Spain is a relatively safe travel destination, but when I visit I still choose to get travel insurance for Spain. After five years of traveling full time, I’ve just had too many things go wrong in places where I didn’t even expect it. I was burglarized in Belize, contracted dengue in Thailand, and got trapped inside Argentina at the start of the pandemic.
Luckily I have never been hurt or had a medical emergency in Spain. But, if I ever did, I’d feel a lot more confident knowing I had Spain travel insurance coverage.
If you’re headed to Spain and debating whether and where to buy trip insurance, this guide is for you. I’ll cover all the things you need to know about travel insurance for Spain, including:
- ✈️ Do I Need Travel Insurance for Spain?
- ⏳ Why Should I Get Spain Travel Insurance?
- 🔎 Best Sites for Travel Insurance in Spain
- 👮🏻♂️ Spain Travel Safety Tips
Scroll down to read the full guide or, if you’re just looking for a quick solution, here’s a quick summary of the top sites I currently use:
Disclosure: I am not a licensed broker and cannot choose insurance for you. Be sure to read policy terms and conditions closely before making a purchase. Also please note that this is a reader-supported travel blog, so by purchasing through my affiliate links you help support our site.
Do I Need Travel Insurance for Spain?
Is travel insurance required for Spain? Most visitors do not need travel insurance to enter Spain. It is not mandatory to buy travel insurance for your trip to Spain, but the US Embassy in Spain still recommends getting medical insurance covering your trip. According to their website, “if you plan to spend any time in Spain, you should consider purchasing a policy that specifically covers expenses incurred overseas.”
With that said, there are a lot of good reasons to get insurance, and many travelers nonetheless choose to buy travel insurance for Spain. Personally, one of the things I always remind myself to do before my trip is to buy international travel insurance. Let me explain why:
Why Should I Get Spain Travel Insurance?
While you may not need to purchase travel insurance for Spain to enter the country, doing so may nonetheless be a smart idea. I always choose to buy a policy no matter which country I’m traveling to. As someone who travels full time to write this blog, I’ve spent thousands of dollars on travel insurance over the years. But I honestly think it’s well worth the investment.
Here are the main reasons why I personally purchased Spain travel insurance for my last visit:
Although many Americans already have the vaccine, that doesn’t mean your travel plans won’t be impacted by Covid-19. The Washington Post article highlights some of the impacts of traveling during Covid-19, and all the many ways that the ongoing pandemic can interfere with a trip.
One thing that may help provide peace of mind about travel during Covid-19 is Spain travel insurance coverage. Just be sure to check the terms and conditions carefully to see what is and isn’t a covered loss. There are many different ways that the coronavirus pandemic could impact your trip, and no travel insurance provider I know of provides coverage for every single one of them. Therefore, it’s best to consider which coverages are most important to you when comparison shopping policies.
Travel Insurance and Accidents, Illness, and Crime
Though you should always read the terms and conditions carefully, Spanish travel insurance plans often offer the following types of benefits:
😷 Emergency Medical Coverage
- What It Is: If you get injured or sick during your trip, emergency medical coverage may cover medical costs provided you purchased a plan that covers the activities you were doing. Travel medical insurance often includes coverage for things like emergency hospital visits for accidents and illness.
- Why It Matters: A medical emergency or accident could occur at any time. An out-of-pocket medical cost can become costly very quickly, but with emergency health insurance, I know I won’t have to worry about paying thousands for help due to a covered loss.
✈️ Trip Cancellation Protection
- What It Is: Trip cancellation protection is a benefit that reimburses you for the cost of part of your non-refundable deposits if your trip is cancelled for a covered reason.
- Why It Matters: Non-medical emergencies can happen too, so I always found it smart to get a plan with more than just health insurance. Whether it’s a natural disaster or a family emergency, having the ability to get a refund is always a smart decision.
🚑 Emergency Medical Evacuation
- What It Is: Emergency medical evacuation refers to the costs of transporting you if you’re unable to travel by yourself. If you’re doing any adventure activities, such as hiking in Spain, you might pay extra special attention to the terms and conditions around this benefit.
- Why It Matters: Having an evacuation is among the scariest results for a traveler. If you don’t have health insurance coverage that includes evacuation, the medical expenses of evacuation to your home country can easily reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.
🚙 Car Rental Protection
- What It Is: Spain, like any developed nation, requires you to have car insurance when you drive a car, including when you rent a vehicle. Often times coverage from home won’t apply abroad, so this can come in handy if you are road tripping through Spain.
- Why It Matters: Driving around Spain can give your trip a whole new traveling experience. Why put that in jeopardy and drive without car insurance for Spain when it’s required by law?
💻 Lost or Stolen Luggage Protection
- What It Is: Protection against covered airline losses or stolen goods. I try to make sure my insurance coverage policy limit is above the dollar amount of the items I bring so that I can get a full reimbursement.
- Why It Matters: By having lost luggage protection, you’ll be able to pay for new items if your airline loses them. Spain, like almost all European countries, is extremely safe, although petty crime and pickpocketing exists in cities.
Other Spain travel insurance plans have different services. Some include emergency assistance while others cover stolen identification. Some are just for health insurance. When searching for travel insurance, always pick the coverage best suited for your specific travel needs and be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully.
Where to Compare the Best Travel Insurance for Spain
Now that we’ve covered the basics of travel insurance for Spain, let’s quickly cover the online travel insurance websites I prefer to use. Here are my personal favorites:
World Nomads (My Choice)
On my trips to Spain, I personally used World Nomads for my travel insurance. They aren’t the cheapest travel insurance for Spain usually, but here’s why I use and love World Nomads:
- 🌍 Founded by Travelers: The founders of World Nomads were Australian traveling enthusiasts who wanted to improve the insurance experience for travelers. I have used World Nomads off and on for nearly half a decade without incident.
- 🤙 Flexible Coverage: Have you ever wanted to extend a trip by a week or two? With World Nomads, you won’t have to pay an expensive penalty or fee to extend coverage. Having a flexible insurance company has helped me in a few traveling situations, especially when it comes to health insurance in Europe.
- 📞 24/7 Emergency Assistance: World Nomads has agents always ready to accept calls from their customers, whether you’re in the USA, Europe, or any other destinations else with coverage.
As a young traveler from the USA, World Nomads appeals to me because of their flexible coverage and emergency assistance. But World Nomads doesn’t insure anyone over the age of 70 in the U.S. (or 65 abroad) which means it may not be the best option for seniors.
TravelInsurance.com (Best for Finding Cheap Spain Insurance)
TravelInsurance.com is the site to search when you want to compare the insurance policies of more than 100 different sources. It isn’t so much an insurance provider, as a search engine that aggregates quotes from many different insurers. It shows not only policies but reviews from travelers who used their services. From those reviews, you can weed out the plans that don’t suit your travel plans. I think it’s a solid site that makes searching for travel insurance to Spain cheap and easy.
Insure My Trip (Best for Insurance for Seniors)
This is another great search aggregator site, and that is especially useful for finding plans that provide coverage for seniors or those with pre-existing conditions. Insure My Trip works by aggregating hundreds of different policies so you can search for one that’s right for you.
Insure My Trip also has a special feature called the “Anytime Advocates” service. Anytime Advocates is a personal representative that works on your behalf to get your claims done faster. If your claim is denied for any reason, your Anytime Advocate will work with you to figure out another solution, whether or not that entails using your insurance. Pretty cool, right?
Spain Travel Safety and Tips
Before any travelers scare themselves about the potential dangers of traveling to Spain, let me make one thing clear—traveling to any of the Schengen area countries is extremely safe. The crime rate, for both petty and violent crime, is lower in Spain than in any major U.S. city. Still, traveling anywhere that is unfamiliar always comes with risks. Let’s break down some of the travel safety tips for Spain:
Crime in Spain
Overall, crime is much lower in Spain than it is in the USA or many other countries for that matter. World Nomads ranked Spain as the 38th safest country in the world for a tourist to visit. Violent crime is almost non-existent for tourists and in general, Spanish citizens treat tourists with respect.
If you do happen to experience crime, it will most likely occur in the form of cheap theft or pickpocketing. These problems are especially noticeable in destinations in Spain like Madrid, Barcelona, and Santiago de Compostela. When traveling to Spain, I always remember to:
- 👀 Keep an eye on your belongings. Petty theft occurs in Barcelona and the capital Madrid more than any other major city in Spain. Make sure you keep a keen eye on your stuff.
- 💼 Only keep a few key items on you at a time, like your phone and wallet. Don’t bring all of your money and cards with you because if they do get stolen, you’ll be left with nothing in a foreign country.
- 🙏 As a tourist, always keep your insurance documents on you at all times. If you need to use your travel medical insurance, you’ll want to have easy access so you avoid medical expenses.
Healthcare in Spain
Healthcare in Spain is universal, but it’s through a dual public / private healthcare system. The Spanish government backs a state-sponsored healthcare system, but there is also a parallels private system. About 90% of locals use the public system.
European visitors may be entitled to free or reduced care at the public system by presenting a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). For tourists to Spain from the United States or other non-European countries, however, you’ll have to pay – so it is wise to bring travel insurance to Spain.
Overall, the standard of care in Spain is quite high, with the Spanish healthcare system having consistently been ranked as among the best of in the world by multiple third-party organizations.
Spain Travel Tips
- 🗺️ Top Destinations in Spain: Barcelona, the capital of the semi-autonomous Catalan region, is the most popular destination for tourists visiting Spain, though personally I prefer the energy of Madrid. If you want to see amazing cathedrals you won’t be able to see in the USA, visiting Seville or Santiago de Compostela might be for you. If you’re looking for an underrated seaside city, check out Mojacar.
- 📆 Best Time to Travel to Spain: Spain is a country that fills up with tourists and non-residents in the summer. Since it gets so full in the summer, not to mention the heat, I prefer to visit Spain in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. The crowds are lighter, mostly just Spanish citizens, and the heat isn’t unbearable.
- 💶 Currency: The currency in Spain is the Euro. Before Spain adopted the Euro in 2002, they used the Spanish peseta.
- 🗨️ Language: Spanish is the official language, although minority languages exist in the regions of Catalan, Galicia, and the Basque Country for their residents. Around a fifth of all Spanish residents speak English, so getting around with English while on my visit to Spain was a breeze.
- 🛂 Schengen Visa: Spain is a part of the Schengen area, so if you are traveling outside of Spain before or after your trip, be aware that your days in other countries in the Schengen area may count against the time you are allowed for visiting Spain.
FAQs About Travel to Spain and Insurance
Does Spain have free healthcare for tourists?
Spain does not have a general policy of free healthcare for tourists, although European visitors may be able to access free or reduced medical care by presenting an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Tourists from the United States or other non-European destinations need to bring travel medical insurance to Spain or else risk covering their own cost of care.
Can you still get travel insurance for Spain?
Many insurers will provide Spain travel insurance options to consumers looking for it. At one point earlier in the pandemic, some insurers stopped selling travel insurance entirely, but now most have begun issuing policies again. Travelers are advised to closely read the terms and conditions of any policy before purchasing.
Why is Spain excluded from travel insurance?
Some European travel insurance companies have been known to exclude coverage for destinations like Spain, Malta, and Cyprus, citing concerns over the cost of medical care. Many other insurance providers will cover Spain, however, so travelers are advised to check with their insurer or review our list of the best sites to compare Spain travel insurance quotes.
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Have fun visiting Spain!