7 Best Spain Travel Insurance Plans for US Citizens in 2022

Updated on October 11, 2022, by Matthew H. Nash – Licensed Insurance Agent

Between the phenomenal food, stunning beaches, vibrant culture and impressive architectural masterpieces, it’s no wonder that Spain is one of the top international travel destinations for Americans. Since the travel landscape is uncertain these days, having the best Spanish travel insurance to cover trip delays and cancellations, lost or damaged luggage, and medical emergencies is more critical than ever. In this article, I detail the level of coverage to look for, differences in policies and upgrades and what you can expect to pay. Read more about our unbiased ranking methodology and advertiser disclosure.

4.9
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to Spain travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE SPAIN

$97.20

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

Yes

BEST
 WEBSITE
FOR

Comparing Policies

  • Compare dozens of the best Spain travel insurance policies from all the major providers in one place
  • Easily filter for the features you want and get support from their award-winning customer service team
  • Founded in 2013, TravelInsurance.com has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers find affordable insurance coverage
4.8
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE SPAIN

$145.41

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

Yes

BEST
POLICY
FOR

Travelers Aged 55+

  • Pre-existing medical conditions are covered for a reasonable fee and they offer “cancel for any reason” as an add-on
  • $2,000 COVID quarantine coverage available w/ Safe Travels Voyager plan
  • Founded in 1998 and underwritten by Nationwide and GBG Insurance
squaremouth
4.8
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE SPAIN

$76.44

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

Yes

BEST
WEBSITE
FOR

Filtering Plans

  • This comparison website has the most comprehensive filters especially for Covid-19 which helps you search for the specific benefits you need
  • They have “Zero Complaint Guarantee” which promises a fair claims process
  • Established in 2003, Squaremouth has consistently been recognized for it’s exceptional customer service
4.7
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE SPAIN

$88.00

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

Yes

BEST
POLICY
FROM

An Established Brand

  • Well rounded, inexpensive travel insurance plans from an established and top rated global insurance company
  • AXA has plans that cover pre-existing conditions and their “Platinum” plan covers “cancel for any reason” with an optional add-on. They also offer helpful 24/7 Worldwide Travel Assistance Services
  • Founded in 1959 and underwritten by Nationwide
4.7
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE SPAIN

$78.80

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

No

BEST
POLICY
FOR

Adventure Travel

  • Covers almost all adventure activities for a reasonable price for U.S. residents up to age 70 (worldwide up to age 65)
  • Can insure up to 9 people in one family and the signup process is super easy
  • Founded in 2002 and underwritten for U.S. travelers by Nationwide Insurance
4.2
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE SPAIN

$139.00

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

Yes

BEST
POLICY
FOR

Family Travel

  • Their “Trip Interruption for any Reason” feature allows you to get a 75% reimbursement for any additional expenses if you decide to go home early from your trip
  • They have a variety of insurance products to suit any travel needs
  • Founded in 1993 and underwritten by Nationwide Insurance
3.6
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE SPAIN

$22.50

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

No

BEST
POLICY
FOR

Long-term Travel

  • Ideal for digital nomads and long-term travel, available to anyone anywhere
  • Scored lower because short-term travel coverage isn’t as robust as competitors
  • Founded in 2018 and is underwritten by Lloyds of London

travel insurance
4.9
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE SPAIN

$97.20

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON?

Yes

BEST
WEBSITE
FOR

Comparing Policies

  • Compare dozens of travel insurance policies from all the major providers in one place
  • Easily filter for the features you want and get support from their award-winning customer service team
  • Founded in 2013, TravelInsurance.com has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers find affordable insurance coverage

Spain travel insurance FAQs

Is travel insurance worth getting for Spain?

Spain travel insurance protects you financially against trip cancellation or interruptions, lost or stolen luggage, medical emergencies or evacuations, and even “cancel for any reason” if you select that feature. Since travel costs are high, having the best policy will compensate you for unforeseen events that could leave you with a substantial financial loss. Also, in a medical emergency, travel insurance can provide vital support, such as arranging medical evacuations, airlifting, and ensuring you receive treatment from hospitals that meet US standards. From my own first-hand experience, I believe having the best trip insurance policy is worth getting for a country like Spain, and it offers you priceless peace of mind. Lastly, most plans cost around 2% to 3% of your overall trip cost, depending on your age, so it is highly affordable.

How long is Spain trip insurance valid for?

Single-trip travel insurance usually provides door-to-door coverage from when you leave home until you return from vacation, and some benefits go into effect upon purchasing your policy. However, standard policies that do not come with trip cancellation are known as International Medical policies. These may cover you for a year but are sometimes renewable for up to 3 years. Lastly, annual trip insurance policies will cover you for medical care and medical evacuation on several trips within a given year.

How do you get the cheapest travel insurance plan?

Be sure that the most affordable travel insurance plan also meets your coverage needs. To get started, I suggest using a comparison site like TravelInsurance.com and sorting by price (lowest to highest).

How far away from home do you have to be for Spain travel insurance to work?

Some benefits, such as Trip Cancellation, cover unexpected events before your departure for Spain. The remaining benefits become active once you leave home for your trip. Some policies require you to travel over 100 miles for the policy to become active, so if you’re planning a nearby trip, it’s best to check with the provider.

How many people can travel insurance cover on one policy?

Travelers insured on the same policy must reside in the same state and have identical trip itineraries and travel dates. You can insure up to 10 people for Single Trip plans. However, if you are traveling with people who reside in a different state or have different travel itineraries from you, they will require a separate policy. And if you are traveling in a group of 8 or more, group policies might be a more economical choice as they do not require all travelers to reside in the same state. Instead, they only have to be US residents and will still receive the same great coverage that other travelers get with standard travel insurance policies.

I am fit and healthy, do I really need to get insured?

Many fit and healthy people purchase travel insurance to protect against accidents and other unexpected events, including lost, damaged or stolen property, injuries, illnesses and trip cancellations. Insurance offers travelers peace of mind, knowing that the money they invest in their vacations is protected regardless of their fitness level.

How is trip interruption defined?

As listed in your policy, Trip Interruption coverage extends to unforeseen events that require you to cut your trip short and return home. Such circumstances are usually extraordinary, including inclement weather, terrorist attacks, the death, injury or illness of an insured traveler and termination from your job. Coverage becomes active once your trip begins, which is why it is known as a post-departure benefit.

What are travel delay expenses?

Travel delay expenses include meals, local ground transportation, hotels or other accommodation, and internet access. It typically covers these basic expenses up to $150-200 per day per insured traveler until you reach your policy’s limit.

Can I get compensation for a 2-hour flight delay?

The least amount of time policies require for trip delay compensation is 3 hours, but many require 6 to 12-hour delays before coverage kicks in. Furthermore, flight delays will have to be for covered reasons, such as air traffic, aircraft maintenance, weather conditions, etc. All details vary from one travel insurance company to another, so check the specifics in the policy details before purchasing it.

Most common problems while traveling in Spain and how to avoid them:

Illnesses

American tourists in Spain do not usually come down with any exotic illnesses. If anything, they get heatstroke/sunstroke or have the odd bout of food poisoning, the latter no more common than it is in the US.

For those traveling through Spain in the summer, be incredibly mindful about staying hydrated and out of the sun during the mid-afternoon, when the sun is at its peak strength. Heatwaves and temperatures well into the 90s or higher are typical during Spanish summers. Seek medical treatment immediately if you experience any mix of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate, headache, confusion or delirium, unusual sweating, loss of consciousness, and/or a high fever.

If you plan to explore the great outdoors in Spain, watch out for some of the more dangerous critters. As breathtaking as the Spanish landscape may be, some incidents could land you in the hospital, such as getting bitten by a centipede, scorpion, an Iberian black widow spider, the yellow sac spider, and the bastard, or the Manto snake.

Also, be aware that wild boars are becoming ever more present in public settings. They can be seen roaming through rural villages and even cooling off in the water at popular beaches in the southern regions. Wild boars can get quite aggressive, so avoid the temptation of a photo op and be sure to give them a wide berth.

Accidents

Most accidents and injuries occur amongst tourists who trip and fall, engage in adventure sports and activities, walk el Camino Santiago de Compostela or ride mopeds. Cuts, scrapes, and sprained or broken bones are the most common injuries, but more serious ones occur occasionally. If you decide to participate in any outdoor adventure sports and activities, patronize businesses with a good reputation and an excellent safety record. There are also several drownings in Spain each year, so always double-check that the beach you’re going to is safe for swimming, never overestimate your aquatic abilities, and never underestimate the strength of the ocean.

Muggings

Spain is generally a very safe country to travel through as it has low violent crime rates. However, theft, especially muggings, can be a problem, and the victims tend to be those who carry bags or cameras on their shoulders. The thieves work in teams and drive by to snatch the bag from an unsuspecting person’s shoulder while the car is still moving. Unfortunately, they have no qualms about dragging the bag’s owner along behind the car either. To avoid such horrific incidents, never carry bags or cameras on your shoulder that is exposed to the road. Of course, simply not carrying bags in the first place will reduce your chances of being mugged.

Most of these events occur in major cities or popular tourist destinations. Exercise common sense wherever you are by never wearing expensive jewelry in public, staying out of desolate urban areas and keeping your belongings close to you.

Emergency resources for Spain

Phone numbers

For police, ambulance or fire services, dial 112 from any phone in Spain. If you do not have a phone, shout out “uno, doce!” (pronounced doh-say), or “uno, uno, dos!” to those nearby. If you are on a highway or major toll road, you will see phones specifically for emergencies that are labeled SOS.

US embassy or consulate details

The United States has an embassy in Madrid and consulates in Barcelona, La Palma, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Sevilla, and Valencia. To locate the embassy or consulate closest to your vacation destination to learn about citizen services while you’re abroad, visit the US Embassy in Spain website.

For travelers who like to take extra precautions, you can list your trip with the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. After doing so, you will receive travel alerts relevant to your trip to Spain. Also, should you or a family member back in the US be involved in a major emergency, your trip registration will help the nearest embassy or consulate relay important cross-border messages and information.

Other local knowledge that is helpful for travelers

Communication

It is always more economical to get a local SIM card once you arrive in Spain than it is to use your American cell phone, even if it has an international phone plan. You will need to ensure that your phone is “unlocked” before going on vacation since most phones in the US are locked to the specific carrier you purchased the phone from. To unlock your phone, contact your mobile phone carrier. You can buy prepaid credit for messaging, calling, and using data at much more affordable rates than you may be used to in the States. The major difference is that you can still receive calls even if you use all of your prepaid credit.

If you prefer to use your US SIM card and phone abroad, there are a few ways you can minimize your expenses. The first is to keep your phone on airplane mode whenever you’re not using it. If you find yourself in a café, restaurant, airport, or hotel with free Wi-Fi, keep your phone on airplane mode, but only turn on Wi-Fi. You can also use messenger and free calling apps such as WhatsApp, iMessage, FaceTime, Skype, etc., to communicate with your loved ones back home. Be careful to use only Wi-Fi networks with passwords as those without are not secure, making your device and data vulnerable to being hacked.

Currency

Spain is one of the many European countries that uses the euro (€). Always use ATMs, also known as cash machines or cajeros automáticos (the j is pronounced as an h), to withdraw cash and get the best exchange rates. Currency-exchange businesses almost always claim not to charge a commission, but they give you the least favorable exchange rates and often tack on additional fees. Even with their service fees, ATMs will always be a better deal. Don’t forget to notify your bank in the US of your travel dates and destination before you leave.

Since Spain is known to have forged bills, always withdraw cash from ATMs in banks and only accept change in smaller bills such as €5, €10, and €20. Debit and credit cards are commonly accepted in Spain, but there are still many businesses that only accept cash or require a substantial purchase to use a card. Never be without cash while vacationing in Spain, especially if you’re venturing out into smaller villages.

If you pay for goods or services using a debit or credit card and a business asks whether you prefer to pay in US dollars or euros, always choose euros. This “service” is known as DCC (dynamic currency conversion), and you will be charged a fee for the “privilege” of seeing the price in USD.

Customs

As in most European countries, it is customary in Spain to always greet shopkeepers, bartenders or servers upon entering with “Buenos días” (good morning) or “Buenas tardes” (good afternoon/good evening). When you leave remember to say, “Adíos!” or “Chau!” (goodbye) or “hasta luego” (see you later).

A Spaniards day is one of several meals, none of which are particularly large. Two small breakfasts, a late lunch around 2 or 3 pm, a late afternoon snack between 5-7 pm, an evening drink around 8 pm, and dinner sometime between 9-11 pm. Don’t be surprised when you see Spaniards having dinner past midnight on summer weekends.

Spain has some of the most impressive cathedrals in Europe, including some genuinely awe-inspiring gothic ones. If you would like to visit them or any of the beautiful churches that dot the country, only go outside of mass hours. Being a deeply religious people, the Spanish do not look kindly at tourists who interrupt mass. Still, they certainly welcome foreigners who would like to attend mass for the purpose of worship.

Getting Around

While no national bus company exists in Spain, all municipalities operate their own bus systems. Larger cities tend to have intercity bus links too. One of the major appeals of getting around Spain by bus is the affordability. If this is your preferred mode of transportation, ask the hotel staff to help you get tickets or plan your journey to your next destination. However, if you wait to buy your ticket on board, you will not be able to use your credit or debit card. Cash is the only means of payment onboard Spanish buses.

Exploring Spain by car is often the only way to visit more remote areas of the country. The good news is that most US rental car companies operate out of Spain’s larger airports. Rental cars will almost always come with a manual transmission unless you filter for an automatic when conducting your search. If you book an automatic, it is always good to reconfirm your reservation a couple of weeks before arriving so they remember to keep one available for you.

Be aware that traffic in and around Spain’s largest cities can be horrendous during morning and evening rush-hour. However, unlike in the US, evening rush hour in Spain usually runs from 7-9 pm. It is also important to mention that the country has a very low tolerance for driving while intoxicated, and random stops with breathalyzer tests aren’t uncommon.

Taxes

Like most European countries, Spain has many shops participating in the VAT refund program via Global Blue. Therefore upon departing the European Union from an international airport, you can reclaim the VAT you’ve spent. Each country within the EU has different price requirements for what qualifies for a VAT/IVA refund. Inquire with each store that you shop at––food stores do not qualify––and ask for a refund form, also known as a Tax-Free Form. Hold onto all of your receipts for those purchases you intend to claim a refund. For further information, visit the Taxation and Customs page of the European Union’s website.

You may collect your refund at the airport before departing the EU and can usually find VAT Refund offices after passport control. VAT refunds are generally issued on the spot, so you will need to have all of the items for which you are seeking a refund on hand for this process. Visit the website of the airport you’ll be departing from for more information.

Tipping

Unlike other European countries, Spain’s restaurants typically do not include a service charge on their bills. For good service, add 5-10% of the total bill for a tip, and if you only go out for tapas or coffee, you can round up to the nearest euro.

At your hotel, expect to give €1 to room service attendants and doormen who call you a taxi. Porters usually get €1 per bag, just as housekeepers get €1 for each night of your stay. Tipping the latter is optional but always much appreciated.

The standard tip for taxi drivers is 10% of your total fare, plus extra if the cabbie helps you with your luggage. All trips from the airport have a surcharge tacked on along with a per bag fee.

Other typically tipped people in Spain include hairstylists and barbers, bathroom attendants, tour guides, and adventure activity and sports guides. €0.50 to a few euros is adequate, depending on your service.

A final note about travel insurance for Spain

I have spent dozens of hours researching travel insurance, including getting quotes and comparing coverage from all the most popular brands. Regardless of where you’re going I am confident that you will also find that TravelInsurance.com offers the best way to compare policies with the ideal combo of coverage and price.

I wish you and yours an incredible journey.

SwiftScore Ranking Methodology

  • Average price for a 2-week vacation based on a 35-year-old California resident traveling to the Spain with a $3,500 trip cost
  • Coronavirus coverage
  • Cancel for any reason (CFAR)
  • AM Best rating of the underwriter
  • Key policy details including cancellation, interruption, emergency medical evacuation, and baggage & personal effects
  • Ease of sign up
  • Policy language clarity
  • User reviews