If you’ve been searching for travel insurance lately, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the same companies pop up over and over again.
But today I’d like to introduce you to a brand new player: battleface, a company specializing in adventure and high-risk travel insurance. Their team has tons of experience servicing the likes of NGOs and journalists headed into war zones, and now they’ve extended this service to any adventurer who likes to travel outside the box.
After being a loyal customer of World Nomads for over 10 years, I’m thinking about making battleface my go-to travel insurance. This battleface review will tell you why.
Who Is battleface?
battleface was founded by a passionate group of people with extensive emergency claims management, as well as tons of experience in medical and travel assistance.
These folks initially started out by providing coverage for War & Terrorism with no destination exclusions for journalists, NGO workers, professional explorers, divers, and other adventure travelers.
This experience led to the people behind battleface noticing a gap in the market for specialty insurance products. Now they’ve created products for all types of travelers, whether you’re a digital nomad or an extreme sports enthusiast.
Thanks to battleface’s competitive pricing and excellent services and benefits, their plans became popular for standard destinations as well.
Plus, through their Travel Assistance services (Tangiers International), battleface has agents on-the-ground to help manage your claims in person. This is especially helpful if you’re in a more complex (or dangerous) country.
What Is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance may be confusing for first-time users, or for anyone who is looking to switch providers. My goal is to break it all down for you a little better.
In the simplest terms, travel insurance protects you against accidents, emergencies or financial losses (like stolen goods) that may happen while you’re on the road.
If you want good travel insurance, make sure it includes the following:
- Travel cancellations, interruptions, and changes
- Stolen, lost, delayed or damaged baggage and property
- Medical treatments and expenses
Just because you have health insurance in your own country doesn’t mean it applies to travel overseas. For example, if you end up in a car accident while traveling around Asia, travel insurance will help get you home without having to pay tens of thousands of dollars.
Travel insurance also helps protect you against travel-specific losses, like flight cancelations and stolen technology. Nobody wants to pay to replace their stolen laptop or camera equipment!
Having travel insurance is something I (and most other seasoned travelers) urge people to do. Just read about my experience with how travel insurance saved my ass in Singapore, and you’ll understand why.
Is Travel Insurance Worth It?
Is travel insurance worth it? Simple answer: yes. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.
It doesn’t matter how young you are, or how healthy you are — you should always expect the unexpected. And sure, while having to spend $2,000 to replace your stolen laptop won’t wreck your life, paying tens of thousands in emergency medical bills will.
Even if your travel insurance costs a couple of hundreds of dollars, you can travel with peace of mind knowing that you’re in safe hands if something should go wrong.
Who Is battleface For?
battleface covers many different types of travelers, including:
- Adventure Seekers and Explorers. It doesn’t matter if you’re a surfer or a skydiver or a rock climber (or anything in between), battleface has emergency medical and evacuation, and even Search & Rescue.
- Digital Nomads, Freelancers, and Business Travelers. You’ll be covered for lost, delayed, or stolen baggage and belongings. You can also opt for Business Upgrades.
- Students and Other Travelers. Even if you’re not an adventure-seeker, battleface’s competitive prices and packages still work for most travelers.
- Expats. This doesn’t fall under the travel insurance category, but if you’re living abroad, battleface has insurance for expats that covers health and medical, life, auto, property, and more.
All travel plans include 24/7 emergency travel and medical assistance services and on-the-ground agents.
Who Isn’t battleface For?
battleface is still growing, so there are a few limitations. Plus, exclusions may depend on your home country or state. Make sure you read up on all the documentation before you commit!
If you’re in one of the categories below, you may not qualify:
- Seniors Over 80 Years Old. You have to be between 18-80 years old to qualify for insurance. Travelex may be the better option for you in this case.
- People With Pre-Existing Conditions. battleface does not cover expenses associated with pre-existing conditions unless you have already notified them of your conditions and you have been accepted before you begin traveling. Again, Travelex may be a better option for people with pre-existing conditions.
- People From Certain Countries. Because battleface is a start-up, you may not yet qualify for battleface travel insurance if you’re a resident of a certain country. For example, at the time of writing this, battleface does not serve Canadians.
What’s Included in battleface Travel Insurance?
Your battleface travel insurance plan will include 24/7 emergency travel and medical assistance services, and some benefits are optional.
Let’s have a look at everything battleface has to offer.
Hospitalization and Medical Expenses
If you need hospitalization or outpatient care, battleface will cover you. This means everything from taking care of broken bones to simply getting a prescription for a suddenly very sore throat.
Medical expenses overseas can be extremely costly, so this is one of the most important inclusions for travel insurance.
Emergency Medical Evacuation
Whether you need to be rushed to a local hospital to treat a life-threatening condition or evacuated back to your home country, battleface will cover you.
If you need to be hospitalized in a foreign country, battleface will cover the cost of travel and accommodations for one person to be with you and to accompany you home. battleface also makes all the arrangements so that your loved one doesn’t have any extra stress.
This is particularly useful if you’re a solo traveler!
Local Burial or Cremation/Repatriation of Mortal Remains
In the unlikely event that you die overseas (unlikely being the important word here), battleface takes care of your burial/cremation locally, or they’ll make arrangements for your remains to be returned home.
battleface’s optional and comprehensive Crisis Response coverage is one of the things that makes this provider so unique. Their product includes assistance for:
- Victims of violent crimes
- Wrongful detention
- Mysterious disappearance or kidnapping
- Blackmail, extortion, and political threats
- Acts of terrorism
I know these possible scenarios are terrifying, but if you’re traveling to a high-risk country, coverage is incredibly important. And with terrorism attacks on the rise in even countries like France and Spain, Crisis Response provides an additional safety net.
You can also get additional coverage for emergency political evacuation costs, expenses related to having an independent interpreter, costs of relocation travel and accommodations, and expenses related to temporary security guards so you’re escorted to safety.
If you’re traveling around a country and a civil war breaks out, or an act of terrorism occurs, you can be assured you’re in good hands.
Business Extension Coverage
If you’re a business traveler, your policy has the option to include accidental loss, theft, or damage to your business equipment and/or cash. It also includes employee replacement if an illness or injury keeps you from completing the trip.
Trip Cancellation and Interruption
Some things happen before your trip even begins. If you have to cancel your travel plans because there’s a hurricane making landfall or because a family member gets sick, battleface will cover the costs. If you’re already traveling and the same scenario happens, they’ll help you to get home.
Baggage Loss or Delay
Stuck in your destination without clean undies? Your insurance will cover the costs of purchasing what you need.
battleface Travel Insurance Plans
When you’re getting a quote for battleface travel insurance, you’ll be offered two plans to choose from:
- Travel Medical Insurance – For the standard traveler with medical coverage for injuries, accidents, and emergency evacuation and transportation.
- Adventure Travel Insurance – Covers sports activities, emergency medical treatment, evacuation, and accidents, as well as travel to off-grid places with coverage for equipment and search and rescue.
While both plans cover the essentials, Adventure Travel Insurance offers some additional benefits and higher coverage limits:
There’s also a multi-trip option, meaning coverage for travel for a period not exceeding 30 days. Each trip must have a defined departure date and return date.
Most of the benefits are the same, although there are some key differences for trip cancellation and trip interruption.
There are many optional coverage options and increases for single-trip plans as well:
Obviously, the add-ons will cost you a little extra. I’ll talk a little about that next.
battleface’s Travel Medical Insurance
The standard Travel Medical Insurance plan has some excellent coverage, including up to $500,000 for medical expenses and emergency evacuation. This is basically your standard travel insurance plan.
If you have to cancel your trip, you’ll be covered up to 100% of your trip cost. This plan does not cover trip delay or interruption. For multi-plan travelers, you’ll get up to $1,500 per trip for cancellations.
The Travel Medical Insurance plan comes with up to $2,500 in lost, theft or damaged baggage protection, and you will receive a maximum of $1,250 per item. If you’re traveling with expensive equipment or gear, keep in mind that the per article limit might not cover the entire cost of your lost goods.
battleface’s Adventure Travel Insurance
The Adventure Travel Insurance plan will cover less than the standard plan, and includes $100,000 for medical expenses and emergency evacuation (instead of $500,000).
If you have multi-plan insurance, you’ll get up to $1,500 per trip for cancellations. For trip delays, you’ll get $500 per day (up to $2,000), and up to $1,500 per trip for trip interruption.
Unlike the previous plan, if you’re injured due to adventure activities, you’ll be covered. That includes activities like skiing, snowboarding, diving, mountain climbing (up to 15,000 feet), white or black water rafting, snowmobiling, cycling, sailing, and more.
If you have to cancel your trip, you’ll be covered up to 100% of your trip cost. Trip delay and interruption are covered for this plan, with up to 100% of the trip cost for the interruption, and up to $500 per day for trip delay.
This plan also comes with up to $2,500 in lost, theft or damaged baggage protection, and you will receive a maximum of $1,250 per item.
battleface’s Add Ons
If you have single trip insurance, you can also customize your plan to add things like Business Upgrades and Crisis Response (which covers all the scary things we listed before, including kidnappings and acts of terrorism).
Impressively, this doesn’t add too much to your total bill. For example, to add Crisis Response to a week-long trip to China is only an additional $50, which includes a maximum limit of $150,000. For a maximum limit of $250,000, you’ll pay about $60 for Crisis Response.
What’s Not Covered by battleface Travel Insurance?
Even a high-risk travel insurance company like battleface can’t cover everything — there are limitations and exclusions.
Because battleface is a startup, their biggest pitfall at the moment is global availability.
battleface is currently available for retail (individual) sales in 52 countries, but they are adding new countries rapidly. The United States is included, but Canada is not.
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Like most providers, battleface does not cover expenses related to a pre-existing medical condition, but offers a waiver if policies are purchased within 15 days of trip deposit.
Although battleface’s Adventure Travel Insurance includes adventure sports, some activities are just too dangerous to be included.
That includes air travel on privately-owned aircraft, bull riding, running of the bills, free diving, free climbing, scuba diving beyond 50 meters, and mountain climbing over 6,000 meters.
Countries That Have Sanctions Restrictions
Although battleface covers travelers to isolated regions or countries of conflicts, due to sanctions restrictions imposed by the U.K., E.U., Canada, U.N., and the U.S., full coverage in certain countries may not be included.
Pros and Cons of battleface Travel Insurance
- Adventure Travel Coverage: Standard insurance policies do not provide coverage for activities, equipment, and destinations sought after by adventure travelers. battleface covers nearly everything!
- Crisis Response: Their Crisis Response add-on product is not provided by any other U.S. company and includes coverage for everything from kidnapping to acts of terrorism.
- Standard Insurance Coverage. Although battleface is a great option for adventure travel and high-risk travel, they also have standard insurance plans to cover your “less adventurous” trips (and prices are competitive).
- “A” Rated Underwriters: battleface only uses A-rated underwriters to ensure the quality of the product they’re offering. For U.S. customers, battleface uses Spinnaker, and outside the U.S. they use Lloyds.
- On-the-Ground Agents: No matter where you are, your claims are managed on-the-ground. This is fantastic for complex countries. There’s also assistance available 24/7, and the customer service is excellent.
- Affordable, With Add-On Options: battleface offers affordable plans with affordable add-on options to make sure you’re well covered, including Business Upgrades and Crisis Response.
- Not Available Everywhere. Because they’re a start-up, coverage is not available everywhere. Currently, they’re available for retail sales in 52 countries.
- They’re Not the Cheapest. Although battleface is affordable for anyone who participates in adventure travel, if you’re a traveler just seeking a low-key experience, this may not be the best option for you.
battleface vs. World Nomads vs. SafetyWing
At this point, you have a good understanding of what battleface does and does not provide. And if you’ve been following TravelFreak for some time, you likely know that World Nomads and SafetyWing are two travel insurance companies I love and use the most.
Currently, World Nomads is the best option for adventure travel and SafetyWing is the best option for digital nomads. So how does battleface stack up?
battleface vs. World Nomads
I’ve been singing World Nomads’ praises for a long, long time — especially when it comes to being a go-to provider for adventure travel. So let’s compare an adventure trip.
Let’s say you’re an American wanting to do a week-long surfing trip to South Africa a few months from now. You’ll need battleface’s Adventure Travel Plan and World Nomads’ Explorer Plan.
|Emergency Evacuation||Up to $100,000||$500,000|
|Trip Cancellation||Up to 100% of total cost||$10,000|
|Trip Interruption||Up to 100% of total cost||$10,000|
|Baggage and Personal Belongings||$2,500 per trip (up to $1,250 per item)||$1,500 per trip (up to $500 per item)|
World Nomads clearly has some better coverage in this case; however, battleface’s Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption benefits are much better.
battleface’s Baggage and Personal Belongings benefits are also significantly higher which is a huge plus in my book, given that I travel with expensive equipment like phones, cameras and laptops.
If you worry about the potential risks in an unstable area of the country, the Crisis Response option from battleface is far superior.
battleface also has on-the-ground agents to assist with your claims, which takes a lot of the stress out of the entire process if you need support.
battleface vs. SafetyWing
The key advantage of SafetyWing for digital nomads is the fact that you don’t have to specify the duration of your trip upfront — you can travel open-ended for as long as you want, and SafetyWing will insure you. You can buy insurance for chunks of time, like four weeks at a time.
battleface does not have this option. You must have defined start and end dates for your travel, even if you’re doing multi-trips.
If you’re a digital nomad headed to Bali for four weeks of work, here’s how the battleface Travel Medical Insurance Plan stacks up against the SafetyWing Travel Insurance plan (SafetyWing currently has one simple plan in place).
|Emergency Evacuation||Up to $100,000||Up to $100,000|
|Trip Cancellation||Up to 100% of total cost||N/A|
|Trip Interruption||N/A||Up to $5,000|
|Baggage and Personal Belongings||$2,500 per trip ($1,250 per item)||Up to $3,000 per trip (maximum $500 per item)|
While SafetyWing is the cheaper option, and although it does have some great benefits, it’s worthwhile to point out that Baggage and Personal Belongings for SafetyWing does not include electronics like your smartphone or your laptop. And those things are pretty important when you’re a digital nomad, don’t you think?
If you want more information on SafetyWing, check out my full review.
How to File an Insurance Claim with battleface
battleface’s process for filing a claim entirely depends on your home country, claim and the product.
Since the home country dictates the claims process, battleface came up with a personalized but one-size fits all solution that makes the process simple and straightforward.
If you need to file a claim while traveling, just contact them! They actually ask that you connect with battleface as soon as possible via email or the mobile app so they can assist you on the ground and arrange for pre-payment of the expenses.
Each plan includes 24/7 Emergency Travel and Medical Assistance services, so they’re always available.
In the event of an emergency & for assistance, contact battleface directly:
Phone: +1 (571) 441-0775
Email: [email protected]
Otherwise, standard claims are processed through Broadspire via a soon-to-launch online portal.
Phone: +1 (866) 357-1225
Email: [email protected]
Completed claim forms can be submitted at this link or to the following mailing address:
P.O. Box 459084
Sunrise, FL 33345
Plus on-the-ground agents with local know-how provide an exceptional customer service experience, and they keep wait time for claims low.
When Should I Purchase Travel Insurance?
Purchasing a plan before your trip is a good idea. This ensures that you have trip cancellation coverage in case something unexpected pops up.
You can typically purchase a travel insurance policy days, weeks, or months before your trip. It really depends on your provider.
Some travel insurance companies will even let you extend your insurance while you’re on the road. Having too much fun in Bali? The best travel insurance companies will help you carry on with your coverage. battleface, for example, will let you purchase a new policy to keep traveling.
With battleface, you can’t purchase travel insurance more than 90 days in advance of your trip. That’s pretty standard of most insurance companies, however.
battleface Review: Final Thoughts
I absolutely love battleface’s comprehensive travel insurance plans, and especially their Crisis Response add-on. I will certainly be using it if I happen to visit unstable countries in the future, and dealing with claims on-the-ground is a huge asset.
When it comes to adventure travel in stable countries, battleface is a beast and is a fantastic alternative to Word Nomads.
As a digital nomad who travels adventurously with lots of photography equipment and other gear, battleface wins out in terms of coverage for lost or stolen items and baggage.
So if you want to feel safe and secure while traveling abroad, I definitely recommend battleface. But bottom line: get travel insurance!