Authoritative Guide to Insurance for Expats in Spain

Insurance for Expats In Spain is known as one of the best in the world because of their law towards insurance companies. They have a strict law that the insurer is mandated to pay the policyholder, at most 3 months from the time the incident was reported.

The rate of foreigners trooping to the Kingdom of Spain has increased so well since the beginning of the 21st century, even though their unemployment rate is around 14.73%. But regardless of this unemployment rate, Statista reported that in 2020, 2.3 million of these immigrants have found jobs in Spain.

There are lots of reasons foreigners have decided to move to Spain, the best reasons are their quality of life, their healthcare system, and a balance between both work and life. This balance is one of the qualities lacking in most companies including companies in the United States, but Spain has it in abundance.

However, the mistake some expats do is to ignore the part of having some extra insurance for themselves, some even assume healthcare takes care of everything including their life insurance. But you don’t have to blindly assume anything, that’s why we have created this Insurance for Expats In Spain guide, we’ll show you;

What Exactly is Insurance for Expats in Spain

Insurance is a contract that an insurance company signs with an individual or corporation to provide compensation for death, loss of goods, damage, or illness in exchange for a monthly, quarterly, or annual premium. For instance, if Mr. Book purchased a car insurance póliza (policy) in the past two years, he also decided to include the optional collision coverage. Due to some errors, he had an accident and was found guilty. 

As long as he has been paying his monthly premium to the insurance company, they are mandated to cover the damages made to the other car and pay for the health bills of the Third-party. And since he also purchased the collision coverage, damages made to his car will also be covered.

There is also other insurance for Expats in Spain, such as life insurance, health insurance, social insurance, home insurance, etc. We will speak more on these later.

How Spanish Insurance Works

No two countries are the same, so does it apply to insurance laws, most of the rules that were applicable in your country won’t be used in Spain. That’s where it gets a little daunting because ignorance is not an excuse to prevent being fined, so the best way to go about it is to learn it.

The Spanish have several insurances available for any individual whether Spanish citizens, old residents, or even new expatriates. The beauty of taking Expat insurance in Spain is that this country is ready to pay out claims as promised, in 2019 life insurance companies in Spain had to pay over €25 billion to their customers that filed claims.

However, in a policy, any risk (the causes of unexpected damage) that are not included won’t be covered. For instance, if you didn’t include Waiver of Premium Rider in your Life Insurance, the policyholder will still be paying his monthly premium even after he is temporarily or permanently disabled.

Compulsory Insurance for Expats in Spain

In every country, there are compulsory policies that residents must have, and so is it applicable to Spain, here are the compulsory insurance that you need to carry in Spain.

Car Insurance

I don’t think there is any country that doesn’t make its car insurance policy compulsory. This is an insurance for Expats in Spain that every car owner or driver must have, in fact, it’s illegal not to have valid auto insurance in the country.

At least, you should have third-party coverage (responsabilidad civil obligatoria or seguro obligatorio) which makes sure the property, car, and health of the other victim is financially secured, when you’re at fault in the accident. Also, don’t assume one insurance covers all your vehicles, if you have a personal car, a truck, a trailer, bike, all of them need to be insured.

The good thing is, that some of the insurance companies in Spain offer discounts when you want to insure multiple vehicles through their company. These insurers also help you reduce your premium when you maintain a good driving habit and don’t file a claim for some years.

Moreover, if you’re caught driving without valid auto insurance in Spain, you will be fined €3,000. 

Regardless of the mandatory coverage, you shouldn’t rely on it to cover other damages, like I said earlier any risk not officially included in the policy is not covered. So this third-party coverage will only cover the other person, but you have to pay from your pocket to fix your car, and take care of your health in case of injuries (except you have health insurance).

It’s important to also add comprehensive (todo riesgo) and Collision Coverage.

Health insurance

This is another important insurance for Expats in Spain. As you must have known, healthcare is freely available through the government of Spain, but there are some restrictions on the payment healthcare can give.

As an employee, when you, your spouse, or kids below 15 years need medical attention, the healthcare will only pay 40% — 60% of your medical bills, which is quite large when compared to the social security contributions you make. So you might need extra insurance to always cover more of the bills.

Moreover, pensioners will be getting 90% discounts on their medical bills.

Home Insurance

Home insurance is compulsory for expats that have a mortgage in Spain, but if you are a tenant, then it’s just best to pick home content insurance. There are two types of coverage for the home insurance policy, which are;

  • Home Structure Coverage (Continente): This covers the physical structure of the building, the tiles, the walls, etc. So in the case of any fire outbreak, an earthquake, or there was a flood, this will financially protect you.
  • Home Content Coverage (Contenido): This covers the expensive properties in your home, like pieces of jewelry, paintings, watches, home appliances, etc.

Social Security

Social Security or Social Insurance is compulsory for all workers in Spain, whether foreigners or citizens. Employers usually cover most of the cost of social security for their employees, but if you’re self-employed, you will need to pay for it from your own pocket.

Moreover, this insurance protects you from lots of things including medical bills, payment of benefits if you were disabled through severe sickness or accident, etc.

Optional Insurance for Expatriates in Spain

As we have compulsory insurance policies you must have in Spain as an Expat, there is also other coverage you can add to these.

Life Insurance

Even though life insurance is not compulsory for Expats to have in Spain, but imagine how financially unprotected your family will be when you’re no longer there to support them. I don’t like speaking about death, but let’s get to the fact, that death is unwanted (especially at a younger age) at the same time unpredictable.

So Expat life insurance in Spain will protect your beneficiaries (mostly your family) in the event of death. It will cover the policyholder’s burial expenses, and a lump sum will be paid to the beneficiaries which can help them to take care of so many things.

Savings and other investments are good, but this is the most precise method to protect your family’s future when you’re no more.

Dental Insurance

Health insurance doesn’t always cover dental insurance, or else you will choose it as an optional coverage (if the private company has the option) or you buy a new policy for it. Some insurers offer expats huge discounts up to 50% off, but while choosing to ensure they are offering what you need.

Pet Insurance (Caser Más Que Mascotas)

Statista reported that 26% of Spanish households own at least one canine and, most expats are lovers of pets. Dogs and cats have moved from becoming normal animals to a friend, now most of us regard them as family members.

It can be emotionally traumatic to see our furry friend ill or involved in an accident, it doesn’t need to also be financially painful, as some of these vet bills can be as high as €10,000. The best way to prevent this huge vet bill is by getting pet insurance for Expats in Spain, and with just €206 you can get your furry pal insured.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is both compulsory and optional depending on your original country. Some countries will insist on getting travel insurance when you’re applying for a visa to Spain, and this valid travel insurance is important in the whole Schengen Area.

But some other countries in Europe don’t insist on this insurance, with your health insurance, they can allow you to travel to Spain. Travel insurance is just there to financially protect you in case of any health emergency in the country you traveled to.

This kind of insurance is mostly needed by those that intend to stay a short period in Spain.

Child Education Insurance

If you have kids in Spain, and you intend to stay a long time in this country, getting child education insurance will provide financial support once the kid clocks 18 or enters college.

Civil liability Insurance

This insurance for foreigners in Spain is best for self-employed and those that started business in Spain and have some employees working for them. This protects the damage done to clients by employees or freelancers as they carry out their work duties.

So if there was any financial, material, or bodily damage, caused to your customer or client, and/or you were sued in court, the insurance company will pay for the indemnity.

Importance of Expatriate Insurance

We live in an unpredictable world, and insurance has lots of things to offer in an unanticipated world, and here are some reasons you need Expat insurance in Spain.

Serves as Financial Safety Net

We are emotionally disturbed when an unforeseen circumstance affects our lives, health, business, car, and even our pets. But, insurance for Expats in Spain prevents that to also seriously affect your finances, it gives you a better backup to any challenges.

Gives Peace of Mind

Imagine an engineer working in a tower window, there is some level of confidence he has whenever he realizes there is a strong safety net beneath him. So does it happen for those with any kind of insurance, you have peace of mind when you’re driving a car with insurance, when you perform your daily activities, or when your pet gets sick.

Source of Long-term Investment

In a permanent life insurance policy, there is a cash value that serves as an investment portfolio, when different policyholders pay their premium, insurers use this premium to invest in bonds, stocks, and other highly profitable investments.

The policyholder can decide to take a loan from this cash value or even withdraw it while he’s still alive, and this cash value is on a tax-deferred basis.

Medical Support

Imagine working as a foreigner in Spain without healthcare, I believe that’s one of the reasons that made you to even consider Spain. Imagine the amount of health bills you would pay, and medical bills are always rising.

Helps Maintain Budget

I believe every financially successful home has a plan and budget, but emergencies are no respecter of budgets, it hits you when you least expected it. But with insurance, you know you don’t need to touch your savings to pay for that important emergency.

Ensures Business Stability

Business insurance for Expats in Spain protects companies in situations where a client or customer had a financial loss or material or bodily damage. It even protects the business from vandalism, fire outbreak, riot, or theft.


As you can see from this insurance for foreigners in Spain guide that having a policy is important for lots of reasons. There are lots of ways you can get the right policy and still maintain your budget.

I advise you to speak to a financial advisor for further details about staying financially secure.

Insurance for Expats in Spain – FAQ

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