Why digital nomads need life insurance

Your traveling adventures can still be fun while also knowing your life is covered.

Have you seen Nomadland? It’s a movie about a woman in her sixties who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad. For some, that might be a scary thought because we’re so used to stability in one home. But many are seeking this unconventional lifestyle, especially after the covid-19 pandemic provided more work-remote options. So, what are the things you should consider when you’re researching how to become a digital nomad, and is life insurance one of them?

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Digital nomads and life insurance

Though it might not be a top priority, getting life insurance before your travels is important. If you’re lucky enough to work remotely for an individual company, you might have group life insurance, which usually has lower premiums because it’s an employee-based policy. Although it is convenient to have a policy through your job, it’s important to note that it often doesn’t offer enough coverage, so make sure to do your research to understand the stipulations. But if you’re a freelancer or an independent contractor, you might need to shop around for a plan. So what are things to think about when choosing your policy?

Companies may view digital nomads as high-risk

Some companies think that a digital nomad will be more inclined to participate in high-risk adventures like mountain climbing, scuba diving, and other possibly dangerous activities. Whether or not you plan on diving off a cliff or swimming with a great white shark, the fact that you’re living a nomadic lifestyle might have some life insurance companies concerned that you might be down for risky fun. Every company has its own criteria for high-risk behavior, and during the underwriting process, the broker could provide options to ensure you and your beneficiaries are protected—whether it be a higher premium cost or an added flat surcharge to your policy. The company also might offer a policy that’s specifically labeled as high-risk life insurance. While costs may be higher, the bottom line is you have options for protection.

Flexible coverage is vital

As a digital nomad, having flexibility with the type of coverage you buy is important. As you travel you’ll want something to adapt to your specific lifestyle, something tailored to your nomadic needs. Some companies also offer lower-cost, short-term policies. These short-term or micro policies may even cover things like illness, injury as well as death. This might be beneficial for you since you might have assets of lower value, so you don’t need as much coverage. 

Also, if you happen to have a house, a car, student loans, etc., having the right amount of coverage will offer protection for your family and all your assets as you’re traveling. If having a house and a car are future goals, you can also tailor an existing plan to offer more coverage as your life evolves.

Another thing that can make your policy more flexible is an accelerated death benefit. By adding this rider, if you happen to be diagnosed with a terminal illness while away, you can use the death benefit while you’re alive to cover medical bills and other costs.

A woman in a hijab works from her laptop in a park.

Other things to consider as a digital nomad

As you’re looking for the right life insurance policy, there are other things to think about.

  • Overseas travel: make sure your plan will cover you if you are traveling abroad, as some companies will only insure you domestically.
  • Address needed: to purchase a policy, you need an address as part of your personal info. If you don’t have a permanent place yourself, some companies will allow you to use a relative’s address.
  • Watch out for lapsing coverage: missing a payment on your policy may result in your coverage becoming inactive. Having recurring payments automatically debited from your account would make sure coverage is always on.
  • Dying abroad: most plans will cover death outside of your home country after two years of your policy being in place. Just make sure to let the company know where you’ll be traveling and for how long to see what kind of coverage is best for you.
  • Loans and debt: if you have outstanding loans or debt, make sure the amount of coverage is sufficient to cover them if you should kick the bucket while traveling.

Conclusion

Whether you’re working remotely in a chic cafe or using your laptop on a sunny beach, you deserve protection for your unique life. Obtaining life insurance as a digital nomad is totally possible, as long as you do the necessary research. Understand the types of coverage you need, whether you’re staying in the country or traveling internationally, and determine if flex options are more suitable for you.

The Wyshbox Blog

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