The World's Best Travel Insurance for Long-Term Travelers

insurance
recommendations

(Thomas K. Running) #1

While there are many types of insurance you might buy as a digital nomad or long-term traveler, the most essential for most is a comprehensive travel insurance. Specifically a “travel health insurance”.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://nomadgate.com/travel-insurance/

What are you using for insurance?
(Jake) #2

This is great @tkrunning! I’ve been with World Nomads for a long time, but I also find them a bit expensive. I’ll give SafetyWing a go!


(Peter) #3

Great article! I like the flexibility of SafetyWing with respect to home country treatment. However, I have been reading up on the terms and conditions, and found the following issues:

  • Repatriation (e.g. getting flown back to your home country for treatment in case of serious illness) is not covered, unless you are dead or your visit is to the US. This is one of the main reasons for choosing a travel insurance as an EU citizen travelling withing the EU. But of course, as a nomad, you may no longer be eligible for social security in your home country anyway, so it is individual whether this is a concern. Bedside visit (having a relative getting flown in to visit you in case of serious illness) is, however, covered.

  • Pepole involved in vivid sports (and also some normal ones) should check the list of sports excluded from cover thoroughly. For example, American football, soccer, and kite surfing are not covered. So don’t play soccer in your coverage period (which may be full time if you pay every month as a nomad)…! And stay away from the kite surfing school on your vacation / life as a nomad.

  • Unclear wither Search & Rescue costs are covered. For instance, if you have an accident breaking a leg while doing recreational downhill skiing, you will get a large search & rescue bill if you are not covered by your insurance. But maybe you have an accident insurance which covers this.

Personally, for shorter travels, I prefer Bupa Global, which covers these things (exept for search and rescue I think) by default and also allows for trips to start/end outside of your home country (but no treatment in the home country). It is correspondingly more expensive. But of course, this is always individual, and people should in general read the terms and conditions carefully, as you note.


(Yen) #4

One more thing that might be worth covering is third-party liability and maybe certain types of legal assistance. Be aware that business related liability insurances and legal assistance will be quite expensive, but insuring private matters will be affordable.


(Thomas K. Running) #6

Thanks for clarifying this point! I still prefer a policy where I have complete freedom to choose the medical facility, but I’ll link to your response from the article so my readers will be aware of it.

I’d also love to see you introduce a recurring subscription like SafetyWing offer. I think that would make you a lot more relevant to long-term travelers and nomads. Do you have any plans for introducing that?

Oh, and it would be great if you could clarify this edge case then: What if a person is a legal resident of an EEA country, but not part of that country’s public healthcare system (not that uncommon among nomads)? In that case they wouldn’t qualify for the EHIC, and probably not the reciprocal health agreements (correct me if I’m wrong), so would they then not qualify for your insurance or would you still cover them?


(True Traveller) #9

Thanks for this review. It's interesting for us to read up on other insurers. One point though in this about True Traveller is just a tiny bit misleading, and that's the comment that "Does not cover private medical treatment unless no public treatment is available. Personally, I was really happy that my insurance covered private hospital stays when I got hospitalized in India a few years ago. Just saying."

We actually say in our FAQ's "This policy covers accident and emergency expenses only and is not a private health insurance policy. This means that you are covered if there is a sudden and unexpected accident or if you become ill during a trip. We will pay for private treatment, but only if there is no appropriate reciprocal health agreement in existence and no public medical service available. Likewise we would not expect you to be treated in a medical facility if it does not have the equivalent care that we would expect ourselves under European standards. However, if you have been taken to a private hospital and there is a public service in the area that we can move you too safely, then we reserve the right to organise a transfer where is it medically appropriate."

The reason for this is that in most of Europe, Australia and New Zealand, public hospitals are very good, and quite often there's a reciprocal health agreement, so to keep costs and premiums down, we do reserve the right to move an insured person to such a facility. In all honesty, it doesn't happen that often anyway, but there's zero chance that you will be moved to a public hospital if our Medical Assistance Service physicians (who are totally independent and separate from us) do not recommend it, and it just wouldn't happen in Africa, South America or Asia anyway. In addition, in countries like Cambodia and Laos, where the medical facilities aren't that great, we would just medevac an insured person to Bangkok if they were very ill or badly injured. We have a little joke internally that the Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok should have a ward called "True Traveller" as we always seem to have someone there.


(Thomas K. Running) #10

Thanks for clarifying this point! I still prefer a policy where I have complete freedom to choose the medical facility, but I'll link to your response from the article so my readers will be aware of it.

I'd also love to see you introduce a recurring subscription like SafetyWing offer. I think that would make you a lot more relevant to long-term travelers and nomads. Do you have any plans for introducing that?

Oh, and it would be great if you could clarify this edge case then: What if a person is a legal resident of an EEA country, but not part of that country's public healthcare system (not that uncommon among nomads)? In that case they wouldn't qualify for the EHIC, and probably not the reciprocal health agreements (correct me if I'm wrong), so would they then not qualify for your insurance or would you still cover them?


(True Traveller) #11

In the event of a medical emergency, we tell people to go to the nearest medical facility and contact our 24/7 Medical Emergency Service. If then you need to be moved to a better facility for your well-being, that will be arranged. In countries where there is a good public health system, like the UK, Australia, Germany etc., the best hospitals are usually public ones anyway; the private hospitals in the main usually specialise in one area, like cosmetic procedures.

Arguably, the best hospital in London is St Thomas’. The Royal Adelaide Hospital is acknowledged as the best hospital in Australia. Both are public hospitals.

But at the end of the day it’s down to the Doctors. It would take a somewhat courageous insurer to tell their Doctors what to do in a claim scenario!

Regular Payments (known as a continuous payment authority), for travel insurance, is viewed by us as something we’d never want to do and never have done. There are so many complaints which used to go to the Financial Ombudsman Service about these payments which were never ending, and as I result I think most travel insurers have stopped doing it now anyway. The problem is, will you notice a small amount of money being taken from your credit card each week, or your bank account? Sure, we accept the majority of travellers will notice, but a fair minority won’t – which is great for the company or individual who put the continuous payment authority there in the first place. It’s only from when you tell them to stop do they have to stop taking your money.

At True Traveller, we just email people 6 days before their policy ends, and we tell them if they need more cover, they can just take out an extension policy. On these, our policy holders get a 10% discount, if their extension policy is the same duration or shorter than their original policy, up to a duration of 1 year. It’s all done online and people can arrange it in minutes, wherever they are. As a rule of thumb, the cost of a travel insurance policy, pro-rata, reduces on a daily basis the longer a policy is for. We accept that premiums for a week look to be high, but most insurers build in cancellation cover in case you become sick and can’t travel. Will your insurance pay for your non-refundable package holiday if you get sick and can’t go?

Travel insurance is all about claiming, and that’s why TT was set up. Yes, we have a lot of TrustPilot reviews, but we only really ask people to review us on their claims experience. But on review sites, just ignore all the 5-star reviews. Look at the 1-star ones!

For your last follow up, people should get an EHIC (I have one… you just sign up online!) as then you can get treatment free without having to fill out forms. But it’s not a requirement for our insurance to have one. We do ask that the nationalities who are able to register for Medicare in Australia, as it keeps the premiums lower. But some nationalities, like Spanish citizens, can’t apply for Medicare, so their insurance pays.


(Bianca Breedt) #12

Take a look at a UK based company called GLOBAL VOYAGER.
Covers all the points needed above and very affordable.