Travel Insurance Overview for Digital Nomads & Freelancers (2023)

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Travel insurance is crucial for digital nomads and freelancers who work remotely and travel frequently. If you’re one of them, you’re likely to face potential risks and challenges more often and for more extended periods than regular travelers.

In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview of travel insurance for digital nomads and freelancers. You’ll find everything you need to know to choose the best-suited travel insurance policy for your needs.

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Why Do You Need Travel Insurance?

Travel medical insurance is designed to prevent you from losing a lot of money when your travel plans are interrupted by unexpected medical issues, cancellations, damages, and other losses. These kinds of events can also affect your income in the case of not being able to work due to an illness or the loss of equipment.

Well-chosen travel and medical insurance can provide you with financial security and peace of mind while you explore the world.

Travel and medical insurance is especially important for freelancers and digital nomads who work remotely from different countries and move around frequently.

Here are some main reasons why you should consider having travel insurance:

Obligation to comply with the visa requirements or entry regulations of some countries that mandate travel (medical) insurance.

Otherwise having limited or no health insurance coverage abroad (when traveling outside your home country).

If you already have no health insurance coverage in your home country.

Exposure to health risks such as infectious diseases, environmental hazards, or food poisoning when traveling.

Exposure to other unexpected medical emergencies or accidents that require urgent care or hospitalization abroad.

Protection against baggage loss and theft, flight delays or cancellations, COVID-19, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, wars, political unrest, and other unforeseen events.

Need for peace of mind and financial security while traveling.

Need for a network of reliable and qualified medical providers around the world.

How to Choose the Best Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads & Freelancers

To choose the right travel insurance policy for your needs, you should consider factors such as:

Your destination(s) of travel.

  • Some destinations may pose higher risks than others due to factors such as political instability, natural disasters, crime rates, health issues, dangerous animals, etc.
  • Check the travel advisories and warnings issued by your government or other sources before traveling to your chosen country.
  • Always check if your destination country requires you to have travel insurance as a condition of entry.
  • Look for a policy that covers your destination and any transit countries you may visit.

The duration of your travel.

  • The length of your trip may affect the cost and availability of travel insurance.
  • Some policies may have limits on how long you can be covered for, or even how many trips you can take in a year.

Your budget and level of risk tolerance.

  • The cost of your trip may affect how much coverage you need and how much of a premium you pay.
  • The more costly your trip is, the more coverage you might need in case you have to cancel or interrupt it due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • OUR TIP: Always compare different policies based on their benefits, exclusions, limitations, and prices.

Health conditions and pre-existing medical issues.

  • Look for travel insurance that covers your pre-existing conditions, chronic illnesses, prescription drugs, and dental care, if needed.
  • OUR TIP: Check the limits, deductibles, and exclusions of your medical coverage and compare them with the average costs of healthcare in your destination.

The type of coverage you need.

  • Different policies may offer different types of coverage, such as trip cancellation or delay, trip interruption, medical expenses, emergency evacuation, baggage loss, etc.
  • OUR TIP: Consider what kind of benefits you want to have and need the most in case something goes wrong.

Your work requirements and technical equipment.

  • Consider your work requirements and equipment when choosing travel insurance.
  • Look for a travel insurance policy that covers your laptop, camera, phone, and other valuable items in case of theft, loss, or damage.
  • OUR TIP: Always check the sub-limits and deductibles of your personal belongings coverage and make sure they match the value of your items.

Your personal preferences and lifestyle.

  • Some of the activities you want to pursue while traveling may be considered high-risk or adventurous by some insurers and may not be covered by standard policies.
  • These activities may include skiing, scuba diving, climbing, bungee jumping, etc.
  • OUR TIP: If you plan on engaging in such activities, look for a policy that explicitly covers them.

Comparison of Top Travel Insurance Providers for Digital Nomads & Freelancers

There are numerous travel insurance providers available in the market today. However, they each have different benefits and perks, and can be more suitable in specific circumstances.

At the time of writing, all the providers on the list are sitting at 4 or more stars on Trustpilot.

Always choose travel insurance based on your individual needs, preferences, budget, and travel destinations. Carefully read the policy details to understand what is covered under it and what definitely isn’t.

SafetyWing – Affordable & Flexible Medical Insurance for Digital Nomads

SafetyWing’s main selling point is its affordability and flexibility, making it an ideal choice for digital nomads, freelancers, and remote workers seeking budget-friendly medical and travel insurance. With their plans, any national who is at least 14 days old (up to 69 years old) is eligible for coverage outside of their home country.

SafetyWing Coverage
• Unexpected illness (including COVID-19)
or injury: eligible expenses for hospital, doctor,
or prescription drugs outside
your home country

• Evacuation from local unrest,
unplanned overnight stay, lost checked luggage
Around $45 for up to 4 weeks
for a member aged 10-39
• Affordable

• Subscription to continuous coverage

• Travel to multiple countries with 1 policy

• Can be purchased online for 4 weeks
& extended or canceled at any time
NOT covered:
• Cancer treatment

• Routine check-ups

• Pre-existing conditions

• Professional (high-risk) sports and activities

SafetyWing Insurance is flexible, since it can be purchased even while already abroad. Additionally, it’s super easy to purchase since it operates like a monthly subscription. It’s a budget-friendly option compared to many other insurance providers available on the market, starting at $45 for 4 weeks.

At LibertyLancer, we’ve used SafetyWing numerous times due to its affordability and the ability to purchase coverage for 4 weeks at a time. This has made it perfect for short stings when we’ve needed coverage when domestic-only insurance hasn’t been enough.

Check out SafetyWing’s website and generate a quote based on your specific needs using their price calculator.

BattleFace – For Adventurous Fans of Extreme Activities

BattleFace is a specialist travel insurance company for adventurous digital nomads and business travelers who need more than ordinary coverage. You can purchase it while you’re already traveling – in this case, coverage will start 24 hours after purchase and an exclusion for pre-existing medical conditions once again applies.

BattleFace Coverage
• Comprehensive coverage for medical expenses

• Trip cancellation, trip interruption,
and baggage loss, or delay

• Adventure activities
* Varies depending on
the level of coverage
selected, the duration
of the trip, and your age
• Customizable coverage for
& remote destinations

• 24/7 travel assistance & emergency support
• Higher cost

• Not available everywhere (e.g.
not in Canada)

NOT covered:
• Dangerous activities

• Mental health

Compared to its competitors, BattleFace is more costly. However, it has an extremely comprehensive policy setup, with by far the highest medical expenses coverage on this list. It also offers coverage for unconventional or remote destinations, including those under government travel advisories and COVID-19 restrictions.

At the time of writing, it also has the highest Trustpilot rating, sitting at 4.7 out of 5.

Unfortunately, due to being a startup, BattleFace isn’t globally available at the moment (i.e. currently not in Canada). On the other hand, it does offer space travel insurance. Are you up for an adventure beyond the ends of the earth?!

Read the full policy of BattleFace Insurance & generate a quote based on your specific needs.

Insured Nomads – Comprehensive Insurance Solutions for Global Travelers

Insured Nomads specializes in insurance products for digital nomads, expats, remote workers, international students, and other location-independent individuals. They offer a variety of insurance options, including travel insurance, global health insurance, group packages, and annual membership.

Insured Nomads Coverage
• Comprehensive coverage for
medical expenses, emergency dental,
pre-existing conditions, eye care,
accidental death, COVID-19

• Optional: adventure sports
* Varies by age, destination, & plan type

• Typical coverage cost: $86/mo
• Comprehensive & customizable

• Many plan types available:
– travel medical insurance (World Explorer),
– trip insurance (World Explorer Guardian),
– annual short multi-trip (World Explorer Multi)
& more

• Real-time alerts
• Higher cost

• Limited geographical
coverage with many plan

NOT covered:
• Maternity benefits

Insured Nomads offer a good amount of customizable plans. When it comes to travel insurance, their ‘World Explorer’ plan covers emergency medical expenses you may incur during your trip in the destination country. This plan also includes coverage for non-medical situations.

For those who travel frequently, Insured Nomads also offers “World Explorer Multi”, a worldwide annual multi-trip travel insurance plan that covers multiple short trips in a year.

In addition to traditional travel insurance, Insured Nomads offers coverage for COVID-19-related expenses such as health updates, vaccinations, emergency evacuation, as well as treatment for pre-existing conditions and emergency dental care. 

However, keep in mind no cover is provided for any trip in, to, or through Cuba, Iran, Syria, Sudan, North Korea, or the Crimea region (although the World Explorer Hotspot plan covers some of these).

Browse your preferred Insured Nomad travel insurance plan type, read the full policy details of the available packages, and generate a quote based on your specific needs. Every package has a ‘get quote’ button for easy access.

Quick Overview of Top Travel Insurance Providers for Digital Nomads & Freelancers

SafetyWing Insurance
Insured Nomads
(World Explorer)
Trustpilot score
Medical expenses
• $250,000
• $100,000 from
65 y.o. & above
$10,000,000• Up to $2,000,000
• $50,000/$100,000 from 70 to 79 y.o.
$250$250From $0 to $500
Emergency dental
Up to $1,000Up to $500$300 max for palliative care only
Trip interruption
Up to $5,000Up to $2,000$10,000
Travel delay
Up to $100/day
after a 12-hour
delay, max. of 2 days
YesNo (only with World Explorer Guardian)
Lost checked luggage
Up to $3,000 per
policy period
$500 per item
$2,000 up to $10,000$50 per item, $500 max
Repatriation of remains
Up to $20,000$10,000,000 (within the medical expenses limit)$100,000
Emergency medical evacuation
Up to $100,000$10,000,000 (within the medical expenses limit)$1,000,000/
through 69 y.o.
Covid-19 coverage
Cancellation costs
NoYesNo (only with World Explorer Guardian)
NoYesNo (only with World Explorer Guardian)

The information we provide in our article is a summary of the top insurance providers for digital nomads, freelancers, and remote workers. The overview doesn’t include all terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions, and provisions of the policies described. Insurance coverage may not be the same or even available for residents of all countries. For a complete description of the coverage, please carefully read the relevant policies.

Quick Travel Insurance Glossary

Find the definitions for commonly used terms in the travel insurance industry in our glossary below.

It’s crucial for you to understand what the specialist terms used in travel insurance policies mean. This way you’ll understand what you really get with your travel insurance purchase, as well as what the obligations of the insurance provider and yourself are.

The definitions and explanations in our quick glossary are for explanatory purposes only. Definitions vary between insurers. Always refer to the travel insurer’s individual policy before deciding if the insurance is right for you.

Accident – An unexpected, sudden, unintended, and external event or incident which causes injury on your trip.

Certificate Period – Policy period, i.e. the total time period you are covered under a travel insurance plan.

COVID-19 coverage – Coverage for coronavirus COVID-19-related expenses for services and treatment.

Deductible – Amount you agree to pay out of your own pocket before your travel insurance policy begins paying the balance amount of the claim. For instance, if you took travel insurance of $1,000 with a $100 deductible, it implies you would have to pay $100 from your pocket before availing of the claim benefits.

Emergency evacuation – If you are injured in a remote location, you will be transported (including being air-lifted) to another location where there is an appropriate medical facility. It involves arrangements for any means necessary to transport you to a medical facility or back home, if necessary.

Medical expenses – Any medical treatment you may need while abroad, including hospital or ambulance costs, hospital stays, and transportation back home, if necessary.

Trip cancellation or interruption coverage – Covers any financial losses if your trip is canceled or interrupted for a covered reason. In case you’re no longer able to travel due to an unexpected event, injury, or illness, and you need to cancel or withdraw bookings, trip cancellation coverage provides reimbursement for non-refundable trip payments.

Physician – A licensed practitioner of medical, surgical, or dental services acting within the scope of their license. The treating physician may not be you, your traveling companion, or family member.

Policy – A formal, legally-binding contract of insurance that includes the terms of your cover.

Pre-existing condition – Any disease, illness, or injury that exists prior to the application date or the date your insurance coverage takes effect.

FAQs – Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads & Freelancers

What’s the difference between travel insurance and travel medical insurance?

The main difference between travel insurance and travel medical insurance is the scope of coverage they provide.

Travel insurance primarily covers trip-related incidents, such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, missed connections, etc.

Travel medical insurance focuses on emergency medical, dental expenses, and medical evacuation (depending on your plan) while you are traveling abroad.

Travel insurance may include some medical benefits, but they are usually very limited. Travel medical insurance may offer more comprehensive and primary coverage for foreign treatments that your regular health insurance in your home country most likely won’t cover.

Depending on your destination, duration, and purpose of travel, you may need a mix of both types of insurance to protect yourself from unforeseen events. Find out how to choose the best travel insurance for digital nomads & freelancers.

Do I have to get travel insurance?

For some countries travel insurance is an obligatory entry requirement. Without it, you might be turned away at the border.

Even if you’re traveling to a country that doesn’t require travel insurance, obtaining it can still provide benefits such as coverage for delays, cancellations, lost or damaged luggage, and medical expenses (depending on the selected coverage). Find out more about why you need travel insurance.

Do digital nomads need travel insurance?

Digital nomads aren’t obliged to have insurance unless their visa requires it. However, it’s worth considering having travel & medical insurance anyway.

Travel insurance will protect you from the various risks you may encounter during traveling. It will provide coverage for medical emergencies, lost or stolen luggage, trip cancellation, or interruption, depending on the plan and provider you choose.

Check out our comparison of top travel insurance providers for digital nomads & freelancers and choose the best insurance for your journey.