What You Need to Know About Travel Insurance in Spain
Today to continue our “What You Need to Know” travel theme, we have teamed up with Gabriella Cruz-Martínez, a staff writer at Consumer Advocate. Before joining Consumer Advocate, Gabriella worked for various Chicago-based publications including The Hyde Park Herald, The Journal Gazette & Times-Courier, and Chicago Talks. Her writing has covered reports on Illinois politics, education, and business. Today, she brings you a detailed account of what you should know about travel insurance, especially what is covered in relation to travels in Spain. This is a topic that’s been on our minds for some time and so we really appreciate the research and insights Gabriella put into providing information specifically about Spain.
Without further ado, we would like to present Gabriella:
You’ve purchased your ticket to Spain and can’t wait to get started on this exciting new adventure. Spain is currently ranked as one of the most popular destinations in Western Europe and for good reason. Their rich multicultural history, cuisine, and nightlife has positioned the country as the second most visited destination in the world in 2018. According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), 82.8 million people visited Spain last year, setting a new record for foreign tourist travels for the sixth year in a row.
Now, it may not come as a surprise that international trips can be more expensive than domestic trips. The Industry, Trade and Tourism Ministry reported that on average daily spending by individual tourists grew to €146, that’s around $160 (US dollars) per day.
Whether you’re visiting Spain for pleasure, business, education, or other purposes, investing in a good travel insurance policy can safeguard you from the unexpected and can have a lot of benefits. Some policies can cover the priciest of travel disasters such as medical care, theft, trip cancellation, interruption, evacuation, and repatriation.
What do the experts have to say?
According to an American Automobile Association (AAA) travel survey, 38% of the US population reported they would likely purchase travel insurance for future international trips. That’s four in 10 Americans getting some form of travel insurance to protect their travels, and that number is sure to rise.
“There are just too many unknowns, like family emergencies and natural disasters, which can throw an unexpected wrench into a planned vacation. Travelers are increasingly not taking chances and they’re choosing to invest in the value and peace of mind that travel insurance can provide, for international as well as domestic and cruise vacations,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president of AAA Travel and Publishing in a statement released in 2018.
Seeking a travel insurance isn’t very fun. Luckily, we’re here to help make your international experience better by planning ahead.
Unexpected healthcare expenses could be incredibly costly
When it comes to expenses, one of the most common setbacks can be emergency healthcare. Many US citizens question whether they need travel insurance for their travels abroad when healthcare in Europe is free. Well, that’s true to a certain degree. Let’s take a look particularly at Spain:
State healthcare, known as the Spanish National Health System (SNS), covers most healthcare free of charge to Spaniards or residents working or studying in Spain. However, visitors will not be covered in most cases unless they have some form of insurance.
It’s also important to note that the Spanish healthcare system is decentralized, so you will need to check the conditions in your area for healthcare services and many Spanish islands don’t offer state healthcare. Most hospitals, however, offer both private and public healthcare services.
Spain’s free state healthcare is available to you if you are:
-Staying temporarily in Spain and have an EHIC card (available only for European Union citizens)
-A resident in Spain and work in employment or self-employment and pay social security contributions
-A child resident in Spain
-A pregnant woman who is a resident in Spain
-Student under the age of 26 from the European Union
-A state pensioner
-A citizen of a country under a bi-lateral agreement with Spain for temporary healthcare
Make sure you’re covered
Travel insurance, much like any other type of insurance, covers an agreed-upon set of circumstances as set forth in the insurance contract. According to the US Travel Insurance Association, 32.6 million Americans purchased travel protection in 2016.
In 2018, the American Automobile Association (AAA) reported that most travelers chose cancellation protection as the most valuable benefit with 9 in 10 travelers, 88% purchasing this form of travel insurance in case they needed to cancel their trip.
The other bulk of travelers chose travel insurance to cover health concerns, with 69% or travelers choosing medical insurance packages. In Spain, healthcare is a constitutional right so you can’t be denied coverage based on preexisting conditions.
For temporary visits, non-EU citizens who need a visa to visit Spain will be asked to provide proof of medical insurance as part of their visa application. For those non-EU citizens who can visit Spain without a visa its recommended that they take out a travel insurance that will cover medical costs in case of an unexpected emergency.
Continue your research
Researchers at ConsumersAdvocate.org found that coverage options often fall into roughly five unofficial categories which include cancellation, health coverage, auto insurance, and issues with baggage. The fifth tier of coverage includes unusual circumstances such as hijacking insurance, extreme sports and other options that were less in demand.
If you’re interested in looking for affordable quality travel insurance that can cover anything from emergency medical, to identity theft protection, lost baggage, or any travel inconveniences we advise you look at Consumers Advocate’s in-depth study of the best travel insurance policies available to date.
Thanks again to the folks at Consumer Advocate for reaching out and providing this informative piece! If you enjoyed learning more about travel insurance, we highly recommend you check out the resource Gabriella references above. Here at Sincerely, Spain we pride ourselves on only promoting content we truly believe in and we were honestly blown away by the depth and breadth of Consumer Advocate’s study! They’ve really done their digging and know what they’re talking about so if you’re in the market for travel insurance we definitely suggest you read through their study in order to be well-informed and make the best choice for your personal circumstances. Have any additional questions? Feel free to drop them below and we’ll do our best to answer them. Happy travels!
*If you have specific questions about travel plans you need to cancel because of the current pandemic, check out this article on that topic.
Hi! I am planning to stay in Spain for entire year starting this September, but I am not sure if travel insurance would be a good fit for my situation. From my research I have found there are some reasonable private health insurance options in Spain that would work directly with private hospitals. It is very cheap as well, $51. I was thinking this one, for example: https://insbrok.com/best-private-health-insurance-in-spain/ What are your thoughts on this?
Thank you for reaching out. We are assuming that you will be coming with school or work or another way that permits you a year-long visa? If so, we recommend talking with your program or company or lawyer about what your insurance options are in Spain. With your visa, you might qualify for public health insurance during your stay in Spain. Depending on your situation, you might want to hire private insurance but it might not be necessary. If you decide to go with private insurance as well, there are many private insurance plans in Spain and you should figure out what your needs are. Make sure the plan offers you something with a local health care provider (wherever you will live) and will cover your needs.
We hope this helps! Best of luck in Spain!