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Life in Portugal can be fun and exciting. It can also be challenging if you don’t understand the culture or the language. The better prepared you are, the easier you’ll find your transition to be, especially if you’re going to live here long-term. Here are some of the most important insurance policies that expats should consider purchasing in Portugal so that you have peace of mind in case something goes wrong.


Health Insurance

As an expat living in Portugal, you are required to have health insurance. This will help you gain access to healthcare services in the country. There are a few different ways to obtain health insurance in Portugal. You can purchase a private health insurance policy, join a Portuguese health insurance scheme, or be covered by your employer’s health insurance plan.

Health care in Portugal is regulated by the Servico Nacional de Saude (SNS). Like the United Kingdom’s NHS, the Ministry of Health operates the SNS. The SNS focuses on many initiatives and medical centers that include some conflicting aspects. Most people enjoy relatively good, if not entirely consistent, national health care services. There are always waiting periods, but these times are typically long due to over-subscription. Upon working in Portugal, your employer should automatically enrol you into the Portuguese social security system and arrange payments, at which point you can get health insurance. Therefore, self-employed individuals in Portugal will need to apply for health insurance through the Social Security Institute. In that case, they will need to go to their local health center where they will be assigned a doctor. Registration is explained in more detail on the SNS’s website.

If you are not eligible for the public healthcare system, you will need to get private health insurance in Portugal. However, whether or not you qualify for the public healthcare system, some expats may still choose to get private health insurance in order to avoid long waiting lists.

We at RHJ Accountants offer a range of affordable private health insurance packages, so if you’re wondering what different options there are, get in touch with us today and we can show you.


Car Insurance

Portugal’s car insurance options are similar to many other European countries; under law, all vehicles that are deemed roadworthy must be insured to a third-party standard. Portuguese laws require car insurance to be placed on the vehicle, not the driver. This means anyone with a driver’s license can legally drive a car that is insured.

In case of an accident, third-party car insurance (automoçil seguro de responsabilidade civil obligatoria) covers material and personal damage that may occur to any third parties. However, this will not cover any costs associated with you or your own vehicle. Additional coverage is available with third-party car insurance in Portugal, such as coverage for damage caused by fire, floods, and natural disasters, as well as theft protection.

Other types of vehicle insurance include fully comprehensive (seguro de danos próprios), this covers all parties in the event of an accident. You will need to double check your policy carefully since some comp policies in Portugal have exclusions.

In Portugal, car insurance policies come with a deductible – the amount you will need to pay if you want to make a claim – and costs vary based on a number of factors, including driver profile and vehicle value. See our guide to car insurance in Portugal for more details.

Same as our packages for health insurance, we at RHJ Accountants offer a range of affordable car insurance packages. Get in touch today to find out more!


Home Rental Policy

Home insurance is required for buying a home in Portugal, but it is not necessary for rented apartments in Portugal. On the other hand, landlords will have to buy at least some property insurance and that’s likely to affect the cost of renting.

The following types of building insurance are available in Portugal:

Fire insurance is a mandatory requirement for all homeowners, as it provides coverage against damage caused by fires as well as flood, storm, and lightning damage. Most fire insurance policies also cover flood damage, storm damage, and lightning damage.

Multi-risk insurance (seguro multirriscos) – this is an optional comprehensive policy that includes public liability, for example.You can also include contents insurance with many home insurance policies to protect your possessions as well as the property.

Home insurance costs in Portugal vary depending on a number of factors, including property value, coverage, and property-specific risks. Send us an email to see how we can custom-tailor a package to your needs.


Commercial Insurance for Your Business

In Portugal, expats who want to start a business are required to insure themselves against various risks. Some insurances are compulsory for all businesses, others are compulsory for certain types of businesses, and others are optional. There are several types of business insurances:

public liability insurance – this is mandatory for all businesses. The insurance provides protection against any damages, injuries, or losses to third parties which may result. Infliction of bodily injury on a person, typically in defense of oneself or others, may also be considered assault.

construction insurance – not compulsory for all businesses but usually a requirement if you need a loan or any sort of funding. Protects your property against damage caused by fires, floods, or natural disasters. Vandalism is also included.

business equipment – not necessary but it’s a smart idea. Prevents movable assets from getting damaged or stolen.

employee insurance – to cover your employees for illnesses, accidents, or parental leave, enroll them in a social security program and make payments to do so. Companies may also have a private, more robust plan that offers more coverage.

business interruption insurance – optional insurance that protects against lost income, including employee salaries, if the business has to cease operations for a period.

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can support your business.


Optional Forms of Insurance

There are several optional types of insurance you can purchase, but they aren’t required. As a result, you have the choice whether you want to purchase the following: home content insurance, travel insurance, liability insurance, unemployment insurance, and holiday home insurance are all types of insurance.


How RHJ Accountants Can Help

We recognise more than ever that individuals and businesses from the UK and other countries may be globally mobile. We aim to make you aware of the tax-efficient opportunities, available tax relief and structure finances for life at home and abroad.

Our international team of specialists operate from offices in the UK and Portugal. We work together synergistically to provide tax efficient solutions to our clients to help them grow their business whilst keeping tax liabilities to a minimum.

Get in touch with us today to find out more, or to make use of our services.

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💬 PSA: between April & June our Portuguese team have limited meeting availability due to the Tax Return Submission Period 🇵🇹