February 1, 2023

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Heymondo vs. WorldNomads or SafetyWing?

Comparing travel insurance plans really isn’t much fun. Who wants to go through policy pages with endless terms and conditions?

And yet… getting a travel insurance plan is essential to having peace of mind when you travel. And knowing what’s in your policy is key. 

To save you time (and possibly money) I’ve taken a closer look at three popular travel insurance providers, two of which I have also used myself. Every traveler is different, so I can’t exactly advise you on which travel insurance to get, but I can share some information that may help you make your own decision. 

Before you scroll forth, keep in mind that the prices mentioned below are only examples from the time that I queried these policies. The exact price of a policy may depend on your home country, age, or travel destinations. I selected a trip of 30 days but travel insurance can be for any trip length. 

Of course, the true test of an insurer comes when you have to make a claim; although this is very hard to gauge objectively, I’m showing their respective TrustPilot scores.

Heymondo review

Example cost: €114 or $123 for 30 days (premium plan)
Underwriter: AXA
Trustpilot rating: 4.5 stars

Heymondo is the insurance provider I’ve been using myself for several years. I find that they offer clear policies without any deductibles, a streamlined app where you can manage your policy or submit requests, and I like the prices of their policies.

They’re a bit more digitally savvy than other insurers I’ve used, offering communication through an app and even through WhatsApp. Whenever I needed to know something their customer service responded quickly.

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. This is a lot nicer than using clunky web forms or printing out PDFs, as is sadly often still the standard for most insurance companies.

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 60-day maximum individual trip length)

Covid-19 included
Heymondo kept insuring for covid-19 related issues. You only 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 costs only 15-20% more than the Top and Medical policies but the coverage is a lot more extensive, so it’s worth comparing these plans to see which one has the best value for you.

Useful Tip: 2: If you travel a lot, consider the Heymondo Annual Multi-Trip package. It covers you year-round for trips up to 60 days. If you do many trips not longer than 2 months, then it can be much cheaper to get the annual insurance than insuring them one by one. If your trip is longer than 60 days, you can look at 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
Trustpilot rating: 3.7 stars

World Nomads has long been recommended by big brands such as Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel. They’re one of the oldest travel insurers around focused on world/adventure travelers, though I think they have some specific pros and cons.

They don’t have an app and their policies are different everywhere depending on where you live. It’s worth comparing the prices and policies with Heymondo or SafetyWing closely — especially for longer trips, or if you’re US-based (where the prices seem to be almost doubled).

Highly recognized brand
World Nomads has built up a lot of trust and goodwill. When they started out, they were basically the only ones tailoring travel insurance to 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 that you’ll need to keep in mind. Be sure to read the policy wording.

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.

Only some policies cover covid-19
World Nomads only covers covid-19 for customers from certain countries. During the pandemic, it excluded all coverage for any country with a covid-19 travel warning (which was basically everywhere at one point)

The main reason I’ve included World Nomads is that it’s such a big brand that is known in the travel community. I’ve used them in the past but personally I think they face some competition these days.

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
Trustpilot rating: 4.4 stars

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.

The policies by SafetyWing are generally cheaper (especially if you’re young) but they are also more limited in several respects. This doesn’t mean SafetyWing is worse or better, it just means it’s specialized in a different way towards digital nomads or similar types of travelers. 

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. The plans are designed for ongoing coverage.

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 rare feature is ideal for nomads making occasional home visits. Travel insurance normally does not include this, so it’s something that SafetyWing has added.

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, the coverages are lower: there is a total maximum of $250,000 for medical expenses, while Heymondo or World Nomads cover this 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. 

Includes covid-19 coverage
While initially excluding coverage at the start of the pandemic, SafetyWing added covid-19 coverage back in August 2020.

SafetyWing is a great option, though the trade-off is that you’ll be accepting some lower coverage (compared to other insurers mentioned here) in return for lower costs. Considering the $250 deductible, you can think of SafetyWing as being more focused on big unexpected expenses or situations, and less on covering small issues you can pay for yourself. 

If you’re looking for travel insurance on a budget, or for travel insurance that works well if you’re traveling continuously, then SafetyWing is definitely worth considering.

 

Tips for using travel insurance

I’ve summarized 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, which may give me a small commission, though I set out 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. Only SafetyWing offers a rare exception on this.

When it comes to theft coverage, know that you’ll need proper documentation to make any claim, which often includes 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 may be affiliate links, meaning I may earn commission from products or services I recommend. For more, see site policies.