Travel Medical Insurance: Why Every Frequent Traveler or Digital Nomad Needs It
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by SafetyWing. All opinions are my own.
As we stay home to protect ourselves and our families, travel may be off the cards right now.
However, I’m sure you’re looking forward to future travels when the world gets back to normal. Maybe you’ve made a list of all the places you want to visit in 2020 and beyond. I have a long list!
Let’s face it: travel can be unpredictable. After fainting in Colombia and escaping a hurricane in Cuba, I take extra steps nowadays to prepare for my trips. As a frequent traveler or digital nomad, there are important precautions to take to protect yourself from unforeseen events that can happen abroad. One of them is having adequate travel medical insurance.
In this post, I’m going to talk to you about travel medical insurance for digital nomads and frequent travelers. We’ll explore how it works, what it covers, and how to get it for your next trip.
What is travel medical insurance?
Travel medical insurance is a type of insurance that protects you in the case of a health emergency abroad. Let’s say you get severe food poisoning or have a car accident while traveling solo through Southeast Asia. An ambulance transports you to the hospital and a doctor treats you. Then you incur a bill after your hospital stay.
With travel medical insurance from SafetyWing, a travel insurance company that caters to digital nomads and frequent travelers, your bill for the ambulance and hospital stay would be covered. SafetyWing is designed for a specific type of traveler – the modern freelancer or entrepreneur who doesn’t want to be tied down to any location. With this sort of lifestyle comes a new set of challenges, like staying safe while doing all that globetrotting.
SafetyWing provides medical insurance with the particular needs of this demographic in mind. It saves you from paying everything out of pocket should you incur a hefty medical bill abroad. Imagine how much peace of mind this would give you while traveling?
Who is eligible for travel medical insurance?
Eligibility requirements vary by company. For SafetyWing, you have to be between the ages of 14 days to 69 years old. Both US citizens and non-US citizens are eligible for coverage outside their home country, with the exception of Cuba, Iran, and North Korea. You can sign up for SafetyWing insurance even after starting your journey. If you have children under the age of 10, you can add a medical insurance policy for them at no cost.
How does travel medical insurance work?
Typically, when you purchase travel medical insurance, you choose a level of coverage and a certain period of time you want the coverage to last, like 30 days. SafetyWing differs from traditional insurance companies in that it offers a subscription-like service. You can sign up for insurance coverage at a rate of $37 for 4 weeks. If you plan to be abroad for some time, you can let your subscription renew month after month.
In the event of a medical emergency abroad, you will need to submit a claim in order to receive coverage for your medical expenses. Submitting a claim is the process of informing the insurance company about what happened to you and what bills you owe. After you submit a claim to SafetyWing and it’s processed, the hospital will bill SafetyWing directly for your treatment if the hospital in within SafetyWing’s network. Otherwise, SafetWing will reimburse you for the payment.
What does travel medical insurance cover?
SafetyWing’s travel medical insurance covers the cost of a variety of medical expenses that you may incur, including hospital room and board, intensive care, and local ambulance. Also, should you decide to visit home, the insurance can cover health emergencies in your home country. Non-US citizens can receive coverage for up to 30 days when visiting home. For US citizens, it’s 15 days.
Do you need travel medical insurance?
If, let’s say, you’re just going on a 3-day trip to Cancun, you probably don’t need travel medical insurance. However, for long-term travel, it’s advisable to get travel medical insurance because the longer you are away, the more likely you are to require medical attention. Also, travel medical insurance makes sense if, like me, you aren’t a digital nomad but you work remotely and take many trips throughout the year.
How does travel medical insurance differ from traditional travel insurance?
Regular travel insurance typically covers incidents like flight delays, lost luggage, stolen passports, and natural disasters. Travel medical insurance focuses on health-related emergencies. It is ideal for people who spend a lot of time abroad, such as digital nomads, remote workers, and frequent travelers. The great thing about SafetyWing, is that when you purchase their insurance, you are also covered for trip delays and other traditional travel hassles. You kill two birds with one stone.
As you plan your next adventure, consider taking the extra step to protect yourself in the case of unforeseen health emergencies. Thinking back to when I fainted in Colombia, I know that having insurance from a company like SafetyWing would have made things much easier for me. Fortunately, I didn’t need to go to the hospital, but I might have ended up with a hefty bill had the situation been worse. I’m not taking any chances next time.
How do you protect yourself when traveling abroad? Have you purchased travel medical insurance before? Comment below.
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