The bad news is: it's such a broad topic & there are so many insurers out there that it's very time consuming to understand which insurances are actually "good" for you.
The good news is: I had the same problem & did loads of research, so read on!
Regarding health-related insurances, you are looking for what is usually called an "international health travel insurance".
Sometimes the name varies to "long term travel insurance" or else.
I will focus my answer on the health aspect of an international travel insurance, as it is the most important topic.
Each travel insurance will come with different types of coverage.
You want to look at the below different categories of coverage & double check you are covered for what matters to you.
- Emergency: ie. you fall ill, hence must consult a doctor (or go to hospital)
- Accident: ie. you are doing a hike & twist your ankle, hence must consult a doctor (or go to hospital)
- Search & rescue: ie. you get caught in an avalanche in Nepal, a rescue team will search for you... & save your life
- Routine treatments/checks: ie. every 6 months you see a GP to double check you are all good
My recommendation: you must get the "emergency" & "accident" coverage at least. I highly recommend to get a "search & rescue" cover too. All these coverages usually come with repatriation in your home country (but where is home??? a developed country with high health care system standards is all you care I suppose).
I'm a German citizen. However, I haven't lived in Germany for 4 years.
Until now I've always lived in different countries
Many insurers - even though based in one specific country - are providing this type of insurance for many nationalities. Most of them - from what I noticed - ask you your country of residence to issue you this insurance.
As a German citizen living in a foreign country (ie. Spain), you may not plan to ever come back to that country, so you might wonder "how stupid is that??". I think the same, & I have no idea why they do that. Seems like the world is still not so global after all.
BUT, some insurers base the insurance policy on your citizenship only or sometimes on any combination of citizenship+residency: Clements Worldwide with the plan called Expat Health Insurance GlobalCare, IMG Europe with the plan called "GlobalFusion International Medical Insurance", ACS Travel & expatriate insurances, and ASFE Expat.
ps. do let us know if you find more international travel insurances providing this flexibility
One factor is the cost of healthcare in the destination countries. For
travel to the United States the general recommendation is to get
"unlimited" health coverage, which is of course the most expensive.
Right on spot, USA & Canada are often not covered by international health insurance. It is always (in my experience) explicitly stated though so no big deal. You should be able to find one that also covers those countries without much problem (& by paying a little more of course).
The nitty gritty
Here are some international health insurances that seemed pretty:
TrueTraveller.com : good price, can cover the most unusual activities, but extremely tailored at the same time (you choose what you need only) & very transparent, it seems like a winner
Clements.com : seemed pretty nice, just for the fact that it's "smart enough" to only ask you for your citizenship rather than residency
ACS Travel & expatriate insurances: seems fine. It insures anyone from any combination of citizenship & residency.
ASFE Expat: seems fine. It insures anyone from any combination of citizenship & residency. Unfortunately, only people below 36 years old are eligible.
World nomads: seems fine, but from my research I noticed it was not cheap.
IMG Europe : seems fine, although I still need to read more about it
Allianz : a very big player in the field, it seems the choice for many. However, the number of websites & policies they have is overwhelming, still have to look further into that one.
StaTravel : I heard it's not bad what they offer in some countries, but yeah, it depends in which country you get your insurance... as each country-website is different & has different offers. Note that they usually work with partner insurances companies, maybe you can get the exact same insurance they propose but directly with the partner insurance, hence most likely for a cheaper price.
Further research tips
Congratulations! You have become a "perpetual traveler" & a "digital nomad". Society found a name for you, aren't you happy about it!?
Now, just google for this:
- "perpetual traveler international health insurance"
- "digital nomad international health insurance"
Also look for blogs & forums of digital travelers & perpetual travelers, they often contain quality information on that topic.
Now just google for this:
- "digital nomad blog"
- "perpetual traveler blog"
And see if there is a section on health insurance in those blogs.
Other services do provide some travel health insurance when you subscribe to them, for instance:
- signing up for a specific bank card. VISA for instance does this, check out VISA cards offered by the banks of your country of residence for more info.
- signing up for a car breakdown insurance. Yes, as crazy as it sounds, a car breakdown insurance sometimes include travel insurance abroad "without the car". For instance, ADAC in Germany has a this in the Plus Membership.
Note that the above are not "clean" solutions. Rather some tips to keep in mind if anything happens to you: you might be covered by more insurances than you think. These insurances do come with many conditions though: i.e. only covers you for your first month of travel, or only covers your accident if you paid your trip with the VISA card that has the attached travel insurance.
Emergency & rescue travel insurance
I highly recommend to get an emergency & rescue travel insurance. This usually costs very little - around 50 euros per year (yes, per year) - but will cover the most extreme situations. Even if unlikely, if you need to be rescued from the top of mountain or repatriated "home" in emergency then this insurance will cover that.
In Switzerland, the most famous one is called Rega.
You might want to research which is the one in your country of residence.