World Nomads vs SafetyWing | THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL INSURANCE COMPARISON

Updated: Mar 23

Whether you travel full-time or part-time, by now you’ve probably heard of the two most popular nomad travel medical insurance options, World Nomads and SafetyWing.

World Nomads VS SafetyWing Travel Medical Insurance

We've scoured the inter-webs and struggled to find a proper, detailed, side-by-side comparison of the major differences between these providers and have thus attempted to create exactly that. Hopefully, to make your decision a bit easier in the process.


UPDATE:

SafetyWing recently launched a new product called Remote Health (Nomads). They describe it as "a comprehensive health insurance for traveling nomads and remote workers AND also for people who still stay in one spot as expats or are in their home country". This might just be the one we've been waiting for as a lot of 'ex-pat' type health products still do not provide proper cover for nomads.

Firstly - we have been with World Nomads for two years running now but during our last renewal cycle, we seriously considered SafetyWing's offer - primarily due to the great price structure well as the convenience of a month to month cover. In the end, we decided to stick with World Nomads (for now) after making our comparisons - you will find our reasons for this lower down.


In a related post you can find a write-up on a podcast we released on the topic of travel insurance where we speak more broadly about what you should consider when you need travel insurance - regardless whether you travel full-time or just go on a holiday. The post with a link to the podcast is available here: https://www.wewillnomad.com/post/travel-and-health-insurance



OVERVIEW OF INSURANCE FOR TRAVELLERS

The logistics that come with starting a nomad lifestyle can be overwhelming and might even surprise you with its complexity. Whether you want to live in a cheaper location to work, or just travel for a set period of time, you will find travel and medical insurance to be one of the primary challenges to your new life.


Although there are many factors to consider surrounding your specific circumstances and how to best decide on your cover, it doesn't mean getting there is an insurmountable task. Our aim with this post is to help you understand what options are available to long-term travellers and make sure your expectations are rooted in reality.


A majority of long-term travellers we know, or have met, either use World Nomads or SafetyWing. Keep in mind that some travellers might qualify for cover under their government healthcare system in their home country, however, for the sake of this comparison, we assume that you don't have any government-provided system in place.


DISCLAIMER

By reading this post you agree that the author (s) of this post and owners of this site are not liable for any misinformation, outdated information, or harm of any kind that comes to you as a result of reading it. This comparison was written to the best of our knowledge and understanding but unintended mistakes or changes to insurance policies and the availability thereof are inevitable. Please use the information herein at your own risk and discretion as it is not intended as medical or financial advice and provided for editorial purposes only.


We are not paid to endorse any insurance over another (although we are an affiliate for both World Nomads and SafetyWing), we are in no way partial to your choice. You should consider your individual needs and risk profile - what will work for you may not work for everyone and we do do not endorse or recommend any specific provider or product over any other.



HOW TO GET THE INSURANCE YOU NEED

If you’re in the market to get nomad insurance, the best way to get started is to go through the process of getting a quote - without necessarily committing. This will give you a brief overview of the cover provided and you can compare prices to a degree. Note that very few products are EXACTLY alike and you should take care to identify the key differences between offerings and how this might impact the suitability of the product to your needs.


BUYER BEWARE

Once you have a basic understanding of the policy you should locate the latest policy document and familiarise yourself carefully with its content. If need be, contact Customer Service and ask questions! Remember that nobody is your friend in this and at the end of the day YOU will have to make a fully informed choice.


There’s little room for any benefit of doubt when it comes to making claims. Most providers will be honest, but ruthlessly legalistic. Don’t take anything on faith and be diligent in studying the details of a policy. Providers are in the business for profit and it will be up to you to comply with the letter of the agreement. Whatever you do, keep the information you provide concise and to the point - don't tell elaborate stories. There's always a risk of a failed claim due to providing too much unnecessary fluff at some point and even if you do everything right it still doesn’t mean you won’t trip up a claim on a technicality!


Make sure you scour the Internet for reputable reviews on all providers you are interested in. Perhaps, this will trigger a question you may not have thought of asking! However, remember that reviewers might be disgruntled travellers who did not understand their obligation to the agreement they entered into or perhaps was aware of the limitations of the cover they thought they had enjoyed.

Travel insurance rarely covers everything.

Truth be told, it might not cover anything at all.


If you think your travel insurance policy will offer complete protection for your trip, you might want to take another look. The list of exclusions might be longer than the included items. Don't wait until the last minute to review your policy. By then, it may be too late.


ALWAYS HAVE AN EMERGENCY FUND

You should almost ALWAYS expect to pay for travel-related expenses you’re covered for out of pocket, first. Insurance companies usually require some form of paper trail and if your bag gets damaged or your camera was stolen, you might be on your own - for a while. Be prepared for this by having a healthy emergency fund to deal with unexpected issues - which could take some time to resolve.


Most negative reviews or complaints are because policyholders believe they are entitled to immediate restitution and do not understand or accept that there might be a procedure in place. Claims take time to process and it might take weeks before you get your money back! Expect the worst and always expect a delay. In this way, you will manage your expectations and in the process might just end up being surprised.