Choosing the right travel insurance can be overwhelming. You want an affordable policy that also protects you in a variety of situations.
In this SafetyWing vs. World Nomads review, we’ll review and compare one of the industry’s most well-known brands—World Nomads—and one of the most promising up-and-coming travel insurance companies we’ve seen—SafetyWing—and put them head-to-head!
On my last trip, even I had a difficult time choosing between SafetyWing and World Nomads, because both offer excellent benefits for travelers. That said, there are some significant differences you should be aware of.
Plus, so much of choosing the right travel insurance comes down to what kind of traveler you are.
Is your goal to be a long-term traveler on a country-hopping tour around the globe, or do you plan on living the expat life in Europe? Are you an adrenaline junkie who loves the great outdoors, or more of a low-key explorer?
Just remember that no matter where you travel, it’s always important to have travel insurance. In this review, we’ll help you figure out if SafetyWing or World Nomads better suits your needs.
What is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance protects you against a variety of unexpected situations that might occur while traveling. Although benefits will vary between companies, they should include the following categories:
- Trip cancellation and trip interruption
- Medical emergencies and evacuations
- Stolen, damaged or lost baggage and property
Although travel insurance can be used internationally and sometimes domestically, it’s different than your health insurance plan back home. Generally speaking, health insurance won’t cover you if you travel overseas. And in many cases, they won’t reimburse for trip-related incidents, like canceled flights and lost luggage.
So, if you want comprehensive coverage while you’re traveling, it’s important to have travel insurance.
Is Travel Insurance Really Necessary?
It’s an age old question. And for a long time, I didn’t travel with insurance because I didn’t think it was necessary. But in my years of traveling the world, my perspective on that has changed a LOT.
The truth is, you can’t predict what will happen on your trip. Accidents occur when you least expect them. From broken bones to broken smartphone screens, you could be stuck paying thousands of dollars in bills and personal expenses.
But with travel insurance, you’ll be ready to tackle every type of travel mishap that comes your way. And just for this peace of mind alone, travel insurance is really worth it!
What Should Travel Insurance Cover?
Currently, there are dozens of travel insurance companies to choose from. And, the exact benefits will vary depending on your policy. But when deciding between SafetyWing vs. World Nomads, you should consider the following travel insurance categories.
If you need to cancel your trip before you leave, you’ll be thankful to have travel insurance. Not only are flights and hotels expensive, but in many cases, they’re also nonrefundable. With trip cancellation coverage, you’ll be reimbursed for your trip if you can no longer go.
It’s important to note that your reason for canceling needs to be covered by your insurance company. Some common reasons include illness, injury, natural disasters, or the death of a family member. You can’t ask for reimbursement if you simply found a better price or decided to change your itinerary.
Sometimes, emergencies can happen while you’re already on the road. If you need to leave your trip early, then interruption will cover the costs of your unused expenses.
Like trip cancellation coverage, trip interruption will only cover a defined set of reasons. This might include something like the death of a family member, or a sudden illness.
Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Property
Not only does travel insurance protect your trip, but it also includes coverage for personal belongings. So if you break your camera or lose your iPhone, you might be entitled to receive financial reimbursement.
Accidents and medical emergencies can happen anytime during your trip. And if you’re illness or injury becomes too severe, you might need to see a doctor.
That’s why it’s crucial to have travel insurance. With medical emergency coverage, you’ll be able to file claims for your doctor visits and hospital bills. Whether you break your leg or come down with food poisoning, you’ll be happy that you have travel insurance to protect you.
Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation
In some cases, your illness or injury might require a visit to the hospital. And if you need to be airlifted, then you’re looking at a bill of around $100,000. For that reason alone, it’s essential to have emergency evacuation coverage.
Similarly, your travel insurance might provide coverage for emergency repatriation. If you need to be flown back home for any reason, then you’ll get reimbursed for those transportation charges.
Founded in 2017, SafetyWing is a fairly new player in the travel insurance game. However, they show real promise and are quickly making a name for themselves in this already saturated industry.
And it takes a lot to stand out in a saturated industry—especially insurance.
SafetyWing Travel Insurance Plans
With SafetyWing, shopping for travel insurance is a piece of cake. From what I know , they’re planning to expand their offerings, but at the moment, they only offer one travel insurance plan.
That makes things ridiculously easy.
This plan has a $250,000 maximum limit after a $250 deductible. That means you must pay $250 out of pocket before SafetyWing takes over. And while this deductible may seem high, it only applies to a few benefits, like emergency medical expenses.
SafetyWing comes with $100,000 in emergency medical coverage, which should cover most incidents abroad. In addition, you’re also protected for up to $1,000 in emergency dental care.
And if you need to be transported to a hospital, you’ll also have $100,000 for emergency evacuation.
Your SafetyWing policy also comes with a few travel-related benefits (as it should!). If you need to leave early from your trip, you’ll receive up to $5,000 for one-way air or ground transportation back home. And if the airline loses or damages your checked bag, you’re entitled up to $3,000 (with a limit of $500 per item) for reimbursement.
Who is SafetyWing For?
Depending on your travel needs, SafetyWing is an excellent option for travel insurance. Although it might not fit everyone’s needs, here are some travelers who will benefit from a SafetyWing policy:
- Budget Long-Term Travelers: SafetyWing’s travel insurance policy covers you for the entire duration of your travels. Unlike other companies who only provide coverage for up to a year, SafetyWing protects you no matter how long you’re gone.
- Travelers with an Open Plan: Don’t worry if you haven’t locked down your travel plans. With SafetyWing, you aren’t required to specify the countries or length of your trip before purchasing a policy. That means you’ll still have coverage even if you decide to change your itinerary.
- Travelers with Young Children: You can add coverage for a dependent between the ages of 14 days and ten years to your SafetyWing policy for free. And if you’re purchasing a policy for two adults, then you’ll have coverage for two children at no additional cost.
What’s NOT Covered in SafetyWing Travel Insurance?
Although SafetyWing provides affordable medical protection, there are a few things that are not covered.
- Trip Cancellation: If you can no longer go on your trip, you won’t be reimbursed for any nonrefundable flights or hotel stays. This can be a major issue if you’ve spent a lot of money or booked your trip far in advance.
- Lost, Damaged, and Stolen Property: While your SafetyWing policy covers checked luggage, your other personal belongings are not protected. That means you can’t file a claim if you lose your valuables or get pickpocketed during your trip.
- Pre-Existing Conditions: Like most insurance policies, SafetyWing does not cover pre-existing medical conditions. In addition, SafetyWing’s two-year lookback period is much longer compared to other insurance companies.
- Extreme Sports: If you plan to do any adventure sports, like rafting, bungee jumping or skydiving, you won’t be protected by your SafetyWing policy.
Pros and Cons of SafetyWing Travel Insurance
- Cost: At only $37/4 weeks, SafetyWing is the most affordable travel insurance on the market. For just a few dollars a day, you can protect yourself against major medical emergencies, which is one of the main reasons for buying travel insurance.
- Home Country Coverage: While travel insurance covers you abroad, SafetyWing also provides temporary coverage when you’re back at home. This is a huge benefit we haven’t seen with other insurance plans.
- Unlimited Travel: Unlike most travel insurance policies, SafetyWing lets you travel for as long as you want. With an ongoing subscription model, you can be protected abroad for months or even years.
- No Trip Cancellation Coverage: Trip Cancellation is important, especially if you spent a lot of money on your trip. Without this benefit, you’re required to pay for your non-refundable flights and hotel stays, even if you can’t go on your trip.
- No Personal Belongings Coverage: Although SafetyWing covers checked luggage, it doesn’t protect any of your other personal items. If something gets stolen or damaged on your trip, it’s not covered by your travel insurance.
- Only One Plan: At the moment, you can only purchase a one-size-fits-all policy with SafetyWing. You don’t have the flexibility to change, add, or customize the plan to fit your needs.
If SafetyWing sounds like the right choice for you, just fill out the form below for a totally free quote! You can also check out a full SafetyWing travel insurance review at the link.
World Nomads Review
As one of the biggest names in the travel insurance industry, World Nomads has been protecting travelers and backpackers since 2002. For years, they’ve been my go-to recommendation for travel insurance for a lot of reasons.
World Nomads Travel Insurance Plans
Depending on the amount of coverage you want for your trip, World Nomads offers two different plans.
The Standard Plan comes with $100,000 in emergency medical coverage, as well as $300,000 in emergency evacuation. It also includes $2,500 for both trip cancellation and trip interruption.
Other trip benefits include $1,000 (with a maximum of $500 per item) in lost or stolen personal belongings. And if your bag doesn’t arrive on time, you’ll receive $750 for toiletries and other items.
For more robust coverage, World Nomads also has the Explorer Plan. Emergency medical coverage is the same as in the Standard Plan, but emergency evacuation increases to $500,000. The plan also comes with $10,000 in trip cancellation and interruption as well as $3,000 for personal belongings.
If you plan on doing any extreme sports while traveling, then World Nomads is the company you want. They provide insurance for over 300 activities, from bungee jumping to hot air ballooning.
Who is World Nomads For?
First and foremost, World Nomads is made for travelers and backpackers. However, there are other types of people who could benefit from a World Nomads policy.
- Travelers Without a Set Plan: If you’re plans change, World Nomads allows you to update your destination anytime on your trip. And if you decide to stay on vacation longer, you can also extend the dates of your policy.
- Travelers Who Forgot About Insurance: Although it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance in advance, you can still purchase World Nomads once you’re already on the road.
- Adventurous Travelers: With coverage for over 300 extreme sports and activities, World Nomads is an excellent option for adventurous travelers. Unlike most travel insurance companies, they offer protection for fun, scary, and even downright reckless activities!
What’s NOT Included in World Nomads Travel Insurance?
Although World Nomads offers good travel and medical coverage, it does have its limitations.
- Pre-Existing Conditions: Your World Nomads policy does not include coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. Their look back period is 90 days, meaning you can only file claims for injuries or illness you had less for than three months.
- Items Left Unattended: If something was stolen or lost because of negligence, it probably won’t be covered under your World Nomads policy.
Pros and Cons of World Nomads Travel Insurance
- Easy Claim Filing Process: World Nomads makes it easy to file a claim online, from wherever you are in the world. They also offer 24-hour assistance in case you need help or have any questions about your travel insurance.
- Adventure Activity Coverage: Unlike most policies, World Nomads offers coverage for a variety of extreme sports. Their activity list is extensive and covers dog sledding, cage fighting, and everything in between.
- Online Policy Adjustments: If your itinerary changes while you’re on your trip, you can easily adjust your World Nomads policy. Likewise, you can also purchase a plan once you’re already traveling.
- Lack of Flexibility: World Nomads only has two plans to choose from. You can’t add additional benefits, or increase your maximum limit for coverage.
- Capped Trip Cancellation and Interruption: Ideally, you should choose a policy that covers 100% of your travel costs. That way, you’ll be fully reimbursed if you need to cancel or leave early. However, World Nomads only reimburses up to a certain amount for trip cancellation and interruption.
If World Nomads sounds like the right choice for you, just fill out the form below for a totally free quote! You can also check out a full World Nomads travel insurance review at the link.
SafetyWing vs. World Nomads: What’s the Difference?
SafetyWing and World Nomads are two excellent options for travel insurance. But to help you decide between the two, let’s take a look at the biggest differences between both companies.
Trip Cancellation and Interruption Coverage
Trip protection is one of the most significant benefits of having travel insurance. For example, you might need to cancel your trip or come home early due to sickness or other family emergencies. Without trip cancellation and interruption coverage, you won’t get reimbursed for those unused expenses.
The World Nomads Standard Plan comes with $2,500 for both trip cancellation and trip interruption. If your trip is worth more, then you should opt for the Explorer Plan, which includes $10,000 worth of coverage.
On the other hand, SafetyWing does not offer any sort of trip cancellation coverage. While they do provide $5,000 for trip interruption, you can only claim reimbursement if you’re already on your trip.
To summarize, trip cancellation and interruption is vital if you spent a lot of money on your vacation.
Lost, Stolen and Damaged Belongings
We’ve all heard horror stories of stolen wallets, lost luggage, and left behind phones while traveling abroad. Although it’s a hassle to lose your stuff, travel insurance can reimburse for some of those personal items.
If you lose or damage your belongings, World Nomads offers up to $1,000 in their Standard Plan and $3,000 in their Explorer Plan.
Unfortunately, SafetyWing falls short here too. With their plan, checked luggage is the only thing that’s covered. So, you won’t be able to file a reimbursement claim if anything goes missing on the remainder of your trip.
It’s also important to note that both companies only cover $500 per item. If you lose your $2,000 laptop, for example, you’ll only get $500 back.
Length of Covered Travel
If you’re planning to be abroad for several months, both SafetyWing and World Nomads are great options. But if you plan to stay for more than a year, you’ll need a company that provides coverage for the entire duration of your travels.
With SafetyWing, you’re able to travel for as long as you like. And because there isn’t a time limit, their plan is an excellent choice for digital nomads or long-term travelers.
World Nomads, on the other hand, can only be purchased for a maximum of 365 days. Although you have coverage for single- and multi-trips, you won’t be covered if you plan to stay longer than a year.
Home Country Coverage
During your trip, you might plan a short trip home to see family and friends. However, many travel insurance policies only cover you once you leave your home, which means you’re unprotected once you step back on American soil.
SafetyWing lets you add home country coverage. If something were to happen during your trip home, you’d have all the same benefits as if you were traveling. US citizens are covered for 15 days in a 90 day period, while non-US residents get 30 days.
While World Nomads covers you in over 150 countries, they do not provide home country travel benefits. That means you’ll need to have separate health insurance or a supplemental insurance policy back home.
SafetyWing vs. World Nomads Costs
Now that you know more about SafetyWing and World Nomads, you might be wondering how much a policy costs. And since price is one of the biggest factors when choosing travel insurance, we’ll break down the total costs to help you decide between SafetyWing vs. World Nomads.
Costs of SafetyWing Travel Insurance
To put it simply, SafetyWing is one of the most affordable options for travel insurance. Although the exact cost will depend on your age and length of travel, it’s still a cheap option for those on a budget.
|Cost for 4 weeks
|Cost for 4 weeks incl. USA
Adding home country coverage will increase your monthly costs. However, it’s worth the extra few dollars a week, especially if you’re planning to travel home often.
Costs of World Nomads Travel Insurance
Calculating the cost of your World Nomads policy is a bit more complicated. The price will depend on a variety of factors, including age, destination, and nationality. To help, we’ll look at a few scenarios so you know what to expect to pay for travel insurance.
Let’s say, you’re a 25-year-old backpacking through France and Italy for two weeks. For a World Nomad’s policy, you’ll pay $77.78 for the Standard Plan, and $140.66 for the Explorer Plan.
And in a different scenario, the cost for a 30-year old living in Thailand is considerably more expensive. The cost for five months of travel insurance is $407.28 for the Standard Plan and $588.08 for the Explorer Plan.
Who is Cheaper? SafetyWing or World Nomads?
At the end of the day, SafetyWing’s affordable pricing model is hard to beat. If you forgo US home coverage, you’re only paying $37/4 weeks. That breaks down to just $1.23 per day! Home coverage is extra and starts at $2.26 per day.
Compared to SafetyWing, World Nomads can cost three or four times as much, even for their cheapest plan. For a two week trip to Europe, you’ll pay around $5.50 per day with World Nomads.
But while World Nomads is more expensive, it also has a few added benefits that are noticeably missing from SafetyWing’s policy — including trip cancellation. Based on the type of coverage you want, it’s up to you to decide if the price is worth spending.
It’s hard to say point-blank which travel insurance company is better. In fact, this answer will depend entirely on your budget, length of travel, and desired benefits.
If budget is a concern, then SafetyWing is the most affordable option. But if you’re looking for comprehensive medical and travel coverage, World Nomads is probably your best bet.
It’s up to you to compare each policy to see which company is right for you. But no matter who you choose, just make sure you have travel insurance, period. It’s one of the most important purchases you can make.