Maybe becoming a traditional expat has become passé. (Though, at one time, I once was!, and I gleefully enjoyed it.)
These days, it is just so much cooler to haul everything to a storage unit and head off for Bali. Digital nomading—is there a good word for it?!—carries its pitfalls: there are no proper visas, so proper employment isn’t so proper, and thus, there is no proper healthcare. So like a good #sponsored #ad, SafetyWing is an option for all those uncovered folks out there.
Founded in 2017, SafetyWing offers travel medical insurance for digital nomads, with flexible pricing that is slightly different from other players on the market. The coverage is specifically designed for digital nomads, by digital nomads.
The point is, it is an offering that closes this gap in case you get completely *screwed* over.
Recently, the company raised a $3.5 million round, and while startups happen to be tricky businesses, the policy is administered by Tokio Marine, one of Japan’s largest insurance companies out there. (And we know how the Japanese love to dot their I’s and cross their T’s!)
Heck, maybe it’s time to get back to the freelance life.
Subscription pricing, for pretty much everywhere
SafetyWing covers most groups, though its pricing model revolves around travelers aged 18-39. It’s not too late to be a millennial, right?
Unlike most travel insurance plans, SafetyWing is different in that it follows a Netflix-like subscription pricing model (except this is for your health, not to binge watch Chilling Adventures of Sabrina). For a standard $37 for every 4 weeks, worldwide travel medical coverage is provided.
There’s an additional $31 surcharge for every four weeks in the U.S., but this should be fairly easy to accommodate for. Besides for context, isn’t that the cost of a cheap hotel room in Southeast Asia?
It’s worth pointing out most traditional travel insurance providers require travelers to know their travel plans ahead of time, and this is usually factored into the cost. (This isn’t really ideal if the goal is to become a free-floating hippie.)
That said, SafetyWing does cover short-term travelers for trips lasting at least five days. It can also be purchased the classic way for a specific duration.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how much SafetyWing would cost over time.
|Per 4 weeks||Cost|
*this doesn’t include the U.S. surcharge.
The company is planning to extend into a full comprehensive healthcare option for companies as well. In the future, plans include reducing the current deductible to zero, and increasing coverage to $1 million. Item insurance and extreme sports coverage options will also be added.
Flexibility on timing, and for families
For the most part, travel insurance necessitates it to be pre-purchased in advance: SafetyWing completely differs in the fact that it can be purchased while you’re already on the road (but not for an incident you had before the policy was bought! Come on, that’s bunk.)
It is available for purchase throughout 180 countries. There is no cap on the duration of travel; the plan automatically extends every 28 days until an end-date is set.
Every 90 days, SafetyWing also allows digital nomads medical coverage for 30 days in their home country if something happens while there. (U.S. citizens get 15 days, but that should at least half the tax exemption period in order to qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion.)
Here’s a nice to know thing: Families are also covered. One child is included with an adult, and there can be up to two children per family (meaning, the insurance is split between two adults). The kids do need to be between 14 days and 10 years old, so unless you plan on taking a newborn to the wilds of Africa, there’s nothing to worry about.
Toodle-loo! For more information, of course your best bet is to head over to the SafetyWing website.
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