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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.

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
minute read
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Posted 10 MARCH 2020

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.


Starting on 5 November, the Government has introduced a national lockdown for England that will last until at least 2 December. As part of this, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advise against all non-essential domestic and international travel.

If you choose to travel overseas to a destination while the FCDO has advised against non-essential travel, or domestically against the instructions of the UK Government, then your insurance policy will be invalid, and any claim will be rejected.

For those living in the UK but outside of England, the public health rules may differ, but you must abide by the restrictions imposed by your local authority.

We’ll continually review the situation, and update you with the latest FCDO or Government guidance on travel.

For more information, please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.

Until then, stay safe.

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

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

The Money and Pension Service (MaPs) has also 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 the Money Advice Service or by calling the British Insurance Brokers Association on 0370 950 1790.

What about if I have an EHIC card?

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

You can apply for a free EHIC card on the NHS website. UK residents can use their EHIC after 31 January, during the transition phase of the UK leaving the EU. This means that the EHIC can continue to be used in the same way until 31 December 2020. What happens to the status of the EHIC, after the transition phase, will be decided as part of the negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship. However, the implementation of that scheme is subject to EU countries agreeing to that proposal.

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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