Do I need travel insurance for Spain?
Spain travel insurance covers you if you wish to travel to Spain with peace of mind, no matter your age or pre-existing medical conditions. This type of insurance covers you for medical emergencies, even those related to COVID-19, which is vital to prevent unexpected medical bills and give you the support you need if you have any medical problems while you are away.
The UK Government says “it’s important to take out comprehensive travel insurance that includes cover for emergency medical treatment and associated costs”. Every year travel insurance helps hundreds of thousands of Britons with emergency medical treatment. The most commonly required treatment is for food poisoning. Other common issues include heart conditions, respiratory problems, broken bones and ear infections and unexpected problems caused by pre-existing medical conditions.
Make sure you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Until 31 December 2020 it’s free and gives you access to the same quality of state-provided healthcare on the same terms as if you are resident in Spain. However, it doesn’t cover all medical costs such as emergency repatriation to the UK or an extended recuperation stay due to Covid-19, so do consider comprehensive travel insurance for your health conditions.
AllClear travel insurance provides cover for up to £15 million for emergency medical expenses, including Covid-19. You can tailor the policy to your needs with a choice of flexible cover levels along with insurance for pre-existing medical conditions.
Watersports travel insurance
With its islands, thousands of kilometres of coastline and numerous rivers, Spain is a popular destination for water enthusiasts, whether you want to try jet skiing or simply relax on a yacht with a glass of champagne.
AllClear travel insurance covers a variety of water sports as standard, at no extra cost to you. These include canoeing, fishing, inner tubing, jet skiing, kite surfing, kayaking, parasailing, sailing, water skiing and windsurfing. Read our policy wordings for details and to check what’s covered – more risky activities may require an additional premium or won’t be covered at all.
Winter sports travel insurance
Spain is often overlooked as a winter sports destination but it’s one of Europe’s most mountainous countries and has quality resorts at reasonable prices.
The Sierra Nevada is Europe’s most southerly resort and can be open from November until May – it’s possible to ski on the snow in the morning and après-ski on the beach!
Baqueira Beret is in the Pyrenees and is a favourite with the Spanish Royal Family. La Molina and Masella are neighbouring resorts near Barcelona. And Valgrande-Pajares, to the west of Bilbao, may be a more laid-back option compared to the larger resorts.
AllClear travel insurance can cover winter sports for an additional premium, including skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing. Please check the policy documents for what is covered.
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Emergency medical and repatriation expenses for Coronavirus while abroad
We are now able to offer:
- Up to £15 million emergency medical expenses cover for Covid-19
- Up to 30 days FREE extended cover (if, due to unexpected circumstances beyond your control)
- Up to £2,000, if medically necessary, for a friend or relative to travel from your home area to stay with you (costs for room and to accompany you home)
- Where medically necessary - repatriation costs to bring you back to the UK where it is deemed to be in your best interests
- Following recovery from Coronavirus, costs for a continued recuperation stay, where medically necessary and under doctors advice
- Costs for your return flight following your enforced stay due to Coronavirus
Competitor comparison table
|This table shows how AllClear Travel Insurance compares to other providers|
|5-star Trustpilot reviews|
|5-star Defaqto rated|
|Good Housekeeping endorsement|
|Established for 20+ years|
|Maximum cancellation cover|
|Minimum standard excess|
|Baggage delay benefit after 12 hours|
|Number of product choices|
|No age limits|
|Travel companion cover|
|Terminal conditions cover|
|Admin fee for cancelling during the cooling off period|
|Refund provided outside of cooling off period|
|Claims paid within 5 working days|
Frequently asked questions about travel insurance for Spain
Do I need travel insurance for Spain?
It is not compulsory but the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office says “Wherever you’re travelling, it’s important to take out comprehensive travel insurance before you go”.
What is the best travel insurance for Spain?
Good travel insurance for Spain will include: cancellation and curtailment cover in case you have to cut your holiday short or you’re prevented from travelling; cover for lost baggage and other property; high levels of cover for medical bills in case you need treatment while travelling and repatriation if you need to be returned to the UK.
Check your policy documents for details about what is and isn’t covered, particularly with respect to high-risk activities. Make sure you declare your pre-existing medical conditions so that we can take them into account and provide the right choices for you.
What isn’t covered?
Some policies won’t cover high-risk activities such as skiing unless you pay an additional premium. Be sure to declare all pre-existing medical conditions so that you can be covered in case they cause problems when you’re on holiday. Check the policy documents to see what is and isn’t covered.
What does EHIC cover in Spain?
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles you to the same quality of healthcare that a Spanish resident has, which is generally the same standard as in the UK. However, there may be medical costs that EHIC cannot cover. Also the EHIC doesn’t cover private healthcare.
How much is travel insurance for Spain?
The price of travel insurance depends on your choices and the medical conditions you declare.
Where can I get travel insurance for Spain?
You can call us for free on 0800 077 777 or start a quote online.
- Cancellation and Curtailment covered up to £25,000, including for Covid-19
- Up to £15 million emergency medical expenses cover, including for Covid-19
- Up to 30 days FREE extended cover (if due to unexpected circumstances beyond your control)
- Up to £2,000, if medically necessary, for a friend or relative to travel from your home area to stay with you if you fall ill with Covid-19 (costs for room and to accompany you home)
- Repatriation costs, when medically necessary, to bring you back to the UK where it is deemed to be in your best interests
- Following recovery from Coronavirus, costs for a continued recuperation stay, when medically necessary and under doctors advice
- Costs for your return flight following your enforced stay due to Coronavirus
- Personal Belongings covered up to £3,000
- All conditions. All ages.
Top tips for travelling to Spain
Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice
It is useful to check the FCO travel advice for Spain before you travel.
The general emergency number is 112. Police are on 091 and ambulances on 061.
Spain uses the Euro.
Be aware that some cash machines charge for withdrawals and some of those are quite expensive, particularly in tourist hotspots.
Spanish (Castilian) is the official national language and the most widely spoken. There are regional dialects of Castilian (e.g. Andalusian and Canarian) and regional languages (e.g. Basque, Catalan and Galician). Many people understand English.
When you enter a shop, restaurant or café it’s common to be welcomed by “buenos dias” (good morning or good day), “buenas tardes” (good afternoon or good evening) or “buenas noches” (good night).
“Hola” means hello, “por favor” means “please”, “gracias” means thank you (“muchas gracias” is many thanks or thank you very much), “adios” means goodbye and “hasta luego” means see you later or see you soon.
Nightlife tends to start and finish later than in the UK – restaurants may be very quiet before 9pm.
It’s customary but not required to leave small change to round up a bill to the nearest 50 cents. Larger tips are of course welcomed but they are not expected – perhaps a euro per person at lunch or dinner, or 5-10% for good service. Bear in mind that service can sometimes seem slow – particularly when you come to ask for la cuenta (the bill) – generally it’s because they don’t want to rush you in and out but they will come when you signal for attention.
Driving in Spain
Here is a checklist for mandatory and recommended items when driving.
☑ Original full valid driving licence issued by the UK, EU or EEA country (and drivers must be over 18 if they have a foreign licence) – required
☑ Proof of ID (e.g. passport) – required
☑ Proof of insurance – required if the vehicle isn’t registered in Spain
☑ V5C certificate – required if the vehicle isn’t registered in Spain
☑ Vehicle registration documents
☑ If you need glasses to drive you must keep a spare pair with you / in the vehicle
☑ A warning triangle is compulsory in every vehicle with four or more wheels
☑ High-vis or reflective jackets are not mandatory but you could be fined for not wearing one while walking on the road or hard shoulder after breaking down
☑ Helmets are mandatory when riding motorbikes, mopeds or scooters – and trikes or quadbikes if they don’t have seatbelts
☑ GB sticker or Euro plates
☑ Headlamp beam deflectors (depending on your car)
☑ Passengers in the front and rear seats of private vehicles must wear their seat belts if fitted.
Rental cars should be supplied with the documentation and equipment required by law.
In Spain it’s illegal to use radar and speed camera detectors.
The drink driving limit is stricter than in the UK: 0.5 mg/ml compared to 0.8 mg/ml in the UK. It may be safer to not drink at all if you intend to drive.
The police can demand on-the-spot fines from law breakers.
The legal status of medication may be different in other countries compared to the UK. You may need the original packaging, a doctor’s prescription or letter or the medicine may be completely prohibited. If you need a prescription or letter, make sure the brand name and the active ingredient are both included, as the brand may not be recognised.
Check with your doctor or pharmacist whether your medicine contains a “controlled drug” and seek their advice about how to store it, for example whether it must be kept at a certain temperature.
Consider packing some medication in your hand luggage and hold luggage (if any) just in case one of them is lost, although bear in mind that hold luggage can be exposed to temperatures that could degrade some medication. UK pharmacists are very helpful with these questions.
The UK’s FCO recommends checking what rules apply to your medication with your local embassy before you travel. This can be difficult to do online so it may be easier to phone them.
The sun and heat can be dangerous in Spain, particularly in the summer. If there is a cool breeze you might not realise the intensity of the sun. Do consider sunscreen to protect your skin, sunglasses to protect your eyes and a hat to protect your head and ears. Keep a bottle of water handy.
Mosquitos can be common in some places depending on the weather and time of year. Mosquito repellent is widely and inexpensively available from shops and supermarkets.
Spain uses plug socket types C and F so you will need an adapter if you want to use a UK plug.
Buses and trains
If you’re over 60 and you want to travel by train, consider purchasing a senior discount card – the Tarjeta Dorada. You can get it from train stations for €6 and it will save you 25-40% on train tickets.
If you want a bus timetable ask for “los horarios de autobuses”. If you want a train timetable ask for “los horarios de trenes”.
If you need an excuse to travel to Spain or want to build a trip around a festival, Spain has many festivals throughout the year. These include:
6th of January is Los Tres Reyes or Three Kings: the annual gift-giving day, with huge processions in the larger cities and sweets thrown to children in the streets on the night before.
1-19th March in Valencia: high-tech giant puppets and other creations are on display at hundreds of locations before being burned at Las Fallas de Valencia, a celebration of spring.
14-21 April is Semana Santa or Holy Week: this Easter festival is celebrated across Spain with processions of elaborate floats bearing religious icons accompanied by brass bands. Listen for the “saeta”, a song typically sung solo and unaccompanied from a balcony overlooking the cavalcade. Truly an enthralling moment on your first experience.
23 June, night of San Juan (St. John): a celebration of the summer equinox, with beers, barbeques and bonfires on beaches around Spain.
Many villages and towns have their own festivals, particularly at special times of the year such as grape or olive harvests or local saints’ days. Whatever time of year you holiday in Spain it is well worth looking up the “actividades” (activities) local to where you’re staying – open-air parties with food, drink, live music and fireworks are typical and there is always a great atmosphere.