If you're planning on traveling long term, one of the things that you should consider is travel health insurance. Though we can't provide you with legal advice (we'll leave that to the experts!) we can share the opinions of Remote Year participants.
Travel is unpredictable. As much as you can plan, coordinate, and carefully curate an itinerary, things you never could have considered are bound to happen. You might miss your flight, catch a cold, or lose your wallet as you traverse this beautiful planet that we call home. You may get lost in the hills of Lisbon or forget to pack your passport when you’re leaving Bali.
Even with all of those potential derailments, there’s a magic to travel that makes it all worth it. The opportunity for growth, both personal and professional, when you seek out long term exploration is unlike anything else you’d experience in life. Inspiring professionals do just that as they set out on work and travel programs that last either four months or a year. Who better to prepare you for how to prepare to travel than that community, called the Remote Nation?
After visiting dozens of countries during their journeys, they’re perfectly poised to offer their advice for anything travel-related. They know exactly what bag you should choose for your adventure, what gear you should pack if you’re planning on working remotely, and they even have suggestions for the “unexpected” parts of travel - remember that flight you missed? Today, they’re giving you their expert insights into one of the most intimidating to-do’s that travelers have on their lists: purchasing travel insurance.
Before we go any further, we need to be upfront with you. Though these tips from the Remote Nation are based on personal experiences, this article is not meant to be official legal advice or guidance on the selection of your travel health insurance plan. These are the curated opinions of the Remote Nation, and should be taken as such.
In addition, everyone’s needs are different, so we encourage you to look into the details of each plan listed in this article.
Phew! Now that that’s out of the way...
When it comes to travel health insurance, the first question that you might be asking yourself is, “Do I even need travel health insurance? I haven’t had an illness/injury in years. What’s really going to happen?”
The thing about travel is this: the act seems to create the most unlikely, yet significant challenges that you have to to conquer. Even if you haven’t been sick or hurt in a major way for years, decades even, you never know what will happen when you travel We aren’t going to give you medical or legal advice either way, but we think travel health insurance is definitely something to consider before you head out on the road. If nothing else, insurance provides you with peace of mind, giving you more opportunities to focus on the experiences in front of you, instead of letting “what if” scenarios weigh you down.
If you’re considering purchasing a travel health insurance plan for your time on the road, the Remote Nation has a few favorites that you should add to your “to-research” list.
Safety Wing is a travel medical insurance plan that was created specifically for digital nomads, by people who identify as digital nomads themselves. Because traveling while working remotely is still a relatively niche endeavor, it can be difficult to find a plan that fits your exact needs. That’s where Safety Wing comes in.
Their travel medical insurance plan includes:
Another thing that makes Safety Wing special is its built-in community of remote workers. Because their product is specifically targeted to people who are traveling while working remotely, Safety Wing has created a worldwide tribe of digital nomads. They regularly host meetups and have ambassadors in 20 cities that are ready to answer any of your questions about Safety Wing.
The Patriot Travel Insurance plan is a great choice for anyone who is planning on being outside of their home country for anywhere from five days to two years. They offer two different plan designs so that both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens can take part in their travel insurance.
The Patriot Travel Insurance plan includes:
Many Remote Year participants have chosen Tokio Marine Atlas Travel Medical as their plan for their time on program. This is what Kaila Lawrence, a participant traveling with, coincidentally, Remote Year Atlas, had to say about why she chose this plan:
“Travel insurance is not optional. This is a long trip and shit happens: I've heard of broken bones, surgeries, car accidents, items stolen... all kinds of crazy stuff. You do not want to be abroad without help when something inevitably happens,” Kaila said.
“I… went with Tokio Marine Atlas Travel Medical. My options:
Maximum limit: $1,000,000
Maximum per injury/illness: $1,000,000
“There are a bunch of other things to pick, and all in all, it cost me $415 [for the year]. I was surprised they needed the payment upfront; I thought it was a monthly thing so I would have waited longer had I known.”
The Tokio Marine Atlas Travel Medical plan provides coverage for:
Like the Patriot Travel Insurance plan, this plan has an option for U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens alike, so no matter what you consider your “home country” you can rest easy knowing that you’re covered by Tokio Marine.
A large number of Remote Year participants have made it their go-to for insurance while on program. This could be because it has options for people from over 140 countries, or it could be because World Nomads offers coverage for adventure sports. Remotes love a good cliff dive!
Aashmina Kapoor, a participant who traveled with Remote Year Kaizen, used World Nomads for her travel insurance.
“I had a concussion and a dislocated shoulder [while on Remote Year] and World Nomads paid for both 100% in full within four weeks of the claim being filed,” Aashima said. “All the hospital stays, tests, medication, and follow up appointments were paid for.”
Liza Rodriguez, a member of Remote Year Atlas, also counted on World Nomads during her year on the road.
“I had World Nomads [travel health insurance] when I broke my foot in Thailand,” Liza said. “They flew me back within five days, first class....no issues with reimbursement and fantastic customer service. It was great! It’s pricier, but to me it was totally worth the full experience.”
World Nomads Health Insurance plans cover:
As if the two prior testimonials were not enough, Kristie Yung, a Canadian participant of Remote Year Sisu shares some final thoughts on choosing World Nomads.
“I have World Nomads [travel health insurance] and I’ve used it twice already,” Kristie said. “It’s awesome and they get you your money back really quickly. It’s super easy to make a claim online too. I’m Canadian so I had less options than others. If I have to advise anything - just get insurance. It’s worth it. Don’t come on this thing thinking you won’t need it.”
The Remote Nation’s final favorite travel health insurance plan is from Seven Corners Liaison. Seven Corners is known for its bevy of options when it comes to deductibles, coverage length, benefits and even Schengen visa coverage. That kind of flexibility is a major positive for Remote Year participants.
“I went with Seven Corners Liaison Majestic, based on a combination of price and coverage, and the fact that I could do it all online,” Hunter Pine, a member of Remote Year Meraki said. “I broke my arm in Month 8 [of Remote Year], and had to pay cash for the emergency room and follow-up surgery. They paid me back for everything minus the deductible and obvious extras, like Wi-Fi at the hospital. No questions asked, no fight, no argument, and it was all direct deposit. I didn't even have to go home to pick up a check."
As mentioned, Seven Corners Liaison has a lot of different options, but here are the aspects that you’ll want to compare between their plans when making your decision:
Choosing a travel health insurance plan can be intimidating. There are a ton of options out there, and it can be difficult to find one that matches your specific needs as a remote worker who is traveling the world. If you start with these five recommendations from the Remote Nation, you’ll know that you’re looking into plans that have actually worked in the past, keeping Remote Year participants safe and healthy throughout their time on program.