Backpacker insurance is one of the most important aspects of traveling and seeing the world. It can be the difference between the trip of a lifetime and a complete disaster. Always get it sorted before catching that plane, bus, or train! But the question is – which is the best backpacker insurance?
There are a number of different options when it comes to backpacker insurance policies that are designed for long-term travelers and digital nomads.
Most regular travel insurance policies will cover you for shorter trips but not longer ones. Companies like SafetyWing and HeyMondo have created backpacker and digital nomad-specific insurance policies to cater to these individuals.
I’ve designed this article to delve deeper into backpacker and digital nomad insurance and the companies that provide them. I’m going to tell you all about why backpacker insurance is so important and which are the best backpacker insurance options on the market.
Let’s dive right in!
Why is Backpacker Insurance Important?
As a backpacker, it is crucial to plan for any unforeseen accidents or emergencies. The last thing you want is to be caught without travel insurance. What might seem like an unnecessary additional expense, could save you a lot of money in the long run.
It is important to note that backpacker insurance is different from standard travel insurance. While standard travel insurance covers you for shorter trips, backpacker insurance is designed for those traveling on a long-term basis. It is also there to cover those backpackers and digital nomads traveling through multiple countries throughout the year.
A flight delay or cancelation can throw off all travel plans and rebooking on the day is exorbitant. Luggage is also often damaged, lost, or stolen.
However, one of the biggest of all expenses that you might encounter as a backpacker is medical or dental emergencies.
Luckily, all of these things can be avoided by the simple purchase of a backpacker travel insurance policy. While we always do our best to plan everything down to the smallest detail, mishaps happen – and no one is exempt.
While backpacker insurance is a necessity, no matter how short your trip is, it is especially important for those who travel for extended periods of time. Backpackers and digital nomads alike travel with all their expensive tech and essentials for life on the road. But where do you start when you’re trying to decide on the best backpacker insurance for your needs?
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SafetyWing: What is it and how does it work?
SafetyWing is a company that provides travel insurance specifically designed for digital nomads and people that travel frequently. The beauty of SafetyWing is that it is designed for travelers of all ages and nationalities – and it’s available worldwide!
The other massive draw card is that they offer their policies on a monthly basis at a fixed rate, which is less than $50! That’s right, worldwide coverage for less than $50 a month. That’s unheard of considering you get both travel and medical insurance included in the policy.
This being said, there are always pros and cons to everything in life. SafetyWing is no different, so let’s take a look at both the positives and the negatives of their policies.
- Policies can be purchased even after the commencement of your trip
- You get both medical and travel insurance for less than $50
- You are covered for anything Covid-19 related
- The most versatile travel insurance for long-term travelers and digital nomads
- Medical coverage is included for the country of origin
- Coverage is not offered in some countries around the world (Cuba, North Korea, and Iran)
- Some extreme sports are not covered in their policies (skydiving and paragliding)
- There are age restrictions for the coverage provided (those over 70 are not covered)
- Customer liaison during emergency situations can be slow
Overall, SafetyWing is a great long-term travel and medical insurance option – it is tailored for those who travel for extended periods of time. It is reasonable in terms of the money you pay versus the benefits you receive. Overall, SafetyWing is a highly-recommended backpacker insurance option for those frequent flyers and adventure seekers.
HeyMondo: What is it and How Does it Work?
The second company that I’m going to speak about in this post is HeyMondo. HeyMondo has been around for many years and as a result, they are one of the most experienced and best backpacker insurance providers. They’ve seen it all so it’s unlikely that you’ll have an issue that hasn’t been dealt with before.
The other great thing about HeyMondo is that they have a number of different plan options for you to choose from. Let’s take a quick look at the travel insurance plan options:
- Single Trip – this provides coverage for a single trip that is less than 90 days
- Annual Multi-trip – designed for frequent travelers and provides coverage for a full 12 months
- Long Stay – this provides coverage for more than 90-days of traveling
Another huge draw card is that HeyMondo has kept up with the times – they have their own app. While there is still a telephonic helpline that can be used, the app allows you to handle everything. You can even chat with a doctor directly!
For ease of reading, I’ve summarized the pros and cons of HeyMondo below:
- Covid-19 coverage is provided on all their policies
- The app! It changes everything and streamlines the entire process
- Highest coverage of all the travel insurance companies out there
- You are compensated for trips that you don’t take due to cancellation
- The Long Stay policy has limitations with regard to trip cancellation
- Basic sports and activities are covered but many others aren’t (Scuba diving, trekking, mountain biking, caving, and paragliding)
Overall, HeyMondo is one of the best travel insurance companies that you’re going to find. They’ve been in the business for years and have kept up with the times. Their claims process is made simple thanks to the app and their tailored policies mean they have a policy to suit all needs.
While their list of sports and other activities could be a bit more extensive, they more than make up for it with other benefits.
There is no better way to make a judgment call on a company or service than by reading their reviews. While they are not foolproof and are obviously highly subjective, they are a great guideline and and can help send you on the right path to finding the best backpacker insurance.
Luckily for you, I’ve done some digging and sifted through the online reviews of both HeyMondo and SafetyWing. This should help you out when deciding on which backpacker travel insurance company to pick.
SafetyWing Online Reviews
SafetyWing has a pretty solid online rating, with the overall majority being positive. Users find the platform easy to use and also love the streamlined process for claims.
It is also evident that SafetyWing is quick to respond to claims and handle them with the utmost professionalism. They also provide extensive coverage in comparison to some of the other travel insurance providers on the market.
Overall, the customer experience was positive and customers recommend SafteyWing as their chosen backpacker insurance provider.
HeyMondo Online Reviews
HeyMondo also has amazing online reviews with the majority of users being highly satisfied with their offering. Their unique selling point has to be their app – it allows them to respond to claims in both a fast and efficient manner.
They have also been praised extensively for their high level of coverage in comparison to other backpacker insurance providers.
Overall, it is evident that the vast majority of users are happy with the response time of HeyMondo. They respond quickly to emergencies which is beneficial in the long run as no further complications are likely to arise.
My Personal Experience
Many of my fellow travel friends have used both SafteyWing and HeyMondo (myself included). Both are great, both have served their purpose for us all.
However, my go-to would have to be HeyMondo, purely because of its ease of use and efficiency of claims. In the technologically advanced world we live in today, we need to move with the times. This means taking advantage of the resources available to us.
Backpacker travel insurance is no different. With the powerful functions of the HeyMondo app, it makes the company my number-one choice. The fact that you can set up a chat with a doctor and talk about your medical issues is ingenious.
I just want to end by talking about their efficiency; in the event of a medical emergency, time is not your friend. The slower your response time, the more complications can arise. I’ve unfortunately heard disaster stories of huge time delays waiting for authorization during medical emergencies. This is the last thing you want to happen, especially when every minute counts.
Finally, HeyMondo is also one of the most cost-effective backpacker insurance companies out there. You get a real bang for your buck! Which is normally unheard of.
The combination of all of the above factors makes HeyMondo the best backpacker insurance option, in my humble opinion. While others out there might have had different experiences, mine and my friends have all been positive and it has made traveling a pleasure. Especially when you can rest easy at night knowing that your best interests are at heart.
ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.
They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.
SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!
Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!