Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for visitors to Andalucía

Residents of EU countries and participating neighbour countries are covered by the EU reciprocal health care agreements. EU Residents should obtain the purple coloured European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC  replaced the now-defunct E-111 form in January 2006. 

Following BREXIT the card is not generally issued to UK residents after 31-12-2020. There are some exceptions for students and EU citizens resident in UK.



Medical Cover

Spain’s health system is one of the best in Europe. It is common in Spain to pay for medications prescribed by a doctor on a private prescription. A state (regional) health service doctor will issue a Green or Red prescription. The green will enable you to purchase medications at a Pharmacy at a reduced cost. The red is if you qualify for assistance due to retirement or low income, in which case the medications are free. Nowadays the issue of prescription to those residents affiliated to the health system is digital via the cip on the health card.  Tourists should keep any receipts and you may be able to claim a refund from your own countries heath or social security systems. Few EU countries cover the full cost of medical treatment in the EU and participating countries in the EHIC system. 

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises that anyone travelling outside Britain, even on a short stay abroad, should buy travel insurance to cover their journey.  The UK (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)) gives numerous examples of how much some medical services may cost you. One extreme example not covered by the EHIC is emergency air repatriation, which, entirely extra to any medical bills, can cost from between £2,000 - 10,000 or more (a startling £35,000 from the USA to Europe).

Travel agencies, insurance companies and credit card companies all offer travel insurance, and with some credit cards you will be automatically covered, but to a limited degree, when you buy travel services using their credit card. It is easy but vital to check the extent of your coverage, as a minor accident can soon need outpatient treatment, an X-ray or specialist consultation, say, that can start to cost you money.

High-risk activities such as certain watersports, adventure holidays or skiing require specialist insurance advice, readily available from all good activity operators, but not necessarily available on a beach, in a ski resort or in mountaineering country. Nor do you need to strain yourself to encounter the need for insurance cover: the FCO’s Top Five most common places to risk accident are:

  • roads
  • hotels
  • beaches
  • remote locations
  • ski slopes

Cancellation, delay, loss of luggage, theft cover

All insurance policies cover these to various degrees, and purchase of travel services using some credit cards comes with automatic cover. It is fair to say, however, that by the time these carefully worded clauses apply to your circumstance – luggage re-routed elsewhere requiring you to buy clothes, for example – your journey will already have been affected, possibly ruined.

It is worth checking your existing home insurance policies, as many of these will also cover travelling with property – clothing, toiletries (shavers, hairdryers, etc), jewellery, luggage, personal or professional electronics such as iPods or laptop computers, anything you might reasonably be expected to want to leave home with. You should also check the circumstances in which these will be covered – security on jewellery and credit cards, for example, or that ideal early Xmas present for snatch thieves anywhere, the wireless laptop – and where they are not.

Wherever you travel, if you are the victim of theft it is vital that you or someone who can speak for you contact the police. Local police crime reports are an essential requirement for making an insurance claim. Local police, hotel staff, and even those with no duty of care during your visit to their community will often go out of their way to help a visitor.

Despite the uncertainty of taking your health or your property to another country, millions  travel in Europe and beyond without anything untoward happening to them.

Travel insurance is something every traveller should consider carefully.


Living in Andalucia