A reliable travel insurance can protect you from subsequent medical expenses, especially as a foreigner in Spain, and from a country that is not a member of the European Union (EU). Travelling to Spain without a medical insurance may warrant extra expenses that can be avoided.
General Information about insurance to Spain
Do I need an insurance while travelling to Spain?
Yes, you require an insurance to travel to Spain. The following reasons below explains why you need an insurance to Spain.
Spain is a Schengen country, and it is mandatory to acquire a Schengen Travel Insurance cover before travelling to any of the twenty six countries within the Schengen area.
And as such, you must pay for a Schengen insurance before embarking on a trip to Spain. The minimum amount of coverage required while traveling to Spain is EUR 30,000 for your medical expenses and cases of repatriation.
Besides being a member of the Schengen Area Member States, Spain is a member of EU, and article 19 of the EU regulation mandates the possession of a valid travel medical insurance by visa applicants requiring either single or multiple entries into Spain or other EU member countries. However, exceptions exists for holders of diplomatic passports and applicants belonging to a particular professional group, like seafarers who are already covered by a travel medical insurance due to their professional activities.
In addition, it is recommended that you obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC will enable you to access necessary health care services at a reduced cost. But if you intend visiting for a short period, the EHIC will grant you access to free health care services. EHIC covers pre-existing medical condition, provided you are not visiting for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment. It also covers regular maternity care, provided you are not in Spain for the sole purpose of giving birth. Beware that EHIC is not an alternative to a medical insurance. Hence, you must adhere to the EU regulations and requirements of the EU consular.
In this section we enlighten you about cases that can be covered by your insurance policy and some exceptional cases that can’t be possibly handled.
What shall I do in case something happen?
- In the case of an emergency or distress, call your insurance company’s number provided in your insurance document.
- Explain all details and symptoms confronting your situation to the insurer’s customer care agent.
- The agent will direct you to the address of the nearest recommended hospital.
- Do not pay for expensive medical bills without written consent of the insurance company, unless you are in a critical medical condition.
- Provide your insurance card to the proper medical staff in the hospital, and consult the recommended physician.
- Go to the recommended pharmacy, issue the doctor's prescription and obtain prescribed drugs.
- Keep all receipts, schedule dates and transportation tickets confirming expenses on treatment, medicine, medical procedures, operations and transportation.
Average prices for most common medical services
Medical services from public hospitals are free for both citizens of Spain and foreigners from countries belonging to EU.
Stated below are common medical services and prices:
- Medical Consultation
Consulting a general doctor in a private hospital could cost about Euro 60. While the cost of consulting a specialist could be between 70 to 110 euros.
- Surgery Cost of surgery could range from 1,650 to 110 euro for various kinds of surgeries.
Vaccination ranges from 10 to 110 euros, depending on the lasting period of the vaccine and purpose .
Expenses on ambulance could cost 20 to 120 euros.
Emergency Contact and free medical Assistance (Red Cross)
In case of medical emergency, you could also reach out to the Red Cross for free medical assistance. You never can tell, this could be useful, especially when your insurance contract is expired or unable to remedy your situation as a result of certain conditions.
Stated below are some contact information of the Spanish Red Cross organization:
Tel: (34) (91) 335 44 44 / 91 522 22 22 (Emergency) / 91 335 45 45
Fax: (34) (91) 335 44 55 / 91 335 45 55 (Emergency)
Telex: 23853 OCCRE E / 47064 CRCNC (Emergency)
According to Center for Disease Control (CDC) and prevention travelers heading towards Spain stand the risk of acquiring the following deadly diseases:
- Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A outbreaks occur throughout the world and sometimes in countries with a low risk for hepatitis A (including the US). Hepatitis A is usually caused by intake of contaminated food or water, consult the doctor to determine if you are not allergic to hepatitis A vaccine.
- Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, infected needles, and blood products, The CDC recommends that you receive the Hepatitis vaccine to prevent infection due to unplanned sex, errors during medical procedures. Hepatitis B is usually prevented by Recombivax HB vaccine.
Rabies is a virus that is usually present in bats, wolves, dogs and cats. And as such it is caused by sustaining an injury from bites or scratches of infected animals. Hence, you should always avoid unfamiliar animals. You should monitor and administer anti-rabies vaccines to your pets on a regular bases. If you intend camping or hunting in remote areas, then you are advised to immunize yourself before travelling out. This also applies to zoologists and veterinarians.
Animal, insects, natural disasters, weather and climate
You should beware of some dangerous animals and insects like bears, wild boars, packs of wolves, snakes, caterpillars, spiders, tiger mosquitoes and scorpions. These animals and insect could be harmful to you and your pets.
The most common natural disaster in Spain is flooding caused by storm. But other natural disasters include earthquake and hurricane in the canary island.
There are three main climates in Spain:
- Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters.
- Oceanic climate, predominant in the northern part of the country.
- Semi-Arid climate, which is predominant in the southern part of the country.
While embarking on a trip to Spain, you should beware of criminal activities like:
- Drug trafficking and cocaine smuggling.
- Street crime committed against tourist in place like Madrid and Barcelona. These crimes are not limited to mugging, pickpocketing and occasional violent attacks.
Road Accident statistics in Spain
The line chart below depicts the rate of road traffic accidents experienced in Spain from 2006 to 2015.
There are tendencies for the occurrence of terrorist attacks in Spain, due to the porosity of its borders. Places frequently visited by foreigners are likely to be targeted.
The ETA terrorist organization has not launched an attack since 2009. In April 2017, they declared “unilateral disarmament” and surrendered their weapons to the authorities.
You should note that the Spanish authorities take measures to protect visitors, but you should be vigilant and follow the instructions of the local authorities.
How to obtain an insurance policy online
In the insure.travel website, provide following detail in the form:
- Your options.
- Destination country.
- Source country.
- Date of departure.
- Return date.
- Choose the number of travels from the drop down list.
- Click on the “calculate cost” button.