Comparing travel insurance plans really isn’t much fun.

I mean, who wants to go through the dozens of line items or read through endless terms and conditions? And yet… getting a comprehensive travel insurance plan is essential to having peace of mind when you travel.

To save you time, I did some of the boring work by examining three travel insurance providers that are popular with independent travelers, backpackers, and nomads. I closely compared their policies including the important fine print (like deductibles).

I’ve also personally used two of them, which has given me some experience with their systems and customer service.

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But wait! Before you scroll along, there are two things to mention.

First, the prices mentioned here are only examples. The exact price of a policy may depend on your home country, age, or where exactly you’re traveling. You can find out more by getting a personalized quote. I selected a trip of 30 days but travel insurance can be any trip length.

Second, the prices exclude any travel in the US. Because healthcare in the US is a bit of its own beast, basically all travel insurers charge extra for it. This overview is focused on non-US international travel.

 

Heymondo review

Example cost: €114 or $123 for 30 days (premium plan)
Underwriter: AXA

If you’re not sure which travel insurance to get, I recommend Heymondo. They offer good value for money, a streamlined app, and clear policies without any deductibles. I use them myself!

Not heard of Heymondo yet? They’ve been around since 2016 and they’re backed by AXA, the world’s second-largest insurance company.

Value for money
If you’re from Europe, then Heymondo will likely cost you a bit less than World Nomads. If you’re from the United States, then Heymondo may actually be significantly cheaper. For example, a 30-day plan with Heymondo will be around $123 (Premium Plan) versus ~ $205 with World Nomads (Explorer Plan).

Easy to use app
The Heymondo app lets you easily manage your policy, make claims, and get 24/7 travel assistance. You can also contact Heymondo through Whatsapp. This is a lot nicer than using clunky online forms or filling out PDFs.

No copayments, deductibles, or excess
This means there isn’t a part you have to pay first before your insurance starts to pay.

Tailored policies
Different plans are available for individual trips, long term travel, or annual coverage (which has a generous 120-day maximum trip length)

Covid-19 included
Heymondo has kept insuring for covid-19 related issues. The only thing is that you can’t use the cancellation coverage if your reason for canceling a trip is an epidemic.

Could have more activities covered by default
Heymondo covers basic sports and activities like riding a motorbike, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and surfing. However, other activities such as scuba diving, caving, hang gliding, mountain biking, quad biking, or trekking require paying a supplement.

Useful Tip 1: Heymondo Premium offers the best value. It costs only 15-20% more than the Top and Medical policies but the coverage is way better.

Useful Tip: 2: If you travel a lot or planning a longer trip (up to 120 days), then consider the Heymondo Annual Multi-Trip package. Example: insuring a 120-day backpacking trip using single-trip insurance would cost around €336, but only €155 with annual multi-trip. If your trip is longer than 120 days, you can choose Heymondo Long Stay Insurance.

 

World Nomads review

Example cost: $205 for 30 days (US resident)
€116 for 30 days (EU resident)
Underwriter: many different ones

World Nomads has long been recommended by big brands such as Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel, but they’re facing more competition these days.

While World Nomads is a good insurer, you may find more advantages with Heymondo or SafetyWing — especially for longer trips.

Good coverage
World Nomads provides thorough coverage for numerous eventualities including cancellation, medical emergencies, liability, and so on. They’re also one of the most recognized brands in travel insurance for independent travelers.

Inconsistent offering
World Nomads uses various underwriters including Nationwide, Bupa, AXA and Lloyd’s — and the policies will be entirely different based on your home country. This makes it difficult to generalize about what World Nomads offers. Some of the policies have deductibles you’ll need to keep in mind.

Best for sports & adventure
While every World Nomads policy is different, they tend to have more sports and activities included by default. For example, in the policy I had, quad biking or rock climbing were included without needing to pay a supplement.

No annual multi-trip or digital nomad insurance
There are no tailored offerings for frequent or long term travelers.

No covid-19 coverage
World Nomads doesn’t cover covid-19. During the pandemic, it excluded all coverage for any country with a covid-19 travel warning (which was basically everywhere at one point)

All things considered, World Nomads may not be the strongest offering, though it depends on the type of trip. They can be a bit expensive too. The main reason I’ve included it here is that it’s such a big brand and has long been the favored insurer of many bloggers and travel sites.

If you want to compare for yourself, you can get a quote below.

 

SafetyWing review

Example cost: $43 for 30 days
(for ages under 40; cost rises with age)
Underwriter: Tokio Marine

SafetyWing’s is mainly targeted at digital nomads needing ongoing insurance, though they can also be an interesting option for backpackers and long-term travelers.

Policies are cheaper (especially if you’re young) but they are also more limited in several respects.

Subscription-based insurance for nomads
While you can use it for single-trip insurance, by default SafetyWing works on a month-to-month basis. It’s tailored to digital nomads and remote workers who travel year-round or for extended periods. There are more deductibles and somewhat lower coverages, but the plan is also more affordable and suitable for insurance on an ongoing basis.

Home country coverage
After being abroad for 90 days, you can keep using medical coverage for up to 30 days in your home country if something happens while you’re there. This unique feature is ideal for nomads making occasional home visits.

Cheaper if you’re young
The standard policy is just $40 per month if you’re under 40. But this goes up to $64 for age 40-49, $101.64 for age 50-59, and $137.76 for age 60-69.

Deductibles & lower maximums
With such low prices, there has to be a catch. Well, the coverages are lower: there is a total maximum of $250,000, while Heymondo or World Nomads cover medical expenses for up to multiple millions. There is also a $250 deductible. This means in the case of any incident you’ll have to pay out of pocket up to $250 before SafetyWing will start compensating you.

Withdrew then re-added covid-19 coverage
SafetyWing initially excluded covid-19 coverage, despite not having a pandemic exclusion clause in its policy, which angered some customers. In August 2020, they added covid-19 coverage back in.

SafetyWing is a great insurer, though you’ll be accepting some lower coverage in return for lower costs.

If you’re looking for basic insurance on a budget, or for travel insurance that works well for those traveling continuously, then SafetyWing could be the best travel insurance for you.

 

Tips for using travel insurance

I’ve done my best to summarize the pros and cons of these travel insurers here, but you should always read the fine print and understand what your insurance does and doesn’t cover. The links in this post are affiliate links, though I’ve tried to give an objective review.

Keep in mind that travel insurance policies are intended for emergency medical coverage abroad, so they don’t cover preexisting conditions and they (normally) don’t cover medical issues at home. SafetyWing offers a rare exception on this.

When it comes to theft coverage, know that you’ll need proper documentation to make any claim, often including a police report. You can’t claim anything for petty theft (situations where you left your belongings unguarded). Check if your policy includes coverage for electronics, as this is sometimes a separate add-on.

All insurers reviewed here will let you buy insurance while you’re already traveling, or extend/renew a policy while you’re on the road.


Some links (such as to booking sites) may be affiliate links, meaning I may earn commission from products or services I recommend. You can read about my site policies.