Dreaming of somewhere else? Do you see yourself by a picturesque beach with a jug of the finest sangria beside you? How about dining on delectably teeny-tiny tapas in a crowded bar? Or watching fiery Latin passion in the form of a street flamenco dance?
Welcome to Spain.
Spain is known for its culture, food and music. The people here are passionate about their country as well as social past times. However, with threats of terrorism, crime and civil unrest in some parts of the country, it is always ideal to be prepared.
Do I need travel insurance for Spain?
Even if you are very familiar with Spain and have been there many times, it may be a smart idea to take out travel insurance for Spain before attempting to head out across the seas.
Holidays are usually wonderful experiences for all, however, it doesn’t stop things from potentially going wrong. It’s ideal for you to have peace of mind before going, and that includes considering taking out travel insurance. Travel insurance can cover you for a range of losses, accidents and cancellations and it’s always a good idea to check the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to see what you’re covered for.
What should my travel insurance for Spain include?
Your travel insurance when travelling to Spain should endeavour to cover – at minimum – medical costs, such as emergency evacuations, medications and private hospital admissions (if needed).
Additionally, when travelling to Spain, consider taking out insurance to cover you for luggage and personal effects, travel delay expenses and emergency evacuation. To see what policies we have to offer, try our free travel insurance comparison service. You can complete a quote in just minutes and view prices for policies from different providers with ease.
What should I consider when taking out travel insurance for Spain?
Theft and loss of belongings
Petty crime is rife in Spain, particularly in the summer months. They usually target unsuspecting tourists at:
- tourist attractions
- highly popular venues
- public transport
- hotel foyers.
You can find yourself scammed by individuals or gangs of thieves, or even on the roads by people pretending to help you with a flat/slashed tyre. Be wary of any belongings or valuables you might have and keep in mind that you may not be covered by your policy for theft or loss of belongings if you leave items unattended, particularly in public places.
Medical Expenses – Drink Spiking
Drink spiking has been reported in Spain.2 Taking proper care to avoid this on a night out is important, and easy to do.
- Ensure you know your surroundings when you are drinking;
- keep an eye on your drink the minute you receive it and don’t leave it unattended; and
- stick with people you trust and don’t accept food from strangers.
Coverage while Driving
You might fancy taking a car out for hire and go meandering across the Spanish countryside. When taking out travel insurance with car hire excess cover included, ensure to read the PDS to double check if you need your international driver’s licence (IDL), otherwise known as an international driving permit (IDP). Some insurers will not cover your claim if you have a road accident or other similar issue and don’t have your IDL/IDP.
Be sure to familiarise yourself with Spanish road rules before attempting to drive anywhere.
Exclusions you should watch out for
It is important to note there will be instances when your travel insurance does not cover you. For example, should you participate in the Running of the Bulls event in Pamplona, most insurers will not cover you, so it’s a good idea to check with your travel insurance to see what you are and aren’t covered for. Other exclusions may include the following:
- claims based on pre-existing medical conditions. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, you must disclose them to your insurer before you take out a policy.
- unattended luggage is stolen. While travel insurance policies may cover loss of personal items; luggage and belongings that are left unattended are commonly excluded.
- government travel advice is disregarded. If you go to areas of Spain where Smartraveller suggested you reconsider your need to travel, your policy might not cover you. If in doubt, contact your travel insurance provider.
- injuries while under the influence. Claims made that relate to drug- or alcohol-related incidents generally won’t be covered.
- driving vehicles without a license. Driving and motorcycling is common in Spain but be wary of accidents and holding an appropriate licence. Medical costs that may arise due to unlicensed driving aren’t likely to be covered.
- if cover is purchased after the incident. You must hold a policy before you suffer any loss that you intend claiming for.
For more information on what’s covered and excluded from policies, visit our travel insurance section of Sergei’s Solutions Hub.
Is Spain safe?
Most of the time, Spain is safe. However, like most countries in the European Union, if you’re not mindful of your surroundings, you may be taken advantage of. But don’t let that stop you from thinking you won’t have a fantastic, safe and fun experience.
It’s important for you to always monitor the Smartraveller and similar websites for any Government sanctioned advisory warnings pertaining to your country of travel. As of June 2021, Spain does have a high terrorist threat alert and can also be the subject of protests and demonstrations. In the interest of your safety, it’s advisable to not join such occurrences and to avoid them at all costs. Should you take risks while on holiday, you may not be covered by your travel insurance policies.
What do I do if I have an accident/incident?
In the event you find yourself in an emergency, the appropriate thing to do would be to dial the country’s emergency number 112 and/or to contact local police in a non-urgent case. Your travel insurer should also have a 24/7 emergency hotline for you to contact for assistance.
When you contact your insurer after an incident – make sure it’s within 24 hours of the incident and that you have supporting documentation (like a police report or receipts) on hand.
Remember that you also have support from the Australian Government in the form of consulates and embassies should you find yourself in need.
Top travel tips for Spain
As with most holidays, well fleshed-out planning is essential to ensuring you have the best time possible. Ensure your passport is up to date as some countries will not admit a person whose passport is due to expire within six months of leaving that country.
Enjoy the culture respectfully
Spain is a cultural hub for arts, literature, music and food. There are lots of sights to see and take in and it is important to remember to do so with respect for the culture, and its inhabitants. Avoid loud noises in your accommodation late at night, and while flushing the toilet is ok to do at night (unlike Switzerland) please don’t flush wet wipes as some Spanish officials are advising against doing so.3
Take extra cover for any activities
If you’re holidaying by the Spanish coast or on some of the Spanish isles, water activities are a must, but some might not be included in your insurance policy. Take care to make a note of any exclusions relating to water-based activities and consider an adventure travel policy.
This is the most important one – having fun. The peace of mind that you’ll get with travel insurance may enable you to relax more knowing you are covered for whatever may be thrown your way.
Spain is a beautiful lush country, full of twists and turns and captivating surprises. Take the time to savour it like a fine wine.
If you’re considering a holiday elsewhere, check out our guide to travel cover for other countries.
N.B. Please refer to your PDS, or speak with your insurer about limits, sub-limits, restrictions, limitations and additional cover options.