Compare Portugal travel insurance quotes

Do you need travel insurance if travelling to Portugal? Read our guide on Portugal travel insurance and compare quotes to find the right cover to suit your needs.

Do you need travel insurance if travelling to Portugal? Read our guide on Portugal travel insurance and compare quotes to find the right cover to suit your needs.

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
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Posted 18 JANUARY 2021

Do I need travel insurance for Portugal?

While it isn’t a legal requirement, we do recommend that you have travel insurance for your holidays in Europe, including Portugal.


The travel traffic light system currently states that trips to green and amber listed countries are legally permitted if you live in England and Scotland. If you live in Wales and Northern Ireland, you still need to follow the rules for your relevant government.

Please note: from 4am on 4 October 2021, the current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries.

Currently, if your destination of choice is on the green or amber list, you still need to check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. This is to ensure you are aware of any specific requirements relating to entry and ensure travellers from the UK are permitted. Countries can have their traffic light status changed with short notice and you should take this into consideration when looking to travel. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information.

The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to red list countries. Most insurance policies purchased to cover a trip to a destination where the FCDO has instructed citizens not to travel to won’t be valid, however, some insurance providers may offer reduced cover if you’re travelling for essential purposes. Should you have any queries, please check the policy wording, or contact your chosen provider before purchasing, to ensure the cover meets your needs.

Travel within England, Scotland and Wales is permitted under the current guidelines. However, public health rules and lockdown restrictions continue to vary, including entry restrictions for Northern Ireland. Check the latest guidance from the official tourism boards for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.

Find out more here

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

When you declare medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions. 

MoneyHelper has launched a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at MoneyHelper or by calling them on 0800 138 7777.

What about if I have an EHIC card?

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)** isn’t an alternative to travel insurance, and the Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) recommends having both when visiting an EU country, such as Portugal.

**After Brexit, and the UK officially left the EU with a deal in place, things have changed. You won’t be able to apply for an EHIC anymore, but, if you have one already, issued before the end of 2020, then it’ll still be valid until the expiry date.

However, the UK government has introduced a replacement called the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). If you don’t have an EHIC, or once yours expires, you can apply for a GHIC here, and it should arrive within 10 days. The GHIC will offer the same cover as the EHIC did in EU countries.

The EHIC could help you get emergency medical treatment in a public Portuguese hospital, and some insurance providers might waive any excess on a medical claim if you have one, so it’s worth having. However, it doesn’t cover:

  • emergency treatment in a private hospital
  • mountain rescues
  • repatriation costs if you need to be flown home

Medical costs in Europe could be as high as £25,000, so travel insurance may help with costs that aren’t covered by an EHIC.

What should my travel insurance to Portugal include?

While your holiday to Portugal should be all about having fun and enjoying the great weather, you should check that your travel insurance covers you for at least the following:

  • Medical cover – if you were to fall ill or have an accident in Portugal, the costs for medical treatment can quickly spiral into the tens of thousands of pounds
  • Loss, damage or theft of luggage and passports – while crime rates are generally low in Portugal, pickpocketing and theft are more common in the most popular tourist areas. Take care with your belongings while out and about. Report any loss or theft of items to the police and obtain a police report.
  • Cancellations and delays – if your holiday is cancelled, delayed or shortened, your travel insurance could protect you against any extra costs that these incur
  • Repatriation – if there’s trouble with the airline, or you need special travel arrangements due to a medical requirement, these costs can be covered

Portugal Travel Insurance Exclusions

Consider any activities you’ll be doing while in Portugal, and make sure your travel insurance covers them. You may need extra cover for:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions – if you require cover for these, you’ll likely need to pay more on your premium. By failing to disclose any pre-existing conditions, you will likely void your policy and have to pay for your treatment yourself.
  • Injuries or accidents resulting from high-risk activities – Portugal is a popular place for water sports holidays, particularly on the Algarve. While not particularly high risk, you may also want to consider insurance for golf, with Portugal being one of the world’s top destinations for golfing holidays
  • Incidents related to alcohol abuse – Portugal is quite popular for sunny holidays with friends looking for good nightlife. In areas like Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve, you’ll find a range of bars and nightclubs for a good time. It’s important that you remain careful though, because, if you’re injured or lose something as a result of being overly intoxicated, your claim will likely be rejected
  • Travel to regions which Foreign and Commonwealth Office have advised to avoid – this may be because of disease epidemics or terrorism threats. The FCO doesn’t currently advise avoiding travel to Portugal. The terrorism threat is currently lower than most other major European countries. However, it’s always best to check for the most up to date information before travelling.
  • Act of God – this includes natural disasters. Portugal does suffer from earthquakes and tremors from time to time, while forest fires can occur in the summer months.
  • If you’re driving to Portugal, you may want to consider European breakdown cover.

Any other tips for a trip to Portugal?

Here’s a few tips to help you enjoy your trip to Portugal:

  • Tipping – although tipping isn’t usually expected in Portugal, you should try to add around 5-10% to your restaurant bill if the service was good. And an extra Euro or two for your taxi driver, although not required, would be appreciated.
  • Crime – Portugal is generally a safe country, with low crime rates compared to other countries in Europe. But it pays to always be vigilant and keep valuables out of sight.
  • Driving – Portugal’s road safety record has improved significantly in recent years, with road fatalities down by 40% since 2010. However, road accident rates are still far higher than the UK, so take extra care if driving, and let more aggressive drivers pass you if need be.

Where can I compare travel insurance quotes?

No matter where you’re going in Portugal, it’s always a good idea to get the right level of travel insurance protection in place before you go.

Travel insurance is a highly competitive market, so it makes sense to shop around and compare a range of insurance providers before committing to one.

Whether you want cover for a single trip to Portugal, or you want an annual policy, we can help keep things simple.

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