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PassportCard Nomads vs SafetyWing: A Full Review [2024]

This PassportCard Nomads vs SafetyWing review offers a comprehensive comparison between both insurance providers, so you can choose the best medical coverage for your upcoming trip. Check it out! 

Getting medical insurance before you embark on a trip abroad is not only vital but a complete must. However, the perfect coverage will depend on the type and length of your travels.   

In this in-depth review, we’ll be comparing two very popular insurance providers for long-term travelers, remote workers and digital nomads: SafetyWing and PassportCard Nomads.

Image of the two logos - PassportCard Nomads vs SafetyWing

You might have already heard of SafetyWing, which is among the most renowned travel insurance companies for long-term travelers. While PassportCard Nomads is rather new in the nomadic community, it has introduced a promising, cutting-edge method for travelers to claim their insurance. 

But what are the benefits of each company, what’s included (and what’s not) in their coverage, what are their prices, and how do you know which offers the best value for you? This backpacking insurance comparison will help you find out. Start reading!

But first, do you really need travel insurance? 

The simple answer: yes! All the other answers: yes, yes! Travel insurance is so important, and it’s one of those things you hope you never need to use, but you’d be so glad you have it when needed!

While most trips tend to go smoothly, accidents, losses, or hiccups along the way can happen when we least expect them, and it’s key to be prepared for them.

Flight delays, food poisoning, losing your bag on a connection, a sprained ankle that prevents you from hiking, a terrifying mosquito bite…as you can see, events don’t have to be disastrous or near-death experiences for you to need travel insurance. 

I personally had a few instances of food poisoning, which I’d say it’s inevitable if you’re traveling through developing countries for a long period of time. I also used insurance to cover a doctor’s visit in the case of a spider bite that looked scary. Luckily, nothing ever too serious… but I’d rather be covered because you never know when something bad’s going to happen!

Besides getting the right attention without delay, your coverage will save you hundreds, and potentially thousands of dollars you would otherwise have to pay out of pocket. 

I also could have used my insurance for a repatriation flight back to Italy when Covid-19 first started. I was in Brazil and decided to ride it out with my partner there, but many of my friends managed to get a flight back home thanks to insurance.

Now that you know how vital it is to travel with one, let’s take a look at these two insurance providers. I’m currently insured with PassportCard Nomads and I was previously a customer of SafetyWing for over 3 years, so you can say I know one or two things about these companies.

PassportCard Nomads vs SafetyWing: An Overview

▶️ PassportCard Nomads is focused on remote workers and digital nomads who spend long periods of time away from their home country. This is evidenced in the facilities they provide to extend or cancel the coverage even if you’re already on the road, and the add-ons offered to protect your electronics and other devices. 

PassportCard is part of Davidshield Group, and it has introduced a revolutionary concept via their app-based debit card, which makes the insurance completely non deductible, unlike most of its competitors.

Basically, every person who buys the PassportCard insurance receives the Red Card, a VISA prepaid card in the mail. If you ever need assistance to find a doctor or hospital, you just need to contact PassportCard Nomads through their chat in the app.

Their 24/7 customer service, which has a response time of fewer than 30 seconds, will make sure your card gets the funds in time; all you have to do is request them via their app. This way you can use the card to pay directly with the insurance money instead of your own. 

You can also find nearby doctors, cancel or extend your insurance, and check your benefits and coverage through the handy app. 

Once I signed up, I received my prepaid card in the mail in less than a week. Fortunately, I still haven’t had to use the prepaid card, but I will update this post if and once I do!

➤ Prices start at $59 per month and 3 coverage plans are offered: Starter, Remote, and Comfort – more about these plans in a bit.

👉 You can read my full review of PassportCard Nomads here.

▶️  SafetyWing is insurance specifically designed for nomads by nomads. It’s one of the most affordable travel insurances out there, and it was developed with the needs of long-term travelers in mind, offering auto-renewal payments and the possibility to sign up, extend, or cancel it at any time, from anywhere. 

This digital nomad travel insurance covers both medical and travel emergencies, and insurers also benefit from having coverage in their home country for 30 days (15 days if it’s the U.S.) after being abroad for 90 days or more. 

➤ SafetyWing offers 2 different plans: Nomad Insurance, and Remote Health. Prices start at $42 per 4 weeks.

I personally think that long-term travelers and nomads have different needs from expats and remote workers. This is why I’ll divide this comparison post into two parts. First, we’ll compare the plans that both companies offer for nomads, and then we’ll compare the plans for expats and remote workers.

Insurance for Nomads: PassportCard Nomads vs SafetyWing 

The Starter and the Remote insurance plans by PassportCard Nomads are ideal for remote workers, backpackers, and those enjoying a long trip or vacation abroad.

They’re mainly focused on primary health insurance for digital nomads and travelers, and while extra coverage for belongings can be added, it’s limited to laptops and cameras, precisely with these types of travelers in mind. 

Similarly, SafetyWing’s Nomad Insurance covers travelers who are working remotely or exploring the world long-term, offering comprehensive medical coverage for illnesses or emergencies. Nomad Insurance also covers travel-related crises like baggage loss, trip delays, and cancellations. 

🦠 Covid-19-related treatments and expenses are covered in all the plans above, including quarantine if mandated by a physician or the government, and detection tests if deemed necessary by a doctor.   

Let’s look more in detail at what each insurance plan includes.

PassportCard Nomads Starter & Remote Plans In Detail

PassportCard Nomads’ Starter Plan costs $59 per month for the basic coverage. Those embarking on a journey of multiple years can opt for the Remote Plan, which starts at $119 per month and is more comprehensive. 

Both plans offer coverage for travelers aged 18-45, including emergency medical needs, emergency surgery and inpatient care, dental treatments, and pregnancy emergencies up to week 12. 

The Starter and Remote plans can also be customized to include add-ons such as lost checked luggage, extreme sports, search and rescue, laptop and camera insurance, accidental death, and third-party liability. 

They offer no deductible insurance, and their 24/7 customer service agents are available within 30 seconds. Do you need to pay a medical bill? Just tap the app and the sufficient funds will be loaded onto your Red Card immediately.

The card will be shipped to you upon signing up. This way you’ll never have to pay out of pocket for medical expenses and then have to ask for reimbursement.

If you were to include add-ons, there’s a deductible of only $50 for laptop, luggage, or camera claims

What PassportCard Nomads Starter Plan includes:  

  • Emergency medical expenses 
  • Emergency surgery and inpatient care
  • Emergency dental coverage (up to $500 with the Starter Plan, $1,000 with Remote Plan)
  • Emergencies in pregnancy until week 12
  • Customizable add-ons including extreme sports, loss of baggage, or laptop coverage
  • Covid-19 Coverage 

The Remote Plan also includes: 

  • Up to $5,000 in elective medical treatments 
  • Up to 8 treatments ($50 per treatment) of physiotherapy or chiropractic
  • Up to $250 per visit for specialist consultations and outpatient care
  • Up to $500 for routine check-ups 

What PassportCard Nomads Starter and Remote Plans don’t include:  

  • Trip delays or interruption 
  • Loss of baggage and belongings
  • Search and Rescue (unless purchased separately)
  • Pre-existing medical conditions 
  • Coverage in your home country 

SafetyWing Nomad Insurance In Detail

SafetyWing’s Nomad Insurance offers health and travel assistance via a monthly subscription that renews every 4 weeks for a maximum of 364 days, and which costs $42 for travelers aged 39 or younger (unless you include coverage for the U.S., in which case the cost is higher).

While this method is very handy for long-term travelers, their insurance can also be used for short trips, choosing the start and end date of your coverage. 

Travelers will not only be covered for medical emergencies but also for non-medical evacuations, trip cancellations, lost luggage and natural disasters, with a deductible of $250.

SafetyWing is backed by one of the most important insurance companies in the world, Tokio Marine, and they have 24/7 customer service ready to answer questions or help you out in an emergency. 

What SafetyWing Nomad Insurance includes:  

  • $250,000 max. medical expenses for travelers up to 65 years old 
  • Up to $1,000 for medical emergencies 
  • Ambulance, intensive care, and nursing services 
  • $50 per day on physical therapy and chiropractic 
  • Up to 5,000 for trip interruption
  • Up to $100,000 in emergency medical evacuation
  • Up to $3,000 for lost checked luggage
  • Up to $10,000 for political evacuation
  • Up to $100 a day for trip delays of 12+ hours 
  • $25,000 for accidental death and dismemberment 
  • Covid-19 Coverage 

What SafetyWing Nomad Insurance doesn’t include:   

  • High-risk sports (including American football, cave diving, and ATVs)
  • Coverage for pre-existing conditions or injuries 
  • Cancer treatment
  • Stolen/lost luggage or belongings (unless they are checked bags)
  • Trips to North Korea, Cuba, Syria, and Iran 
  • Mental Health Disorders
  • Sleep Disorders 
  • Routine Medical Examinations 

You can read here their full policy. 

Insurance for Expats and Remote Workers: PassportCard Nomads vs SafetyWing 

PassportCard Nomads Comfort Plan In Detail

PassportCard Nomads’ Comfort Plan is recommended for expats that are relocating. It is the most comprehensive international healthcare insurance they offer, and it covers both emergency and non-urgent medical care, as well as hospitalization, wellness treatments, and chronic diseases. 

It covers a wider age range than the Starter and Remote plans, from 18 to 65 years old, and it starts at $200 per month, insuring up to $3.5 million per policy period. As with all PassportCard travel insurance plans, there is a $0 deductible and it covers all emergency medical expenses. 

 What PassportCard Nomads Comfort plan includes:  

  • Emergency surgery and inpatient care
  • Physiotherapy
  • Elective, non-urgent medical treatments and surgery
  • Specialist consultations 
  • Hospitalization 
  • Cancer treatment 
  • Chronic and routine medical care
  • Up to $8,000 in dental emergencies 
  • Up to $10,000 for maternity and childbirth 
  • Up to $400 for routine checkups
  • Up to $10,000 for inpatient medical health care 
  •  Up to $750 on customizable add-ons

What PassportCard Nomads Comfort plan doesn’t include:   

  • Extreme sports (unless add-on is included)
  • Loss of luggage or belongings (unless add-on is included) 
  • Emergency eye exams
  • Crisis response
  • Travel Delay 
  • Border Entry protection 
  • Mental Health issues
  • Self-inflicted injuries

SafetyWing Remote Health in Detail

For remote workers, SafetyWing has the Remote Health program, which is a non-deductible, annual health insurance that covers mostly all medical expenses, including non-urgent treatments, specialist consultations, and office visits. 

It’s the perfect insurance for companies with remote teams, as it covers all individuals regarding of where they are in the world, including their home country (and every other country, no exceptions). 

Its in-depth medical cover includes cancer treatments and palliative care, with a maximum payout of $1.5 million per year, and while the health coverage is very comprehensive, the insurance doesn’t cover anything travel-related, like lost luggage or trip delays.

Customizable add-ons like vaccinations or maternity expenses can be included in the insurance. 

Remote Health starts at $80 per month, and it covers people up to age 74 in any country, although coverage in the U.S., Singapore, and Hong Kong is limited to 30 days. 

⚠️ Currently, Remote Health can only be used by remote teams. You can ask your company to sponsor your insurance. However, SafetyWing has plans to expand their offer to another program designed for solopreneurs and freelancers that would like the same type of comprehensive coverage.

It will be called Nomad Health. You can join the waitlist on their page.

 What SafetyWing Remote Health includes:  

  • Extensive medical coverage 
  • $0 deductible 
  • Coverage in home country 
  • Reconstructive surgery 
  • Hospital treatment and accommodation 
  • Evacuation and repatriation 
  • Accident and emergency treatments 
  • Medication
  • Organ transplants
  • Surgery and rehabilitation 
  • ICU
  • Newborn care
  • Cancer treatment
  • Palliative care 

What SafetyWing Remote Health doesn’t include:   

  • Trip interruptions
  • Lost checked luggage
  • Coverage for belongings and electronics 
  • Aesthetic treatments 
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Non-medical fees

Pros and Cons of PassportCard Nomads and SafetyWing 

PassportCard Nomads Pros

  • No deductible 
  • Prepaid debit card is loaded with funds instantly 
  • 24/7 customer service 
  • No claim forms or paperwork 
  • Offers coverage for COVID-19
  • User-friendly app
  • Sign up, extend, or cancel your insurance at any point of your trip
  • Extreme sports or gear coverage can be added 
  • Customize with travel benefits
  • It renews automatically every month

PassportCard Nomads Cons

  • It doesn’t cover trip cancellations
  • Limited coverage for loss of belongings 
  • No coverage in the US (unless you’re using the Comfort Plan)
  • Coverage for certain countries, including UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brazil, Switzerland and China, has an extra fee
  • Coverage is more expensive after 45

SafetyWing Pros

  • It’s affordable
  • 24/7 customer service
  • It offers home coverage 
  • Up to 2 children get free coverage on family plans
  • You can use it for short-term trips
  • Most sports are covered, including scuba diving, bungee jumping, and hiking
  • You can sign-up, change your coverage, or cancel while on the road 
  • The Remote Health plan is very comprehensive for medical needs 
  • It renews automatically every 4 weeks 

 SafetyWing Cons 

  • Coverage in the U.S. is more expensive 
  • Insurance is more expensive if you’re over 40
  • Doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions
  • Doesn’t offer coverage in Cuba, Iran, Syria, and North Korea 

Who is PassportCard Nomads for?

PassportCard Nomads (both their Starter and Remote plans) is the perfect medical and travel insurance for digital nomads and long-term travelers, seeking to protect their devices as well as their health. Its no-deductible policy also makes it a great choice for travelers on a budget who can’t afford to pay the deductible on an emergency. 

It’s also a good insurance for those looking to enjoy some extreme sports or activities during their travels.  

It’s not for travelers who want to include the U.S. in their itinerary, or who want extensive coverage for the travel-related crisis, including trip cancellations or delays. 

You are also not limited to the company’s network of medical providers: You chose the doctor.

Who is SafetyWing for?

SafetyWing Nomad Insurance is ideal for adventure travelers, as it offers great coverage for several sports and activities (you can check in detail which sports are covered on their FAQ section). 

It’s also a great insurance for those traveling on a budget (unless you need to be covered in the U.S.) and who’ll be abroad for long periods of time, due to its auto-renewal settings which make being insured very easy and hassle-free. 

While it’s a fantastic option for young people, it’s more expensive for travelers over 40, and also for those including the U.S. in their travels. 

Remote Health is the better choice for remote workers, expats, and remote team members who need to have their medical expenses covered, either for emergencies or for annual checkups, specialist consultations and dental procedures. It’s the perfect coverage for travelers with pre-existing conditions, and who don’t need coverage for any travel-related inconveniences

Remote Health is not for people traveling for less than a year, or looking to have their belongings and trip-related issues covered. It’s also too comprehensive for those with no pre-existing medical conditions and who are not going to engage in risky activities or sports.  

 And that’s a wrap! I hope this post was useful to choose the perfect insurance for you. Happy travels!

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.