If you need long-term travel insurance, it’s always for a good reason. Maybe you have decided to fulfill your dream of taking a round-the-world trip and need the best long-stay travel insurance for extended trips, or you are planning to work abroad for a while. Or, even better, you became a digital nomad and need travel insurance wherever you go!
Whatever your reasons are, long-term travel insurance will cover you for all the incidents you may encounter on your new adventure.
In my case, the first time I bought a long-stay travel insurance policy was when I moved to Philadelphia, with all my belongings in two suitcases and a million dreams to fulfill.
However, before choosing the right one, I made a long-term travel insurance comparison to discover that Heymondo let me save a lot of money and gave me the flexibility of returning home at any time without losing money.
Although three years have passed since then, at the time I had no idea if I was going to last that long away from home, so one-way travel insurance was what I needed.
You didn’t know that type of insurance existed, did you? Don’t worry – I am going to explain what long-stay travel insurance is and for whom these travel insurance policies are suitable.
In addition, you can check a price and coverage comparison of the best long-term travel insurance companies and learn about my experience being covered by long-term travel insurance. I will also explain why I don’t buy that kind of insurance anymore and get annual multi-trip insurance instead.
- What is long-term travel insurance?
- Who is long-stay travel insurance for?
- Best long-term travel insurance
- Long-stay travel insurance coverage
- Long-stay travel insurance review
What is long-term travel insurance?
Long-stay travel insurance is health insurance for long-term travelers who are going to be traveling for a long period and need medical expenses and trip-related coverage. What is considered a long-term trip? One that lasts a minimum of 90 days and a maximum of one or two years (depending on the long-stay travel insurance company).
This long-term travel insurance, like other insurances, provides medical assistance if something happens to you while you are traveling. It also covers other mishaps, such as flight delays, lost or damaged luggage, or repatriation expenses.
But they are not intended for people who have planned to live in another country indefinitely. If you want to know how I managed that situation, you will have to continue reading.
On the other hand, if you travel often but return home every 120 days at most, you may need annual multi-trip insurance instead.
Who is long-stay travel insurance for?
There are several reasons why you should buy long-term travel insurance. If you aren’t sure if that is the kind of insurance you need, check out the most common reasons to see if any of them fit your situation:
Extended stay travel insurance for long trips
Are you about to take a long trip and need travel insurance? Maybe you are looking for gap year travel insurance to volunteer in a foreign country, or maybe you are looking for 6-month travel insurance to explore Southeast Asia.
Whatever your reason, if you are going to be away from home for more than three months, long-term travel insurance is the cheapest option.
Now, keep in mind that if your trip is going to last less than four months or you will return home every 120 days, it is very likely that you will save a lot by purchasing annual travel insurance instead. If you don’t plan to go home for four months or more, keep reading.
Long stay travel insurance for working abroad
Another possible situation is that you go to work in another country for a certain period. Then, you will need long-term travel insurance for working abroad, which covers medical expenses in case you get sick while you aren’t in your home country.
If this is the case for you, remember not to give the country where you are going to work as your country of residence, since long-term insurance won’t cover you there. State your home country as your country of residence.
For example, if you are a US citizen, indicate that your country of residence is the USA, even if you are going to be working abroad, in order to benefit from insurance in other countries, including the country where you are going to be living temporarily. Also, remember that the country you indicate as your country of residence will be the country to which they will take you if repatriation is needed due to illness and/or accident.
Travel insurance for expats
Note: If you are going to live in another country permanently, you shouldn’t buy long-term travel insurance. You should buy expat insurance or health insurance at your destination.
Travel insurance is for emergencies that occur during your trip, but it won’t cover illnesses that are not related to the trip.
For example, if you go to work in Europe, buy long-term insurance, and state the USA as your country of residence, you will be covered if you break a bone, get gastrointestinal issues, or have a cold because they are diseases that could be related to the trip. Also, if you become seriously ill, you can be repatriated to the US.
However, you won’t be covered for cancer treatment, allergy testing, or routine check-ups, because that’s supposed to be done once you return to your country of residence. They are not emergencies that have arisen during the trip.
Round-the-world trip insurance
If you are going to take a round-the-world trip, you will probably spend more than four months traveling from one country to another. In that case, the best thing for you is travel insurance for extended trips.
Of course, if you find yourself in this situation and are going to buy round-the-world-trip travel insurance, make sure you’re covered in all the countries you’re visiting on your adventure.
One-way travel insurance
When we leave home to travel without a return date, we don’t really know when we’ll be back.
Some travelers plan to take a gap year and find it wasn’t what they expected, returning home after a few months, and others, who plan to leave for a couple of months, end up traveling for years. If you aren’t sure how long you are going to be abroad, it’s best to buy one-way travel insurance.
Keep in mind that Heymondo long-term travel insurance is very flexible so you don’t need to know your return date in advance, and you can even buy it if you’re already traveling. If you aren’t sure about when you’ll back but know that it will be within the next four months, buy annual multi-trip travel insurance to save some money.
Insurance for digital nomads
If you are a freelancer and can do everything from your laptop, you don’t need to be tied to an office. Are you planning to work in different parts of the world? Then you should buy insurance for digital nomads like the ones we are going to be comparing below.
Take advantage of working remotely to travel the world, but first, buy the best long-stay travel insurance to be covered in case you get sick or need medical assistance worldwide. Also, make sure your digital nomads travel insurance covers your electronics (laptop, camera, tablet, and any other piece of equipment you need to work). Furthermore, make sure you have worldwide coverage if you don’t have a fixed itinerary and aren’t sure where you’ll end up.
Buying insurance for digital nomads is almost mandatory if you’re going to be working in various parts of the world. Any medical expense, however small it may be, can be very expensive, especially in countries with private healthcare.
Best long-term travel insurance – Compare long-trip travel insurance
If you already know that you need long-term travel insurance, it’s time to check which is the best long-stay travel insurance on the market.
In the following long-term travel insurance comparison, you can check prices and coverage offered by the most important extended trip travel insurance companies.
In order to compare, I have run simulations on the websites of the different insurance providers, always using the same criteria: 30-year old Australian, traveling worldwide (no country exclusions) for 12 months.
In the cases of companies that offered various policies, I have chosen the one with no deductible (when possible) and the one with the lowest prices. Keep in mind that price and coverage depend on your country of residence, destination, and age.
|Heymondo Long Stay||Safety Wing (Nomad Insurance)||IMG Patriot America||Tokio Marine (Atlas America)|
Private Civil Liability
|BEST LONG-TERM TRAVEL INSURANCE|
Heymondo, the cheapest long-term travel insurance
As you can see, Heymondo is the cheapest long-term travel insurance and provides better coverage than the rest of the providers.
I have been traveling with Heymondo for three years, and the best thing about this company is that you never have to pay any medical expenses out of your own pocket. Heymondo pays everything in advance, so you are financially safe against any medical issue abroad (you don’t even need to deal with claims).
Moreover, I think this is the best travel insurance company thanks to its awesome assistance app, where you can chat with doctors if you have minor issues or call for free to check where the closest hospital is. By the time you arrive at the medical center, Heymondo will have already contacted the hospital to let them know you need assistance and arrange the payment directly with them, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
As we’ll see later, you can buy Heymondo Long Stay Insurance for three months and, after that, renew it every 1/2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 months. You can even buy it if you are already traveling, so it’s a great option if you forgot to buy travel insurance before your departure.
To run the simulation, I have added up the cost of the 3 initial months + an 8-month extension + a 1-month extension. However, you can get it even cheaper if you take advantage of the 5% discount for being our reader.
Safety Wing, one of the best insurance for long-term travellers
Safety Wing is one of the best travel insurance for digital nomads. It’s very flexible, with automatic renewal every 4 weeks that you can stop whenever you want.
The best thing about this insurance is that it also covers you in your home country, something which isn’t very common in most travel insurance policies. However, it only covers you for incidental issues, so you can’t return home with the purpose of obtaining treatment for an illness or injury that began while abroad.
The downside of this extended trip travel insurance is that in most situations, you need to take care of your medical expenses and then make a claim, which I find very tedious. Additionally, there is no way of avoiding the $250 deductible, and even with it, this is not the cheapest long-stay travel insurance. Actually I found it quite expensive considering its coverage. I wouldn’t buy it unless you like the 4-week renewal system and having some medical coverage when you are back home for short visits.
IMG, great travel insurance for long-term travellers
IMG Global is a long-term travel insurance provider worth checking out. They provide both health insurance and travel insurance but are renowned for their international health insurance for expats and people living/working internationally.
In this long-term travel insurance comparison, we have checked their plan, which covers not only medical expenses but also travel-related expenses, such as luggage delay, repatriation, etc.
The best thing about IMG is that they have been in business for more than 20 years and are very reliable. However, you must pay any medical expenses in advance and then file a claim to get reimbursed, something I hate!
If you want to get great discounts for long-term travel insurance policies with a deductible, it’s a great option. However, make sure you buy it through Insuremytrip, a travel insurance comparator that provides IMG and other great insurance policies for the same price but with extra services, such as the “Anytime Advocates,” who provide support if you think that your claim has been unfairly denied by IMG. That is the best way to get a great long-stay policy and not worry about claims.
Tokio Marine, another long-stay travel insurance to check
Tokio Marine is a very popular low-cost travel insurance for non-US destinations. However, when you check for travel insurance with worldwide coverage, its prices ramp up. This is a great option if you don’t mind getting a long-term travel insurance policy with a high deductible to enjoy great discounts.
The downside of Tokio Marine is that you will need to pay any medical expense out of pocket, and then file a claim. The problem is that, even if the medical coverage is very high, it can take months, or even years, to get reimbursed, so if for any reason you decide to go with this insurance, I recommend buying it through Insuremytrip as well.
Insuremytrip, compare the best long-term travel insurance companies
If you are going to opt for long-term travel insurance where medical expenses are not paid in advance, I really recommend buying your insurance through Insuremytrip, since they help you to file the claims to make sure you get your reimbursement as soon as possible. The price and coverage found through Insuremytrip are exactly the same as buying your insurance directly on the official website of the providers, but if you need to make a claim, Insuremytrip will make things way easier.
Which health insurance for long-term travel should I buy?
Heymondo is the cheapest long-stay travel insurance option and also offers the best coverage for long-term travelers. However, there are other more important reasons why I consider Heymondo the best travel insurance for long trips.
The first one, as I mentioned before, is that you don’t need to pay any medical expenses in advance. Heymondo will contact the hospital or clinic that you’ve visited to arrange the payment for your treatment directly with them, so you don’t have to deal with any medical expenses.
The second one is its incredible assistance app, which allows you to chat with doctors if you are suffering from minor issues or make free calls to the helpline if you want to get medical assistance in person. I have had to use it on several occasions, and they fulfill what they promise. There is no other long-stay travel insurance with such effective assistance.
Moreover, you can do other things with the Heymondo app, such as get reimburse for your expenses if, for example, your flight is canceled or if your luggage has been stolen.
Another good aspect of Heymondo Long Stay insurance is that you don’t need to be in your home country when you buy a policy. If you forgot to buy it when planning your gap year or your round-the-world trip, don’t worry. You still can buy it if you are already traveling.
Aren’t sure about how long you’re going to be abroad? Never fear! Heymondo allows flexible renewals for a minimum of a 2-week period, so if you have to interrupt your trip for any reason, you won’t lose any money. That’s why I think it’s the best one-way travel insurance, and you can get it even cheaper when you use our discount.
Long-stay travel insurance coverage
I always recommend reading the fine print, but to sum it up, this is the long-term travel insurance coverage offered by Heymondo:
- Medical expenses. Up to $10,000,000 (depending on your home country and destination) for medical expenses including care provided by emergency medical teams and specialists, complementary medical examinations, hospitalizations, treatments, surgical interventions, and medicines. You will need to call Heymondo assistance so they pay the medical expenses in advance and you avoid any out-of-pocket expenses.
- Luggage theft and damage. Up to $1,700 in case of robbery with violence, the carrier losing all or part of your luggage, or damage caused as a result of a fire or aggression during the trip. It includes the search, location, and shipment of lost luggage.
- Repatriation or early return. Up to $500,000. In the event of an accident, illness, or death, the insurance covers all the travel expenses to take you home.
- Transportation costs of a relative in the event of your hospitalization or death. In either of these two cases, the expenses of the round-trip ticket and the stay of your relative are covered with no limit.
- Additional compensation for accident. Up to $60,000 in case of permanent disability or death by accident.
Long-term travel health insurance exclusions
Wondering what’s not covered by long-term travel insurance? Anything that it isn’t related to the fact that you’re traveling. I mean, this isn’t health insurance; it’s travel insurance, so you shouldn’t buy it if you are planning to live abroad permanently.
Long-stay travel health insurance is designed to cover unexpected medical expenses, such as a surgery because of an accident during the trip or any treatment for an illness you get while traveling. For example, you can get treatment for the flu, for a gastrointestinal issue, or an appendicitis surgery, but you can’t get cancer treatment, allergy tests, routine medical checkups, or any other non-emergency medical treatment.
Health insurance for long-term travel is only suitable for people staying abroad for a while but not permanently. That is why I switched from the Heymondo long-term travel insurance to the annual multi-trip travel insurance once we decided we wanted to live in the US permanently.
Long-term Travel insurance cost
The Heymondo long-term travel insurance cost is pretty straightforward. You must buy an initial 3-month policy that costs $265.31 (it may vary depending on your home country and destinations), and then you can renew it for period of 1/2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 months.
6-month travel insurance
6-month travel insurance costs around $446, when you buy the initial policy for 90 days and then renew it for 3 months. Keep in that the price per month is the same if you buy a ½-month renewal or an 8-month renewal. If you aren’t sure about how long you’re going to be traveling, go for the short period renewal. If you don’t want to deal with a renewal every few weeks, then go for a long period renewal, but remember that if you need to come back home before you expected to, you will lose some money.
12-month travel insurance
If you need long-stay travel insurance for 12 months, the cost is that of the initial 3-month policy, plus an 8-month renewal and a 1-month renewal. With the Capture the Atlas discount, your Heymondo long-term travel insurance costs $807.39.
2-year travel insurance
Are you planning to be abroad for more than a year? Then, after renewing for a maximum of 12 months, you will need to buy a new Heymondo long-stay travel insurance policy, since you can’t extend the same policy for more than 365 days. However, since you don’t need to be in your home country to buy a policy, you can get a new one wherever you are.
Long-stay travel insurance review
I moved to the US more than 3 years ago. In the beginning, I was very concerned about living in a country with a very expensive healthcare system, so I decided to buy Heymondo long-term travel insurance. I knew this insurance was not suitable for expats, since it only covers emergencies and unexpected medical assistance. However, it was enough for me. I just wanted to have coverage in case I had an accident or needed repatriation to my home country.
To be honest, I only planned to stay in the US for a couple of months, so in the beginning, I was eligible for travel insurance for long-term travelers. However, when I knew I wanted to stay in the US permanently, I switched to the annual multi-trip travel insurance, and so far, so good.
I have used Heymondo assistance more times than I would like. They saved the day when I was bitten by a monkey in Ubud, Bali, and when my flight was canceled twice by a storm and I had to stay in the Chicago airport, where I was only supposed to be doing a layover, for two nights.
The assistance app and helpline are free and available 24/7, so whatever happens to you, you will always find someone willing to do his/her best to help you. You can find a more extensive Heymondo travel insurance review here.
If you have come this far, you already know what long-term travel insurance is and if it suits you according to your future travel plans.
Whether you need insurance to take a round-the-world trip, to study in a foreign country, or to work abroad, don’t hesitate: medical insurance for an international long-stay trip is what you need.
Out of all the long-term travel insurance companies, Heymondo offers the best coverage and price. However, it’s the high-quality assistance that makes this provider stand out.
In addition, it’s a great option if you aren’t sure about your return date, since you can renew it in periods from 2 weeks to 8 months. This also allows you to save money in case you need to interrupt your trip unexpectedly to return home.
Even better, you can get 5% off for being our reader. Let me know if you have any questions or need help choosing the best long-stay travel insurance for you. I will be happy to help!