SafetyWing Review: Travel & Health Insurance for Travelers and Nomads

In NOMADIC LIFE, TRAVEL HACKS, TRAVEL INSURANCE by Isabella BiavaLeave a Comment

Before digging into the SafetyWing review, I would like to make clear that I am only offering an objective and thorough analysis of  SafetyWing travel insurance, and not my personal experience as I haven’t had the chance to try it myself, yet.

I have done a lot of research and here I will talk about what is included, and not, the costs and the claiming process and other useful information.

I am far from trying to convince you to purchase SafetyWing health and travel insurance because I wouldn’t know if this is the best option for you. You are the only one who knows.

However, since choosing the right insurance can be daunting, I hope that this post will help you to understand what are the most important features so that you can compare it with other companies and make it easy to pick what’s best for you.

Also, I always recommend to always compare among different travel insurance policies and then chose what is best for you.

Read on to know more.

Do I need travel insurance?

The brief answer is, yes you do!

The reason is simple, and not.

Think of it as a gamble, both you and the travel insurance that you will choose are gambling on your health and your lucky star.

They want you to stay in good health, which is a good thing, but that’s also how they make money.

You, of course, want your travel to go smoothly with no health issues, injuries, or lost bags, but that will also make you think that you have thrown away your money if you purchased any travel insurance.

But in case something goes wrong you will be annoyed and disappointed but happy that you have purchased it and will consider it worth the money.

So…

Tricky one, right?

At the end of the day we all know that although we have everything planned carefully and we feel fit and healthy and we believe we have everything under control, we are still in the hand of fate. There are many things that can go wrong and the only difference we can make is how we react to it.

How I see it is that purchasing travel insurance gives me peace of mind because I know that if anything accidentally happens I don’t have to worry about the financial and medical aspect of it because I would be covered. And that peace of mind is a basic aspect of my travels.

Not to mention that if I had to find myself in a difficult situation and I don’t have the money that would save my life I would be a burden on my family and that’s the last thing I want.

The most difficult part is choosing the correct travel insurance.

That’s why I am doing a series of posts where I explain in detail what every single travel insurance covers in order to help you find the right one for you.

How SafetyWing works

As a partner with the giant insurance company Tokio Marine, SafetyWing is a relatively new travel+medical insurance company, that provides medical and travel-related coverage.

It’s a dynamic company created by nomads and for nomads with the intent to make our life on the road easier.

They have recently added a new product called Remote Health which is global comprehensive health insurance that covers both in and outside your home country but doesn’t convert travel-related issues. In this post, I will only be talking about Nomad Insurance, but you can refer to the below graphic to see the fundamental differences between the two products.

graphic

SafetyWing Nomad Insurance can be purchased on a monthly basis for up to one year (renewable) or for a specific date range.

Please also don’t let the word Nomad mislead you. In fact, the insurance can be purchased also for shorter trips starting from 5 days, instead of on a monthly basis.

How much does SafetyWing cost?

Once you register on their funny and user-friendly site, right from the main page you will be given a quote based on your age group.

The older you are the higher is the cost, which almost doubles if you travel in the US.

The policy is valid for every country with the exception of your own and Cuba, Iran, and North Korea. However, if you are a non-US citizen and you want to travel to the USA the cost will be higher.

Things to know about SafetyWing cost

Deductible – there is a $250 deductible, which means that if you face a 300$ costs for medical issues, you would be refunded 50$, if you spend 250$ or lower you don’t get any refund. 

Maximum Limit – the maximum refundable amount is $250k, which means that if you have medical costs that exceed that amount, you will have to pay the difference.

Kids rate – If you are traveling with children, one child older than 14 days, but less than 10 years old, per adult, is included in the insurance without added cost up to a maximum of 2 children per group. Just remember to add them as a group member to your policy when you sign up. If you don’t add them, they won’t be covered.

What SafetyWing covers

U.S. Citizens and Non-U.S. Citizens who are at least 14 days of age through age 69 are eligible for coverage outside of their home countries, with the exception of Cuba, Iran, and North Korea

SafetyWing Insurance provides coverage for:

  • Unexpected illness or injury, including eligible expenses for the hospital, doctor, or prescription drugs.
  • Emergency Medical Treatment
  • Medical Expenses
  • Hospital Room and Board
  • Family member transportation from home country in the event that you have an extended hospital stay
  • Terrorism Evacuation
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation including:
    • Emergency air transportation to a suitable airport nearest to the hospital where you will receive treatment;
    • Emergency ground transportation necessarily preceding emergency air transportation, and from the destination airport to the hospital where you will receive treatment.
  • Natural Disaster Accommodation
  • Emergency dental treatment and dental surgery
    • necessary to restore or replace sound natural teeth lost or damaged in an accident that was covered under this insurance.
    • necessary to resolve the acute onset of pain provided treatment is obtained within 24 hours of the acute onset of pain.
  • Emergency Eye Exam if your prescription corrective lenses are lost or damaged due to a covered loss and an exam is required to obtain a lens prescription for medically necessary correction lenses, but not for the replacement cost of prescription corrective lenses or contact lense
  • Repatriation of the remains.
  • Lost Checked Luggage
    • Reimbursement for the cost of lost checked luggage, not to exceed $500 any one item. Coverage will be reduced by any recovery you receive from the transportation provider.
  • Trip Interruption:
    • The cost of an economy one-way air or ground transportation ticket for you to the terminal serving the area of your principal residence
    • The cost of an economy one-way air and/or ground transportation ticket for you from the area where you were hospitalized following an Emergency Medical Evacuation to the area where you were initially evacuated from or to the terminal serving the area of your principal residence.
  • Travel Delay
    • Reimbursement for reasonable accommodations and meals when your delay requires an unplanned overnight stay.
  • Lost/stolen Passport/travel visa
    • Reimbursement for a reasonable cost in replacing your passport or travel visa.
  • Border entry protection
    • If you are traveling on a Visitor Visa B-2 for tourism, for visiting family or friends, or on holiday, and you are denied entry to the United States at the border by customs officials.
  • Sports and Activities
    • You are covered for taking part in amateur/non-professional sports and activities unless it is excluded below. Coverage is for recreational purposes incidental to a trip. See below for what is not included among the activities.

Please note that these are only a few of the situations that are covered and limited to certain conditions. Refer to this document for more detailed information and see below for what is not included in the policy.

Countries covered: You are covered for travel anywhere in the world outside of your home country, with the exception of Cuba, Iran, and North Korea.

Coverage in my home country: SafetyWing allows coverage in your home country for up to 30 days for every 90 days abroad (15 days if your home country is the US), for unforeseen eligible medical conditions. If you stay in your home country longer than 30 days (15 for USA), your coverage becomes void and it resumes once you are out of the country again.

What SafetyWings doesn’t cover

  • Pre-existing conditions – Incurred outside your certificate period.
    • Submitted for payment more than 60 days after the last day of the certificate period.
    • When departure from the home country is to obtain treatment in the destination country/countries.
    • Complications or consequences of a treatment or condition not covered hereunder.
    • Not included as Eligible Expenses as described in the fine print.
  • Extreme sports including, but not limited to:
    • kitesurfing
    • scuba-diving below 10 mt
    • whitewater rafting
    • paragliding
    • parachuting
    • hiking above 4500 mt
  • Mental health disorder
  • Congenital illnesses
  • All sexually transmitted diseases and conditions
  • Cancer
  • Substance abuse or addiction
  • Sleep disorders
  • Obesity or weight modification
  • Self-inflicted injury
  • Injury sustained while operating any motorized vehicle, aircraft or watercraft whether registered or not while under the influence of alcohol as defined under the law of the jurisdiction where the injury occurs or with a .08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), whichever is lower.
  • Routine medical examinations, including but not limited to vaccinations, immunizations, annual checkups, the issue of medical certificates and attestations, and examinations as to the suitability of employment or travel.
  • Dental treatment except for emergency dental treatment necessary to replace sound natural teeth lost or damaged in an accident covered hereunder or for the emergency relief of acute onset of pain
  • Eye surgery
  • Cosmetic o esthetic reasons
  • Exercise programs
  • Conditions incurred outside your certificate period.
  • Condition submitted to us for payment more than 60 days after the last day of the certificate period.
  • When departure from the home country is to obtain treatment in the destination country/countries.
  • Complications or consequences of a treatment or condition not covered hereunder.
  • Not included as Eligible Expenses as described herein.

See more excluded situations here

How do I choose a hospital?

With SafetyWing, you are covered in any hospital, if you don’t mind to anticipate the costs and file a claim afterward.

When I travel I always ask in the hotels where I am standing or the homeowner for a suggested hospital, if needed, but if you prefer to get assistance from the insurance company with choosing a hospital,  call +1 866-635-2163 (free from Skype).

They will often recommend a hospital they have dealt with before, which will make the claims process easier for you.

You can also use Google Maps and read reviews from other travelers.

I tend to choose private hospitals since they provide a quicker and more professional service and they are more familiar with international insurance claims.

If you have an emergency, though just get to the closest hospital with an ID and file a claim later.

However please note that if you need the insurance to settle the costs directly with the hospital so that you don’t have to anticipate the expenses, you will need to make sure that the hospital you choose understands and accept how international insurance companies work. Or in this case, it would be better to ask SafetyWing a suggested hospital, in order to facilitate the procedures.

How to make a claim

Making a claim is very easy, once you log into your account dashboard you will see a screen like this one in the picture below.

On the top left, you have a menu. Click on “Make a claim” and it will take you to a page with all the instructions on how to make your claim. (see the red screen below)

safetywing dashboard

In order to make sure you have everything you need to claim your refund, remember the following steps:

  • make sure you keep all the receipts from doctor visits, medicines, hospitals.
  • print or save the requested form beforehand, so you know what information you need to request.
  • remember to file a claim within 60 days from the mishap
  • remember that there is a 250$ deductible that is applied in some cases. Regardless, you will have to fill the claim even if it’s for a less amount because it will add up to your total amount of expenses and you will eventually receive a refund after the 250$ deduction.
  • Safetywing has a very attentive customer service that responds to any of your questions. If in doubt on how to fill a claim or anything else (not for a medical emergency) use the chat on their site. (green circle on the bottom-right)

make a claim on safetywing

How long does it take to receive a refund?

As you can see from the screenshot of the “file your claim” page, it may take up to 45 days to receive your refund but you can follow the process from the dashboard.

SafetyWing Travel and health insurance pros and cons

As with any travel insurance, there are pros and cons, but they are not the same for everyone and they are related to what you are looking for and what’s your priority.

In this case, I am a diver so the fact that SafetyWing doesn’t include diving it’s a huge CON if I am traveling to a destination where I intend to dive every day. I wouldn’t mind if I am not planning to dive.

Here below my PROS and CONS.

safetywing pros and cons

Reviews

I always check out reviews before any significant purchase. Here you can read through 50 reviews from Trustpilot.

The majority of the feedback are very good with real examples, others negative but with a sensitive and reasonable reply from the SafetyWing management.

You should definitely check it out yourself and make your own conclusion.

Would I choose safetyWing?

As I mentioned before I haven’t had the chance to try it myself because I have been in my home countries for a long time (between Italy and Mexico). Soon I will travel again and I will definitely consider it, especially for the affordable price and the partial coverage in my country. If I go diving a couple of times it will be more convenient for me to purchase dive insurance just for that occasion.

I hope this post was helpful, but if you have any question please do not hesitate to contact me.

Get a quote from SafetyWing

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