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Travel Insurance Policies When Travelling To Spain

Author: Mitch Riscoll

Travel Insurance Policies When Travelling To Spain

  1. Travel insurance is often neglected when planning a holiday or business trip. In Britain we are used to a free healthcare system and often forget that in many countries this is not the case. We tend to not realise that luggage can be lost at an airport and that pick-pockets operate in Lisbon as well as London. Most of the time, travel insurance acts as a peace of mind...right up to the time you need it and then it can be the most important article in your suitcase.

Why Do I Need Travel Insurance?

As we are all aware, accidents can happen at any time and in any place to anybody In the worst of circumstances, this can cause significant injury as well as ruining a holiday or business trip. Unfortunately no-one can predict when these accidents will occur or the severity of them when they do. The only thing to do is to have a high quality travel insurance policy. It may feel like you are gambling against yourself when arranging such a policy, however, nothing could be further from the truth.

Luggage can be easily lost at airport, this in normally sufficient to ruin a holiday, having to endure a flight and then to traipse around a shopping centre to buy clean socks and shirts. Travel insurance can't make this impossible to happen, but can help pay for your new clothes, which will ease the pain a little.

Something as innocent as a wet floor or trip down a flight of stairs could lead to a hospital trip, for example, to administer to a broken wrist or ankle. Medical insurance will usually cover the cost but if you need to return early your travel insurance policy may have a clause to allow this to be claimed for.

When in a foreign country and hiring a car try to know the local traffic laws. We drive on the left in the UK, not too many countries follow suit on this. In Spain they drive on the right hand side, which feels a little strange for the first few days. If you cause an accident, personal liability may be an issue. A good travel insurance policy will also have a clause that allows travel back to the UK if a medical emergency arises.

What Should I Look For In Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a safety net when abroad. A good travel insurance policy should cover you for medical and health cover for an injury or sudden illness abroad, 24 hour emergency service and assistance and personal liability cover in case you are sued for causing injury or damaging property.

Other things to consider when purchasing travel insurance are, what is the value of your lost and stolen possessions cover? What's the maximum you can claim on a single piece of your inventory? Are you covered for cancellation and/or curtailment of your flight or ferry? Does your policy have extra cover for activities that are usually not included standard policies, such as jet skiing or adventure activities? Are there any financial insurances in case your carrier airline becomes bankrupt before or during your excursion abroad?

E.H.I.C Form, Worth The Hassle?

If you're going on a holiday or a business trip, you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which offers you access to reduced-cost medical treatment. EHIC cards are free to any resident of the UK, UK National, a refuge resident, or from part of an EEA state (Country or state within the European Economic Area, i.e. the European Union). Simply collect an EHIC (formally E111) form from your local post office. Complete the short form and return to the post office and await postal delivery of your EHIC card.

This will allow you reduced or free medical cover in any of the EEA states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. As Spain is part of the EEA the EHIC card extends to cover the country.

This EHIC cover all medical care that becomes necessary during a temporary stay such as oxygen and dialysis treatment, as well as treatment for chronic diseases or a pre-existing illness. You should, however inform healthcare authorities at your destination in Spain before you travel, to ensure that supplies are available, standard maternity care and up to 60% off prescriptions, and free prescriptions for pensioners although you may need to prove your pensioner status to get free prescriptions.

Socio-Political Crime

Sadly the natural beauty of Spain is tempered by the presence of terrorist groups such as ETA. British nationals are not a target for the Basque separatists, but may be caught up in any attack. Travel insurance will be able to reimburse you for an emergency flight out of Spain should the need arise.

The level of crime in Spain is around the same as in the UK. However the majority of attacks on British Nationals are carried out by other British Nationals. There is a growing scam of bogus police officers stopping tourists and demanding to see wallets as identification. Should you be physically threatened, give them whatever they want then call the local police force and cancel your credit and debit cards. Inform your insurance company and emergency financial relief can be obtained.

Specific Insurances

Spain has many wonderful festivals and activities to enjoy. It is really important though to make sure that before you take part, that you are covered by your travel insurance policy. The Pamplona bull run may be a fantastic spectacle, but if you are in a collision with a ton and a half bull, travel and medical insurance becomes very important indeed. The dangerous sports option in your policy is a definite must-have for many activities in Spain. There is mountaineering, diving, spelunking (caving) and even bungee jumping on offer. Travel insurance does cover some activities, but anything unusual must be mentioned in the policy, lest it is not covered.

There are also many wonderful SCUBA diving sites and jet skis are readily available at most beaches in Spain. Should you feel that these are activities you with to undertake, then make sure that Water sports are included on your travel insurance policy.

Should you find yourself in distress the British consulate is located at :

The British Consulate

Paseo de Recoletos 7-9
4th Floor
28004 Madrid

Telephone: (34) (91) 524 9700
Fax: (34) (91) 524 9730

Office Hours: (local time in Spain is GMT+1hr):
Public Counter: Mon – Fri 08:30 – 13:30
Telephone calls: Mon – Fri 08:00 - 16:00

Emergency assistance
(e.g. arrest, death, rape, hospitalisation)
(00 34) 91 700 8200

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