SafetyWing: Innovative Travel Medical Insurance for Long Term Travelers - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Monday, June 10, 2019

SafetyWing: Innovative Travel Medical Insurance for Long Term Travelers

Travel Medical Insurance for Long Term Travelers

Exploring the world is a privilege and a surreal experience. Whether you are on a short holiday, a gap year holiday or you are simply a long term traveler, you want to create many happy memories and meaningful experiences. None of us wish to fall sick, lose something or be in a sticky situation during our trip. But, certain things are beyond our control and to mitigate such emergencies without compromising our financial situation, state of mind or trip itinerary, there exists a thing called ‘Travel Insurance’.

Do we need travel insurance?

Why do we need travel insurance

If you ask me, I would say we definitely need travel insurance for all our trips. It is a no brainer according to me. Not having travel insurance is similar to crossing a high traffic road blind folded. The law of probability and the risks are the same. Having travel medical insurance gives you peace of mind, allows you to enjoy your holiday like you should and helps and guides you financially, emotionally and medically in case of emergencies and contingencies. And in return for this, we pay a small fee. It is as simple as that!

If you still do not get the drift, do have a chat with some of those travelers who have faced such emergencies and talk to them about how their travel insurance policy reduced their headaches significantly. One of the examples that immediately comes to my mind is a friend who went to Vietnam on a backpacking trip, had a freak accident riding a rented motorcycle and ended up breaking her back. She had to have back reconstruction surgery immediately. And having a solid travel insurance plan ensured that she got immediate ambulance support and quality medical treatment in a country where she didn’t speak the local language. And she didn’t end up paying anything for the surgery and recovery.

Is there Travel Insurance for Long Term Travelers?

SafetyWing Travel Medical Insurance for Digital Nomads

Now that we have established the fact that travel insurance is essential, lets talk about travel medical insurance for long term travelers. You might ask who fall under the purview of long term travelers. Long term travelers could include travel bloggers, travel writers, travel influencers, travel photographers, entrepreneurs and freelancers who live and work for long durations in different countries or simply slow travelers who move from country to country for many months or years before returning to their home country.

I am your typical long term traveler. My travels and work take me from country to country. My plans are very flexible, unpredictable and I may or may not return to my home country for a long duration of time (anywhere from a few weeks to a few years).

Limitations of Indian Travel Insurance Plans for Long Term Travelers

For a long time, I could not find any flexible travel medical insurance plan for my long term travels. I always had to make do with the standard travel insurance plans offered by the Indian general insurance companies. They came with their fair share of limitations, which made me yearn for a much superior product. Some of these limitations were:

1) Travel insurance in India is very rigid and is offered only for a fixed set of dates and for a fixed country. Any change and your insurance is not valid. If you return sooner, you lose out too as premium amount is not returned.

2) You can only apply for a travel insurance plan before you commence your trip from India. So super tough for last minute planners and for those who simply forgot.

3) They are only valid outside of India, which means they cease to work once you return into India. Any back to back trips and you will have to get a new policy.

4) A lot of the insurance service providers do not provide coverage all around the world. Some countries are completely off bounce for them.

5) Travel and medical insurance coverage is good, but whenever I have used my insurance, I felt that it could have been better, especially when it comes to local partnerships, customer care, translation, hospital coverage, etc.

6) And they do not offer any ongoing plans. Only fixed departure and arrival plans are made available.

SafetyWing: My Long Term Travel Medical Insurance Choice

SafetyWing - insurance for nomads

If you are a long term traveler, you will certainly understand these pain points and which is why I have always been on the lookout for better options. And that is when I came across SafetyWing, a new kid in the block offering an innovative travel medical insurance product that addresses all the above limitations, offers more and that too at a very reasonable price point. They brand themselves as insurance for nomads, but I think they offer a stunning product for all long term travelers.

Backed up by Tokio Marine HCC, one of the world’s largest insurance companies and the underwriters at Lloyds, this insurance product designed by nomads for nomads is everything what a long term traveler wants. Some more features and they will literally be a dream come true. Here are some of its key features:

Why SafetyWing?

1) The best of travel and medical

Wide coverage of SafetyWing Travel Insurance

What I like about SafetyWing is that it offers the best of both travel and medical insurance in one single policy thus removing almost all worries of long term travelers.

When it comes to the medical component, they cover the following: hospital room and nursing services, intensive care, ambulance services, urgent care, physical therapy and chiropractic care, emergency dental and all other eligible medical expenses. These will come in super handy if you either fall sick or meet with an accident and need medical assistance.

And when it comes to the travel component, they cover the following: trip interruption, trip delays, lost checked luggage, natural disaster, political evacuation, emergency medical evacuation, personal liability, accidental death and dismemberment. This is to mitigate all unforeseen circumstances and help create a contingency plan.

2) Extremely flexible

You could be in any country or you could be in the middle of your travels and it would not matter. You could apply for your SafetyWing travel medical insurance plan any time you want. There is no more need to be in your home country to get yourself a travel insurance plan.

And unlike fixed payment plans of traditional insurance, SafetyWing works just like a subscription with automatic monthly payments wherein your policy renews every 4 weeks till you assign an end-date. This avoids situations where you forget to renew and thus lose your coverage. There is also an option to avail of their travel medical insurance for specific dates.

3) Visits to home country are covered

This is a very unique feature and super useful to all those who don’t have medical coverage at home. Say for example, you travel to the USA for 3 months and then return to India for 2 weeks before heading to Thailand for say a month, SafetyWing’s unique feature will provide you medical coverage in case you fall ill when visiting your home country. This feature allows you 30 days of medical coverage in home country for every 90 days of policy.

4) Affordable price point

Travel Medical Insurance for Digital Nomads

The actual price would depend on your age and destination, but as a thumb rule, if you fall in the age bracket of 10 to 39 years and you are visiting any country apart from the USA, the insurance plan costs you US Dollar 37 for a duration of 4 weeks. Such a plan would cover you up to a maximum limit of USD $250,000. For the range of coverage and for the duration, the insurance premium cost is extremely affordable.

5) Excellent worldwide coverage

SafetyWing’s travel medical insurance can be purchased in 180 countries. In addition to this excellent worldwide coverage, they offer 24x7 support when a person is in need and they have a good network of medical partners.

6) Young children included

1 young child per adult (up to 2 per family) aged between 14 days and 10 years can be included on the insurance without any added cost.

More plans in store

SafetyWing’s travel medical insurance is only the first step of their journey with the end goal of building a full global safety net for online freelancers and long term travelers.

Overall Verdict

This is a fabulous insurance product innovation for long term travelers. Their depth of coverage, unique flexible features and affordable price point makes them appealing to all kinds of travelers and certainly to nomads, freelancers, professionals and entrepreneurs who travel often or stay abroad long term.

Welcome to BE ON THE ROAD Travel Blog! I am Sankara, its founder, a 40 something male from Bangalore who is living his dream of exploring the world and simultaneously trying to inspire others to live their dream.
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