In this SafetyWing travel insurance review, we’ll explore what the plan offers, what it covers, and who it’s best for. Enjoy!
If you’ve read our other travel insurance reviews, you know our stance: We recommend travel insurance for most international travel.
The cost of emergency medical care outside your home country can be staggering, even in the cheapest travel destinations. It usually just isn’t worth the risk. Yes, you can save a few bucks by skipping travel insurance, but taking a chance on a financial disaster just doesn’t make sense.
The good news is that coverage for short trips usually isn’t too expensive. The best travel insurance companies offer options to fit every budget. But, long-term travelers and digital nomads sometimes face a challenge: Their odds of needing coverage increase with the length of time they’re away from home, and often, so do the costs.
SafetyWing is a medical travel insurance solution for the long-term traveler. It offers subscription-style pricing that renews every four weeks for an affordable price.
In this SafetyWing review, I’ll explain the coverage, its pricing, and the pros and cons. Hopefully, I’ll help you decide if SafetyWing is the right fit for you.
SafetyWing at a Glance
- Extendable international travel medical insurance
- Coverage available for 5 to 364 days
- Convenient and affordable monthly payments
- $250 deductible, $250,000 maximum limit
- Free coverage for up to 2 children under age 10 (excludes babies less than 15 days old)
- Get a free quote
SafetyWing Travel Insurance Products
SafetyWing offers one straightforward insurance product. It’s primarily a travel medical plan designed to provide extendable coverage for emergency medical treatment world-wide. The plan maximum is $250,000 and the deductible is $250, although it doesn’t apply to every type of claim.
SafetyWing Travel Insurance: What’s Included
SafetyWing includes emergency medical benefits and emergency travel benefits that protect you while you’re abroad.
Medical benefits include:
- Hospital stays, including intensive care unit
- Ambulance transport
- Outpatient physical therapy and chiropractic care
- Emergency dental
- Emergency eye exam
- Acute onset of pre-existing conditions (exclusions apply)
- Urgent care
As I said, the overall plan maximum is $250,000, but some benefits have their own maximums. Make sure you refer to the description of coverage for complete details.
Emergency travel benefits cover you for the annoying inconveniences that can accompany travel (think delays and lost luggage) and also for huge expenses that you hope will never arise (like emergency medical evacuation).
Below are the primary travel benefits and their limits, but this isn’t an exhaustive list. As always, check with SafetyWing for the nitty-gritty details before you buy.
|Emergency Travel Benefit||Limit|
|Emergency Medical Evacuation||Up to $100,000 lifetime maximum|
|Repatriation of Remains||Up to $20,000|
|Political Evacuation||Up to $10,000 lifetime maximum|
|Trip Interruption||Up to $5,000|
|Accidental Death and Dismemberment||18 through 69:|
Lifetime Maximum - $25,000
Lifetime Maximum - $5,000
|Common Carrier Accidental||18 through 69: $50,000 |
Under 18: $10,000
|Lost Checked Luggage||Up to $3,000|
|Travel Delay||Up to $100 a day after a 12-hour delay period requiring an unplanned overnight stay for maximum 2 days|
SafetyWing Travel Insurance: How Much Does it Cost?
You can buy coverage upfront with SafetyWing for a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 364 days. The default way to purchase, though, is in renewable 4-week increments. Every 4 weeks, your credit card is charged and your coverage renews unless you cancel – just like a subscription.
The price of coverage is based on your age group and whether you’ll be traveling to the U.S. (hint: that makes it more expensive).
Here’s how it breaks down for four weeks of coverage:
|Age||Price excluding U.S. travel||Price including U.S. travel|
|15 days to less than 10 years||$0||$0|
|10 to 39 years||$36.96||$67.76|
|40 to 49 years||$59.92||$111.44|
|50 to 59 years||$94.08||$183.68|
|60 to 69 years||$127.68||$250.60|
|*Current as of September 24, 2019|
Every covered adult can get one child under age 10 (but at least 15 days old) covered for free. That means a couple can insure 2 kids for no extra charge. Babies less than 15 days old are not covered and extra kids are charged the 10 to 39-year-old rate.
To put it in perspective, an American family with 2 parents in their 30s with 2 kids under 10 would only pay $73.92 for 4 weeks of coverage outside the U.S. That’s an excellent price!
A note about the subscription-style pricing: You don’t need to worry about being burned. Your coverage renews 3 days before taking effect, so if you cancel within that 3-day window, you’ll get a full refund. If you wait until the extension is effective, you can still cancel, but there’s a $25 fee. So, try not to do that.
SafetyWing Travel Insurance: What Isn’t Covered?
SafetyWing doesn’t cover treatment of pre-existing medical conditions except in the case of acute onset. Acute onset means there’s a sudden, brief flareup that gets progressively worse, for which you need immediate treatment. Otherwise, pre-existing conditions aren’t covered.
Note that SafetyWing considers a condition pre-existing if you’ve had symptoms or sought treatment within the 2 years prior to the beginning of coverage. That 2 years is called the look-back period, and it’s on the lengthy side. Some providers have look-back periods as short as 60 days.
High-Risk Activities and Professional or Organized Sports
SafetyWing covers an impressive range of almost 100 sports and activities, but they don’t cover professional or organized sports. Not sure what qualifies as an organized sport? If there’s a scheduled practice involved, it’s not covered. While not as robust as World Nomads, SafetyWing has a much bigger list of covered activities than most policies.
There’s also a list of excluded high-risk activities that you can refer to on their website. Some examples include:
- Running with bulls
- Whitewater rafting
This is standard fare, but cancer treatment isn’t covered by SafetyWing. The policy is really only meant to cover treatment of acute illness and injury that could pop up while you’re away.
SafetyWing Travel Insurance: Who Is Covered?
SafetyWing will cover anyone between the ages of 15 days and 69 years. You are covered everywhere while traveling outside of your home country except:
- North Korea
They also can’t cover Cuban citizens. Other than that, there are no restrictions.
SafetyWing Travel Insurance: Pros and Cons
|Extendable coverage||Seniors over 69 aren’t covered|
|Free coverage for kids under 10 (conditions apply)||No trip cancellation|
|Coverage available in the U.S.||No customization|
|Reasonable number of sports and activities are covered||Long look-back period for pre-existing medical conditions|
|You’re covered for a trip home every 90 days|
Who Should Buy SafetyWing Travel Insurance?
Anyone looking for simple, affordable coverage – SafetyWing doesn’t offer a pile of customization options (actually, it doesn’t offer any), but for some, that’s a plus. It’s straightforward, easy to understand, and priced competitively.
Nomads and long-term travelers – SafetyWing offers an affordable and practical solution to the long-term traveler or digital nomad. Because it renews automatically every 28 days, you don’t need to worry about specifying a coverage termination date if your trip is open-ended. Coverage must begin outside your home country, but every 90 days, you’re covered for an incidental trip home lasting up to 30 days (15 days for the U.S.). This works really well for people who are spending extended periods of time outside their home country.
Families – Because SafetyWing includes free coverage for one kid per adult, it’s a great deal for families. Remember, this only applies to children who are older than 14 days and younger than 10 years, and only for a maximum of 2 kids.
Who Should Skip SafetyWing Travel Insurance?
Travelers looking for trip cancellation – SafetyWing doesn’t include trip cancellation insurance. While a lack of trip cancellation also means the premiums can be lower, if trip cancellation is important to you, you’ll need to look elsewhere. (Psst…you may want to check out these Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits!)
Anyone looking for customization – With SafetyWing, what you see is what you get. There’s no option to increase your coverage, no option to change your deductible, and no add-on features.
Seniors over age 69 – If you’re over 69, SafetyWing won’t cover you, full stop.
People with pre-existing medical conditions – Not saying you should skip it, but travelers with pre-existing medical conditions need to be wary of SafeyWing’s two-year look-back period. This is important because it means any conditions for which you’ve sought treatment or had symptoms in the past two years won’t be covered. That’s a long time. Other providers have much shorter look back periods.
How To Buy SafetyWing Travel Insurance
You can purchase SafetyWing Travel Insurance online for a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 364 days. People who are traveling long term, though, have the option of buying and renewing in 28-day (4-week) increments.
If you opt for the subscription-style setup, your credit card will be charged 3 days before your coverage renews. You can cancel within that 3-day window and get a full refund. If you want to cancel once a renewal has kicked in, you’ll have to pay a $25 cancellation fee.
You can keep renewing every month up until 364 days. After that, you’ll have to buy a new policy. It should be noted that you can purchase insurance even after you’ve started your trip.
How to Make a Claim
Tokio Marine handles claims and is available around the clock to provide assistance. To file a claim, you fill out a claimant’s statement (available on the website) and mail or email it in, along with an original itemized bill and payment receipts.
You have 60 days from the last day of coverage to submit a claim. The exception to that is if medical treatment is administered after the insurance end date – then you have 60 days from that date.
SafetyWing Travel Insurance: Do You Need it?
Well, let’s put it this way: If you’ll be traveling outside your home country, you need travel medical insurance. Whether that’s SafetyWing or another provider is up to you.
SafetyWing is a good choice for long-term travelers and digital nomads because it’s extendable and affordable. Short-term vacation travelers, however, might prefer a policy with trip cancellation that protects their financial investment in their trip.
- Medical Coverage
- Covered Activities & Sports
- Other Coverage Options
SafetyWing Medical Insurance Review
SafetyWing is a very solid option for travel medical insurance coverage, especially if you are planning some extended travel. Although SafetyWing does offer other limited emergency travel benefits (like lost checked luggage coverage), their focus is on travel medical insurance for long-term travelers. Anyone between the ages of 15 days to 69 years can obtain coverage, and coverage extends almost everywhere outside of the insured’s home country. If your main concern is having emergency medical coverage while you travel, a policy from SafetyWing deserves your consideration.
- Emergency medical coverage can be used almost everywhere outside insured’s home country
- Covers ages 15 days to 69 years
- Kids under 10 covered free (conditions apply)
- Good coverage for sports and activities
- Also available for travel to U.S.
- Covered for trip home every 90 days
- Seniors over age 69 are not eligible
- No trip cancellation coverage
- No customizations
- 2-year look-back period for pre-existing conditions