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Insurance for Expats in Spain

Submitted: July 2013

A wide range of insurance products is available in Spain, and expatriates may take out an international cover from a Spanish provider.

Due to the wide range of products available, it is largely possible to tailor your insurance cover to your specific needs. If you are unclear about your cover or your needs whilst being in Spain, you might wish to check your existing insurance arrangements in your country of origin.

If your needs happen to be fairly specific, you might need a specialist insurance provider.


Home insurance (seguros de hogar)

Home insurance is divided into buildings insurance and contents insurance. You can also apply for joint cover.

A buildings insurance policy (continente) protects you against damage to your building. This may cover the costs of rebuilding your property from scratch or the costs of certain exceptional repairs, the alternative accommodation expenses while your property is rebuilt, and public liability if something happens in your home. On the other hand, a contents insurance policy (contenido) covers your belongings only.

As for all insurance policies, it is up to you to decide how generous you want your cover to be, what the excess amounts are, which unexpected expenses are covered, etc.

Typically, you only need buildings insurance if you are a landlord. However, you might need contents insurance, regardless of whether you own or rent your home.


Motor insurance

You must have at least third party cover if you drive a car in Spain. Failure to do so may result in a fine of between €600 and €3,000, in addition to immobilisation of the vehicle. Typically, third party cover insures you against potential liabilities for car/property damage, or third party bodily injury.

If you bring your car from a foreign country, it is essential that you check the geographical cover of your insurance policy. This is particularly necessary if your car comes from outside Europe. In any case, you must have the following documents whilst driving in Spain:


Other insurance

Private health insurance

Health insurance is not automatic in Spain, as healthcare is mainly provided through the National Health System. See HEALTHCARE - Health Insurance for Expats in Spain.


Life insurance

Life insurance is available in Spain. If you wish to use life insurance as an investment product, you can take out an “endowment policy”. If you already have a foreign endowment policy, you might wish to check how payouts are taxed in that country and in Spain, as a mismatch may arise.

In some countries, an endowment policy can be used to achieve significant tax deferral benefits, whereby no tax is charged unless a withdrawal is made. For Spanish residents, this can be achieved through a compliant portfolio bond. See Investment for Expats in Spain.

A qualified tax adviser or a wealth manager may help you explore this matter in greater detail. See Wealth Management for Expats in Spain.



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