If you’re a frequent traveler, you know how important travel insurance is. Nobody wants to get into a difficult situation in a foreign country and not have the money to pay medical expenses or to replace lost or stolen gear. Of course, we all hope that nothing happens during a trip, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
In this article, I’m going to be taking a look at two of the top multi-trip travel insurance companies – SafetyWing and World Nomads. I’ll help you learn the facts about these two companies so you can make the best decision for yourself!
To forestall, my personal favorite is SafetyWing. Here’s a quick look at the numbers so you can see some of the reasons why I like SafetyWing best. I’ll explain all of the reasons more in depth in the article.
Don’t just take my word for it! You can read the facts and see for yourself:
See why I like SafetyWing better? In the rest of the article, I’ll tell you about travel insurance, whether you really need it or not, and go more in detail about the pros and cons of both of these annual multi-trip insurance plans.
- But do you really need travel insurance?
- What does multi trip insurance mean?
- Who is the best travel insurance provider, SafetyWing or World Nomads?
- SafetyWing – made for digital nomads
- World Nomads Travel Insurance
- So, in the end, which one should you choose?
- Bonus: Frequently Asked Questions about Travel Insurance
But do you really need travel insurance?
The easy answer is yes!
Whether you travel all the time or are just doing one trip, travel insurance is important for a number of reasons.
Firstly, your normal health insurance probably doesn’t cover anything that happens if you’re out of the country. Travel health insurance will make sure you don’t end up paying thousands and thousands of dollars if you’re in a serious accident or get sick while traveling. It also can be life-saving if you need to be airlifted to a hospital.
Beyond that, travel insurance can help you recover any lost costs if you end up having to cancel a trip last minute or have to deal with delayed flights. It also can help if you lose your checked baggage at any point during your trip.
It might seem like a pain to pay for something that you hopefully won’t end up needing. But if something does happen on a trip, you don’t want to get caught paying all the costs out-of-pocket. One trip could cost you your life savings or put you into serious debt if you don’t have proper insurance.
Most people would never rent a car without getting the insurance. Why wouldn’t you insure your own body then?
Just to give you an example, my friend was recently traveling in Siberia and, unfortunately, she sprained her foot out of the blue on the stairs. Considering she could barely make it to the bathroom without help, travel insurance really came in handy in that situation!
It’s also very easy to get into an accident in places like Jordan or get food poisoning in Thailand. These problems can easily turn into disasters if you don’t have insurance. It will not just be very costly, but you’ll also have to try to figure out where to go on your own. SafetyWing, for instance, can help you find a partner clinic in the place you are located.
Another important time to have travel insurance is if you’re doing a trip to multiple countries. Doing a long Interrail trip through Europe, for example, can mean you might end up with travel delays or complications. Travel insurance would help protect you from any losses!
What does multi trip insurance mean?
Multi trip insurance is sometimes also called annual travel insurance (although there are plans that aren’t for a full year!).
But when would I need multi trip insurance, anyway?
This type of travel insurance is for people who are looking to have multiple trips covered, instead of just one single trip. It’s perfect for people who are long-term travelers and travel for months or years at a time.
Long-term travel insurance typically includes health insurance while you’re abroad, as well as trip cancellations, lost luggage, and delays. The aim of travel insurance is to prevent you from having to pay lots of out of pocket expenses when you end up with an unexpected problem.
So how does multi-trip travel insurance work?
As opposed to single trip insurance (where you get coverage just for that one trip), multi-trip insurance is created to offer you annual coverage for up to a full year of traveling or for periods of traveling beyond a few weeks (like 90-day travel insurance, for instance). Some plans may even allow you to adjust coverage on a month-to-month basis based on when you’re traveling and when you’re not.
Most plans also offer travel insurance in multiple countries or let you extend or purchase a plan from anywhere in the world!
Most travelers purchase a multi-travel insurance plan before they leave for their trip based on where they plan to go and how long they intend to be gone for. However, as lots of travelers know, things don’t always go according to plan! So some plans let you adjust or extend your plan based on changes in your travel plans.
The other option is to just get yearly travel insurance so that you’re covered for the full year.
Who is the best travel insurance provider, SafetyWing or World Nomads?
If you’ve ever had to use travel insurance, you learn quickly that not all travel insurance companies are the same. I’ve researched two of the top travel insurance companies, SafetyWing and World Nomads, and I’ll break it down for you so that you can understand the differences!
As I said at the beginning of the article, my personal preference is SafetyWing. It fits my needs, but I recommend you compare the travel insurance plans and see what you think:
|World Nomads Explorer Plan|
SafetyWing – made for digital nomads
SafetyWing is a relatively new option in the travel insurance market. Don’t let that scare you away though! They are backed by Tokio Marine, which is one of the largest insurance companies in the world. As a newer start up, they took a look at what long-term travelers and digital nomads need TODAY, not what they needed 10 or 15 years ago.
One reason a lot of people avoid getting travel insurance is the price. But one of the first things you notice about SafetyWing right off the bat is how cheap it. $37 per 4 weeks is pretty much unheard of when it comes to travel insurance. It breaks down to less than $1.50 a day. Even a budget traveler can afford insurance at that price!
So I was thinking what you’re probably thinking – If it’s that cheap, is it going to offer everything I need?
What SafetyWing offers:
- Medical expenses at common medical facilities, like hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and the emergency room
- Medical evacuation (up to $100,000)
- Emergency dental (up to $1,000)
- Emergency eye exam (up to $150)
- Trip interruption due to things outside of your control (up to $5,000)
- Lost checked luggage (up to $500 per item, up to $3,000 total)
- Natural disasters ($100 a day for 5 days)
- Travel delays ($100 a day for 2 days)
- Some coverage in your home country (30 days out of every 90, except for Americans who only get 15 days out of every 90)
You can get a full list of all the details of what they cover in their Description of Coverage. So it’s a fairly comprehensive plan for a very reasonable price.
What SafetyWing doesn’t offer:
- Travel in the U.S. (under the basic $37 / 4 week plan) – If you’re traveling to the U.S., the price of the plan almost doubles and is up to $68 / 4 weeks. I assume this is because of how expensive medical costs are in the U.S., but it’s definitely something to consider if your travel includes the U.S. You can turn on the U.S. insurance just for the time you’re planning on being in the U.S.
- Missed flights – If you accidentally miss a flight, that won’t be covered by SafetyWing. They only cover flights that are missed due to things out of your control. You won’t be covered if you just arrive late to the airport or sleep in and miss your flight.
- Stolen luggage or expensive electronics – This plan only covers lost checked luggage up to $500 per item. You aren’t covered if your bag is stolen or if you have expensive electronics that cost over $500 in your lost bag.
- Pre-existing conditions, cancer treatment, routine check-ups – It’s pretty normal for international travel health insurance plans not to cover these things, but it’s something you should be aware of, especially if you’re planning on cancelling your regular health insurance in your home country.
- Adventure activities – SafetyWing only provides limited coverage if you’re injured playing sports or doing “extreme” activities. Some of these activities include American football, soccer, and kite-surfing. You can find the full list on page 20 of their Description of Coverage, but that’s something you should take into consideration if you’re planning on doing any of those activities while abroad.
We all know an insurance plan can’t cover everything, but if you are planning on doing extreme sports or traveling with thousands of dollars of camera equipment, for example, these are definitely things you need to take into account.
Because I tend to travel pretty light in terms of electronics and extreme sports aren’t my thing, this plan works out well for me. But everyone is different!
- It’s flexible – You can basically think about this plan like your Netflix subscription. You have a monthly payment and can cancel when you need to. You can turn on auto renew (which is perfect if you’re a bit forgetful!) so it just automatically charges you and you never lose coverage. There’s no limit on how long you can travel and you can do everything online from wherever you are. You can even sign up from 180 countries while you’re already traveling!
- It’s super affordable – Like I’ve already mentioned, it’s a great option for any traveler, but especially for travelers on a budget. You get the coverage you need for a price that you can afford.
- You only pay $250 out of pocket maximum for medical expenses – You don’t have to worry about getting hit with huge out-of-pocket expenses. The most you pay per year (not per insurance case) with SafetyWing is $250 for medical expenses!
- It’s reliable and has 24/7 service – Because the company is backed by Tokio Marine, you know you’re in good hands. And there’s 24/7 support so you can always get in contact with someone at the company, which is important in the case of an emergency.
- There’s home coverage -This is a big thing for full-time travelers. Even digital nomads need to head home every once in awhile! If you no longer have health insurance in your home country and something happens while you’re home, this can cause a serious problem. SafetyWing understands travelers and because of that gives you some coverage at home, too.
- You can use it for short-term traveling too – I’ve focused on long trip travel insurance, but you can absolutely use this for short-term coverage as well. You just subscribe for the time you’ll be traveling and cancel when your trip is over. It’s the insurance that most digital nomads and long-term travelers around the world are starting to use. They travel full time so they know what’s best in terms of travel insurance! You can still take advantage of this product even if it’s just for a short trip here and there.
- Coverage for children is free – If you have a group plan, each adult on the plan can have one child (between 15 days old to 10 years old) on the plan for free. So you and your spouse could travel with your two children for no additional cost! There is a maximum of 2 children per group/family without additional cost.
- Travel to the U.S. is more expensive – If you’re planning a trip exclusively to the U.S., you’re going to end up paying almost double the cost of the normal plan. While it’s still an affordable option, it’s definitely something to take into consideration.
- Lost luggage is the only thing covered – Some plans from other companies will insure electronics and have you covered if your gear breaks or is stolen. As I mentioned, SafetyWing only covers each item in lost checked luggage up to $500. If you have anything more expensive than that, you’re not insured. If your bag gets stolen or something breaks, that isn’t covered at all in this plan.
PRO TIP: If you are a professional photographer or you want to take a lot of expensive electronics to your trip for some other reason, let professional services deal with it, it is not something travel insurance should be responsible for in anyway, plus, specialized services are cheaper. My advice would be to get a special insurance for your electronics separate in this case.
- This is not the plan for extreme athletes- If something you love to do while traveling is participating in extreme sports, this is clearly not the plan for you. You’re most likely going to need a plan that’s more expensive, but that covers you in ALL the activities you plan to do.
- You’re not covered EVERYWHERE – There are a few countries that SafetyWing doesn’t cover. If you’re traveling to North Korea, Cuba, or Iran, you aren’t covered at all. There are some companies that cover you regardless of where you are, so make sure that if you’re traveling to those countries, you have a plan that covers you.
World Nomads Travel Insurance
World Nomads insurance has been around since 2002 and has been a leader in travelers insurance. One of the selling points of World Nomads is that many people use it as their primary insurance and cancel their home insurance plans.
World Nomads also offers two plans, a Standard plan and an Explorer plan. The Standard plan is about $120+ /4 weeks and the Explorer plan is about $220+ / 4 weeks. However, prices change based on where you are traveling, how old you are, where you are from, etc.
What WorldNomads Offers:
- Emergency medical expenses (up to $100,000)
- Medical evacuation (up to $300,000)
- Emergency dental (up to $750)
- Trip Cancellation (up to $2,500)
- Trip interruption due to things outside of your control (up to $2,500)
- Trip Delay (up to $500)
- Reimbursement for loss, theft or damage during trip (up to $1,000)
- Lost checked luggage (up to $500 per item, up to $1,000 total)
- Baggage delay (up to $750)
- Some coverage for “Adventure Sports and Activities” (see full list to see what is covered)
For about $220 per month, you can get the Explorer plan, which covers all of what the Standard plan covers, but sometimes with higher limits and more coverage for extreme sports. For example, the Explorer plan ($220 a month) covers:
- Trip cancellation or interruption up to $10,000 (instead of $2,500)
- Baggage up to $3,000 (instead of $1,000)
- Collision Damage if you’re renting a car up to $35,000
- More extreme sports and activities (see full list to see what is covered)
What WorldNomads Doesn’t Cover:
- Home coverage – Your plan will automatically end if you are within 100 miles of your place of residence. This means if you decide to go home for a visit, you will have no coverage.
- Pre-existing conditions, cancer treatment, routine check-ups – Again, most travel insurance plans don’t offer this, but that could be problematic if you’re using World Nomads as your primary insurance plan.
- Gear damaged while in use – This plan doesn’t cover any thing that ends up damaged while you’re using it. For instance, if your hiking backpack breaks while you’re hiking, that’s not covered.
- Items left unattended in a public place – If your items get stolen because you leave them somewhere, that’s not covered by this plan.
- Eyeglasses- Nothing is covered if you have to replace eyeglasses.
- Adventure sports and activities coverage – If you’re an adrenaline junkie and know you can’t stay away from extreme activities, the Explorer plan is a good option. You’ll pay extra for the coverage, but you’ll be covered for almost all the activities you’d encounter on your trip.
- Coverage for stolen gear– If you’re worried about having your stuff stolen, World Nomad covers that for you. It’s one less thing you have to worry about on your trip.
- Protection if you’re renting a car – With the Explorer plan, you’re even covered if you decide to rent a car, which is a great way to travel around the country.
- Coverage for more expensive items – Again, with the Explorer plan, you get better protection for more expensive items like electronics. This is crucial if you’re traveling with a lot of expensive things.
- U.S. coverage – U.S. citizens also have coverage in the U.S. for no extra cost.
- The price – The biggest and most obvious con of World Nomads is how expensive it is. The plan that offers all of the most beneficial things and best coverage is the Explorer Plan, which is upwards of $220 a month. That breaks down to over $7.00 a day or $55 a week. That adds up really quickly!
- The lack of home coverage – If you’re a long-term traveler who goes home every couple months and then back out on the road, you need some home coverage. If you have a one-year travel insurance plan, that means you wouldn’t be able to go home with insurance coverage for a year!
- You’re not covered EVERYWHERE – Like SafetyWing, you can’t travel to North Korea, Cuba, or Iran under this plan.
- Coverage for children is VERY expensive – I couldn’t find much information about pricing for children so I just went to the website and put in a trip to get a quote. When traveling to Thailand and Vietnam, adding a child to the Standard Plan made the cost jump to $396 for a 4-week trip. For the Explorer plan, adding a child pushed the cost way up to $704. These prices went even higher for other destinations, as high as over $450 for the Standard and over $800 for the Explorer.
So, in the end, which one should you choose?
Okay, so I’ve gone more in depth about each plan, let’s compare the plans side by side.
The first major comparison is the price.
SafetyWing is less than a third of the price of the World Nomads!
And does World Nomads offer more significant benefits to justify the price? Nope. SafetyWing’s basic plan offers more financial coverage in most areas than World Nomad’s Standard Plan. Meaning you’re paying MORE for World Nomad’s plan with LESS coverage.
There are a few places that World Nomad offers more coverage, such as for stolen items or adventure sports, but these are mostly features of the Explorer Plan, meaning you’re paying almost 6 times the cost of SafetyWing for those features!
SafetyWing also has the huge benefit of letting you go home and be covered. It shows that they understand how people are traveling/living as digital nomads nowadays and they’re actually making an insurance plan that adjusts to their lifestyle.
If you’re traveling with kids, the price difference between the two companies is HUGE. SafetyWing lets you add two kids to your policy for free while World Nomads charges you more for children than the base price for an adult. Traveling with kids is already difficult enough, let alone if you have to pay $400 a month in travel insurance!
On the whole, I like SafetyWing better because it gives affordable coverage and it is easy to use. It covers everything I need!
The only time I would recommend World Nomads is for the adventure sports traveler. If price isn’t an issue (meaning you’re comfortable with paying for the more expensive Explorer plan) and you know you’re going to be doing those activities, then yes, you would be better off going with World Nomads!
For instance, if you’re doing hiking (for instance, Kilimanjaro, Patagonia, or Nepal), you’ll need to make sure you have coverage for your whole hike. The coverage is sometimes based on the altitude or type of hiking. If you get into a bad situation on the hike and have the right travel insurance, you can be airlifted out. This is also important if you’re renting a motorcycle, like I did in Thailand.
Be sure to check before you do any of these activities that your travel insurance will cover you in case of an accident!
Even if you’re not doing extreme activities though, you still need travel insurance! You don’t need travel insurance until all of a sudden you do.
But for short-term or long-term travel insurance, I don’t think you can do much better in terms of value for money than SafetyWing. You pay a VERY reasonable price for great coverage that just isn’t matched by World Nomads. I believe that SafetyWing currently offers the best multi- trip travel insurance on the market!
Bonus: Frequently Asked Questions about Travel Insurance
Now that you have my recommendations about what the best annual travel insurance is, I’m going to answer some practical questions about travel insurance that many travelers have:
Do some countries require you to have travel insurance?
Yes! There are various countries that require you to have travel health insurance to enter the country. Schengen Nations are 26 countries that require you to have at least $50,000 of medical coverage to enter. These countries include France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland (click here for a full list). If you’re traveling to any countries that are a part of Schengen, travel insurance is a must!
Cuba, Ecuador, Antarctica, Thailand, Qatar, Russia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates also require you to have travel insurance prior to entering the country.
Should I get travel insurance even for a short trip?
Yes! I know a lot of people think that for short trips, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Realistically, you have no idea what could happen. Nobody plans for accidents, illnesses, or mishaps, but sometimes they just happen.
There is nothing worse than being in a foreign country and not being able to get the medical resources you need.
SafetyWing is a great option for short-term travel insurance as well, because you can get it just for the time you need it. If you’re only going on a two-week trip, just subscribe for two weeks! You hopefully won’t need it, but if you do, you’ll be so glad you got it!
Why is annual multi-trip travel insurance cheaper than single?
This is a common misconception. Many people believe that it’s cheaper to get multi-trip holiday insurance if you take more than one trip a year. This all depends on the company!
Some companies do charge less for a long-term plan than for short-term plans. However, this isn’t always true. For instance, the price of SafetyWing doesn’t change whether you use it long term or short term. The cost per week is the same for a two-week trip as it is for yearly coverage.
Hopefully, now you know more about the perfect type of travel insurance for you! In this article, I talked about travel insurance and compared two companies, SafetyWing and World Nomads. After looking in depth at both services, I personally recommend SafetyWing because you get full coverage for a much better price. However, everyone is different, so each of us has different insurance needs for our travels!
No matter where you’re headed or for how long, you should definitely consider travel insurance. Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns in the comments, I’m happy to help!
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