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Spain - Insurance

Health insurance abroad is essential for any expat. In addition to expat healthcare insurance rates, insurance providers or online insurance comparison sites can provide life assurance quotes and auto insurance rates to provide you with overseas coverage. However, remember that cheap insurance may not represent the best value for money if you need to make a claim - as an expat you may require specialist expatriate insurance cover abroad.

To request free, no-obligation quotes from leading insurers, please visit our expat insurance page

Health insurance in Spain is considered to be important, particularly in Spain. The system on healthcare in Europe allows emergency healthcare to be given free but other healthcare may need to be paid for, although the system is subsidized if you are a part of the social security system in the country. For this you need to be registered. If you have an EHIC card you will qualify for the same standard of healthcare as the locals. Those healthcare treatments and services which need to be paid for can be covered by private healthcare insurance. Policies which cover all medical care can be obtained if you prefer private treatment or you can get a policy which just pays out for extra costs.

There are several types of life insurance in Spain. Term insurance is a policy which is arranged for a specific period of time or a policy holder can opt for a ‘whole of life’ policy. Term insurance in Spain is a little different from that in other countries as the premium does not stay the same for the life of the policy. It is usually adjusted on an annual basis and will take into account the increasing age of the policy holder. These policies can also be taken out simply to cover the cost of a mortgage in the event of the policy holder’s death. You may be required to have a similar policy if you take out a mortgage. For many policies it may be necessary to undergo a medical, the cost of which is covered by the insurance company.

When you are taking out home insurance there are several different types of policy, depending upon whether or not you are owner of the property. If you are the owner then you need to have buildings and contents insurance (continente y contenido). If you are simply renting a property then you should have contents insurance (contenido). Policies are very similar to those which are available in the UK and the US and will cover different aspects of insurance such as accidental damage cover, risks incurred outside the home and dangerous dog liability. Most policies will automatically offer cover for a non-dangerous dog but you may need extra cover for certain breeds. A standard household insurance (seguro del hogar) will cover both buildings and contents. It is not a requirement that you purchase this insurance within Spain and a Spanish-based company can normally supply documents in English.

When taking out buildings insurance (continente) needs to cover the cost of rebuilding the property and should not be linked to the market value. Policy holders should be aware that the cost of building a property in Spain has increased a great deal in recent years and it may be necessary to have policies reviewed on a regular basis. Contents policies normally work on a ‘new for old’ basis. These policies do not normally cover the cost of work to a bathroom or kitchen and this should be added on as extra. Extra insurance is required if you are renting out a property to tenants or as a holiday let. Most home insurance policies have a limit of 7 days for making a claim.

It is compulsory for drivers in Spain to have a minimum of third party insurance and when driving you must be carrying proof that you are insured. If you do not there are penalties if you are stopped by the police. As with other countries there are different types of car insurance. The basic policy is a third party, fire and theft policy (Seguro de terceros o de responsabilidad civil obligatoria) while a fully comprehensive policy (seguro a todo riesgo) may be compulsory if buying a car on finance. In addition to these policies you can opt for extra driver and passenger insurance (seguro de ocupantes) to cover compensation in the event of injury or loss of earnings. Discounts can be earned for prior no claims and drivers should be aware that if their car is written off the policy may only pay out a percentage of the value. An excess (franquicia) is applied to all policies.

There are many industries where professional liability insurance may be needed. This can be purchased from a variety of different insurers both in Spain and in other parts of Europe. The premiums that are charged will depend upon the type of profession and the risks that are involved.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.