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World nomad travel insurance is designed to cover the unique needs of the long-term nomad traveler. Does it suit you? Read on and find out
Nomad travelers wander the world for extended periods, that’s why their coverage needs differ than those of the average traveler. If you belong to this demographic, then you understand the importance of having travel insurance to protect you when unexpected events threaten to disrupt your travel plans.
What features and benefits should you consider when searching for the right protection? Insurance Business answers this question and more as we delve deeper into this emerging form of coverage called nomad travel insurance. Read on and learn more about how this type of policy works and how it can protect world nomads like you.
World nomad travel insurance works like a standard travel insurance plan – it covers expenses resulting from health-related and medical emergencies and other unforeseen disruptions to your itinerary. Since such policies are designed for the nomad traveler, they also come with features that suit their lifestyle.
Most policies provide medical coverage only if you’re outside your home country. While some plans offer protection if you return to the US, the level of coverage and length of time that you are covered are often subject to limits.
In addition, you can purchase nomad travel insurance even if you’re already overseas, unlike standard travel plans, which you should have before your departure.
Nomad insurance is also renewable similar to annual or multi-trip travel insurance. You can also tailor your policy to meet your changing needs by adding or removing coverage. If you’re traveling with your kids, some plans allow you to include them in your coverage free of charge if they meet a certain age requirement.
Nomad travel insurance typically provides two types of coverage. These are:
1. Global medical or health insurance
Managing health care is one of the biggest challenges nomad travelers often face, especially in a destination where patients are required to show proof of their ability to pay before getting treatment. Having the right travel medical coverage is often considered sufficient evidence that you can afford treatment.
Global health insurance comes with a capped amount, but it provides a wide range of coverage, including:
- Doctor or physician visits
- Hospital and medical bills
- Intensive care
- Emergency medical treatment and procedures
- Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation
- Ambulance transport services
- COVID-19-related treatment
Some policies also cover emergency dental care and rehabilitation expenses, including chiropractic care and physical therapy if these were ordered by a doctor.
2. Travel medical insurance
Travel medical insurance for nomads covers many of the items listed above, but the main difference is that it also provides cover for travel-related disruptions. These include:
- Trip cancellation and interruption
- Lost, delayed, or damaged luggage and personal belongings
- Trip delays and missed flights
- Accidental death and dismemberment, including repatriation costs
Some policies also offer coverage against personal liability. This and the items listed above are all subject to coverage limits.
Here’s a summary of the typical inclusions for the different types of nomad insurance coverage:
Just like other types of policies, nomad travel insurance doesn’t cover every incident that disrupts your journey. Most plans do not provide coverage for the following:
- Illnesses and injuries caused by high-risk sports and activities
- Alcohol- and drug-related illnesses and injuries
- Illness and injuries resulting from illegal activities
- Cancer treatment
- Pre-existing medical conditions
It is also important to note that while almost all travel insurance policies don’t cover pre-existing medical issues, travelers can often access a waiver to trigger coverage. You can learn more about how this benefit works by checking out our comprehensive guide to travel insurance for pre-existing conditions.
Some policies also come with age restrictions, typically denying coverage for travelers 70 years old and above. There are also plans that don’t cover citizens of sanctioned countries.
While risky activities are often excluded, some nomad insurance policies provide coverage for certain adventure sports.
Another thing you should remember is that different policies offer varying levels of protection. That’s why it’s important that you read the policy document carefully before purchasing a plan, so you will know what you are covered for and what is excluded.
Premiums for a world nomad travel insurance policy depend on a range of factors which vary per traveler, that’s why it’s difficult to provide a specific amount. But based on the price comparison and insurer websites that Insurance Business checked out, the price ranges from about $40 to well above $100 monthly for a single traveler.
The main factors that impact premiums include:
- The traveler’s age: Nomad travelers above 30 to 40 years old can expect to pay substantially higher than their younger counterparts, sometimes more than double. For senior travelers, or those aged above 60, the premiums are even higher.
- The number of travelers: More people included in your policy also means higher premiums. One thing to note is that most policies have limits on the number and age of the persons you can add.
- Length of travel: Whether you’re staying in one location for extended periods or frequently traveling to multiple destinations has a direct impact on the cost of nomad travel insurance.
- Level of coverage: If you’re constantly traveling to different locations, you may need to add coverage to suit the requirements of your destination. These additional benefits can push up your insurance rates.
Another way to visit multiple destinations in one go is through cruises, especially if you’re not into spontaneous travel. If you prefer this type of travel instead, you may need a different type of policy called cruise ship travel insurance. Learn more about this form of coverage by clicking the link.
Different travelers have varying needs but if you’re a nomad traveler, there are certain coverage that you can’t go without. Here are some of the policy features that are considered essential for your lifestyle.
Emergency medical coverage: Health and medical care can be extremely expensive, especially if you’re in a foreign country. This policy covers you financially if you get sick or injured while traveling overseas.
Emergency medical evacuation cover: This type of coverage is crucial if you’re traveling to a remote location with inadequate medical infrastructure. This pays out for the cost of transporting you to a medical facility that can provide proper treatment. Evacuation cover is also available during incidents of war, terrorism, political instability, and natural calamities.
Coverage for trip cancellation, interruption, and delay: There are several reasons why your trip may be cut short, postponed, or even cancelled and they’re not always medical. In these instances, it pays to be covered. Trip cancellation and interruption insurance allows you to get back your pre-paid non-refundable travel expenses.
Baggage cover: This covers you if your luggage is lost or damaged, or it doesn’t arrive at your destination on time. This type of policy comes with a capped amount and is subject to time limits.
24/7 emergency assistance services: Medical emergencies and other disruptions to your itinerary come without warning. Your world nomad travel insurance policy should provide the necessary service when you need it.
The US is home to several insurers offering nomad travel insurance. Some are specialists while others are traditional carriers providing coverage as part of their comprehensive travel plans. Here are a few of the top companies in the country that offer insurance for nomad travelers. The list is arranged alphabetically.
1. Insured Nomads
Insurtech firm Insured Nomads specializes in providing travel and health coverage to expats, remote workers, and nomad travelers. Its travel insurance products consist of:
- Travel medical insurance
- Trip cancellation insurance
- Warzone cover
- Travel group benefits
Its World Explorer Travel Medical Insurance plan provides up to $2 million in medical benefits for single trips, ranging from seven to 364 days, including a complimentary 12-month membership. Among the prominent features of this policy are:
- Access to 24-hour emergency medical care
- Coverage for acute onset of a pre-existing condition
- Emergency dental treatment
- COVID-19 cover
- Access to local ambulance transport services
- Evacuation and repatriation cover
- Accommodation cover during natural disasters
- Access to airport lounge for registered delayed flights
- Lost luggage coverage
- Mental wellness benefits
- Coverage for certain adventure and marine sports
Policyholders can also access travel alerts and country-specific datasheets, allowing them to make informed decisions about their trips.
SafetyWing is another nomad travel insurance specialist. Its plan consists of two components:
- Medical coverage: Provides cover if you get sick or injured, or in need of medical assistance while traveling abroad.
- Travel coverage: Pays out for travel-related disruptions, including flight delays, lost luggage, or trip cancellations. The table below details what these policies cover.
SafetyWing’s nomad travel insurance also allows you to subscribe to continuous coverage if you’re traveling to multiple countries. You are also covered for brief visits back to the US, usually up to 15 days as long as you have spent at least 90 days abroad. If you’re traveling with children, you can add up to two kids below 10 years old to your policy for free.
Travelex offers travel insurance for nomads under its Travel Select plan, one of its most comprehensive travel policies. It covers trips lasting 364 days. Policyholders can access these features:
- Trip cancellation cover, up to 100% of the non-refundable trip cost or a maximum of $50,000
- Trip interruption cover, up to 150% of the non-refundable trip cost or a maximum of $75,000
- Up to $2,000 trip delay cover with a daily sublimit of $200, subject to time limits
- Up to $750 missed connection cover, subject to time limits
- Up to $50,000 emergency medical expense coverage, including $500 dental cover
- Up to $500,000 emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains cover
- Up to $1,000 baggage and personal effects cover
- Up to $200 baggage delay cover, subject to time limits
- Up to $200 sports equipment delay cover, subject to time limits
- Up to $25,000 accidental death and dismemberment cover
If you’re traveling with children 17 years old and younger, you can add them to your policy for free. The plan can also be upgraded to include car rental protection and cancel-for-any-reason coverage.
4. World Nomads
World Nomads provides international travel insurance and travel safety services. It offers customizable travel insurance plans designed for nomad travelers. What sets its world nomad travel insurance policies apart from industry rivals is that the plans cover a comprehensive list of over 200 sports and adventure activities.
You can choose between two types of policies – the more affordable Standard Plan and the more comprehensive Explorer Plan, which has the following inclusions:
- Up to $100,000 emergency medical cover
- Up to $500,000 emergency evacuation cover
- Up to $10,000 trip protection cover
- Up to $3,000 personal items cover
Policyholders can also access 24-hour travel assistance services backed by a team of multilingual representatives.
Being a nomad traveler presents a unique set of risks different from those faced by a regular traveler. Oftentimes, having travel insurance is as essential as carrying your passport.
While you can access coverage through a standard policy – which typically costs less – a world nomad travel insurance plan can provide better protection suited for your needs.
You can choose to take out a policy from a nomad travel insurance specialist or a conventional travel insurer that offers comprehensive coverage. What’s important is that the protection it provides matches your personal preferences and circumstances.
If you want to know what type of coverage the top insurers across the country provide, you can check out our latest rankings of the top travel insurance companies in the US.
Do you think world nomad travel insurance is necessary for the nomad traveler or is a regular travel insurance policy enough? Chat us up in the comments section below.
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