Insurance in Spain
The insurance in Spain, as in many other EU countries, falls into compulsory and voluntary types.
Types of compulsory insurance:
- Third party liability car insurance is the minimum insurance required by Spanish law to drive a vehicle in Spain. In case of owning several vehicles each needs to be provided with its corresponding insurance. Police has the right to temporarily prohibit circulation of any vehicle lacking the compulsory insurance, as well as impose a fine on the owner. Since a third party liability insurance covers limited risks, you may want to contract a more comprehensive insurance in order to cover additional risks.
- The homeowner’s mortgage insurance – when borrowing money to buy a house from a bank, you are required by the bank to contract a home insurance. The property is insured for the total amount and duration of the mortgage. Be sure to check the paperwork provided by the bank, as they always try to increase the insurance package by including redundant services.
There are other types of compulsory insurance in Spain for individuals, such as: civil liability insurance for practicing lawyers or doctors, civil liability insurance for vessels etc. Apart from compulsory insurance for individuals, there is also compulsory insurance for legal entities linked to their activity.
Spain offers free public health service in addition to private health insurances. According to the country’s constitution, all residents have access to the free public healthcare system. In the recent years a number of amendments to the provisions of this system have been introduced, for example, limiting access to the system for illegal immigrants. However several Spanish provinces have been reluctant to enforce such measures. The Spanish public healthcare system ranks amongst the best in the world and it has the same high standard as the private medicine. Nonetheless a private health insurance may have some certain advantages. Generally it’s advisable to compare offers from different private medical insurance companies to be able to make an adequate choice.
Private health insurance can be divided into two groups:
- Access to medical services in associated medical centres fully covered by the insurance monthly premiums or at a discounted co-payment price. This type of medical insurance is the most popular.
- Access to medical services in any clinic chosen by patient. In this case the treatment cost is paid by the patient upfront and then the insurance company reimburses up to 80% of the total.
As ever, when choosing your insurance it’s important to thoroughly research your options and check the list of available services and their waiting periods as these may vary. Each insurance company provides a full set of documents to enable you to make the right choice, but it’s very important to read the small print.
Other types of insurance
- Life insurance (Seguro de vida) is the most popular insurance in Spain. It includes different types of cover – from disability and illness to death and funeral of the insured, including body repatriation cost. In some cases insurance may cover the risk of mortgage or credit non-payment.
- Home insurance (Seguro del hogar) covers variable risks to your property caused by a possible fire, gas explosion or any other domestic accident. Different covers can be included in the policy based on the client’s preferences.
- Accident insurance (Seguro de accidentes) covers risks of accidents that cause disability or death of the insured, if the contract stupulates accordingly.
- Tourist insurance (Seguro de asistencia de viajes) covers various risks that may happen while you travel.
- Car insurance (Seguro de Сосhе) covers possible road accidents and also includes additional services, such as: windsheld replacement, car towing to the workshop, repairs etc.
- Fire insurance (Seguro contra incendios) covers the fire damage to your property, the extend of the cover is detailed in the corresponding contract and may vary from property renovation to material compensation.
- Orphan insurance (Seguro de orfandad) secures a temporary pension for children under 18 years, one of whose parent has deceased.
- Anti-theft insurance (Seguro contra robo) covers the damages incurred as a result of insured property theft.
- Transport insurance (Seguro de transporte) – covers the damages incurred as a result of damage to goods transported within and outside the country.
- Civil liability insurance (Seguro de responsabilidad civil) covers the risks that an individual’s actions or omission of such actions may produce. The insurance company is liable to cover the risks once the insured event occurs. This type of insurance is widely contracted by construction companies, medical service providers and drivers.
- Additional insurance (Seguro complementario) is a type of insurance that’s added to another insurance in order to cover a wider range of risks and obtain better guarantees. It’s an optimal choice for those individuals that already have insurance but wish to broaden the cover without losing the accumulated benefits of the original insurance.
The market is flooded with insurance companies offering their services, however making the right choice can be challenging at times.
Let VYM Canarias help you make the right choice and get the best insurance possible.