Insurance in Portugal

3 Essential Insurances one Should Have in Portugal

1. Protect yourself – Personal accidents

While many of us have private health insurance, equally many are happy with the national health system, especially if they are healthy and feel they don’t have much need for it. One thing that can happen to us all though is an accident, be it out riding your bike or changing a lightbulb! You really don’t want to end up in an A&E in a public hospital for several hours as that is often the grim reality of the A&E in Portugal. And you definitely don’t want to pay out of your pocket in case the accident caused damage to 3rd party.

What are the benefits of having personal accidents insurance in Portugal? 

Personal accidents insurance offers you extra safety and comfort. All treatments are done in private hospitals and clinics. Personal liability cover is also included.

Our personal accidents insurance is loved by runners and cyclists. It not only covers them for their injuries but also any damage they might do to a pedestrian or property. It is also popular among horse riders. Although the horse should ideally have liability insurance, riders realise that their chances of serious injury while sitting so high on an animal is actually pretty high, perhaps no more so than me on a ladder trying to change a lightbulb though!

It comes for no more than 12€ per month for a good personal accidents cover. Get in touch with us if you would like to learn more.

2. Protecting your family

We all hope that we will be around for a long time to come. Just a few think about protecting our families from the extra stress during times of grief or accidents abroad. Wherever you think you’re taking Led Zeppelin’s Stairway or AC/DC’s Highway, the one thing none of us wants is to leave our loved ones with what is no doubt the most stressful and horrible time of their lives in a country where they perhaps don’t speak the local language.

What does one get with a Family Protection Plan?

Travel: 10.000€ up front from Fidelidade should find yourself hospitalized while abroad due to a medical emergency. Capital payment in the worst case of an accident abroad that results in death. This of course, can be handy for those of us who are resident here but like a trip abroad or back to our homelands.

Funeral: Every aspect of the funeral dealt with here in Portugal. After just one phone call from the devastated family will see Fidelidade taking the pressure of the family from dealing with a funeral in a foreign country, from the funeral service itself, payment to the Dirty Deeds of legal documents. Already a daunting situation in your home country never mind in one where you may have language difficulties.

And that is not all. You would also have access to online consultations. Access to a doctor from the comfort of your own home, which could save you leaving your home when you absolutely don’t feel like it (not a bad idea during these unforeseen times)  and even have a prescription sent to your phone.

While accidents abroad and funerals can easily cost several 1000s euros, the family protection plans are very affordable, starting as little as 5 – 6€ a month per person.

3. How to protect an Investment of a lifetime?

A property is certainly for most of us the largest purchase and investment that we’ll ever make. To lose everything would be absolutely devastating, not only on a financial level but also mentally. Losing our home would mean having to reset a few decades, for many on a financial level which would, of course, just about tip many of us over the edge after working so hard to have a later life where we would not have to worry about paying a mortgage or indeed having nothing to show for our monthly mortgage payments.

Starting from scratch.

Rebuilding and starting again simply would not be an option for most without the financial support from an insurance payout. For a relatively low cost we can have ourselves financially protected. Even if you’re renting, having to start from scratch if you were to lose all your possessions, the value of what you had gathered would only become apparent once you had to go and fund it all again. Building and contents insurance can be bought very cheap; contents insurance to cover the essentials can be as cheap as peanuts and it’s insane not to have it for the price.

Legal issues.

If you live in a shared vertical building you will be legally obliged in Portugal to have at least fire cover and this will cover your share of the building in the event of a fire. Most insurances will offer way more though which will cover you also in the event of you flooding the neighbour below, regardless of how much their horrendous music annoyed you, you won’t want to have them coming after you for the water damage to their expensive and irritating Hifi system!

Getting a mortgage.

If you are buying a property with a mortgage, no lender in Portugal will give you a loan without the clause of you having building insurance. Your property is their security on the mortgage, so understandably, the lenders will want to protect themselves by making sure the property is insured against damage from fire, storms or subsidence. In some areas, the bank may also request that you have earthquake cover. This seems to be quite a new request so I’m not sure if they perhaps know something that the rest of us don’t?! Earthquake cover on older buildings can be a problem, especially those built before 1960.

Your mortgage provider will normally offer to sell you buildings insurance, but you can shop around  and make sure you’re getting the best deal for you and not for them. Don’t be bullied into taking what they want to sell you. You’ll want support and advice should you need it, banks are great for “banking” and not often your best choice for insurance. So having an experienced insurance agent will save you not only extra euros, but also will go the extra mile to make sure you have the best deal, that no bank would do.

Yours truly,
Ged Heaney

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