SafetyWing's Nomad Insurance: Is It a Good Travel Insurance?

As I was enjoying a plate of khao soi in Koh Lanta with a group of digital nomads I had just met, one of them shared a story from the night before. A friend of theirs had gotten severe food poisoning, and with no hospital equipped for all emergency procedures on the island and no travel insurance to lean on, his only option was the small local clinic (fingers crossed for the best).

Listening to this, I couldn't help but eye my khao soi with a mix of suspicion and defiance. My next thought? Well, if it turns out to be a disaster, thank goodness I didn’t skip on travel insurance.

Yes, I’m the “better be safe than sorry” type of digital nomad, but it’s in these unpredictable situations that I like to remind the risk-takers that having a safety net is not just smart—it’s essential.

So today, we’ll be reviewing one of the most popular travel insurance options among digital nomads, SafetyWing. We picked this company because it offers insurance packages tailor-made to the needs of remote workers and digital nomads.

From what’s included to what isn’t, from their claims processes to comparing it to other travel insurance companies, let’s go ahead and dive into what SafetyWing's travel insurance offers (so you won’t have to keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best).

Who is SafetyWing?

Safetywing is not just another name in the vast sea of nomad travel insurance providers. They stand out because they were born from a real need: the desire to untangle the complexities of travel insurance for us digital nomads. And yes, they deliver.

At its core, SafetyWing gets the pulse of the nomadic lifestyle. They focus on the essentials that matter to us—the unexpected illness in a foreign land, the lost luggage in transit, the sudden need to return home—they've crafted their policies to ensure we're covered, no matter where our laptops are.

safetywing digital nomad insurance plans

You can pick from two main policies: Nomad Insurance and Nomad Health (and if you’re a remote startup, they even have a policy called Remote Health that covers global health insurance for remote companies).

Nomad Insurance is more than just travel insurance—it's a lifeline for when things go sideways. Think of it as your safety net for medical emergencies, unexpected detours, and even those frustrating moments when your luggage decides to take a different plane than you.

Then there’s Nomad Health, which is their signature global health insurance (175+ countries covered!) tailored to those digital nomads who need more comprehensive and long-term coverage.

In this review, we’ll be focusing specifically on their Nomad Insurance, which is among the most popular travel policy for digital nomads out there.

But if you are interested in learning more about Nomad Health, read our dedicated review below:

SafetyWing Nomad Health: Is It the Best Health Insurance?
Looking for digital nomad health insurance? Read this SafetyWing Nomad Health Review. We’ll cover Nomad Health pros, cons, & alternatives.

How Does SafetyWing Travel Insurance Work?

how Safetywing Nomad Insurance works

How SafetyWing's travel insurance works is a testament to their deep understanding of the nature of the digital nomad lifestyle. They operate on a subscription model that bills you every 28 days, which means you can start, pause, or stop your coverage based on your current plans, whether you're mid-journey or planning the next trip from a beachside café.

But wait for it: most digital nomad insurance providers only allow you to purchase policies before your trip begins, but not SafetyWing. You're not locked out if your trip has already begun. Did you forget to get insurance before leaving, or suddenly decided to extend your trip? SafetyWing allows you to activate coverage while you're already abroad (something that could've been handy for that poor guy in Koh Lanta).

What Does SafetyWing Cover?

Remember that friend from Koh Lanta who was poisoned by food? Well, with SafetyWing on their side, that nasty surprise wouldn't mean choosing between a questionable local clinic or a budget-busting flight home. Coverage for unexpected medical emergencies means peace of mind (and, hopefully, a happier tummy!).

SafetyWings has really thought of this kind of emergency and just about everything that could go wrong during your extended travels. These are just a few of the many things that are covered by their Nomad Insurance:

  • Emergency medical treatment and hospital stays
  • Ambulance and emergency transportation
  • Emergency transportation to a better equipped hospital (medical evacuation)
  • Emergency dental treatment
  • Prescription drugs
  • An unexpected event in your home country for which you to need to go home (trip interruption)
  • Political Evacuation
  • Trip interruption due to death of a family member
  • Accidental death and dismemberment
  • If you die Arrangement for your body (burial or repatriation of remains)
  • Cash payout to your beneficiary (accidental death)
  • Accommodation in a different place if a natural disaster causes evacuation
  • Stolen passport or travel visa
  • Lost checked luggage
  • Unplanned overnight stay
  • $0 deductible option

What's Not Covered in SafetyWing's Travel Insurance?

If you get SafetyWing's Nomad Insurance, you have to understand that you're not purchasing primary health insurance but a travel insurance plan for unexpected medical emergencies and travel-related costs. That means that not everything will be covered by this policy. Below is what you won't find in when purchasing their travel insurance plan:

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Routine check-ups and preventive care
  • Cancer treatment
  • Injuries from high-risk adventure sports (unless you purchased the adventure sport add-on)
  • Travel to Iran, North Korea, and Cuba
  • Any treatment that is not medically necessary
  • Mental health disorders
  • Limited coverage of stolen or lost personal items (only if you purchased the electronics theft add-on)

SafetyWing Travel Insurance Pricing

safetywing pricing

Now, let's talk about money, shall we? SafetyWing's pricing isn't one-size-fits-all. Their rates vary based on the policy you pick, how old you are, and if your travels include coverage in the United States.

If you want to beef up your coverage, SafetyWing offers a few extra options (for digital nomads living outside the US). You can choose to add protection for trips to the US, cover for injuries related to adventure sports, and even insure against electronics theft.

SafetyWing also balanced the $0 deductible awesomeness with a slight tweak in their pricing. Here's the updated breakdown to help you budget:

Nomad Insurance Pricing Excluding the US :

  • Age 10-39: $56.28 per 4 weeks
  • Age 40-49: $92.40 per 4 weeks
  • Age 50-59: $145.04 per 4 weeks
  • Age 60-69: $196.84 per 4 weeks

Nomad Insurance Pricing Including the US:

  • Age 10-39: $104.44 per 4 weeks
  • Age 40-49: $171.92 per 4 weeks
  • Age 50-59: $282.80 per 4 weeks
  • Age 60-69: $386.12 per 4 weeks

You can use the booking widget below to get a quote (it’s free):

What Makes SafetyWing Stand Out From The Other Travel Insurance Plans?

From what we've seen, SafetyWing really stands out from other nomad travel insurance providers, and we’d even go as far as to say it's one of the best digital nomad insurance out there. Here’s why we’re big fans:

  • Flexibility to buy insurance anywhere: If you've ever kicked off your travels only to realize you forgot to get insurance (it happens to the best of us), or maybe you just weren’t ready to head home yet and decided to extend your stay, don't sweat it. SafetyWing gets it. They let you sign up or extend your coverage from anywhere in the world, even if your trip has already begun.
  • Pay-as-you-go subscription: With SafetyWing, you’re not tied down. Their 28-day billing cycle gives you the freedom to adapt your insurance to your life, not the other way around. It’s perfect for open-ended trips or for when your travel plans are as flexible as a morning yoga session.
  • Travel without a return ticket: For those of us with wanderlust in our souls and no set end date in mind, SafetyWing is a dream come true. They don’t need a return date or ticket to start your coverage.
  • Coverage in your home country (US residents only): For US residents who need to pop back to the US, SafetyWing covers incidental visits home. For every 90 days, you're covered for up to 30 days in your home country for unforeseen eligible medical conditions.
  • Motorbike or scooter coverage: Zooming around on a motorbike or scooter? SafetyWing’s coverage of accidents on two wheels is a rare find and a major plus for adventurers.
  • What you see is what you get pricing: No need to decode complicated rate charts. SafetyWing keeps it clear with straightforward pricing based on your age and whether your travels include the US.

What are SafetyWing's Nomad Insurance Disadvantages and Limitations?

Of course, it's not all sunshine and rainbows (and we wouldn't expect it to be, either). While SafetyWing really brings it home with its insurance tailored for digital nomads, like anything, it's got its quirks and limits. Here’s the real talk on what it doesn't do:

  • Lack of coverage for pre-existing conditions: If you’ve got ongoing health battles or chronic conditions, SafetyWing’s going to step back on this one. They won’t cover treatments tied to those long-term health issues.
  • Routine health checks off the list: For those of us living the nomad life long-term, staying on top of health through regular check-ups or preventive care is key. But with SafetyWing, you’ll need to cover these costs on your own since they're not part of the deal.
  • Lack of coverage for some adventure sports: For those adrenaline junkies, just a heads up—even if you purchase the adventure sports add-on, SafetyWing draws a line on covering injuries from certain thrill-seeking activities. While most of the adventure sports are covered with the add-on, it's best to double check if yours is included before you purchase it.
  • Limited coverage for stolen or lost personal items: If you're traveling with gadgets or gear that cost a pretty penny (who isn't?), absolutely purchase the electronics theft add-on. If you don't and your stuff gets stolen, it won't be covered. But still, even if you purchase the add-on, keep a close eye on your tech because, in case of theft, SafetyWing will only be covering up to $1000 per stolen item with a yearly limit of $3000 per policy.
  • Lack of coverage in certain countries: If you're dreaming of adventures in Iran, North Korea, or Cuba, you'll need to look beyond SafetyWing for coverage—these destinations are off their coverage map.
  • Deductible: Every time you claim, there’s a $250 deductible. That means for anything under $250, the bill’s on you. And even for bigger claims, you're covering the first $250.

What Nomads Think of SafetyWing Travel Insurance?

safetywing reviews

For something as important as travel insurance, we didn’t just want to rely on our own impressions for this review. So, we took a deep dive into what others are saying about SafetyWing on Trustpilot and ProductHunt. Here’s the scoop from the wider digital nomad community:

SafetyWing Travel Insurance Reviews on Trustpilot

Safetywing Trustpilot user reviews and opinions

Over on Trustpilot, SafetyWing's scoring a solid "Great" with a 3.9 out of 5, and that's from a batch of 966 reviews (at the time of writing). A lot of users are giving thumbs up for the excellent customer service, highlighting how supportive and quick-to-respond the team is. They say signing up's a breeze, and the pricing is easy on the wallet.

But it's not all smooth sailing. Some travelers have hit a bit of turbulence when it comes to making claims, pointing out that things can move at a snail's pace, and getting reimbursed feels like a bit of a maze. There's also a bit of chatter about how the company's communication could be improved, especially in wanting more check-ins from the company just to feel in the loop about where their claims stand.

SafetyWing Travel Insurance Reviews on ProductHunt

On ProductHunt, SafetyWing's getting similar feedback to what's on Trustpilot. With a 3.5 out of 5 from 224 reviews (at the time of writing), lots of users appreciate the ease of use and affordability. They're fans of the flexible subscription model and how simple it is to start coverage. Some users even found the claims process straightforward.

But, just like on Trustpilot, it's not all perfect. There are users on ProductHunt sharing frustrations with slow claim responses and challenges in getting compensated. Issues with policy renewal have also come up, notably that ongoing treatments get labeled as "pre-existing conditions" in a new policy period.

SafetyWing Travel Insurance: Pros and Cons

Drawing from our experience as digital nomads and pooling insights from other travelers, we’ve put together a candid look at the ups and downs of SafetyWing's Nomad Insurance for you to make a more informed decision yourself:

SafetyWing Nomad Insurance Pros and cons:

Pros
  • Flexible subscription model allows for easy cancellation
  • Cheaper compared to main competitors
  • Ability to purchase insurance while already abroad
  • No limit on travel duration
  • Coverage for a wide range of medical emergencies
  • COVID-19 coverage
Cons
  • No coverage for pre-existing conditions
  • No coverage for routine check-ups and preventive care
  • Limited coverage for certain adventure sports
  • Limited coverage for stolen or lost personal items (if electronics theft add-on purchased)
  • $250 deductible applies to all claims
  • The claim process can be time-consuming

How Does SafetyWing Compare To Other Travel Insurance Providers?

And if you were wondering what's out there and how SafetyWing compares to the other digital nomad insurance providers, we also got you covered. Here's an overview of what we know:

Insurance Provider Coverage Subscription Model Deductible Coverage for Pre-existing Conditions Coverage for Adventure Sports
SafetyWing Medical emergencies, evacuation, trip delay, lost checked luggage Yes $250 No Limited
WorldNomads Medical treatment, evacuation, trip cancellation, gear theft No Varies No Yes
Genki Medical treatment, sports injuries, accidents Yes No Yes Yes
Heymondo Medical expenses, personal liability, repatriation No No No Yes
Insured Nomads Medical treatment, trip cancellation No No Yes Yes
PassportCards Medical emergencies, evacuation, trip delay, lost checked luggage No No No Yes

How to Make a Claim With SafetyWing Travel Insurance

Safetywing nomad insurance claim process

If you'll ever need to file a claim, the good news is that the claims process with SafetyWing has improved a lot.

In the last year or so, they made major improvements to make it more user-friendly, and they've also streamlined their claim process for quicker resolution.

Here's how you can now file a claim with SafetyWing:

Step 1: Start your claim

Begin by filling out the claim form available on SafetyWing's website. If you prefer, you can also download the form and submit it via email or traditional mail.

Step 2: Gather your documentation

Collect all original itemized bills, receipts, and proof of payment for the expenses you're claiming. These documents are crucial in demonstrating the validity of your claim. If you're making a medical claim, don’t forget to include a medical statement from the treating physician or facility, as this provides a comprehensive overview of the services rendered. A mere receipt may not do the trick, as the claims team may need detailed information that only a medical statement can provide.

Step 3: Include essential information

Ensure your claim form includes your policy number and accurate contact details. This information is vital for SafetyWing to process your claim efficiently and to get in touch with you for any further information or clarifications needed.

Step 4: Get your submission on time

It's important to submit your claim within 60 days from the date of service. Prompt submission is key to a smooth claims process, allowing SafetyWing to address your needs as quickly as possible.

Step 5: Get confirmation and follow-up

After submitting your claim, you'll receive a confirmation email, acknowledging that your claim is being processed. For any queries or to check the status of your claim, SafetyWing makes it easy with options to contact their claims team via chat, phone (+1 415 802 0299), or email ([email protected]).

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Remember: SafetyWing isn't leaving you behind in your time of need. Take advantage of their 24/7 customer service, as they should always be ready to assist if you're uncertain about the documentation needed or if you have any questions!

How To Check Your SafetyWing Claim Progress

After you've dotted the i's and crossed the t's on your DocuSign submission, which is a part of getting your claim filed with SafetyWing, a bit of patience is in order.

The steps from submission to conclusion for your claim can take from 30 to 45 business days.

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The total 30-45 days do not include weekends and US holidays.

Now, about keeping tabs on your claim's status — you won't get updates in your inbox. Instead, you'll need to log into the Member Portal.

Once you're there, the following button will guide you to the "Claims and Appeals" tab:

It's here, at the very bottom of the page, where you can catch the latest on your claim's status.

If you're seeing "No claims started" or "Open", it means the claim is still being processed, so you will have to wait up to 30-45 days before getting any updates.

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If you are using the Member Portal for the first time, you must create an account using your policy ID and the registered email.

So, What's Our Verdict on SafetyWing Travel Insurance?

There's no denying it, SafetyWing brings something special to the table for us digital nomads. It’s not without its quirks, but its standout features do make it an attractive pick, especially for anyone chasing a budget-friendly and no-fuss insurance option.

That said, the variety of feedback out there really underlines the need to get cozy with the policy specifics and manage your expectations when it comes to filing claims.

Like with anything important, it's smart to browse around and weigh your options when it comes to travel insurance. Go ahead and compare different travel insurance plans to find the one that meshes just right with what you need. We've rounded up some of the top picks for you to check out in the article below:

7 Best Digital Nomad Insurances (Unbiased Review)
Discover the top 7 insurance providers for digital nomads in our comprehensive review. Compare coverage, pricing, benefits, and more.

SafetyWing Travel Insurance: FAQs

Can I purchase SafetyWing insurance while already abroad?

Yes, SafetyWing allows you to start a policy while you are already abroad.

Does SafetyWing cover COVID-19?

Yes, SafetyWing covers COVID-19 like any other illness, provided it wasn't contracted before your policy start date.

Does SafetyWing cover pre-existing conditions?

No, SafetyWing does not cover pre-existing conditions.

How does SafetyWing handle claims?

SafetyWing has a "make a claim" section under your profile that guides you through the process. The claims form can be filled out digitally and uploaded with receipts and necessary documents.

What is the average time to get reimbursed?

Based on user reviews, the reimbursement time can vary. Some users have reported getting reimbursed in a reasonable timeframe, while others have mentioned delays and the need to follow up on their claims.

What is the deductible for SafetyWing's Nomad Insurance?

SafetyWing's Nomad Insurance has a $250 deductible. This means you'll need to pay the first $250 of your covered expenses before the insurance starts to pay.

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