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Compare travel insurance for Spain

Compare travel insurance for Spain

Spain attracted over 83 million overseas visitors in 2019 – a new record. Here’s what you need to know about getting travel insurance for this sun-soaked holiday destination.

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
minute read
posted 18 MARCH 2020

Why do I need travel insurance for Spain?

Spain is a hugely popular holiday choice for Brits, and if you’re heading to the Costas or visiting one of the historic cities, make sure you’ve got the right travel insurance before you set off.

A standard policy should include cancellation cover that’s high enough to meet the full value of your break. You’ll be able to claim back costs if you have a valid reason, listed in your policy, for why you can’t go on your trip – such as illness or bereavement. It can be worth taking out insurance as soon as you book your holiday, so you’ve got this cover in place straight away.

As with many tourist spots, Spain can be a target for thieves, so you’ll want travel cover that protects you if your wallet or purse is stolen. When comparing policies, check that your single article limit meets the cost of replacing your most expensive personal belonging in case it gets damaged, lost or stolen. The single item limit is the most you could claim for any one item that would need to be replaced.

A valid European Health Insurance Card** (EHIC) may give you access to medical care on the same terms as a local. In other words, you only need to pay for treatment if they need to pay. However, the EHIC won’t cover you for treatment at a private hospital. If you do fall ill or are injured, seek help from a state medical facility first and tell your insurance provider what’s happened. They will give you advice on what additional private treatment might be covered by your policy.

If your plans change while you’re away and it looks like you’ll need extra cover – for example, if you decide to stay away for longer – get in touch with your insurance provider and ask to amend your policy. If they won’t, then shop around for a specialist policy that meets your needs.

**UK residents can use their EHIC after the 31 January during the transition phase of the UK leaving the EU. This means that the EHIC can continued to be used in the same way until the 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.


As of 23rd Match 2020, the UK Government announced a series of restrictions to travel, public spaces and gatherings. For a minimum of three weeks, people are being instructed to stay at home whenever possible. For this reason, travel insurance policies purchased from this date, for trips within the UK with a start date before 13th April 2020, will not be valid.
The UK Government also instructed all British tourists and travellers, that are currently abroad, to return to the UK as soon as possible.
As of 17th March 2020, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have advised against all non-essential travel abroad for an initial period of 30 days. This means that any travel insurance purchased from this date, for trips outside of the UK with a start date before 16th April 2020, will not be covered by the provider.
Coronavirus was declared a pandemic on 11th March 2020, so this may also affect your policy, particularly those taken out on or after that date. Please check any existing policies carefully, to find out what you’re covered for.
For more information please see our travel insurance and coronavirus pages.

What should my travel insurance to Spain include? 

While your holiday to Spain should be all about fun and relaxation, you should consider the following cover, just to protect you and provide peace of mind:

  • Medical cover – you’d be surprised at the full cost of medical treatment in Spain, with expenses which could run into the tens of thousands of pounds
  • Lost, stolen or damaged luggage and passports – theft is one of the common risks that holidaymakers in Spain are vulnerable to, with pickpockets working in teams to steal money or passports
  • Cancellations and delays – if your holiday is cancelled, delayed or shortened, you can claim to recover any resulting costs – flights from Spanish airports had an average on-time performance rate of 63%, in 2018, while the Canary Islands generally perform much higher, you should still consider this
  • Repatriation – if there’s trouble with the airline, or you need special travel arrangements due to a medical requirement, these costs can be covered.

Spain Travel Insurance Exclusions 

While your insurance can provide cover for many of the unexpected costs you might face while travelling in Spain, there may be some exceptions. Here are some of the things to check carefully for in your policy:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions – if you require treatment for these, you’ll likely need to pay more on your premium. However, at Compare the Market, any medical conditions declared will be included in the policies shown to you.
  • Injuries or accidents resulting from high-risk activities – Spain is popular for several adventure sports, including caving, canyoning and even snowboarding. If you’re travelling to Spain on an adventure holiday, check your policy carefully and arrange extra cover if necessary.
  • Incidents related to alcohol abuse – while it’s nice to have a few drinks on holiday, and with Spanish resorts, such as Ibiza and Magaluf, popular as party spots, things can quickly go wrong with too much alcohol. 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 Spain, but does list the terrorism threat as likely. You should check for the latest updates ahead of travel.
  • Act of God – this includes natural disasters. Spain suffered from some flash flooding in 2019, and forest fires are quite common in the summer months.

How much is travel insurance in Spain? 

If you’re travelling to Spain, European travel insurance could cost from £5*** for a week or £9**** for annual multi trip cover, based on Compare the Market data in December 2019. The cost of travel insurance will vary, depending on the level of cover you need and the activities you’ve got planned while you’re away. 
***50% of people could achieve a quote of £4.49 for single trip travel insurance for 1 week in Europe based on Compare the Market data in December 2019. 
****50% of people could achieve a quote of £8.35 for Europe multi-travel insurance based on Compare the Market data in December 2019. 

Do I need a visa to go to Spain?

Brits can stay in Spain without a visa for up to three months. Make sure your passport is valid for the full length of your trip. 

Any other tips for travelling in Spain?

Climate: There are different climate zones in Spain, but visitors can generally expect hot dry summers and mild winters.

Time differences: Spain has two time zones – most of the country is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), the exception being the Canary Islands, which keeps to GMT.

Tipping: It isn’t a core part of Spanish culture to tip. However, a gratuity of 5-10% will be appreciated.

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