What many people don’t realise is that here in Portugal there are compulsory insurances if you work or employ people, which are Acidentes de Trabalho and Liability protection.

If you work, whether you are employed or self-employed, you will need Acidentes de Trabalho cover, which translates as Work Accidents but is generally referred to as “Worker’s Compensation”. This is designed to cover a percentage of your income if you are off work as a result of an accident that occurs at work or on your way to or from work and will often include a one-off disability or death payment. As an employee it is the responsibility of your employer to arrange this but if self-employed you must arrange your own policy. Failure to arrange this type of policy can result in a substantial fine – certainly more than the annual premium so it makes sense to check that you have cover in place.

The premiums are calculated on the type of work undertaken and annual salaries, and can be as little as €100 per year for a shop worker on minimum wage, but as the percentage of income paid is prescribed under law the only difference is the premium charged - the cover cannot be varied.

If you employ domestic staff there is a requirement to provide cover in the event of an accident at work, which is your liability towards the employee and totally different from Worker’s Compensation. This is cover for your personal liability towards their safety and typically the annual premium for a cleaner who works for 8 hours a week is as little as €55 so not expensive. Some home insurance policies include liability cover for domestic employees so it is worth checking your policy.

Pet Insurance is available from a range of insurers but be wary about taking a policy because it is cheap – cheap premiums relate directly to low levels of cover and you may find a policy for a very low premium but then discover that you have only €400 or less of vet fees cover and nothing else. The Ibex pet policy will cover not only vet fees, but also loss by theft or straying, accidental death and emergency boarding fees in case you have to go into hospital unexpectedly, and all from as little as €125 per year.

Marine Insurance is readily available from most insurers but the levels of liability can be massively different and some Portuguese insurers will only provide cover for Portuguese flagged vessels. There are international insurers who will provide comprehensive cover for vessels under flags from any nation although they will require a dry-dock survey for any vessel over 20 years old. Portuguese insurers will usually restrict liability to a maximum of €500,000 but even then, this is at an extra cost, whereas one particular international insurer provides standard cover of €3m as standard within the premium.

Goods in Transit is very inexpensive but will cover your possessions when being transported whether within Portugal or between Portugal and your homeland. Transport companies do not generally insure the goods carried but rely on the owner to do this. Again, some home insurance policies may include this for transport within Portugal but almost certainly will not for international travel.

Business Contents - if you are in business, you will usually need to insure your contents and this policy will include liability to the public which may be the statutory minimum with some insurers offering an option to increased this or add a supplementary liability cover. It will also include cover for money in a safe or till and money in transit to the bank and power surge cover. The premiums will depend on the type of business and level of cover, but our advisors will research to find the most suitable for you.

Dental Insurance is available from some insurers for as little as €75 per year but there is a panel of dentists that you can choose from and there is no guarantee that your own preferred dentist will be on that list. This insurance provides free or reduced cost check-ups and discounted costs for treatment, but never totally free treatment. However, the discounts for major work are substantial and can easily exceed the annual premium by four- or five-times!

Bicycle insurance is available to cover your liability in the event of an accident and can also include perusal injury cover for death or disability. Any regular cyclist will know the perils of riding and the potential for injury so having a facility to cover medical expenses is a plus and the premiums are cheap.

Not all insurers or brokers have access to all of these policies but Ibex will certainly be able to offer advice and quotes – please call or e-mail.

If you have any queries, please don't hesitate to call into one of our offices in Almancil or Tavira to get the most suitable policy to meet your needs or call us on 800 860 708. Or if you prefer, send an e-mail to ptnews@ibexinsure.com