SafetyWing travel insurance review

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Travel insurance is one of the very few things you want to buy and never use. If you’re lucky, you might even do so for a while. But if you’re aware that you’ll be out of luck one day, check out this SafetyWing travel insurance review and decide for yourself if it’s worth the risk of not having it.

A short disclaimer before we dig deeper into this. This is a sponsored post, which means I have partnered with SafetyWing to write about them. Still, my opinions are my own, and I am not avoiding any elephants in the room, as you’ll see in the review. So please go ahead and read it anyway.

And I will start with a story, a real one, unfortunately, but it’s just a small proof of how lucky and unlucky we can be at the same time. Scroll over this part if you have flashbacks from the last recipe you found where you had to read a life story before you got to the actual recipe.

Right before my kid turned 6 months old and I was supposed to get back to work, we said we deserve a vacation. Or whatever that is when you go away from home with a 6-month-old. So, we decided to go to Spain and relax in a resort, something we have never done as we said we’re too cool for resorts.

As if we didn’t have enough on our plates already, we had to go to the emergency room after just three days, as our poor baby had a fever of 104 F. For people that don’t have children, that’s an “OMG f*ck this we need to get to the hospital” fever.

At the emergency room, they asked for our insurance card. Luckily, I had my baby’s health insurance card with me (I carry all kinds of stuff in my purse for no reason), and we were EU citizens traveling within the EU, so our national insurance was covering us all.

We didn’t pay a dime. We received a notice more than one year later, telling us how much our insurance paid for him, but we still didn’t have to pay a dime; and it was not cheap, I can tell you that. We didn’t have to worry about this aspect while our kid was in the hospital for three days, getting tests done and being taken care of.

This time, we were lucky. But taking care of your health should not include the word “luck” in the plan. It should be a sure thing. If we wouldn’t have been in that EU within the EU situation, we wouldn’t have been covered. What’s even worse is that we were such bad parents that we had NO idea about this. We just thought nothing will ever happen to us.

So if you learn anything from my mistake, let this be it: NEVER, never ever, go on a trip without having travel insurance. You only need to use it one time in your life, and it’ll be worth all the times you have paid for it without ending up using it.

Do you need travel insurance?

For those of you who skipped to this part (no judgment, I sometimes look for the TL;DR myself, and I’m a writer), the simple answer is “Yes, you do.”. And you want to have one that covers medical and travel-related expenses. Of course, it cannot cover ALL expenses, there’s no such thing as general travel insurance for all potential risks. But SafetyWing does come close enough though.

What is SafetyWing and why is it special?

SafetyWing is a company relatively new on the insurance market, and this makes it not only the “new, cool kid on the block”, but also a company that’s very interested in making a good name for itself. Started in Norway and currently providing their service from a fully remote team, this insurance provider is here to stay.

What’s cool and special about this insurance is that it’s aimed at digital nomads and frequent travelers, but can be also used by sporadic travelers like most of us. You can get a yearly or monthly subscription like Netflix, or you can get a policy for a defined trip you have planned. The flexibility provided by this provider is amazing, and it’s one of their major selling points if you ask me.

As we all know, there are plenty of insurance providers all over the world right now, and we, as customers, always wonder why we should choose one and not the other. Everyone has a favorite and everyone will recommend you theirs, but how do you decide? Well, I’m determined to show you all the information I have about this product in simple words so that you don’t need a doctorate to make an informed decision. In the end, this is the most important part of a SafetyWing travel insurance review.

In short, what SafetyWing offers and others don’t:

  • a hard-to-beat pricing point
  • the ability to buy or extend your coverage while already away
  • one child per adult is covered for free (between the ages of 14 days to 10 years)
  • subscription-based model, perfect for long-term travelers (but also available for short stays)
  • penalty-free cancellation
  • you are covered even if traveling back to your home country (under certain conditions)
  • it covers Covid-related expenses
  • it covers both medical and travel-related expenses (under certain conditions and limitations)
  • worldwide coverage (with a few notable exceptions)
  • plenty of activities are covered, including winter sports that are usually more expensive with other travel insurance providers
  • flexibility – you can add things later (the US add-on for example)
  • stellar customer support

As you can see, they have quite some advantages. You won’t find any other insurance that will provide all these advantages at this price point. The most advantages are directed at digital nomads and people that work abroad for a long time, but there’s no denying that they’re trying to cater to other groups as well.

Families with children will love the free health coverage for their offspring. People that are not great planners, or in various other situations, will love that they can buy or extend the insurance while already abroad. People that appreciate human interaction will be extremely happy with customer support.

Limitations when using SafetyWing:

  • it’s not travel insurance – it doesn’t cover ALL travel-related expenses
  • there’s minimal coverage for your stuff and no coverage for theft
  • it doesn’t cover extreme sports
  • it cannot replace your traditional health insurance
  • it doesn’t cover those over the age of 69
  • reviews say that sometimes it takes longer than expected to get the money back
  • sometimes you have to pay and get reimbursed later (it’s not yet completely streamlined to work directly with the healthcare providers)

Nothing is perfect, and we all know this. But you have to search for services and products that have limitations that you don’t care that much about. This insurance is not meant to replace your national insurance or general travel insurance. It’s meant to cover you in case of unforeseen situations where you might find yourself while away.

Another note is that the amounts covered are not huge, compared to other insurance providers. I’m sure you’ll find better amounts if you look for it, but I’m also sure you’ll have a hard time finding a better price so, it kind of makes sense, right? This is probably why you’ll find reviews that say they sometimes are a bit late when processing payments. They have a small team, the 24/7 support is already a surprising benefit they offer. All in all, I’d say it’s great value for money, and this is what matters most.

What’s covered by SafetyWing?

  • emergency medical treatment – $250,000 ($100,000 for 65 years or older), with a $250 deductible
  • medical expenses – included in the amount mentioned above
  • emergency dental treatment – up to $1,000, no deductible
  • emergency transportation (ambulance)
  • hospital expenses
  • emergency medical evacuation – up to $100,000 lifetime maximum, no deductible
  • terrorism evacuation – up to $10,000, no deductible
  • natural disaster accommodation – up to $100/day, no deductible
  • lost checked luggage – up to $500/item, no deductible
  • trip interruption – up to $5,000, no deductible
  • travel delay – up to $100/day
SafetyWing travel insurance review - what's included?

As you can see, there’s plenty covered in this small and neat package. The amounts might not look like much, but keep in mind that medical care across the world is not really that expensive. The $250,000 for medical expenses will cover even surgery in most countries, so it’s really not that limited. The travel expenses coverage is not amazing, but you can use an AirHelp subscription to fill in the blanks if you wish.

What’s not covered by SafetyWing?

  • routine check-ups
  • pre-existing conditions and cancer treatment
  • extreme or professionally played sports
  • trip cancellations

As previously noted, SafetyWing is not meant to be a replacement for your national health insurance. Within the EU, you have your coverage already, and don’t forget it covers you within the European space (including Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland). There are plenty of other things not covered, most of them falling under the incidence of the above-mentioned restrictions, so check them out in detail here before you choose your product.

Signing up for SafetyWing

One of the coolest things about this product is how easy the whole process is. You just go to the website, select your product, create your account, and create your policy (select carefully the activation date as this is the moment when the policy is covering you) and that’s about it. No fuss, no contracts to sign, no crying in your shower not knowing if you did it right or not. You can get a quote using the widget below, or you can go to their page here and see the available options.

Extending your coverage while away

I have actually been in a situation when I needed to extend our coverage, as last month we missed our flight back from Dubai (long story) so we had to extend our policy while away. The process was not as easy as I expected, but I am in contact with them and providing constant feedback so they know how they can improve.

Basically, to extend your policy, you have to send an email to a certain email address ( at the time of writing this post) with your new return date, and it’s advised that you do so earlier than 48h until your previous policy expires. I would have liked this to be smoother, like being able to do so myself on the website, from my account. I’m one of those people that avoid talking to people, if possible.

Also, the extension cannot be for fewer than 5 days. This was a bummer to me, as we just needed one more day added, and I think this is not unusual these days when flights get postponed and/or canceled all the time. I would have also liked to see this written on the website before needing it, so I could make the decision of buying the policy for longer from the beginning.

Filing a claim with SafetyWing

We all hope you’ll never have to file a claim, but you need to know how to do it, just in case. Please note that all claims need to be filed within 60 days following the expiration date of your insurance, and you are expected to get your money back in less than 45 days.

Make a claim by logging in to your account and navigating to My Profile > Make a Claim. From this point, it will guide you step by step, so you don’t need my hand holding as they’re holding your hand already. This process seems to be as easy as signing up, which is pretty cool.

The fine print

Unfortunately (or maybe luckily), I have not filed any claims with them yet, so I couldn’t include this information in my SafetyWing travel insurance review. I used them for my trip to the US, but I didn’t need to file a claim, so I cannot really give you first-hand feedback on this part of the service. But I can give you enough resources to be able to make a decision anyway. The first one is the status of the company on TrustPilot. As you can see, they have great reviews from customers and very few unsatisfied users.

The other resource is that I searched intensively for people that have made claims and described their decisions, be it in blogs or Youtube channels. I have read and seen reviews from people that needed anything from a short trip to the GP and some medication prescribed, to people getting surgeries or being flown back home at the beginning of Covid-19 in March 2020. Based on all the information I gathered, I’ll explain briefly below.

First, you really need to know your coverage and deductibles. Some people have no idea about this, and they’re surprised they need to pay $250 in deductible. This is a clear way for anyone to get annoyed about a product, even if it’s not their fault. As with everything, read it all and know your rights, and you’ll have a great experience in a less-than-great situation.

Second, plenty of people have said that you most probably will have to pay out of pocket for services, and you’ll be reimbursed later. Although they’re improving this (it’s on their roadmap for this year), you might need to have some money set aside for this situation. You should always have an emergency budget available anyway, so use that one in case this happens and you know you’ll be reimbursed soon.

SafetyWing travel insurance review - SafetyWing covers Covid-19 related expenses as well

Third, it seems that communication is not necessarily the easiest thing to do between medical service providers and insurance providers. There’s a chance that you’ll have to play the messenger role in this situation, as medical service providers worldwide have different ways of handling this, and you’ll have to be the “translator”. This is not an easy task for sure, but integrating thousands of medical professionals with ALL insurance companies is quite a challenging task anyway.

Fourth, you should have some things confirmed in writing or recorded in audio, and this is valid for all insurance companies. If you are unsure about a certain activity being covered, get in touch with them by either email or phone and tell them what you intend to do and specifically ask if you’d be covered if you get injured during that activity. In case this happens, you’ll have proof of confirmation and be able to discuss differently if your claim is denied.

And last, you might have to push a bit. Some users have reported that things seemed to be taking more than usual with their claims, so they had to send emails every few weeks in some situations. It is unfortunate if this happens, but we all know things get lost through the cracks in any company. The solution to this is polling every once in a while to just check up.

SafetyWing travel insurance review – the takeaway

I hope you now have enough information to make your decision, and I hope you’ll make the good one. As with anything else, SafetyWing has its good parts and its downsides, but overall, I would recommend it to anyone interested in a cost-effective, yet reliable travel insurance option. In any case, no matter if you choose it or not, never ever leave home without insurance. We all hope for the best, but we know we should prepare for the worst. So get your SafetyWing insurance today!

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