The Ultimate Guide to Travel Insurance Coverage: Medical, Laptop, Credit Card Benefits, and More

By nature, travel is exciting and unpredictable, chaotic, and filled with the unexpected.  Though this is part of what makes wandering the world exciting, it is also what makes it risky at times.  So, what are we as travelers to do?  Sit around worried about the unexpected motorbike accident, food poisoning, or dog bite while we’re living out our dreams in some far off, island destination?  Absolutely not. That is what travel insurance is for – to prepare us for the unexpected so we can spend more time living in the moment. 

Canyoning in Vietnam and taking the chance to rappel inverted…covered by World Nomads.

Unfortunately, getting the right travel insurance can be confusing, nerve-wracking, and seem like an unnecessary scam (at least to me).  Don’t sweat – A Brother Abroad has your back. 

In this ultimate guide to travel insurance, I’ll simplify it all and recommend the best travel insurance for backpackers and ex-pats including emergency medical, laptop coverage, and other situations you might not have considered yet.

In my time abroad I spent the first half of the time without travel insurance except in extreme cases – like trekking to Everest Base Camp and visiting Beirut and Turkey.  After seeing friends crash motorbikes, get bit by bats and dogs with rabies (yes, seriously), and get hospitalized with “Bali Belly”, I now keep consistent travel insurance coverage, and I recommend it to every traveler – even the extremely lucky ones. Read on to benefit from that hard-earned knowledge and experience and find out which travel insurance is right for you needs, to avoid wasting your money and find the right coverage for your trip


Note: This article contains affiliate links. 


CONTENTS OF THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL INSURANCE GUIDE


WHY YOU NEED “TRAVEL INSURANCE”

Most travelers simply get travel insurance because they think they should or because someone told them too, but understanding why most travelers (and you specifically) may need travel insurance is the first step to getting the coverage that fits your needs and avoiding the chance of wasting your hard-earned cash.

Risking altitude sickness by attempting at handstand at 17,600ft at Everest Base Camp – covered by World Nomads with a potential helicopter flight out

Different “travel insurance” venues cover very different things – some cover emergency health situations, some cover routine situations, some cover itinerary changes and fees, and some cover car and motorbike rentals.  Narrowing down exactly what you need allows you to ensure you’re covered, and avoid wasting money buying coverage that is inadequate or that you’ll never actually use.

In my time traveling I’ve seen a lot of travelers actually need travel insurance and the most common situations fall into these categories:

Assess your needs in these five areas, and your chosen insurance coverage, and you’ll find the right travel insurance for your needs and adventures.

We’ll dig into these in a moment, but let’s get you the important info upfront on travel insurance coverage options.

Click here if you simply want to jump straight to my travel insurance recommendations

THE BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT

BEST OPTIONS FOR TRAVEL INSURANCE


The travel insurance guide that follows has everything you need to find the right travel insurance for your adventures, your travel style, and your budget. 

The short version: These are the travel insurance options I recommend, based on budget,  primary concerns, and type of travel. 

Hitchhiking on a barge to motorbike through Vietnam – covered by SafetyWing Travel Insurance

Click each to jump to its summary, benefits, cost, who I recommend it for, and fine print you should be aware of.

EVERYTHING I WOULD WANT TO KNOW ABOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE

(THE SHORT VERSION)


The travel insurance guide that follows is everything you need to find the right travel insurance for you. The snippets that follow are a summary of everything I would have wanted to know when I was initially researching travel insurance

  • Organized sports, practices, and training for adventure sports (surf camps, SCUBA training, freediving) isn’t covered.
  • You should confirm that any surf camp, SCUBA diving course, or freediving course provides insurance for the experience
  • Motorbiking without a license, without a helmet, or while intoxicated nullifies emergency medical insurance
  • Your credit card likely provides emergency medical coverage, lost baggage insurance, and other benefits, but you need to buy the flight with the benefit bearing credit card.
  • Any condition you’ve had in the 90 days prior starting your travel insurance will likely not be covered
  • Hospitals in the developing world will kick you out after a day or 2 if you can’t pay

In addition to these travel insurance recommendations, here are my 10 top tips for avoiding the need to use travel insurance.  Yes, they’re extremely obvious – but following these would have prevented 90% of the traveler issues I’ve witnessed

  • Always wear a helmet when riding a motorbike – the major injuries I’ve seen have been serious head injuries
  • DO NOT ride a motorbike for your first time in a big, Southeast Asian city.  Take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course or similar before coming.
  • Never ride a motorbike intoxicated
  • Carry a small first aid kit, including Neosporin, Bismuth tabs, and a few odds and ends when you travel
  • Talk to your doctor about taking a broad-spectrum antibiotic (like Penicillin or Amoxicillin) with you
  • If you it street food, only eat well-done meat, straight off a fired grill
  • When getting to a new country, avoid raw vegetables and meats until your stomach has adjusted
  • Before travel, visit the CDC Travel website to determine how safe the water is to drink and brush your teeth
Going elbows deep into Thai street food and risking God knows what – with the potential aftermath covered by SafetyWing

…now back to that extremely thorough travel insurance guide…

THE 5 REASONS FOR TRAVEL INSURANCE…

INJURY, ILLNESS, EVACUATION, LOST BAGS, AND BROKEN VALUABLES


Let’s look into the top 5 reasons to have travel insurance, and the coverage you’ll need so that you can ensure your choice of travel insurance is right for you.

  • Injury: Motorbike crashes, cliff jumps gone wrong, and stumbles
  • Illness : Stomach bugs, parasites, and unexpected infections
  • Evacuation : Life flights to “First World” Healthcare
  • Lost Bags: Replacing lost bags, paying for incidentals with delayed bags
  • Lost or Damaged Valuables: Laptops, Cameras, and Smartphones

INJURY: MOTORBIKES, CLIFF JUMPS, AND RUN-INS WITH STRAY DOGS

Accidental injury is the most likely reason that you’ll end up using (or needing) travel insurance.  For all of my friends that have traveled for at least 3 months through every single one have crashed a motorbike at some point (except for me, haha).  The “Thai Tattoo” is more common, and likely  This just goes to show that an unexpected accident is likely right around the corner.

Attempting to kiss a wild monkey. Not the best idea, but at least the clinic visit to get tested was covered

Granted, for most motorbike accidents, most experienced travelers can clean up the scrapes themselves with saline, then apply gauze and Neosporin.  The off chance is that the accident will be much worse, requiring more (and costlier) care than you’re anticipating.

What insurance covers accidental Injury during travel?

  • World Nomads for an all-around travel coverage option good for “round the world” trips
  • Safety Wings: A budget-friendly option (~$1 per day) that focuses on medical only
  • Revolut Travel insurance: A budget-friendly option (~$50 per year) For digitally savvy travelers
  • IMG Global for ex-pats, abroad for more than 12 months

Here are a few “worst-case scenarios” that are more common than you think…


THE INJURIES YOU’LL LIKELY USE INSURANCE FOR

I’m not a pessimist, I’m just an experienced wanderer, and if you’re like 97% I know, one of these situations will be the reason you visit a clinic.

  • Motorbike accidents
  • Bumps, bruises, & scrapes
  • Animal bites: Dog bites, cat scratches, and Thai fire dancers (long story)…
  • Accidents during excursions: Cliff jumping, ATV’ing…pub crawls
  • Accidents during adventure sports: Surfing, Rock Climbing, Mountain Biking, etc.)
  • Infections & Parasites: Intestinal Infections, Staph Infections, etc.

Most “accidents” you have during travel will happen during this shortlist of activities.  If you plan to do any of the above, absolutely get travel insurance, ensure your insurance covers accidents that happen during these activities, and understand the “fine print” of each.

Thousands of miles on Delilah (the motorbike) with not a single crash (knock on wood) but I made sure to keep World Nomads coverage the entire time

Injury Example 1: Motorcycles + No Helmet = Bad Situation

An example of a worst-case scenario is a friend of a friend who crashed his motorbike and met the Balinese pavement headfirst.  He spent 3 days in a hospital with brain bleeds before checking himself out early (because he was out of money) and suffered a stroke 5 days later in Australia because his symptoms weren’t monitored – he ran out of cash and couldn’t pay for the check-ups.  We haven’t heard from him since.

If you think that accident is an anomaly of travels, here’s one from a month ago…


Example 2: Every Adventure Can End Up Bloody…Even Surfing

I had just finished surfing at my local surf break and a Russian fella, clearly, a new surfer, crawled out of the water holding his stomach.  When we pulled into the beach shack we realized he got bounced off the bottom and hit the reef stomach first.  He was bleeding dark blood from a cut just above his liver out of a cut 3 inches wide by 3/4 inches deep.  We applied pressure and handed him over to a driver but that was the best we could do.  No ambulance.  No EMT’s.  No lifeguard.  Not even any bandages available (I forgot my first aid kit that day).

My latest adventure: surfing on Bali. I make sure to never paddle out without medical insurance, and these days SafetyWing is cheap enough that I can maintain that good habit.

This all happened at the spot I surf nearly every day.

The point of these gruesome examples isn’t that these situations are common – because they’re definitely not.  The point is that when worst-case scenario


Example 3: Hospitals in the Developing World Will Kick You Out If You Can’t Pay Cash and Don’t Have Insurance

Beyond the worst-case scenario, if you don’t have the cash on hand to pay in an emergency, because if you can’t pay, you will be kicked out.

A friend who suffered a head injury quickly racked up a $1500 USD bill, at which point the hospital said he needed to pay up, show insurance, or he would be discharged – and he was still in bad shape.  He’d finally recovered the wallet he lost and was able to stay for a few more days, as recommended by the docs, but without insurance or cash to pay, he wouldn’t have fared well.


What insurance covers injuries during travel?
  • World Nomads for an all-around travel coverage option good for “round the world” trips
  • Safety Wings: A budget-friendly option (~$1 per day) that focuses on medical only
  • Revolut Travel insurance: A budget-friendly option (~$50 per year) For digitally savvy travelers
  • IMG Global  for ex-pats, abroad for more than 12 months

Click to jump to recommended emergency medical insurances


ILLNESS: FOOD POISONING & INFECTIONS

When you travel, you shouldn’t just worried about SARS and the Coronavirus.  Actually, you would only have to worry about those in rare cases.

In terms of illness, you should absolutely be aware (but not worried) about the following

  • Food poisoning, stomach issues, and intestinal issues
  • Infections
  • Parasites

These seem like small issues, and they are easily solved, but in many cases, a doctor’s visit is required.  If you’re unlucky enough to pick up a parasite traveling through Southeast Asia or South America, or suffer some kind of infection, the doctor’s prognosis about exactly what kind of bug you’re dealing with will be essential to choosing the right antibiotic, antiparasitic, or anti-fungal medication and getting rid of the bug as quickly as possible and with as little damage as possible.

An example of an extreme case happened with my girlfriend in Bali.  Here on Bali, EVERYONE gets sick (everyone except for me that is 🙂 ).  She’d been feeling kind of off with “Bali belly”, feeling weak, and a handful of other symptoms for a few weeks.  If I were her, I would have just gone to the pharmacy, bought some broad-spectrum antibiotics (Amoxycillin) and called it quits.  Luckily we didn’t go with my route. 

Three different pharmacies described three different things for three different potential bugs.  She finally broke down and went in for a test – $1000 of them – to find out it was a completely different bug that I’d never heard of and requiring a specific antifungal.

Comparing the two situations, 6 months of travel insurance is about $195 with Safetywings and would have covered this situation that ended up costing $1000.

Along the same lines, some friends in Laos were scratched by a dog that potentially had rabies – so they had 24 hours to get the anti-rabies meds before things went awry.  Luckily, their insurance covered the quick travel out and the high cost of the rabies meds (~$600 here on Bali for foreigners).  Another good case for paying the $40 per month for travel insurance.

The Bottom Line on Travel Insurance for Getting Sick:  Illnesses on the road and when you’re being adventurous can be riskier and costlier than you expect.  Hedge the potential $1000 by paying the $40 for a month of insurance and ensuring your insurance covers you for emergency medical, infections and illnesses and know how to use the coverage.

Click to jump to recommended medical insurances


EVACUATION: MEDICAL AND CIVIL UNREST

There are two types of evacuation you need to check your insurance for to ensure you’re ready for the worst, if the country your traveling to warrants it.

Medical evacuation and evacuation for civil unrest.


MEDICAL EVACUATIONS & LIFE FLIGHTS

Ensure that any insurance you buy has this coverage.

In the event that the country you’re in does not have the ability to treat you, medical evacuation coverage pays for the “life flight” to get you to your home country, or a country with adequate medical services, by any means necessary. This flight alone can cost upwards of $25,000 dollars, which you’ll have to pay for in cash if you don’t have coverage.

Does this sound farfetched? Well here’s an example.

Here on Bali when I first got into freediving, a friend of a friend (from California) died because of freediving, but not during freediving.

The fella was training for freediving in a pool and had a “shallow water blackout” and wasn’t found for a few minutes, but he was found, unconscious.  His lungs were cleared and was transported to the hospital ASAP, alive at the time.  He died two days later.

Low key freediving to 30 feet down, still covered by SafetyWing

During that period, the Indonesian hospital did everything they could, but it was only so much compared to an average western hospital.  He didn’t have insurance, so the hospitals with a higher quality of care wouldn’t take him.  And he had no insurance or cash that anyone knew of, so a life flight was out of the question.  So, unfortunately, he died in Bali.

This is a more common possibility than you think.

I have another friend who had some issues in Bali that the hospitals here couldn’t handle, so they referred her to Singapore while she could still travel.  Unfortunately, that surgery was botched leaving her with internal bleeding that the doctors there couldn’t handle.  Luckily for her, the Dutch medical insurance she was covered underpaid the cost of the $25,000 life flight back to the Netherlands, where she received the care she needs and survived.

One more story involves a backpacker traveling through Laos and cliff jumping in the jungle.  He bottomed out on a particular jump, burying mud and rocks in his foot that quickly became infected.  Fast forward weeks later and the medical teams in Laos weren’t able to offer the care he needed, leading to a flight home and amputation.  Though he did survive, he only has one leg because he didn’t act in time and have the resources to get out sooner.

The Bottom Line: If you’ll be wandering through South America, Southeast Asia, or Africa, ensure your insurance covers medical evacuation, so you’ll be prepared for the worst.

Civil Unrest Evacuation

Some of the most beautiful and impactful places I’ve traveled to have been the sketchiest.  From the beautiful beaches and fairytale landscapes of Cappadocia, Turkey while Trump was digitally beefing it out with Erdogan, to visiting Israel and getting threatened with kidnapping in the West Bank, to visiting Egypt a few days before a terrorist attack and Beirut during some tense times, I’ve definitely experienced some destinations that weren’t all sunshine and rainbows.

Evacuation for civil and political unrest covers the cost of a flight out if the situation becomes dangerous and flights out via “normal means” aren’t possible.

During the Arab Spring (~2011), as the war started to break out in Libya and flights stopped flying, the US and European militaries would evacuate civilians, flying them from the embassies and protecting them on warships.  That sounds like a fun story, but travelers have to pay the price to get the rest of the way back home eventually.  

Evacuation during civil unrest covers those costs, or even the cost of a helicopter out of the middle of the city if things get too hot.

Granted, not everyone will need this, but if you’re traveling to certain parts of the Middle East and Africa, I highly recommend considering it as a precaution.  Personally, I picked up insurance with this coverage for my trips through Turkey, Lebanon, Palestine, and the West Bank, and Egypt. 

I recommend checking the US State Department Travel Alert site and doing the same according to updated ratings and recommendations.


WHAT INSURANCE COVERS EVACUATION DURING TRAVEL?

Emergency medical insurance for travel periods shorter than 12 months, and the best options are offered are

  • World Nomads provides all-around travel coverage option good for “round the world” trips
  • Safety Wings is a budget-friendly option (~$1 per day) that focuses on medical only
  • IMG Global is perfect for ex-pats traveling abroad for more than 12 months
  • Chase Sapphire Travel Benefits provides some great emergency benefits, for travel less than 30 days

Jump to recommended insurances for Medical and Civil Unrest Evacuations


LOST BAGGAGE AND THEFT

No “travel” insurance that I know of provides worthwhile insurance for lost baggage, damage, or theft.

On the other hand, travel credit cards and renters insurance provide excellent coverage for these items, making a good travel credit card and renters insurance clutch additions during travel.  Don’t worry, we’ll get into that later.

Jump to Recommended Insurance for Lost Baggage, Theft, and Valuables


LOST OR DAMAGED VALUABLES: LAPTOPS, CAMERAS, AND SMARTPHONES

These days, everyone carries some kind of tech. A laptop.  A tablet.  A Camera.  A smartphone.  These can enhance travel (if you don’t stay glued to them), but they’re as delicate as a six-year old’s dreams and can be easily stolen.

During my trips abroad, I’ve had two cell phones stolen, and dropped and broken two laptops (that my livelihood depended on).  For the smartphones, I was simply screwed and ended up buying new ones.

For the laptops, luckily, I was covered by renters insurance that had personal property insurance covering the cost of the laptops minus a $200 deductible.  All in all, my $200 per year renter’s insurance saved me $3000 in laptops.  An excellent tradeoff, in my opinion.

Even if you’re not as accident-prone as I am, you do still stand the chance of theft.  A good renter’s insurance policy will also cover the theft of your covered items, no matter where in the world you are.

If you carry a lot of tech and don’t have the free cash to replace it, I highly recommend a good renters & personal property insurance policy.


WHAT INSURANCE COVERS LOST BAGGAGE DURING TRAVEL?

WHAT INSURANCE COVERS LOST OR BROKEN LAPTOPS AND VALUABLES?

Click here to jump to my two favorite renter’s insurance / personal property insurance recommendations

IMPORTANT THINGS TO UNDERSTAND WITH YOUR INSURANCE

Before you can pick the right insurance, you need to understand the most important areas

For any travel insurance you get, you should review these three areas well, and compare them across policies before opting for a specific policy.


COVERAGE LIMITS

Each type of incident has a different maximum coverage amount that the insurance company will cover, and you need to be aware of this number.  Ensure these limits are well above what you would need in an emergency and cover all of the areas you would likely need coverage in

For instance, World Nomad’s maximum coverage amounts are as follows

  • Trip Protection: $10,000
  • Emergency Medical Insurance: $100,000
  • Emergency Evacuation: $500,000
  • Protecting Your Gear: $3000
  • Rental Car Damage: Value of Vehicle
  • Emergency Dental: $3000
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment: $1,000,000
  • Learn more about World Nomad’s coverage at https://www.worldnomads.com/usa/travel-insurance/whats-covered

As high as these numbers look, a routine accident can quickly run up a bill of $2000 in a non-western country, a life flight starts around $25,000, and an unlikely traumatic incident (losing a limb, difficult medical evacuation to a western country) can inch towards $40,000 to $50,000 pretty quickly.

When comparing travel insurance policies be sure to not just look at price, but also compare coverages and coverage limits to ensure they can actually cover the worst-case scenario


THE “FINE PRINT” CLAUSES THAT NULLIFY COVERAGE

Every travel insurance policy has limits, and reading the “fine print” of the coverage can help you understand this before you push limits of your policy.

For instance, with World Nomads you are covered in any country that you travel to as long as you are at least 50 miles from your home country.

Additionally, World Nomad’s Explorer plan covers a long list of Adventure sports but there are some preconditions to coverage.  As an example, surfing is covered, but there must be a lifeguard on duty – knowing this before you file will save you a lot of headache and disappointment.

With Revolut Travel Insurance you must have your phone with you to be covered.

For most emergency medical insurances, the coverage is nullified if you’re intoxicated, not wearing a helmet, or driving without an appropriate license 

Bottom Line on The Fine Print: Click through all of those extra links to uncover the fine print or jump to our policy by policy overviews below for the summary version and highlights of the fine print, to get you started.


UNDERSTANDING PRE-VISIT PROCESSES FOR HAVING A CLAIM APPROVED QUICKLY

To file a claim painlessly you have to know the process and requirements ahead of time for your specific travel insurance company.

For instance, with Revolut Travel Insurance (provided by the Credit Card company Revolut) you only need to call their 24 hour assistance line or email the receipts to start and get walked through a claim.  It doesn’t matter if this call happens before or after the incident.

For other, lesser companies, the process can involve pre-approval and contacting them in their timezone prior to treatment – otherwise you’ll have to fight for reimbursement.

To ensure a stress free or at least lower stress experience when things go wrong during travel, research the claim process to see if its right for your needs.

We’ll get into the best travel insurance options based on the major categories of health, trip disruption, gear coverage, adventure activities coverage, and evacuation, but first lets review the best travel insurance options overall.

WHAT’S NOT COVERED UNDER MOST INSURANCE

No insurance covers everything, and every insurance has the fine print of things that we may think we’re covered for but aren’t.  Make the most of your travel insurance by remembering these scenarios wherein you will most likely not be covered…

  • Driving a motorbike while intoxicated, while not wearing a helmet, or without an appropriate license: You shouldn’t be doing this anyways though…
  • Organized sports,  scheduled practices or games, playing in tournaments, or playing professionally
  • Pre-existing conditions, which usually entails anything that you have exhibited symptoms for, or had treatment for, in the last 90 days
  • Adventure sports without adequate supervision or safety measures
  • Coverage in your home country
Dirtbiking around the islands of Thailand – As awesome as this brief adventure was, it was risky and not covered by my travel insurance. One more reason to be aware of the fine print

Note: If you are attending a camp for an adventure sport, like a surf camp, SCUBA diving course, or Freediving course, ensure the instructor and company delivering the training provide insurance – this will cover the gap in your travel insurance.

A COMPARISON AND REVIEW OF THE BEST TRAVEL INSURANCE OPTIONS

TO HELP YOU FIND THE RIGHT TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR YOU
  • World Nomads: Best All-Around Travel Insurance for Travel of 12 Months or Less
  • SafetyWing:  Best Budget Medical Travel Insurance, Best for Digital Nomads
  • Revolut Travel Insurance: Best Short Term Travel Insurance (less than 3-month travel stints), Best for Digital Nomads
  • IMG Global:  Best Medical Insurance for Expats (12+ Months Abroad)
  • Chase Sapphire Travel Insurance Coverages: Best for Baggage, Trip Interruption, and Purchases 
  • Lemonade: Great Personal Property Insurance for Short Term (~3 months) Travel, Solid for Digital Nomads
  • Clements: Great International Travel Personal Property Insurance for Long Term Travel
  • Allianz Global

THE BEST TRAVEL INSURANCE OPTIONS

Blanket insurance that covers medical emergencies, evacuations, trip interruptions, baggage issues, and more.  Read on to discover the best travel insurance options for every travel style and budget…

WORLD NOMADS

Best All-Around Travel Insurance

World Nomads is a well-known insurance option among backpackers.  Their coverages extend into adventure sports (like hiking and trekking) and cover nearly every activity on a trip around the world.  I have plenty of friends who’ve made claims, even for helicopter evacuation off of the Everest Base camp trek, and highly recommend it

Leaping off a cliff in Thailand, but not without travel insurance. World Nomads had me on this one.
PROSCONS
Great, extensive coverage   Seemingly pricey (but you get what you pay for)

My Thoughts on World Nomads Travel Insurance: If you can afford it, get it.


WORLD NOMADS COVERAGE: WHATS’ COVERED?


 

WORLD NOMADS BENEFITS AND SERVICES

  • 24 Hour Concierge: 1-603-328-1329
  • Medical Consultation and Monitoring
  • Medical Evacuation Arrangements
  • Emergency Medical Payments
  • Prescription Assistance
  • Repatriation of Remains
  • 24 Hour Legal Assistance
  • Nurse Helpline
  • Message Services
  • Language Interpretation Services
  • Emergency Cash Transfer
  • Pre-Trip Travel Services
  • Travel Document and Ticket Replacement

WHAT’S NOT COVERED BY WORLD NOMADS

Preexisting conditions, or any issue that you experienced symptoms for within 90 days before the start of the plan


ESTIMATED PRICE OF WORLD NOMADS TRAVEL INSURANCE



WORLD NOMADS FINE PRINT

  • Motorbike incidents involving alcohol or recklessness aren’t covered
  • Coverage only applies 50+ miles away from home (confirm in your plan before purchase)

SAFETYWING INTERNATIONAL HEALTH COVERAGE

Safetywing is a new, popular option with budget travelers for insurance that covers your emergency medical needs on a cheap (~$1 per day) subscription basis.  Coverage is easy to signup for, easy to claim, and easy to cancel 

Trekking into the muddy wilds of Southeast Asia, specifically Laos. One of the many adventures covered by SafetyWing

Click here to read the full SafetyWing Travel Insurance Review


PROSCONS
Relatively cheap
Easy sign-up and file
Newer company, still establishing a reputation  

WHAT’S COVERED UNDER SAFETYWING TRAVEL INSURANCE

  • Unexpected illness or injury, including eligible expenses for hospital, doctor or prescription drugs
  • Emergency travel-related benefits such as emergency medical evacuation, bedside visit,
  • Travel delay benefits
  • Lost checked luggage 

Click to read our SafetyWing Insurance Review for more info on what’s covered and what’s not


WHAT’S NOT COVERED UNDER SAFETYWING TRAVEL INSURANCE

Click here to learn more under the SafetyWing FAQ


HOW TO FILE A CLAIM WITH SAFETYWING

The Short Answer: Send screenshots of original, itemized receipts and a filled out claimant statement (available at https://safetywing.com/static/media/hccmis_claimants_statement_safety_wing.c2f4318d.pdf) to service@hccmis.com.

For a full step by step process of filing a claim with SafetyWing, read the “How to Make a Claim” section of our full SafetyWing Review 


ESTIMATED SAFETYWING COVERAGE PRICE

MONTHLY COVERAGE
  • 10-39 Years Old: $37/mo.     | Including US coverage $68/mo.
  • 40-49 Years Old: $60 /mo.    | Including US coverage $112/mo.
  • 50-59 Years Old: $94/mo.     | Including US coverage $184/mo.
  • 60-69 Years old: $128/mo.    | Including US coverage $250 mo.
  • Children (Under 9): $0

DAILY COVERAGE
  • 10-39 Years Old: $1.25/day | Including US coverage $2.25/day
  • 40-49 Years Old: $2 /day       | Including US coverage $3.75/day
  • 50-59 Years Old: $3.15/day | Including US coverage $6.15/day
  • 60-69 Years old: $4.25/day   | Including US coverage $8.35/ day
  • Children (Under 9): $0

Click here to check SafetyWing Rates for Your Specific Trip


FINE PRINT OF SAFETYWING INSURANCE

Sports activities must be adequately supervised and appropriate safety gear is used at all times


Interested in SafetyWing Travel Insurance?  Click here to read the full SafetyWing Review and see if its right for your travels

or

Click here to learn more about SafetyWing and run a free quote


SAFETYWING VS. WORLD NOMADS

SafetyWing is a great traveler emergency medical insurance option that is cheap. Relative to the bigger, more well-known option, SafetyWing vs. World Nomads delivers emergency medical for much cheaper (~$40 per month vs. roughly ~$100 per month for World Nomads).

Keep in mind that World Nomads offers many benefits beyond emergency medical, concierge, trip planning services, and a full list of other benefits (click here to see the full list of World Nomads benefits), in addition to a trusted brand name (whereas SafetyWing is fairly new and still collecting reviews about its coverages and claims processes, but I’ve had a great experience with them so far).

If you’re just interested in emergency medical coverage and concerned with saving your hard-earned dollars (or Euros), consider SafetyWing over World Nomads to save ~$70 a month.

(Click here to run a free SafetyWing Insurance quote for your trip)

REVOLUT TRAVEL INSURANCE

Revolut is a new credit card company that offers some amazing financial services for travelers (read the full review on their credit card here**), but, a well-kept secret is Revolut travel insurance coverage that’s incredibly cheap (~$40 per year) or free (included with the premium card) and primarily covers emergency medical services.

Part of the reason their credit card services are so great is that they respond directly to the needs of travelers – and travel insurance is definitely a need for travelers.  Revolut incorporates travel insurance into their existing services (the Revolut Debit/Credit Card) and takes it a step further.

Revolut’s travel insurance is cheap – ~$1.25 per day up to a ~$40 per year maximum fee.  The travel insurance is actually free if you sign up for the Revolut premium, which includes a host of other benefits.

The coverage delivers worldwide emergency medical and dental coverage as well as coverage for delayed flights and baggage,  paid directly into your Revolut account.

Better yet, the travel insurance uses the geolocation of your phone (and the app) to automatically flip on when you travel, charging about ~$1.25 a day until you hit that ~$40 limit for the year


WHAT’S COVERED


WHAT’S NOT COVERED

  • Canceled flights or delayed domestic flights
  • Certain preexisting conditions

HOW TO FILE A CLAIM WITH REVOLUT

  •  Head into the Revolut app and look for the “Insurance” section.  You’ll find the claims email in there.  Email them to start the claim and plan to email them snapshots of your itemized receipts.
  • Prep-note: Be sure to keep itemized receipts of all of your expenses, and take pictures as backups ASAP

REVOLUT TRAVEL INSURANCE PRICE

Free with Revolut Premium. Revolut Premium is ~$14 per month


CONS OF REVOLUT TRAVEL INSURANCE

Revolut Travel Insurance Requires you to pay for your medical bills upfront (with cash or another credit card) and file for reimbursement later

NOTE: The Revolut card is a debit card, not a credit card, so you will need a way to pay for the initial medical bills


REVOLUT TRAVEL INSURANCE BENEFITS

  • Insurance automatically turns on when you leave your home country, thanks to in app Geo-location
  • Easily add coverage for winter sports
  • Add up to 3 companions and an unlimited number of children

REVOLUT TRAVEL FINE PRINT

  • You MUST have your phone with you to be covered
  • Maximum trip duration is 40 days (the clock is reset with each flight, but contact Revolut to confirm you’re covered in your specific situation)
  • Claims can be filed through 24/7 service for medical emergencies at +44 1733 224956
  • Underwriter White Horse Insurance Ireland dac provides the underlying insurance

USEFUL REVOLUT LINKS AND SOURCES

ALLIANZ GLOBAL ASSISTANCE

Allianz Global Assistance is another trusted insurance and provider among the travel community, great for travel of up to 40 days.  Their tiered insurance allows you to pay for only the coverage you need – emergency medical (under the basic plan), including trip cancellation and interruption insurance (under the prime plan), and bumping up coverages (under the executive plan)


What’s Covered (Under the Allianz Global Basic Plan) (~$60 per year)


What’s Covered (Under the Allianze Global Prime and Executive Plan)


WHAT’S NOT COVERED UNDER ALLIANZ GLOBAL PLANS

Preexisting conditions, or any issue that you experienced symptoms for within 90 days before the start of the plan


ALLIANZ GLOBAL PRICE

~$60/annually for basic, ~$225/annually for prime, $450 annually for executive coverage

PROS CONS
Great, extensive coverage Seemingly pricey  

Bottom Line on Allianz Global Travel Insurance: If you can afford it, get it

CHASE SAPPHIRE CREDIT CARD’S TRAVEL BENEFITS

The Chase Sapphire is an amazing credit card with a huge mileage bonus and has some travel insurance perks.

Note that the Chase Sapphire travel benefits don’t offer much coverage for health issues and accidents during the trip, but mostly cover flights, delayed flights, and baggage.  Because of this I do recommend using the Chase Sapphire card to book flights – and get that flight & luggage protection – but stack it with a travel insurance option that offers emergency medical coverage for the duration of your trip.


WHAT’S COVERED BY CHASE SAPPHIRE TRAVEL BENEFITS

  • Trip Cancellation and Interruption: $10,000 per prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses – caused by injury, sickness, severe weather, terrorist hijacking,
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage: Up to the value of the rented car for physical damage, theft, towing, and “loss of use” charges by agency
  • Trip Delay Reimbursement: Covers meals, lodging, and incidentals for air/bus/train/ship delays longer than 12 hours
  • Lost Baggage: Up to $3,000 to repair or replace lost or damaged luggage and goods
  • Baggage Delay Insurance: $100 per day
  • Emergency Medical or Dental Coverage: $2500
  • Emergency Evacuation (Medical): ” The evacuation must be pre-approved by the Benefit Administrator in consultation with a legally licensed Physician who certifies that emergency evacuation is warranted due to the severity of the injury or sickness.”
  • Emergency Transport to Beside (Medical): Relative to you.
  • Extended Warranty Protection: Adds 1 year of warranty coverage to all purchases on the card for up to $10,000
  • Purchase Protection: Covers new purchases for 120 days against theft or damage up to $10,000
  • Travel Accident Insurance: Loss of life and repatriation of remains covered up to $1,000,000
  • Other Coverages: Return Protection, Roadside Assistance

WHAT’S NOT COVERED BY CHASE SAPPHIRE BENEFITS

  • Emergency medical or accidents during your travels (after your flight lands)

CHASE SAPPHIRE TRAVEL CREDIT CARD PRICE

  • $95 per year annual fee for the credit card, the travel benefits are free (in addition to that)

HOW TO FILE A CLAIM

  • Call 1-888-675-1461 for information or to file a claim or you can also file a claim online at www.eclaimsline.com

CHASE SAPPHIRE BENEFITS FINE PRINT

  • Emergency Medical Evacuation only applies if trip is more than 5 days long and less than 60 days.
  • Emergency Medical coverage does not apply for skydiving, scuba, skin, or deep-sea diving, Hang gliding, parachuting, rock climbing and contests of speed.
  • Source : Chase Sapphire Benefits Guide

IMG GLOBAL (EXPAT INSURANCE)

For travelers that will be outside of the US for longer than 12 months, coverage suited to ex-pats is more suitable to their travels, and the IMG Global policy is an excellent ex-pat insurance option.

Above normal travel insurance, ex-pat insurance (and IMG Global insurance) covers more routine checkups and exams, to keep you in good health throughout your travels, and not just patch you up in an emergency


WHAT’S COVERED WITH IMG GLOBAL HEALTH INSURANCE

  • Emergency Medical and some routine medical
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Terrorism
  • Adventure Sports
  • Routine medical

WHAT IMG GLOBAL HEALTH INSURANCE DOESN’T COVER

  • Some adventure sports

GREAT BONUSES OF IMG GLOBAL HEALTH INSURANCE

  • Traveling for a year or more
  • Waive 50% of the deductible by choosing treatment outside of the US

Visit IMG Global Health Insurance homepage for more info

INSURING VALUABLES AND BELONGINGS

Many travelers (including me) are more concerned with protecting their laptops, smartphones, and GoPros than their own limbs.  Normal travel insurance doesn’t cover damage or theft to your valuables during most periods of travel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t insure your tech.

Read on for a handful of convenient and cheap options protecting that prized MacBook, tablet, or whatever else keeps you connected.

LEMONADE RENTERS AND PROPERTY INSURANCE

FOR EXISTING GEAR ON TRIPS LESS THAN 3 MONTHS

Renters insurance is a perfect option to cover your belongings, even when you’re not exactly renting.  During my travels, I broke 2 laptops and 2 cell phones, all of which were covered by renters insurance policies and replaced (minus a low-cost deductible).

There are many options for renters insurance and you might already have coverage which should suffice.  If you don’t, consider Lemonade as an option. 

Lemonade renter’s insurance is on par with any other, but is easy to sign up for, and easy to manage via an app.  “90 seconds to get insured, 3 minutes to get paid” is how they describe their coverage.


WHAT’S COVERED UNDER LEMONADE PROPERTY AND RENTER’S INSURANCE

  • Portable Electronics: $1500 (adjustable for your preferences and policy)
  • Personal Property (at home): $50,000
  • Options: Adding a $1,000 camera is additional $.75 per month:

This is based on a $33 per month policy tailored to my


WHAT’S COVERED UNDER LEMONADE RENTERS AND PROPERTY INSURANCE


WHAT’S NOT COVERED UNDER LEMONADE INSURANCE

  • Accidental damage or loss (requires additional coverage with the $33 per month plan I built)

Click here to read most of what’s not covered under Lemonade Insurance


LEMONADE INSURANCE PRICE

~$33 per month with a $250 deductible and a $1500 laptop covered for damage, or $9 covered for just theft (which is what I currently have)

Adjustable for increased laptop protection, adding jewelry and other valuables, or adding a camera


OTHER GOOD RESOURCES FOR LEARNING ABOUT LEMONADE INSURANCE

CLEMENTS INTERNATIONAL EFFECTS INSURANCE (PROPERTY INSURANCE)

Clements International Property Insurance covers your belongings from being misplaced, damaged, or stolen while at home, traveling, or generally on the move.  For your high dollar items – laptops, tablets, cameras, etc. – that will be costly to replace, this insurance is worth it at about $13 per month to cover more than most digital nomads carry.

When you file a claim, you receive the full initial price of the item – no depreciation, with the option of zero deductible


WHAT’S COVERED UNDER CLEMENTS INTERNATIONAL EFFECTS INSURANCE

  • Covered and declared belongings that are misplaced, stolen, or damaged
  • Situations Covered: Fire, vandalism, breakage, burglary

CLEMENTS INTERNATIONAL EFFECTS COVERAGE ESTIMATED PRICE

~$13 a month for $5000 of coverage with a $2000 laptop


FINE PRINT
  • Underwritten by underwriters at Lloyd’s of London

Click here to learn more about Clements International Effects Insurance

HOW TO MAKE A SUCCESSFUL TRAVEL INSURANCE CLAIM

Just purchasing travel insurance isn’t even.  In the event that something goes wrong, you will have to make a claim. 

If you’ve researched travel insurance long enough you’ll read horror stories of disheartened people who had their claims denied.  I’ve filed insurance claims several times and never had one denied because 1) I ensure I understand the fine print and 2) I record everything, just as the list of tips below outlines.

To ensure your claim rolls as smoothly as possible, get familiar with these tips now and follow them in the event that anything goes wrong


  • Be aware of the fine print beforehand and read your entire policy to know your rights, your entitlements, and the limitations of the policy
  • Contact your insurance company before adventures to ensure you’re covered for the potential activities
  • If possible, contact your insurance provider before doctor’s visits
  • Only visit a doctor, hospital, or clinic that is operating legally.  If you can’t find one, contact your insurance provider before deciding on where to be treated
  • Carry your insurance information (policy number, insurance company contact) and keep it readily available in case you’re incapacitated
  • Save itemized receipts (that individually list all charges), taking pictures (with your smartphone) as you go to ensure you have a backup
  • ASAP (within 1 week), send the receipts to your insurance provider’s dedicated claims department – likely via email
  • Actively follow up on your claim – at least each week to check on progress and see if anything else is necessary
  • Be prepared to argue for corrections in your claim and don’t be afraid to speak up and request a manager’s review to ensure you’re are justly and fully reimbursed

OTHER USEFUL INFO ON CREDIT CARDS

A good travel credit card, like the Chase Sapphire card, the Citi Aadvantage card, or the American Express Platinum card, all come with a plethora of benefits that are useful and easy to use.

Read the fine print of your credit card benefits to be properly informed, but be aware that you likely have the following benefits thanks to your credit card


COMMON TRAVEL CREDIT CARD BENEFITS YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF

Most credit cards that bear a Visa or Mastercard logo carry these benefits at least.  Being aware of them is the first step to using them.  The next time any of the following situations pop up during travel, contact your credit card company to see if it offers benefits. 

Better yet contact your credit card company now and ask about these benefits.  If your current credit card doesn’t offer them, consider switching to a travel-friendly credit card that does.

  • Trip interruption
  • Delayed Baggage: Covers incidentals at a daily rate after your bags have been delayed 4-12 hours
  • Lost Baggage: Covers the cost of replacing baggage lost on a flight
  • Emergency Medical: Covers medical emergency that occur on trips longer than 5 days and less than 30 days and begin with a flight purchased with the credit card
  • Rental Car Insurance: Covers theft, damage, and collision up to the value of the car

To get familiar with these and other valuable benefits call your credit card company, ask the following questions

  • Travel benefits and coverages (specifically emergency medical)
  • How long does your trip need to be for the benefits to apply?  What are the restrictions?
  • What situations are covered vs. not covered
  • What is the claims process and what will you need upon return to file a claim?

A NOTE ON THIS TRAVEL INSURANCE GUIDE (AND THE “A.B.A.” PERSPECTIVE)

When it comes to insurance and money, I love money and hate insurance – but the goal of this travel insurance guide is to help you.  The recommendations made are based on what has worked for me – having things stolen, missing flights, getting sick, and breaking laptops.  But everyone’s travel is different, and your needs are different

If you’ve had different, or less than positive experiences with the services and insurances listed, please contact me so I can include that information (positive or negative) verbatim.  My primary goal is to make travel recommendations that make traveler’s lives easier, cheaper, and more enjoyable.  That includes travel insurance.

Collaborate.  Send me your thoughts.  Thanks!

WHAT NEXT?

OTHER GREAT TRAVEL CONTENT…

At this point, you should be a travel insurance guru and be covered for your next flight, adventures, and all of the risks that lie in between.

What now?

Read this great content get inspired and use that new insurance coverage to the fullest

  • The Ozaki 8: A Blueprint for Adventurous Travel
  • The Adventure 8: A Brother Abroad’s Plan for Traveling Adventurously, Surfing, Trekking, Diving, and Riding Around the World