The creators of SafetyWing, originally from Norway, claim to be digital nomads themselves, and have therefore built a program “tailored to the needs of online freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote companies.”
A reputable subsidiary of Tokio Marine, SafetyWing prepares long-term travelers for the many unforeseeable and unfortunate scenarios that can happen while bustling around the city, trekking in the woods, or hopping from country to country.
They cover more than just hospital visits in foreign countries. Their plans include a wide array of medical assistance as well as travel reimbursements and personal liability coverage, not just abroad, but also in the home country. And for a decent price, too.
Let’s say a traveller is all set to fly to their next destination. They pack up all their gear and get to the airport 3 hours early, as expected. Their flight is delayed 12 hours and they have to stay another night. They’ve already paid for their Airbnb at their next destination and miss out on that money. Darn no cancellation policy!
Fortunately, their travel insurance will reimburse them for their night’s stay.
Say they made their flight but lost their checked luggage in transit. Their insurance covers their lost bag (with some limitations) so they are able to buy all the necessities and replace lost items.
Ok, think worse case. A bad car accident, a hurricane hits, or an appendix explodes!
SafetyWing insurance coverage will have their back and, if anything, can help ease a traveler’s mind.
The Scoop on SafetyWing
There’s a lot to digest when choosing the right insurance plan. This review will highlight the main details of SafetyWing including:
- Cost of deductible
- Coverage for medical assistance
- Travel expenses coverage
- Personal liabilities and evacuation
Cost of Deductible
Like all insurance plans, the cost depends on the age of the traveller. I’ve rounded off the numbers just to make things a bit easier.
The numbers below reflect the cost of default length of coverage of 4 weeks (28 days) travelling to *most countries.
Cost by Age:
- 9 years and under = *free
- 10-39 = $37
- 40-49 = $60
- 50-59 = $94
- 60-69 = $128
*Travelling with Children:
A few things to keep in mind…
Any child under 10 must be accompanied by an adult who is covered by the same insurance plan. One child per adult is allowed free, with a two child maximum. In other words, if there are two children under 10, both parents must be travelling and covered by SafetyWing. Otherwise, they will charge a regular base price of $37 per child. If the above scenario but with three children, two are free and the additional is an extra $37 per month.
Traveling to the US is significantly more expensive across the board. If traveling to the US from another country, prepare to pay nearly double the amount. This applies to NON-US citizens visiting the US only, and is not applicable to US citizens.
For more specific pricing, their website provides an easy to use calculator with drop down boxes for each age category with the option to include US travel.
Coverage for Medical Assistance
SafetyWing covers a number of emergency situations. The maximum limit for emergency medical expenses is $250,000. This includes the following:
- Hospitalization & cost of ambulance
- Intensive care treatment
- Urgent care treatment (with a $50 co-pay)
- Physical therapy and chiropractic care (up to $50 per day)
Emergency dental is also covered with a $1,000 max limit. So, if you break a tooth while water-skiing, you can get a cap without paying totally out of pocket!
Medical Not Covered
Note that pre-existing conditions are not covered as well as preventative care, which means no routine or annual check-ups. If someone has a condition or diagnosis in which treatment was given or recommended within the 2 years preceding the policy effective date, they are out of luck.
However, acute onset of the pre-existing condition is covered. In other words, if someone has asthma, and they need to replace an inhaler, SafetyWing will not pay for it. But if they have an asthma attack and need urgent care, they are covered.
Most injuries related to sports and activities are covered, but there are a few that are explicitly not. If a traveller type thrives off of adrenaline and high-risk sports, they should pay close attention.
Some deemed dangerous sports are not covered such as: whitewater rafting, paragliding, hiking at high elevations (4,500 meters +), and parachuting. Injuries from professional sports are also not covered.
The list includes tractors. Oh, and “running with bulls in Spain.” So if someone is seeking the life of a matador, they should look elsewhere for coverage (wish them luck).
Aside from that, if a digital nomad is embarking on relatively safe and less-deadly adventures, like camping, hiking etc. they should have nothing to worry about. SafetyWing has them mostly covered.
Travel Expenses Coverage
Certain unexpected travel expenses are covered by SafetyWing insurance. This includes the following:
- Trip interruption (up to $5,000)
- Travel delay (up to $100 per day for 12hr delay + overnight stay, with 2-day max)
- Lost check luggage* ($500 per bag)
- Natural disaster and political evacuation
- Emergency medical evacuation
- Personal liability and death or dismemberment
*The important thing to note about lost checked luggage coverage is that this does not include electronics, such as phones, laptops, and cameras. For many nomads, these are the most important and expensive items in their bag!
A traveller might prefer to bring expensive equipment with them in their carry-on whenever possible to avoid this unfortunate scenario. The last thing they want is to lose a laptop, camera, and go pro—which collectively cost around $3,000, then they get a $500 reimbursement check. Talk about a slap in the face.
Personal Liabilities and Evacuation
SafetyWing will cover a traveler if at any point there is a need for emergency evacuation. This includes political evacuation of up to $10,000 as a lifetime maximum and medical evacuation of up to $100,000 if a traveler meets the conditions.
Personal liabilities are not subject to the deductible or overall max limit and can be broken down into categories based on incident. Same goes for accidental death and dismemberment which includes the $250,000 maximum benefit to any one family or insurance group. See the table on their website for specifics.
Safety Wing Frequently Asked Questions
What is the payment process?
The payment process is simple. The traveller can sign up for a particular set of dates, in which case their coverage will end on the date selected, or they can subscribe to a monthly payment plan that auto-renews every 4 weeks. This is pretty self-explanatory, and is easy to move through on the website.
When can I sign up?
Anytime! The good news is, if a nomad has already set off on their adventures, they can still sign up anytime from anywhere on the SafetyWing website.
Where can I travel?
Safety wing covers their policyholders in all countries except for North Koren, Cuba, and Iran. However, US citizens with government permission to go to Cuba are covered.
How to file a claim?
As with any insurance, the traveller should save and collect all receipts, hospital bills, or any related documents so that they can make a proper claim.
One needs to fill out the claim form online and attach/include any necessary documents. This can be done through the Safety Wing website via the online portal.
What is coverage like in my home country?
If they are a US citizen, then they’re covered at home for 15 days of every 90 days. If they are from outside of the US, then it is 30 days every 90. The trip home should be incidental, meaning they did not travel home just for medical treatment.
Who do I contact in case of an emergency?
For a medical emergency in the US, call 911. If any other emergency occurs contact the following:
Tokio Marine HCC-MIS Group:
- Inside the U.S.A. call 1-(800) 605-2282
- Outside the U.S.A. click here for worldwide toll-free phone numbers
How can I learn more?
Read the description of coverage for specifics on any particular stipulations and more information on coverage.