attached. Whether you are trekking in the Nepalese mountains or wandering the streets of Amsterdam, unforeseen events can suddenly upend your world.
Some recent reviews of World Nomads
Very happy with World Nomads. Needed to make a claim and got reimbursed after my stuff was stolen by airport staff in Cuba.
When you read most of the bad reviews I have to concur with what is stated about the poor quality of service. I made a claim at the end of August 2019 and on 14 January 2020 have only just received confirmation that I will be paid 13% of my out of pocket expenses as a result of an injury on holiday. It has taken four and a half months to reach an unsatisfactory conclusion. My hospital bill was covered thank goodness.
My trip was cut short due to the riots in Ecuador and my tour was cancelled. My Travel agent booked me on the next flight home and I put in a claim. This was 3 months ago. World nomads keeps waiting for the 21 working days to respond and then delay the claim by requesting a South American airline confirm a flight I didn’t take (which I clearly didn’t because I had a new flight for which I do have confirmation). They’ve held out paying the $4000 claim and I’m at a point where I think they may never pay.
To avoid a false sense of security, it’s best to avoid World Nomads.
World Nomads is by far the most efficient and easiest way to buy travel insurance. Their website is great and the staff are knowledgeable, helpful and professional. From start to finish, buying travel insurance is done in a few minutes and the documents arrive in your inbox almost immediately. It is also very well priced.
I had contacted World Nomads twice via email and received a no rely email, but it indicated that World Nomad had received my email. Their response indicated that I should be receiving an answer to my questions. After two weeks I called twice. The phone options 5,6,7 all of them kept on looping. Finally I was able to speak to a person. That agent was very helpful. I give her a 5 star.
I like the community they are trying to build but so far I have only taken advantage of their travel insurance. I was in Greece when a freak storm hit (“Zorba”) and my policy covered many of the additional expenses I incurred re-routing my trip. They present the coverage clearly and up front. If you read the website carefully, you will not have any surprises when you try to make a claim. The response time was not fast but everyone I was in contact with was courteous and helpful. I just insured a trip to South America with them!
I purchased this policy for my student visa application and received prompt service with short response times during the purchase. When I had an issue at the consular office I had a really difficult time getting ahold of anybody for assistance to either add to my policy or cancel it. I ended up purchasing a new policy for significantly less money. After multiple emails and waiting 3 weeks to hear back I was very pleased to hear that they would accommodate my issues and give me a refund, for which I’m very thankful. They good and bad balanced each other for an average 3 star review.