Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads
If you’ve always wanted to travel the world while working remotely, there’s no better time. The traditional tourist visa usually expires after 30-90 days, and even then, it’s technically illegal to perform work while on these visas. What do you do if you want to stay in the countries on your digital nomad itinerary for longer periods of time?
Traditionally, it hasn’t been easy to do so. But there’s been a consistent increase of individuals who work remotely and jump from country to country. Because of this global increase of remote workers, coupled with the potential for visitors to boost post COVID-19 economies, many countries are responding by enacting visas for digital nomads.
What Type of Insurance is Best for Digital Nomads?
Traveling for over a year
If you’re planning on leaving your home country for an extended period of time (over a year), expat travel insurance, also known as global medical insurance, is the best option for you. This isn’t the same as travel medical insurance, which usually only provides coverage for unexpected medical incidents. Instead, expat insurance acts similarly to domestic healthcare.
This insurance provides worldwide coverage that includes preventative care, maternity care, and other benefits that may not be covered by travel medical insurance. While the price tag might be a bit higher for this type of insurance, it provides the best all-around coverage, and helps ensure that your time abroad will be as memorable as possible.
Under a year of travel
While expat travel insurance provides the most extensive coverage, it might not be preferable if you’re leaving your home country for a shorter stint of time. In the case of traveling for less than a year, travel medical insurance may be the best option for you.
This type of insurance provides you with coverage for expenses incurred due to illnesses or injuries during your travels, emergency evacuation, trip interruption or cancellation, loss of passport of wallet, misplaced luggage, assistance in the event of a natural disaster, repatriation benefits, and many other potential risks that could spoil your time abroad.
Not only does travel insurance for digital nomads provide comprehensive coverage, but it also includes specific coverage for Covid. While there are a few location restrictions (this plan does not cover you if you’re traveling to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, or the United States), the plan covers you anywhere else, and is a popular pick amongst digital nomads.
Travel insurance add-ons
In addition to your travel insurance plan, there are certain circumstances that may warrant an additional add-on or added benefit. Think about exactly how you want to spend your time abroad, what kind of activities you’re anticipating participating in, and how flexible you want your travel plans to be.
CFAR: If you want to have both the flexibility of changing plans but also the financial security of making changes, Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) might be an attractive option for you. This may already be included in your plan, or can be purchased as an optional add-on. CFAR will provide some reimbursement for pre-paid trip expenses and deposits that would otherwise be considered non-refundable. With this benefit, you can cancel your trip for any reason that's not typically covered under the basic trip cancellation benefit.
Adventure Sports Coverage: If you're hoping to participate in adrenaline-inducing activities while on your trip abroad, this add-on coverage is perfect for you. While traditional trip insurance covers you for emergencies, it may not cover you for specific high-intensity activities, such as skiing, rock climbing, ziplining, snorkeling, kayaking, and more. Purchasing this insurance provides coverage in the event of any unexpected mishaps related to adventure sports.
Which Countries are Best for Digital Nomads?
With numerous beaches and surfing spots, beautiful wildlife, and a carefree, laid-back vibe, a number of digital nomads are choosing to base themselves in Costa Rica. Currently, the available visa is called the Rentista, and allows freelancers to stay in the country for up to two years. Take note, however, that this visa only applies to individuals who are either self-employed or work as freelancers. If you’re an employee for another company (one that is based outside of Costa Rica), this visa doesn’t apply to you.
To qualify for this visa, individuals must pay a $250 visa fee and prove an income of at least $2,500 a month, or make a $60,000 deposit into a Costa Rican bank account. It’s highly recommended that you hire an immigration lawyer to assist with this process, since all documents need to be translated into Spanish.
We’re not talking about the peach state in the U.S. This Georgia is an Eastern European country located near Armenia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. With warm weather, cheap housing, high security and reliable WiFi, digital nomads have been flocking to this country recently.
To help stimulate the economy, Georgia has recently offered a digital nomad visa called Remotely from Georgia. Some of the basic conditions for this visa? You either own a remote business or work for a company outside of Georgia, must earn at least $2,000 a month, must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine, and need to obtain your own travel insurance that is valid for six months.
A number of countries with digital nomad visas are located in or around the Caribbean, and it’s easy to guess why. Bermuda, with its laid-back atmosphere and array of colorful islands, is the perfect place to live out your fantasy of working on the beach. Their “Work from Bermuda” digital nomad visa allows both digital nomads and remote workers to stay and live in the country for up to a year. This visa is aimed at individuals who are location-independent and normally work from home, but are looking for a tropical change of scenery.
To apply, you have to be over the age of 18, demonstrate good character, possess valid health insurance, demonstrate either student status or employment with a legitimate company, and demonstrate sufficient means and/or continuous income. There is no specific income requirement for Bermuda, which makes it easier for digital nomads to qualify for this visa.
Although Bali doesn’t have a specific digital nomad visa (yet), this country still ranks as one of the most appealing for digital nomads. Plus, with inexpensive housing and food, your money can go a lot further in this country than it would in many other locations. Keep your eyes peeled for updated tourism news; Bali officials are considering a 5-year digital nomad visa program that would be sure to bring even more digital nomads to the island.
Most nationalities can enter Indonesia without a visa for stays up to 30 days. However, if you plan to stay longer, your best bet is to get a 30-day Visa on Arrival at the airport for $35. This visa is extendable once for another 30 days, which brings your stay to a maximum of two months. Once the two months are over, you can go on a visa run, meaning you’d leave the country’s borders and then return to restart your time in-country.