spain travel health insurance

Spain Travel Insurance: What to Know

Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world: over 82 million foreign nationals decided to visit the sunny European nation in 2018 for their holidays and in February 2019, Spain reached the 1st place in the international tourism ranking list.

Especially when it comes to short-term stays, the majority of tourists come from Europe. However, Spain is also a favorite among non-EU travelers, with almost 3 million US nationals entering the country in 2018.

While EE and Swiss citizens have access to free healthcare and other basic services in Spain, non-EU nationals are advised to get insured before traveling to Spain in order to enjoy their holiday with peace of mind. As well as making arrangements for their Spanish visa, reserving plane tickets and booking accommodation, purchasing travel insurance should be a priority for most non-EU travelers.

Travel Insurance for Spain

There are several types of insurance for Spain suitable for all travel budgets. While for most tourists, the main purpose of purchasing a travel insurance is to get covered for medical costs, there are insurance packages that will offer coverage in all sorts of circumstances — from lost luggage to personal liability.

For many, basic health insurance is also part of the visa requirements for Spain and the Schengen area.

What Does a Travel Insurance Cover?

As mentioned above, insurance packages vary greatly. Here is a list of services and circumstances covered by most travel insurance companies for Spain:

  • Medical emergency and healthcare. It’s important to notice that exceptions apply. Usually, pre-existing health conditions and accidents caused by alcohol abuse and/or terrorist events are not covered.
  • Repatriation of the insured’s body in case of death.
  • Changes to the insured’s flights for reasons that go beyond the insured’s control. Trip delays, shortening, and cancellations are usually covered.
  • Stolen and/or lost personal belongings, including the insured’s passport and luggage.
  • Personal liability, in case the insured causes injuries and/or loss of possession to a third party.

Terms and conditions as well as exceptions apply to all of the above. It’s important to read the insurance policy carefully before making a purchase.

Who Needs a Travel Insurance for Spain?

There may be different reasons why foreigners decide to get insured before traveling to Spain. However, the main reason should be making sure to be covered in case of unexpected medical costs.

As most European countries, Spain can boast high healthcare standards. EU citizens can access the Spanish national healthcare system free of charge but non-European nationals will have to pay for treatment out of their own pockets. And like all travelers know, medical bills can easily become unaffordable.

A great percentage of tourists will be asked to purchase travel insurance as part of their visa requirements. This will depend on their nationality, the type of visa they’re applying for, and whether they already purchased a worldwide travel insurance.

Mandatory travel insurance must cover the whole Schengen territory and have a minimum coverage of € 30,000. International tourists will be asked for proof of insurance purchase upon entering the Schengen area — as well as their approved visa, passport, and other relevant documents.

How to Choose the Right Travel Insurance

Of course, travelers should choose the travel insurance for Spain that suits their specific needs best. However, there are useful tips they can follow in order to have everything they need and avoid surprises. Here’s a travel insurance checklist that can help non-EU citizens as they plan their trip to Spain:

  1. If applicable, make sure that the insurance package meets the relevant visa requirements, including geographic and minimum coverage.
  2. If relevant, check for cruise coverage — many packages don’t include costs faced or caused while at sea.
  3. Many of the most famous Spanish holiday destinations are not located on the mainland. Travelers should purchase insurance that includes the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands and other offshore Spanish territories they might visit.

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