Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, an increasing number of people were making the switch to working remotely. As more people gave up their cubicle jobs in favor of working remotely from wherever they choose, the prevalence of digital nomads increased.
As the pandemic continues to wind down, we are seeing an increase in the number of people working from home. According to studies, the happiness levels of remote workers have grown while their productivity has remained stable or even increased. There are a growing number of nations that provide visas tailored specifically to the needs of digital nomads.
What to Look for in Digital Nomads’ Travel Insurance
It is important for digital nomads to be sure that their travel insurance coverage covers more than just accidents and illnesses. They need a plan that not only covers emergency care but also covers normal medical care.
To begin, I would recommend verifying that your policy provides at least one hundred thousand dollars in medical coverage. It is crucial to have a limit that is this high because in the event that you become ill, injured, or in need of urgent attention and are forced to seek expert care, you want to make sure that the expensive hospital expenditures you will incur are covered. The worst thing that you could do would be to go for the cheapest option, which would be to purchase a policy with a coverage maximum of only $50,000 USD, and then spend all of that money on an emergency, leaving you responsible for a cost that could easily be in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Second, as a separate component from your medical coverage, you need to verify that your plan includes coverage for medical evacuation in an emergency. If a natural disaster strikes or if you are trekking in a remote place and break your leg while hiking, and you need to be evacuated to another location, then your plan should cover that as well, at least up to $300,000 USD (emergency evacuations are expensive!).
In addition to this, the following is a list of some more standard provisions that a decent travel insurance policy will cover:
- COVID-19 (and pandemics in general)
- Lost, damaged, or stolen possessions (including some coverage for your electronics)
- Cancelations (hotels, flights, tours, etc.)
- Accidental death or dismemberment
- Political emergencies and natural disasters
- Financial protection if any company you are using goes bankrupt
- 24/7 assistance (you don’t want to be told to call back later during an emergency)
These are just some of the most crucial things to keep a look out for when analyzing a policy; a thorough policy will feature all of these things and more.
Now, as a digital nomad, in addition to the coverage for unexpected medical conditions that was outlined earlier, you will also desire coverage for more routine medical circumstances. The following are some of these, however the list is not exhaustive:
- Routine dental and vision care
- Doctor checkups
- Prescription medication
- Mental health support
- Screenings and vaccinations
- Maternity care
This is not covered by standard travel insurance, which is only intended for emergencies. By purchasing a plan that includes both emergency and routine care, you can confidently travel the world, knowing that your medical needs will be met no matter what the road throws at you.
Keep in mind, however, that these long-term plans with non-emergency coverage will be more expensive than standard travel insurance, as they include much more than just fundamental emergency coverage.
The 3 Best Insurers for Digital Nomads
1. SafetyWing – Nomad Health
Although SafetyWing is best known for the low prices of its travel insurance plans (the most basic one is just $42 USD per month), the company also offers a complete health insurance plan known as Nomad Health, which is designed specifically for remote workers and digital nomads.
Nomad Health is a comprehensive medical insurance plan that was developed with the unique needs of nomadic employees and remote workers in mind. This is an excellent strategy for you if you spend the majority of your time, or even all of your time, outside of the country.
An overview of Nomad Health and the types of coverage it provides is as follows:
- Up to $1,500,000 USD annually
- Emergency evacuation up to $100,000 USD
- Eye exams and glasses
- Rehabilitation and specialized treatments
- Screenings and vaccines
- Routine dental care
- Cancer and surgery
- Organ transplants
- Psychiatric treatment
- Full coverage in your home country
Standard Nomad Health plan premiums are around $123 USD per month if you are between the ages of 18 and 39. If that same passenger upgrades to the Premium Plan, the monthly cost will be $238 USD. In contrast to the basic travel insurance offered by the firm, there is no deductible associated with Nomad Health.
2. IMG – Global Medical Insurance
IMG offers a variety of programs for business and leisure travelers, students, and expatriates. Its Global Medical Insurance policy is designed specifically for long-term travelers who will spend the majority of the year outside of their native country. There are multiple deductible options, allowing you to keep costs low, as well as multiple levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum), so you can obtain the coverage you require.
The coverage for IMG’s Global Medical Insurance is as follows:
- From $1,000,000 to $8,000,000 USD
- Prescription drugs
- Optional vision care (included in the Platinum plan)
- Nonemergency dental care (included in the Platinum plan)
- Some mental health care
- Maternity (in the Platinum plan only)
- Some preexisting conditions
IMG provides its clients with the following membership levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The third and fourth tiers have an option to include coverage for sporting events, and the top-tier Platinum plan can be upgraded to include protection against acts of terrorism if it is something that worries you.
As is customary, rates change depending both on age and region. As a point of comparison, the cost of a monthly premium for a Bronze plan with a deductible of $250 is $180 USD, while the cost of a monthly premium for a Platinum plan begins at $725 USD. There are substantial savings to be had if you choose to pay for the whole year at once.
3. Insured Nomads – Global Health Insurance
One of the more recent entrants into the competitive market for travel insurance is Insured Nomads. It was established in 2019 and provides long-term travelers with both emergency insurance as well as a health insurance plan that is more all-encompassing. Its Global Health Insurance covers unexpected medical situations in addition to routine, preventative, and ongoing care for chronic conditions. It also has plans for couples and families, in addition to numerous tiers that provide you with even more alternatives to choose from.
Take a look at the following to get an idea of what’s included with Insured Nomads:
- Emergency and nonemergency medical care and consultations
- Preventive screenings
- Vision care
- Maternity care and support
- Substance abuse support
- Vaccines, travel immunizations, and prescription drugs
- Telehealth consults
- Mental health counseling
Insured Nomads, much like IMG, gives you a wide variety of deductible choices to choose from in order to help you save money. For a comprehensive policy that does not have a deductible, the monthly premium may range anywhere from $250 to $500 USD, but pricing might vary widely.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the most frequently asked concerns regarding travel insurance for digital nomads:
Is travel insurance a requirement?
For the majority of travelers to the majority of destinations, it is not required. Many digital nomad, work, and student visas, as well as many tours and excursions, do require insurance.
In conclusion, travel insurance is generally not required, but it’s always a good notion to have, as anything can happen on the road.
Can’t I simply use my standard travel insurance?
If you only require minimal coverage for emergencies, lost luggage, theft, etc., then standard travel insurance policies will suffice. On the other hand, these plans provide only emergency coverage. This means no coverage for routine exams, rudimentary dental care, prescriptions, etc. But if you’re okay with that, then standard insurance can work for you!
What does travel insurance not cover?
Injuries sustained while under the influence of alcohol, extreme sports, reckless behavior, lost or stolen currency, and civil unrest are typically not covered by most plans. Again, everything depends on the policy, so be careful to read the fine print!
Does travel insurance cover the COVID-19?
Currently, the majority of plans provide coverage for COVID-19 and other pandemics.
Am I covered if I return to my country of origin?
It’s possible. Some plans cover short-term visits to your native country, while others do not. It depends on the policy you purchase. Some companies allow you to visit your home country with an upgradeable option, while others allow you to do so but only provide coverage if you’re not near your home (e.g., if you’re from New York, you’re covered if you visit California, but not if you return near your home).
I have existing medical conditions. Am I insured?
This varies. Each policy and medical condition is unique, so I recommend contacting your prospective travel insurance providers directly. This is the best method to obtain accurate and current information regarding your particular situation.
You have more important things to concentrate on as a digital nomad. Travel insurance eliminates anxiety, allowing you to appreciate your trip, expand your business, and live your best life while traveling.