Personal Insurance For Digital Nomads And Vanlifers – Do Take it personally!
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a
mouse large dog’…
…That was until I woke up after a heavy works Christmas party and had to nip to the loo to relieve myself of a quart of mulled wine and a mince pie at 2.00am. As I gracefully slipped out of bed and tiptoed around the room, I managed to hit my knee on the bed, tripping over in the process. And then falling onto the upturned heel of my best and pointiest stilettos – lying helpfully in the middle of the bedroom floor.
Okay, so maybe I embellished a chunk of that (I don’t do stilettos. Ever). But the painfully true part is that I always seem to walk right into our bed when attempting the dangerous traverse from my bedside to the bathroom. It’s easy for Dave, he just rolls out and crawls to the bathroom – a lot like this!
Generally, I would say I have pretty good spatial awareness. In fact I think it’s all about time we considered this to be accurate. But despite that, there’s something about navigating a large bed in the dark which always gets me.
Needless to say, this is a bit less of an issue when we are parked up in Irene. But the truth of the matter is that it is very easy for the travelling and nomadic lifestyle dream can easily turn into a nightmare. With a bit of bad luck, and a lot of bad decisions when it comes to personal insurance for digital nomads and vanlifers.
In my time I have managed to cut my leg open falling off my bike while in France
I’ve also been bitten by a dog in Bali. I had a two-week bout of gastroenteritis in New Zealand which resulted in me spending most of my best friend’s wedding either in the toilet or hovering near the toilet, trying to secure myself the premier cubicle. And finally, I also got a 2.00am case of dysentery before a charity bike ride. Which ended with me on a saline drip in a makeshift emergency room in a cinema. Oh yes, and it was in a ski-resort, at the top of the French Alps. Needless to say, I was punch-drunk, after that drip!
I was lucky in each of those instances I was able to get good quality help immediately and had suitable cover in each of the countries I was visiting. One of the advantages of the digital nomad or full-timer vanlife lifestyle is that you can go anywhere, do anything, and live exactly how you want. With this freedom comes risk, and responsibility. The risk is of living somewhere which has a great beach and cheap cocktails – mojito please. But not such sparkling healthcare, infrastructure, sanitation, etc. Or parking up to take in the glorious, beautiful landscapes and exciting local food, but a society where law and order is lacking, and theft is common.
The responsibility is to look after and protect yourselves in those situations.
As well as mitigating physical risk, taking out suitable personal insurance for Digital Nomads And Vanlifers is essential. It might sound like the height of negativity and ‘getting old’ syndrome. But the fact is, many of us who seek financial and location independence will have invested a lot, if not all of our available wealth and assets to do so. So Personal Insurance For Digital Nomads And Vanlifers is so essential.
What to consider when looking at policies
- Coverage starts anywhere. It might sound stupid, but sometimes we don’t have the luxury of getting a policy for an ongoing trip when we are in our ‘home residence’ country. Many policies have this as a prerequisite, which is incredibly annoying. Fortunately, tailored nomad plans tend to allow you to start a policy from anywhere. But check to be sure.
- Covers you home country – a great option if you might hail from a location without free healthcare.
- Will you be working in the USA? If you need cover for the US, you will find your policy price goes up quite dramatically due to the cost of healthcare there. Most policies exclude US cover as their default option.
- Your age. As you get older things inevitably get more expensive. The starkest changes come when you turn 30 or 60, so be prepared for this.
- Length of stay. Many policies offer year-round cover, if this is what you want, great. But you could make savings if you opt for shorter trip cover or by combining smaller coverage.
- Type of options. The most expensive additional options you might need are cancellation and rental car collision coverage. Do you need these?
- Covers Covid? Inevitable but now necessary to consider.
- Covers Cancer? This can make a difference to cost.
- Covers pre-existing conditions. Some will make allowances for certain things, but you must disclose when you take the policy out.
- Do you need global coverage?
- Do you need to be a ‘permanent resident’ of any country you claim in?
- Do you require a certain level of qualification of doctor to treat you? This might be more of a challenge in less developed countries.
- Do you need an end date for your trip?
- Do you need coverage for ‘adventure’ activities? Check what this means. Many policies will have a relatively Calvinist approach to adventure and things like scuba and mountain hiking are precluded – so check thoroughly.
In our experience, Safety Wing offer three great policies which cover almost all of the main considerations as a digital nomad. They have an individual cover and even a policy which covers remote companies. Maybe you want to build a digital tribe of fellow nomads from around the world. You can even offer them the perk of company health and personal insurance with custom add-ons for individual members.
There are many angles to consider here, as with any insurance, and the main priority is to make sure you are actually covered if you need it. Policies are expensive, they might end up costing you around $300 per month. So factor in your requirements, and don’t scrimp if you don’t want it to come around and bite you later. Expat Den and Project Untethered offer tremendous advice and cover the main players.