What is more important than one’s health? Nothing, correct answer. It is, therefore, easy to stress how important it is to take out insurance when travelling abroad. From accidents to natural disasters, theft and flight cancellations, many variables can ruin an experience. Especially make it unforgettable for the wrong reason: so much money is spent to make up for unforeseen events otherwise covered by travel insurance.
Although it is not compulsory to enter many countries, counting on insurance guarantees peace of mind. Because in case of need, you have to shell out a lot of money for medical assistance. If you think this is a figure of speech, trust someone who broke his leg abroad and was treated until he was repatriated to Italy without paying anything, thanks to insurance.
Many people sometimes end up not taking insurance to save money, but today, there are several possibilities for digital nomads. Saying that the fee depends partly on age, destination, duration of the trip and the type of cover, in many cases, one can insure oneself for 40-50 euros per month. For those who are used to travelling, these are reasonable rates, also because in some cases the cover includes theft of work equipment, such as computers, cameras, smartphones and other vital tools through which one earns a living.
Why take out travel insurance
Summarising the reasons why it is good to take out insurance, the two main ones relate to trip cancellation and medical emergencies in the event of an accident. In the first case, when a flight or the entire planned trip is cancelled, insurance is synonymous with reimbursement, and the alternative is to lose the money already invested in airline tickets, hotel bookings and any access tickets for other facilities or activities purchased previously. As for accidents, those who have had to resort to hospital treatment during a stay abroad know that the costs can be very high, even for ultrasounds and medical examinations, so having cover can prove to be a lifesaver.
Other common and important situations to think about are lost or damaged luggage and emergency evacuation in the event of natural disasters or social unrest in the country you are in. The question for extreme sports and similar activities is more delicate, often requiring separate cover.
Reading everything well is a must – travel insurance
Although each person must assess which travel insurance or package is ideal for their needs, it is highly recommended to carefully read all the clauses in the contract to be informed about what to do and who to call in case of need. The worldwide spread of digital nomads has led insurance agencies to create tailor-made policies. It goes without saying that the traveller’s hope is never to need to take advantage of insurance coverage.
This, coupled with a good dose of optimism, might lead one to believe avoiding further expenses before a trip is better. In reality, all it takes is to have a problem once, compared to many other experiences that ended without mishaps, to discover that taking out medical and travel insurance means saving money. Many options are available online, and I discuss two of the most convincing.
One of the most popular for trips of up to six months, Heymondo is ideal for medical assistance, as it guarantees cover of up to €10 million (subject to conditions, of course). General travel insurance, which differs from annual and long-stay, includes emergency dental expenses of up to €500, reimbursement for medical examinations and pharmaceuticals of up to €2,000, repatriation and transport of the insured, up to €3,000 for robbery or fire of luggage (but with a maximum limit of €100 per item in the suitcase) and the same amount for cancellation or interruption of the trip.
Moving a family member in an emergency and legal assistance are also covered, while electronic equipment and adventure sports must be insured separately. Free of charge is the emergency call for assistance, available 24/7, while searching for information is very easy via the app available for iOS and Android. I recommend Heymondo as a solution for most needs of a digital nomad.
Part of WorldTrips, which in turn falls under the Japanese giant Tokio Marine, SafetyWing has attracted media attention for equalising the salaries of its workers: from the CEO to the newest of the nearly 70 full-time employees spread across dozens of countries, they earn the same amount. On a practical level, the startup is winning acclaim for the combination of coverage, cost and ease of medical insurance offered to digital nomads, remote workers and frequent travellers. In this case, the ideal insured falls in the 18-39 age bracket, for which the most affordable rates start at $45.08 per four weeks. Going up with age, the cost also increases.
Another functional choice for customers is the monthly payment, with the policy automatically renewing (or suspending at any time without penalty, depending on need), replicating what happens with audio and video streaming platforms. In addition, the standard cover includes one child for one adult. Lower than its competitors is the maximum threshold for accidents, trip cancellation and emergency evacuation, which is $250,000, while reimbursements for theft of electronic devices, adventurous activities such as skydiving and diving, and even motorbike accidents are not included in the contract if the insured does not have an international driving licence. It also does not offer cover for those travelling to Iran, Cuba and North Korea. Except for the lack of equipment and some sports, SafetyWing is undoubtedly a viable alternative, especially for those under 40.