Vanlife health insurance – it does exist

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What we talk about in this article

This article covers vanlife health insurance for Europeans. When looking for this specific subject on the web, mostly US information can be found at the top of search results. So, here’s the information for European vanlifers.
When traveling, health insurance is crucial. In life, you never know what will hit you and when it does, you better be prepared.
Health insurance for full-time travelers or for the vanlife lifestyle does exist, and you can easily get it too!
We already wrote a post about the best health insurance for Europeans. This article is specifically about vanlife and full-time travel.
These are the options:

1. SafetyWing insurance

SafetyWing is the number one insurance company for vanlifers and long-term travelers.
They have actually designed their policies for digital nomads like most vanlifers are.
That’s why we have put SafetyWing in the first place in this post.
SafetyWing offers 2 types of insurance.
  • Nomad insurance is budget-friendly and very complete.
  • Remote Health care is thé most complete health insurance you can get as a digital nomad. It literally covers everything!
SafetyWing is perfect for travel in Europe. If you want to extend your travels to the US, you pay a little extra.
This insurance company is perfect for travelers up to 69 years old.

Nomad insurance

Nomad Insurance by SafetyWing is the best vanlife health insurance you can get.
This policy includes a medical and a travel-related part.
The medical part covers all emergency medical costs you might encounter during a vanlife trip. Hospital stays, nursing, stays in intensive care, and emergency dental care, it’s all covered.
If you need repatriation to your home country, that is also covered.
Aside from that, you’re also covered for trip cancellations, natural disasters, and political evacuations.

Remote health insurance

Remote Health by SafetyWing is extensive healthcare insurance that covers everything you might ever need, in or outside your home country.
This policy is a little more expensive, but it assures that you never have to pay a medical bill again, as an ex-pat or digital nomad working abroad.
With this plan, you’re covered in your home country and abroad. Plus, you get a full refund for everything, so you never have to pay a part of the bill yourself.
Health care in your home country is slightly limited in time, as the policy is designed for travelers.
Aside from that, everything healthcare-related is fully covered.
This policy is solely focused on healthcare. It doesn’t cover canceled flights or lost luggage, which vanlifers don’t usually need!

2. Globelink insurance

Globelink offers a few pre-made travel insurance policies which fit most travelers. But, you can easily get a personalised quote which covers exactly the things you need, like an insurance for a laptop or cover for adventurous activities.
All Globelink policies automatically cover this:
  • COVID emergencies
  • Repatriation to your home country
  • Flight cancellation and luggage loss
  • Medical emergency expenses
  • Some pre-existing medical conditions are covered for free

Backpacker policy

The backpacker travel insurance covers you for a trip up to 15 months, which you can extend to 18 months abroad.
Aside from healthcare insurance, this policy also covers missed flights and lost luggage.
You can expand your policy with extra covers, for winter sport or the insurance of your valuable electronics.

Comprehensive single trip

The comprehensive single trip insurance covers long trips up to 15 months and covers you for all the common travel issues.
This is the most chosen cover for long-term travelers, as it has everything you need and more.
As these companies don’t have an insurance cover specifically for vanlifers yet, there’s always the flight cancellation and the luggage loss included. But, you can add a lot of extra’s you might actually need.
This policy is available for travelers aged up to 89 years.

Why should you get vanlife health insurance?

Some of us like living life on the edge. Risk calculating is a nice thing to do, but accidents always hide in a small corner.
We almost never have anything happening when we’re at home, but during our vanlife, we both twisted our ankle already!
These are a few good reasons to consider getting insurance:

Accidents do happen

You can be sure: accidents do happen!
In fact, accidents happen when you’re living the life, the vanlife, the digital nomad life, the explorer life.
At home, lying on your couch, the chances of accidents are a little slimmer.
But, when exploring Europe by van, you get around, do things, and enjoy the good life all the time. Twisting your ankle or getting a finger stuck between the van sliding door are things that happen on a regular basis.
When you do need to get to a hospital to get a wound treated, you’d better be prepared.

Get the best possible care abroad

Not every country offers the same level of healthcare.
There are quite a few locations in Europe where you would gladly pay extra to get into a private facility where the standard for healthcare is a little better.
When covered by a decent insurance policy, you’ll be able to get better healthcare, even in countries where regular healthcare is rather unreliable.

Save your funds for travel, not healthcare

With travel insurance, you can use your hard-earned bucks for the expensive fuel or a campsite every now and then.
By paying a little bit of money for insurance each month, you can hold your hard-earned money in your pocket when you need to visit a healthcare facility.

The advantages of health insurance for full-time travelers

Most of the health insurance packages you can get in your home country, only cover you for a short vacation abroad.
Once you overstay the standard holiday weeks abroad, your health insurance is no longer valid. So, you should return home every few weeks in order to be insured.
That’s where long-term health insurance comes into play.
These types of policies offer quite a few extra advantages for vanlifers, digital nomads, and full-time travelers.

Be covered full time

With vanlife health insurance or long-term insurance, you’re legally covered for healthcare issues all the time.
No need to lie to the insurance company, claiming that you only left home a week ago.
Both policies we mentioned before, cover you full-time.
The Nomad insurance is a full-time health insurance for long-term travelers.
The Globelink backpacker policy covers you for a duration of 15 or 18 months, which is probably longer than any other insurance policy you can get in your home country.

Get covered for a visit to your home country

Both insurance policies have a cover when you travel back home for a short visit.
With the SafetyWing Nomad insurance, you get 30 days of cover in your home country for every 90 days on the road.
The Globelink backpacker policy is less clear about coverage in your home country.

Having a way home when you need special treatments

When you get involved in a serious accident or you get very sick, going home might give you the extra security you need.
This might be different for everyone, but most travelers long for a familiar environment when they feel sick or hurt.
Both policies will bring you to your home country when needed or when you need special treatments.
Repatriation is an important part of these policies.

Only pay for what you need

While some of these policies include flight cancellation and lost luggage, you get to upgrade your policy according to your own needs.
There are different policies to choose from and usually, you can adapt the policy any way you like.
That way, you only pay for what you need.

Already traveling policies

Are you already on the road, but regret not getting insured before you left?
Both companies we mentioned before offer an ‘already traveling’ insurance policy.
So, if you’re a little late to the game and only now discovering that you might want to get insurance, you’re still good!

Get the extra's you need

Want to insure your laptop, expensive camera, or smartphone?
Maybe you want to get yourself insured for the more dangerous activities, like snowboarding or rock climbing.
Standard health insurance policies don’t cover ‘dangerous activities’.
Safety Wing insurance covers a wide array of activities in the standard plan.
With Globelink, you can add extra’s if you need them.
Get the extra’s you need and just those.

Best vanlife health insurance for Europe

So, if you’re looking for the best vanlife health insurance in Europe and beyond, These 2 options are a good choice to make.
Especially SafetyWing offers a lot of bang for your buck, while Globelink might be a little more customisable.
I recommend checking out both services and going with the one that matches your needs best.
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