Brexit: Expats in Spain urged to check life insurance ‘Pay attention to small print!’

Boris Johnson 'needs to step up for British expats' says expert

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As of January, 1, 2021, the UK is officially no longer part of the EU. As a result, it now operates outside the EU’s economic structures. Following Brexit, expat residents have been urged to read the small print on their life insurance policies incase there are any changes. 

It is estimated there are more than 850,000 UK nationals living in the EU. 

Spain is home to 1/3 of British expats in the EU. 

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has released advice for expats living in the EU. 

EIOPA suggests expats should take a look at their current life insurance policies. 

For those who have official residency in Spain and have taken a policy out with an authorised insurer in the UK or Gibraltar, they need to pay extra detail to the small print. 

EIOPA suggests asking your UK or Gibraltar insurer if the policy is still valid first. 

British expats in Spain should also seek advice on the Spanish rules which could have an effect on the policy. 

If your permanent residence is not in the UK, it has been said the cover won’t be valid. 

Instead, it has been advised to take out a new life insurance policy with a Spanish insurer. 

It comes after reported British expats in Spain were selling up and moving. 

With a myriad of new rules, many of the 360,000 Britons living in the country are considering a change of residency. 

Robert Barnhardt a real estate Managing Director said: “A lot of retired British people are starting to sell up.” 

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He went onto explain how many used to spend the winter in Spain for better weather. 

However, with the post-Brexit rules now allowing only 90 days every six months, and with many preferring to drive to Spain instead of fly, it is seen as an inconvenience especially as “the Spanish getting pretty strict on foreign plated cars”. 

Robert continued: “A lot of elderly people are choosing to go. Sometimes because of healthcare, or their health coverage.

Expats can access free healthcare in Spain if they are a resident, or if they work and pay social security contributions.

Meanwhile, coronavirus travel restrictions hit UK tourism to Spain last year, causing significant losses for businesses which rely on British trade.

Following nearly two years of little to no tourists, there are signs of a rebound.

In August 2021, more than five million international travellers entered Spain according to the latest Government figures.

The increase of 172 percent compared to the same month last year saw Brits emerge as the biggest market, with the number of UK travellers having tripled compared to August 2020.

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