The in’s and out’s of coverage abroad, so you can travel far without being held back by life’s unexpected surprises.

Ultimate Guide To Travel Insurance

Ultimate Guide To Travel Insurance

Traveling is filled with new experiences and exciting opportunities, but it definitely doesn’t always go to plan! There are a lot of things that could go wrong while on the other side of the world. Be prepared for the worst with travel insurance coverage to protect yourself and your belongings with this ultimate guide to travel insurance.

There are so many things to cover, including your personal health, belongings, new camera, and the travel plan itself! But how do you know what insurance you need to cover everything? Keep reading to break down the available insurance options designed for travelers so that you can explore without worry!

Planning materials laid out on a map

Table of Contents

What insurance Do You Need

Types of Insurance

Travel Insurance: Insurance plan that covers trip interruptions or other costs related to travel including baggage delay, flight delay or cancellation, and hotel and rental car costs. Travel insurance is offered through many credit cards, covered in many travel medical & health plans, or can be purchased as a stand-alone plan. 

Travel Medical Insurance: Insurance plan that covers emergency medical needs while abroad. This is an excellent option for short and long-term travelers who don’t stay in the same country and don’t have underlying medical conditions.

Travel Health Insurance: Insurance while abroad to cover routine health needs & emergency medical needs. This is an excellent option for an expat or long-term digital nomad who needs regular doctor and dental visits.

Renter’s Insurance: Insurance plan that covers theft or damage to property. This will cover your personal assets both at home and while abroad!

Device Insurance: Insurance plan that covers electronic equipment and accessories. This is important for digital nomads and explorers that rely on their electronic devices such as a camera or laptops. While Renter’s Insurance does cover electronics, the limit may be lower than the value of the electronics property. 


Where Are you Insured

Since insurance is provided through contracted policies, there are limits and parameters that dictate where coverage is applied (and where it’s not)! And since insurance is a business, they get really good at slipping out of paying for you, so be sure that you understand the 

Be sure to read the policy to be sure of the coverage limitations, including your state of residence, country of residence, global, or any other restrictions. 

Insurance should be your best adventure buddy, not a limitation. Get a plan that allows you to live and travel to the fullest!

Be sure to check location limits for insurance policies to ensure you're covered everywhere you plan to travel!

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is the most basic and available insurance applicable to travelers, and many people don’t even know they’re already covered! Travel insurance is anything ranging from lost or delayed luggage, delayed or canceled flights, cancellations due to sickness or terrorism, rental car insurance, and more! Travel insurance can be obtained in many ways, including through Credit Card Benefits or bundled with a Medical Insurance plan

1. Credit Cards

Many credit cards are created with benefits and rewards for travelers when you use your card to book! There are so many options for credit cards designed for travelers. Check out the benefits of your credit card to see your benefits, you may already have travel insurance!

I have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card that covers everything I could want for travel coverage! This includes rental car insurance up to the value of the car and trip cancellation coverage for myself and direct family/travel companions. and baggage delay reimbursements! As a bonus, I get a $50 credit annually to apply toward any hotel booking!

2. Part of Medical Insurance

Most Medical Insurance policies created for travelers offer some travel insurance in their plan. It’s definitely a good idea to get emergency medical coverage while abroad to avoid any unforeseen costs due to an accident or injury. Many of these plans offer a variety of other benefits to help you out during your travels. Keep reading below for some of the best travel medical insurance to find out more about travel insurance coverage and your considerations and options!

Be sure to get the most value from your insurance policies by comparing the costs of different options. Even if a medical insurance option may bundle in travel insurance for an extra fee, you could be getting those benefits for free with a particular credit card. It's a puzzle to get all the right pieces together for full coverage and savings!

Medical Insurance

Medical Insurance vs. Health Insurance

Travel Medical Insurance covers unforeseen circumstances and emergency services while traveling abroad. This includes anything from illnesses, injuries, accidents, evacuation, and more! Basically, anything that doesn’t happen regularly and isn’t a result of a pre-existing condition. Medical Insurance does not cover health care for pre-existing conditions, routine health care office visits (dental cleanings, physicals, check-ups for anything), and anything found in the policies exclusions.

This article is only highlighting travel medical insurance; emergency medical needs while abroad. If you want access to routine doctor’s office visits and preventative medical attention, or you’re moving abroad long-term, look into travel Health Insurance.

Things To Look For in a plan

  • Emergency evacuation coverage
  • Support finding doctors abroad
  • Prescription medication coverage
  • Duration of coverage
  • Location of coverage & location specific considerations
  • List of exclusions to consider
  • Physical activities that are excluded
  • Primary insurance requirements

Depending on the duration of your travels, you may still want a medical health insurance plan in your home country of residence! If you’re a long-term traveler, that’s a cost you’re probably looking to cut. Be sure to look at the policy requirements of all of the medical insurance plans below to see if Primary Insurance is required and needs to be included in your budget.

Having health insurance in your home country may be overkill, and it also will likely not be needed. However, accidents happen, and if something happens and you have to come home for medical treatment, you better hope to have some essential coverage!

1. SafetyWing - *Nomad Insurance

SafetyWing is the best generic travel medical insurance plan that is affordable and covers the basic needs of every traveler. This includes emergency evacuation coverage, repatriation to the home country due to life-threatening injury or illness, and more. Although it does have its drawbacks – like its cookie cutter plan options and limited coverage for some things, it is definitely a great option for most travelers!

Plans & Prices

  1. *Nomad Insurance ($45.08/month) – Travel Medical Insurance
    Great standard coverage for the basics abroad. Nothing too fancy, nothing too skimpy, just right in the middle for your average traveler, usable indefinitely!
  2. Nomad Health ($123/month) – Travel Health Insurance
    In-encompassing health insurance with coverage for routine medical needs and coverage for pre-existing conditions. 
  3. Remote Health ($80/month/member) – Travel Health Insurance For Digital Nomad teams
Pros Cons
  • Affordable
  • Includes Travel Insurance
  • Ease of Use
  • Coverage provided at home every 3 months abroad
  • Plan can be started from anywhere and stay active until 70 years of age!
  • A lot of exclusions for activities
  • Vague language in policy
  • Added expense for coverage in the US (not applicable to US residents)
  • Travel insurance is limited
  • No customized policy options
  • Prescription limited to 60 days

2. World Nomads

World Nomads is an insurance provider that is designed for true explorers. Unlike SafetyWing, World Nomads offers packages based on your residency, destinations, and travel duration so you get exactly what you need for your adventure. Check out their website for a quote for your plan options based on your info! The plan prices listed below are an estimate and will change based on your age, location, and travel plans!

Plans & Prices

  1. Standard Plan ($100/month)*

    Great for travelers who aren’t afraid to push the limits and want to feel comfortable doing it. Includes some extreme sports and comprehensive medical coverage. 

  2. Explorer Plan ($150/month)*
    The Explorer Plan is for the most extreme adventurers who like to live on the edge. This is the best Medical Insurance plan out there for thrill seekers around the world!

*Costs based above are based on: age 26 American citizen traveling to Guatemala and Argentina for 6 months.
Pros Cons
  • Personalized cost based on travel needs and duration
  • Includes Travel Insurance
  • Ease of Use
  • Extensive coverage, limited exclusions
  • Includes loss, theft and damage of personal assets and gear
  • Covered domestically >100 miles from home
  • Cost
  • Limited to 180-day coverage
  • Not as reasonable for non-extremists

3. GeoBlue / HTH Worldwide - (US Residents Only)

GeoBlue (owned by Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield) has recently partnered with HTH Travel Insurance to offer additional options for coverage! This is a great option for anyone who doesn’t want their insurance set up to change a lot from home. Geoblue has many options for short-term travel, frequent explorers, and digital nomads and expats abroad! *Be sure to check if primary health insurance is required or not. If you’re a US resident traveling abroad, look for low-cost options covering basic emergency needs at home.

Plans & Prices

  1. Voyager ($25/month)* – Single Trip Insurance
    The Voyager plan is for single-trip travelers and is limited to 180 days. 
    (Hint: If you call before the expiration date you can extend your coverage!)
  2. Trekker ($175/month)* – Multi-Trip Insurance
    The Trekker Plan is for multi-trip travelers in a 12-month period. Travel cannot last longer than 70 days and requires that the insured has a primary health insurance policy.
  3. Xplorer Plan – Long-Term / Expat
    The Xplorer plan is for long-term travelers or expats that need a more permanent and full-coverage plan. Plan options are dependent on your destination, family, age, and more, so plan pricing differs situationally.
Pros Cons
  • Personalized cost based on travel needs and duration
  • Includes Travel Insurance
  • Expands to HTH Worldwide for additional options
  • Great coverage options in the US (necessary)
  • Great for people who need Rx abroad
  • Great travel insurance
  • Cost
  • Limited to 180-day coverage
  • 12-hour delay required for baggage reimbursements
  • Some plans require primary health insurance
  • Limited by State
  • Requires in-network providers abroad

Personal Property Insurance

For every traveler, the things you carry on your back are essential to your nomadic life! The extra movement puts wear and tear on your things and increases the chances of a major incident happening, potentially putting you out thousands. Renter’s Insurance is a great option for anyone with expensive gear they plan to bring on their adventures, including sporting equipment, gear, electronics, or jewelry! While some travel and medical insurance offers some coverage on tech gadgets and gear, chances are it’s not enough to cover the cost of some of these more expensive items.

As a digital nomad, I rely on my laptop and camera equipment to travel the world. That’s on top of my technical gear and personal items that I simply like to have. I feel safe and covered against the worst situations knowing Renter’s Insurance will cover my items.

Renter's Insurance vs Device Insurance

Renter’s insurance is a great option to insure your personal belongings and property! There are many options available with different exclusions and coverages based on your location and assets. However, the renter’s insurance may have a cost limitation in coverage.  

If you have high-tech devices you use and travel with, they could be valued at greater than $10,000. If that’s you, then you may want to find an insurance plan specifically designed for electrical gadgets to cover the cost of potential damage, especially considering the added movement that could impact your gear!

Summary - The Traveler's Guide To Insurance

Life doesn’t always go to plan, especially when you’re constantly on the go and living a world away! Making sure you have the coverage you need to save on unforeseen costs is the best way to move freely and easily knowing that you got your back. Thinking about travel insurance while setting up a credit card is a must, these often have the best travel insurance! When selecting medical insurance, be realistic about what you see yourself doing, and work around that to make sure your top needs are met.  

Posted by Taylor Mallaber in Insurance, Travel Planning, 0 comments