Friday, 28 June 2013

Travelling or Visitors Arriving this Summer? - Information from the British Embassy

Whether you are looking to take off yourself on holiday, or playing the host with the most to family, friends or guests this summer, you need to advise your visitors to ensure that they get an EHIC health card and travel insurance.

The British Embassy is urging people to remember to bring the often forgotten and essential European Health Card. 

When your visitors ask what the weather is like and what to bring, make sure that the EHIC and travel insurance are on the list.

The EHIC card is easy to obtain before you travel - check out - it costs nothing to obtain.

Getting this card will provide peace of mind. Whilst we all have ideas of fun filled, sunny, trouble free days, things can go wrong when you least expect it. The EHIC will help ensure that you don't end up with a large hospital bill that you didn't anticipate.

Comprehensive Travel Insurance should also be on the list for both your travels and your visitors. It covers all the extras that the EHIC doesn't, such as repatriation in the case of medical emergency. The EHIC will cover emergency treatment at the local doctors or hospital, but that is all, it won't get you home.

When taking your travel insurance, remember to advise the insurer if you have any pre-existing medical conditions and check that they will be covered. Most companies will either accept conditions as part of the policy, or ask you a few questions and you might need to pay a little extra for the health coverage. Either way, if you don't declare medical conditions this could invalidate the cover on your policy. You won't fool the insurers, they will investigate and they will find out your history.

Every year Consular staff in Spain are asked to assist hundreds of Britons who have failed to take out travel insurance, or who have invalidated their policies, and who have ended up facing huge bills when attending a private clinic or hospital.

Visitors to Spain should be aware that they do not have to provide travel insurance as payment for urgent/necessary medical treatment in a public or state healthcare facility. They should insist that their EHIC is accepted. Anyone asked to sign a form or disclaimer in a state hospital should check that they are not forfeiting the right to be treated under an EHIC. 

If an EHIC is refused or there are other concerns about using an EHIC whilst in Spain, call the Department of Health team at the British Consulate on 902 109 356.

A visitor who needs to see a doctor and doesn't have an EHIC with them can also get a Provisional Replacement Certificate from the Overseas Heathcare Team in Newcastle on +44 191 218 1999.

For more information on EHIC entitlements, visit

Travel safely knowing that you have the right documents and are fully covered.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Car Insurance - Should I Cancel It Whilst I'm Away?

Many of you will spend part of your year living in Spain and part in another country, but have a vehicle that you leave here in Spain whilst you are away. We are sometimes asked to cancel insurance policies on vehicles "because I won't be using it for the next x number of months". How many of you realise that this isn't legal?

With a Spanish insurance you will usually insure the vehicle for any driver over the age of x (check with your company as they all vary), or you will expressly state named drivers. In the UK the insurance covers the person and not the vehicle, totally different.

The law in Spain states that every vehicle must be insured, unless it is listed in Trafico records as being off the road or scrapped (like the UK Sorn).

Many of you will lock the vehicle in a garage, behind locked gates, in secure parking etc, but what happens if you have cancelled the insurance and the vehicle does get stolen?  You, as the registered owner would be held liable for any accidents, damage or personal injury that occurs if the vehicle is being driven by an unauthorised driver, as it is your responsibility as the registered owner to have the vehicle insured at all times.

None of us have a crystal ball to know whether this will happen or not, but in the current climate where people are getting desperate, it is worth giving serious thought before you ask for the policy to be cancelled, as it could cost you more than a year's insurance.