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Spain Travel Insurance – A Guide for Visitors & Tourists Traveling to Spain

Spain Travel Health InsuranceSituated on the Iberian Peninsula, Spain is one of the top tourism attractions in Europe. With many historical sites, stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and delicious foods, the country is on the “to-visit” list of every passionate traveler.

If you are planning to take a trip to Spain, prepare yourself for some mesmerizing moments.

In addition, prepare yourself for any incident or illness. The last thing you would want to happen to you on a trip to Spain is to get sick or involved in an accident. But these are things that happen. In one moment you are on the beach enjoying the sunrays, on the other you find yourself lying in a hospital bed from food poisoning, or something else.

That is why, before taking a trip to Spain, you should check and get Spain Travel Insurance.

What is Spain Travel Insurance?

Spain Travel Insurance is a type of health insurance that covers all types of medical emergencies throughout your time in Spain.

It is also a main requirement when applying for a Schengen Visa to Spain, if you need one. Moreover, when you show up at the Spanish port of entry, you may be asked to present a document of confirmation that you have health insurance for Spain.

Note that your Spain Travel Insurance must be valid in the whole territory of the Schengen Area. Since Spain is a member of the Schengen, it applies to travelers the same health insurance policy as the common Schengen Area Travel Insurance policy.

Do You Need Travel Insurance for Spain?

Getting Travel Insurance for Spain, means having a backup plan for emergency health cases, thus all travelers are highly advises to obtain Travel Insurance to Spain.

Yet, not everyone is obliged to get Travel Insurance for Spain. If you are an EEA or Swiss national with health insurance valid in Spain, you do not need Travel Insurance. In addition, if you have health insurance valid in the whole world, you also do not need to get extra for Spain.

If you are still wondering “Do I need travel insurance for Spain?” note that insurance is mandatory for you, only if one of the following statements applies to you:

  • You need a visa to enter Spain for short-stays. One of the main requirements for a short-stay visa to Spain is a document that proves you have travel insurance that covers the whole territory of Schengen. The document must prove your insurance has minimal coverage of €30,000. It should also cover any health-related incident, including repatriation in case of death.
  • You will enter the Schengen Zone through a member state that wants you to present proof of travel Insurance for entry to Schengen. Several Schengen countries demand from travelers to prove they have travel insurance when they show up at their port of entry. You should check if the country through which you plan to enter to the Schengen has such a requirement.

Why Should I Get Spain Travel Medical Insurance?

The main reason why you should get Travel Insurance for Spain is to be prepared for anything that might happen. The journey is unforeseeable, so you never know what might happen.

Spain has a good healthcare system, but the costs are unbearable for foreigners. Even if you are treated for a simple food poisoning, the costs may be too much for you. You will have to pay way higher fees than those paid by the locals.

Moreover, public hospitals may not admit you, and you will have to find a private hospital, which have extremely high prices.

Two other very important reasons why you should get health insurance for Spain, as explained above, are:

  1. Travel health insurance for Spain is crucial if you are applying for a visa to Schengen.
  2. You may be asked to present proof of Travel Insurance at the Schengen port of entry.

What Does Spain Travel Insurance Cover?

Before you get Spain Travel Insurance from a particular company, take a moment to check what they cover. Approximately, all companies cover the same situations. However, you should still spare a few minutes and check, so you do not get played on.

Most of the Travel Insurance Companies cover the following:

  • Unforeseen accidents and illnesses. Note that it is a compulsory condition that the insurance you purchase covers all emergencies for a minimum of €30,000. You should also remember that they will not cover pre-existing illnesses, as diabetes, and also alcohol-related incidents. Unexpected incidents due to terrorism or civil unrest are also not covered.
  • Repatriation to your home country in case of death.
  • Annulment and shortening of the trip. If due to circumstances you cannot manage, you have to cancel your trip, or leave earlier, the insurance will cover your ticket.
  • Delay and missed departures. Again, if you miss your flight due to circumstances beyond your control, you will be covered by your insurance.
  • Personal liability. In cases when you cause the loss of the possessions of a third party or you injure them by accident.
  • Cover for lost and stolen passport and baggage.

How to Choose the Best Travel Medical Insurance for Spain

As most of the providers cover approximately the same situations, selecting the right one will not be a huge problem. However, when getting Spain Travel Insurance, try paying attention to the following tips:

  • Make sure it includes all the services mentioned above.
  • Make sure it covers incidents with a minimum coverage of €30,000.
  • Check if it covers cruises, if you are planning to go on one while in Spain.
  • Check if it covers the Spanish Balearic Islands and Canary Islands, if you are planning to go there too.
  • If you are traveling with your partner or family, there are companies that offer travel plans for couples and families with a cheaper price. Find a travel company that has such insurance plans for Spain.

How Does Spain Health Travel Insurance Work

Many people wonder how Travel Insurance works. It is actually quite simple and not complicated at all. Once you get the insurance, there is little for you to do. Travel Insurance for Spain works the same as in most of the world. Check the steps listed below, to understand how it practical works:

  1. When you purchase travel insurance for Spain, you will get a document with two parts. When you apply for a visa to Spain, you will leave one part at the embassy. The other part you will take with you to Spain. You may need to present it at the port of entry, but they won’t take it away. You will still keep it.
  2. Your travel insurance is activated in the moment you leave your country. If anything happened as soon as you reach the area that is covered by the insurance, you will be compensated.
  3. If anything happens to you while in Spain, i.e. an accident, you can receive medical care at any hospital or clinic in Spain. Paying them can be completed in two ways, depending on your insurer:
    1. Direct billing. The medical facility where you receive medical care, will register your data and send the bill to your insurer. Your insurer will then need to complete the payments.
    2. Reimbursement. You will pay the expenses of the service you receive and obtain a bill. You will then send this bill to your insurer, who will reimburse you.

Spain Travel Medical Insurance Costs

Costs for Travel Insurance for Spain depend mostly on the company that is offering insurance. The prices depend from one company to another. That is why you should check several ones until you decide which you want to purchase.

Usually, the more services they offer, the more expensive they are. Also the longer your trip, the more money you will have to pay for your Spain travel insurance.

Still, many providers have categories of persons who can get travel insurance for Spain for reduced prices, i.e. students. Check if you belong to such a category. Moreover, if you choose a lower overall maximum coverage limit, you will obviously have to pay less.

Why Some Health Insurance Companies Do Not Cover Spain

If you have an EU Travel Insurance or Schengen Travel Insurance, you should check whether it includes Spain as well. Often, Spain and a few other countries in Europe are excluded from some travel insurance providers.

This happens because health incidents are a bit more frequent in Spain. The high temperatures are one reason for that. Moreover, healthcare in Spain is quite more expensive than for other countries. As a result, health insurance for Spain tends to be a bit more expensive than for other EU countries, i.e. France.

Spain Healthcare System

Spain has a health system that is better than the ones in the majority of world’s countries. It has a state healthcare system with the option for additional private coverage. It is estimated that 99% of the population of Spain is covered by health insurance.

There are 453 hospitals in the whole territory of Spain, and another 21,458 pharmacies. Thus, you always have a good chance to find one close to you, in case of need.

If you are a national of one of the EU countries on a short trip in Spain, you will be able to use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) when accessing state medical care in Spain. You will be able to access medical care for free, or for a very low price.

Spain Travel Tips and Advice

Required Vaccines to Travel to Spain

All those traveling to Spain should be vaccinated against measles, and have the routine vaccines, which include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

Travelers from some specific countries are required to be vaccinated against some infections and illnesses as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and rabies.

Food Safety in Spain

When in Spain, you might want to try all kinds of foods, and we don’t blame you. Yet, you should be very cautious not to catch an infection or get poisoned. Though Spanish inspection authorities check restaurants, farms, factories, shops and street sellers rigorously, it is always thoughtful to be careful.

Following, find a list of foods and places you should be careful from eating in Spain:

  • Raw food. Avoid fresh salsas and salads in random restaurants. They can always be a source for germs, in particular at overly frequented restaurants.
  • Street food. Trying street food is always tempting, but they aren’t always held in the required hygiene standards. So check with your eyes for several minutes before buying.
  • Water. When visiting rural or remote areas do not drink water served by unregulated water sources such as private wells.
  • Crowded places. There is a very high chance that a restaurant will not properly cook your food if they are having to many people at a time. Try avoiding these places.
  • Unwashed fruits from the market. Always wash your fruits before eating them, even if the market sellers tell you they are washed. You never know how many people touched them before you.

Emergency Assistance in Spain

If you find yourself in an emergency while in Spain, call 112 right away for an ambulance or police. Foreign citizens are treated with respect and served with the necessary medical care in case of an emergency.

We also suggest you to check where is the closest pharmacy and hospital to the place you will be staying while in Spain. Keep their contact number and address with you anywhere you go.

Travel Risks in Spain

Your main concern about Spain travel risks should be theft. In particular, if you are traveling to Madrid or Barcelona. Pickpocketing is very common around here, due to the high number of tourists. Always keep your phone keys and wallet close to you.

Be careful of people approaching you with maps, and asking you for directions. Do not handle your phone to someone to take pictures of you. You may not get that phone back.  Keeps your bags zipped, and always watch for it.

If you are staying at a hostel, some other cheap hotel, breakfast and bed, or a guesthouse, always lock your luggage. You may think that locking your room is enough, but the owners/servants always have an extra pair of keys.

Other than theft, you should not be worried about anything else related to travel risks in Spain. There have been very few terrorist attacks in the last 20 years in Spain. Moreover, the Spanish Interior Ministry has released new counter-terrorism strategies, fighting attacks and mass shootings.

Aside from the declaration of Catalonia independence in 2017, which caused protests, there have been no civil unrests in the past years in Spain.

The Dangers of Cycling in Spain

Biking is very popular in Spain. When there you’ll see a lot of people biking. You might want to rent one while you are there, so you do not need to take the bus continuously within a city.

Yet, cycling can be very dangerous in Spain, due to careless drivers. You should bike very carefully and always wear a helmet. You will find bike lanes in most cities, but you still should not go full speed.

Also, be careful to always ride on the right-hand side of the road and never ride against the flow of traffic.

Other tips for travelling in Spain

Whether you are on the road to Spain or just planning to travel there, a few tips can always help:

  • Learn some phrases in Spanish.
  • Carry cash with you. Not all places accept credit cards. You will also avoid unnecessary transaction fees.
  • Do not come here in summer, if you cannot stand the heat. Spain is extremely hot, you cannot even imagine. If you can’t stand the heat, better come here in spring.
  • Bring a sunburn cream with you. If you however decide to visit Spain in summer, do not forget your sunburn cream.
  • Spain is not very-vegetarian friendly. If you are a non-meat eater, you should prepare yourself. It will be quite hard to find vegetarian restaurants in Spain.
  • The train is not cheap. Unlike in other EU countries, traveling by train in Spain is not always cheap. Always check prices between distances before hopping into a train.
  • Skip eating dinner out, it is too expensive. While you can eat lunch for 7-8 euros, dinner is extremely expensive. You better skip it out.

Popular tourist destinations in Spain

In case you still do not know which places to see while in Spain, we can help you. Following, find the list of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain:

  • Sagrada Família, Barcelona. The unfinished church that dates back to 1882, the construction of which still goes on today, is a Spanish masterpiece you should not miss.
  • Plaza Mayor, Madrid. The 237 balconies of the 17th century Plaza Mayor will fascinate you. Back then, the place was a site for public executions, trials and bullfights.
  • The Real Alcázar, Seville. This Moorish palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with wonderful architecture and fairytale-like gardens.
  • El Tajo Gorge, Ronda. Visit the mountaintop town of Ronda and its scenic canyon El Tajo Gorge that splits the town into two, the Moorish-era old town and the modern quarter.
  • Catedral de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago. Placed at the ending point of the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage of about 800 kilometers, the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela is one of the Spanish wonders every tourist need to see.

I’m driving to Spain – what other insurance cover do I need?

If you are driving to Spain, you should always have valid car insurance. Make sure you carry your certificate of insurance in your car.

Aside from car insurance, you should always have the following with you:

  • Your driving license.
  • Two red warning triangles.
  • A spare wheel.
  • A reflective vest.

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