This post is part of our new interview series highlighting some great new products out there for remote workers and digital nomads alike!
Sondre joins us to talk about his product, which offers affordable medical insurance on a monthly subscription basis for travelers. Their product is cheaper than the competition, and just so happens to be our pick for The Best Digital Nomad Insurance.
We hope you enjoy this conversation with Sondre, and be sure to check out SafetyWing.
Question 1: How would you describe your product and who is it for?
SafetyWing’s current product is insurance for digital nomads. That is people like ourselves, who work online and live abroad. It covers travel + medical, and the main use case is so that you’re covered if you get sick or injured and need to go to the doctor or hospital. It’s a fairly simple product, that for most our customers is a $37 per month subscription they have active as long as they are abroad.
Question 2: Why is it important for remote workers or digital nomads to have insurance?
Most of the ways we used to be secure worked when you lived in your home town and worked for a local company. Digital nomads and remote workers work online, are location-independent, and therefore have to figure out a different way to stay safe when it comes to health and other risks you face just by being alive. I figured this out myself when I had a health incident while living in the US, and I discovered that to not have insurance when something does happen is absolutely devastating. Insurance is a great way for people like you to pool the risk, and for a small sum you make sure you’ll get healthy and not go bankrupt if something were to happen. And at some point in your life, something will happen.
Question 3: Based on your experience with SafetyWing scenarios and safety tips should digital nomads be aware of when traveling and working abroad?
Our customers are often adventurers, so we get all kinds of interesting and unusual things happening to them. One tip I can remember is that you travel with a friend or at least have you regularly update. If something were to happen and you’re unconscious, and you’re in the jungle somewhere, it really helps to have a friend who can get the relevant information to the hospital and inform us that you need help.
Question 4: How did you get started in this industry?
We started SafetyWing because we ourselves were freelancers and entrepreneurs living abroad, and discovered that no one offered what we needed yet. I used to work for the Norwegian government building their social safety net. So we started out on our mission to build a global social safety net with the learnings I had from Norway. That includes health, but also pensions and income protection eventually. Insurance for nomads is just the first step. This autumn we’re releasing our next product which is a global health insurance for remote teams, with dental and maternity as well. And we’ll continue onwards until we have a fully functional global replacement for national welfare systems in place. [Ed: woah!]
Question 5: Describe your own remote work setup? What works well for you to be productive, and what advice do you have for those launching a new remote career?
We are fully remote, with people from and living all over the world. We base our core time 3 days a week to work for US/European timezones. We use Sococo for video conferencing, we love the Sims-like interface. We also use Slack, Notion, and GSuite for collaboration. We have two weekly meetings — our Monday meeting is the one where everyone says what they did last week and what they’re doing next week. And Thursday is the creative one where we’re co-creating the future of the company and planning ahead. We also gather the full team about once a quarter, often in our house in San Francisco. I love working remotely, and we have a really wonderful team. We’ve found enough good ways to make it work for us, to keep relationships strong, coordination sufficient and being productive without watching over peoples shoulders.
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In this post, we discuss options for insurance. You should be aware that not every insurance product is right for everyone’s individual needs. Please carefully consider what is included or excluded from your coverage plan before making an insurance decision. Nothing in this post is intended to guarantee any specific coverage outcomes. If you have further questions, you should consult a lawyer, your insurance company, or another trusted individual.