How to get travel insurance in Croatia (putno), which you can use to apply for residence: Guide for 2024

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This post was written in collaboration with an insurance company. It is not a sponsored post and contains no brand promotion.
The city of Dubrovnik
The city of Dubrovnik

PUBLISHED: 29.08.2023

In most cases, people need travel insurance if they plan to apply for residence in Croatia. Croatia requires that you have some type of private insurance that covers you on the territory of Croatia as part of the requirements for a temporary residence application.

Usually, people use travel insurance to cover that requirement. In Croatia, travel insurance can be cheaper than options abroad.

Maybe you are already a Croatian resident who often travels abroad and would like some additional security. In this case, travel insurance is also a good option.

Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) through HZZO only covers so much.

Croatian insurance companies offer various travel insurance services, and you can arrange a deal according to your individual needs. Most offer accident insurance and insurance against loss or delay of luggage. In addition, they may cover the costs of treatment of medical emergencies and acute diseases.

Travel insurance is called putno osiguranje in Croatian. This article summarizes the basics of putno osiguranje and travel insurance companies that operate in Croatia. You can also get a quote from our vetted insurance agent by contacting us here.

We have covered the information for both Croatian residents and third-country nationals who have just moved to Croatia.

If you want to sign up for mandatory health insurance in Croatia called obvezno, hop over to this post. If you are an EU/EEA or Croatian citizen and wish to sign up for state health insurance, then visit this post.

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

How to get travel insurance in Croatia (putno osiguranje)

Why should you have travel insurance while visiting or living in Croatia?

Jump to the desired section:

Travel health insurance for Croatian short-term visa applicants

Foreign applicants for short-term Croatian visas for 1 or 2 entries to Croatia must prove they own valid travel health insurance that covers the entire period of stay in Croatia.

Foreign applicants for short-term Croatian visas for an unlimited number of entries to Croatia must prove they own valid travel health insurance covering the period of the first planned stay in Croatia. They must get a travel insurance policy from an insurance company in the country of their residence. If this is not possible, they must request travel insurance in another country.

[Read: All types of available visas for entry into Croatia]

If a natural or legal person from Croatia invites the visa applicant to Croatia, they can conclude a travel health insurance contract with an insurance company from Croatia instead of the applicant.

[Read: Difference between legal and natural persons in Croatia]

A valid travel health insurance for Croatian short-term visa applicants is used to cover all the costs that could occur during the stay of the visa applicant in Croatia and related to the return to their country of origin.

The possible costs may occur due to:

  • Health reasons
  • Urgent medical assistance
  • Urgent hospital treatment
  • Transportation in the event of death

You can learn how to transport the deceased person to Croatia or outside of Croatia in this post.

The travel insurance must have a guaranteed minimal coverage of costs of up to 30.000 euros.

Travel health insurance for Croatian long-term visa applicants

Third-country applicants for long-term Croatian visas for 1 entry to Croatia must prove they own valid travel health insurance that covers the number of days and period for which the Croatian visa was issued.

Third-country applicants for long-term Croatian visas for an unlimited number of entries to Croatia must prove they own valid travel health insurance, which covers the period of the first planned stay in Croatia. They must get a travel insurance policy from an insurance company in the country of their residence. If this is not possible, they must request travel insurance in another country.

Long-term applicants for Croatian visas must get travel insurance from the insurance company in the country of their residence. If this is not possible, it can be requested in another country or obtained with an insurance company from Croatia in favor of the applicant.

A valid travel health insurance for long-term visa applicants is used to cover all the costs that could occur during a stay of the visa applicant in Croatia and related to the return to their country of origin, in a period they acquire mandatory obvezno health insurance in Croatia and the status of an insured person.

[Read: Croatia’s state health care obvezno insurance, what it costs and what is included]

The possible costs may occur due to:

  • Health reasons
  • Urgent medical assistance
  • Urgent hospital treatment
  • Transportation in the event of death

The minimum amount of travel insurance is 30.000 €.

Travel insurance for Croatian residents

If you’re planning to apply for temporary residence in Croatia, you must be insured privately. It doesn’t matter whether you are a digital nomad or applying based on prepayment of rent or the spouse of a Croatian or an EU citizen, everybody must have some kind of health insurance for the purposes of the residence application. There is one exception – and that is for those applying based on humanitarian reasons, which includes those who are a member of the Croatian people.

Most commonly, people obtain a travel insurance policy to satisfy this requirement. There is no minimum coverage. All they want to see is that it is valid on the territory of Croatia.

Some insurance companies offer travel insurance specifically for foreign citizens during their stay in Croatia. They may provide insurance for individuals, groups, and families during their travel and stay in Croatia.

Insurance for foreigners can cover travel health insurance, accident insurance, and luggage insurance. Depending on the time of their stay in Croatia, foreign citizens may contract the insurance for 3, 8, 15, and or 31 days, or 3 and 6 months.

Why should you have travel insurance while traveling outside of Croatia?

Nothing is more important in life than our health. Unfortunately, sometimes we do not appreciate it enough until something gets in the way. Many things can go wrong while traveling, especially if you travel outside of Croatia.

Regardless of the place and time of your travel, being on the road always brings risks. You may lose luggage, have an accident, or a sudden illness may occur. The longer your trip is, the higher the risk of an injury or unexpected issue.

[Read: Why you must have health insurance in Croatia]

No matter what happens, the costs of medical or other interventions while staying outside of Croatia can be very high. You may need an urgent rescue, transfer to a medical institution, or hospital treatment. These expenses can skyrocket if you do not have a travel insurance policy.

When planning your trip, do not hesitate to get travel insurance from an insurance company in Croatia. Each company offers different services that may save you from unexpected and unpleasant events on your trip. Each of them operates on its own terms, so examine their offers before picking the optimal one.

If you give up on the trip, you usually have the right to cancel the insurance contract and get a refund of the paid premium. However, the cancelation terms depend on each travel insurance company. They are defined in a travel insurance contract. Get familiar with terms and conditions so that you can cancel the contract on time in case something occurs.

We can jump in if you need help choosing the travel insurance policy.

Croatian obvezno health insurance will cover the basic costs if you travel within the Croatian territory. View our guide on Croatia’s state health care obvezno insurance, what it costs, and what is included here.

Learn about the additional two types of Croatian health insurances in our guides on dopunsko here and dodatno here.

Note: Dopunsko health insurance is recommended for everyone with Croatian mandatory obvezno health insurance. It enables avoiding the additional costs that may arise related to healthcare services. The Croatian Parliament recently held a discussion about the expected increases in healthcare services. To avoid the additional costs, it is wise to get dopunsko.

What does Croatian travel insurance cover?

What a travel insurance policy covers depends on each insurance company and your individual policy. However, it usually covers the most common accidents and health issues that may occur during your travel or stay in a foreign country.

By using travel insurance, you are exempt from the costs of treatment in a foreign country where you are staying. You may even choose the amount of your own travel insurance and services you want to use.

Travel insurance may cover:

  • Costs of treatment of acute diseases
  • Costs of emergency medical interventions and transport
  • Costs of medicines and medical supplies
  • Costs of search, rescue, and helicopter transport
  • Costs of treatment of chronic diseases that unexpectedly become acute
  • Accident insurance for amateur athletes
  • Accident insurance
  • Emergency dental services
  • Operation costs
  • Private liability insurance
  • Flight delay insurance
  • Travel cancelation insurance
  • Insurance against loss or delay of luggage
  • Available help 24/7

In addition to travel insurance, some insurance companies also offer an additional service of trip cancellation insurance. It is usually a separate service and must be contracted as additional coverage to the travel insurance.

If you acquired a trip cancellation service, it might also cover the reimbursement of trip cancellation costs in case of special cancellation events such as severe sudden illness resulting from an epidemic, pandemic, or quarantine. It may imply the disease of spouses, common-law partners, parents, children, sisters, brothers, grandparents, grandchildren, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, or someone else named in a travel insurance contract.

Some urgent medical services can be covered with an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card), which is only available to EU/EEA residents with a state health insurance policy. Read more about EHIC in this section.

Common types of Croatian travel insurance

If you want to get travel insurance from a Croatian insurance company, you may be able to pick between several types, depending on what you need. The services included in each type of travel insurance depend on the insurance company.

Here are some options:

  • Individual travel insurance – single trip insurance for one person
  • Group travel insurance – single trip insurance for groups of approximately 6 or more people
  • Family travel insurance – insurance for 5-7 family members with at least one adult (spouses, children, parents, grandparents)
  • Annual travel insurance – multiple trip insurance within a year that may cover an unlimited number of trips, ideal for people who often travel

Many travel insurance companies offer the possibility of online contracting, special discounts, and special offers. Some of them offer free travel insurance for babies.

How long does a Croatian travel insurance policy last?

Croatian travel insurance policies usually last from only 1 day to up to a year. Annual policies usually last 365 days.

Some insurance companies also offer the possibility of concluding a long-term travel insurance contract with an indefinite duration. In this case, the insurance is usually valid until one of the contracting parties cancels the contract. Of course, the cancelation must be done according to the agreed conditions.

Obligations of the insurance companies in Croatia

Before concluding a travel insurance contract with a future user, every Croatian insurance company is obliged to inform a user on:

  • General conditions of travel insurance
  • Duration of travel insurance
  • Cost of travel insurance
  • Payment method
  • Conditions for cancelation of the contract
  • Other important information

Once the contract between a travel insurance user and an insurance company is concluded, both parties must respect the terms and conditions defined in the contract.

Expat in Croatia uses Wiener dopunsko health insurance for company employees. Sara also uses Wiener’s insurance services for her personal car and home.

The travel insurance company is also obliged to inform its users about any changes within their company, including the name of the company, headquarters, and organizational structure. This obligation is in force as long as the travel insurance contract is valid. The insurance company must also inform a user about profit sharing once a year.

If the travel insurance company does not meet the conditions agreed upon in a travel insurance contract, a user has the right to submit a written complaint to the travel insurance company.

Do you need travel insurance if you have EHIC?

If you have an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card), then you have the right to use urgent health services from contracted healthcare providers in other EU/EEA Member States and Switzerland. This means that if you get injured, the costs of your medical issue will be covered by HZZO.

[Read: What is a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)]

EHIC covers only urgent medical interventions. In addition, the costs are covered only in public health institutions throughout the countries of the European Union. Covered expenses include only the same cases from which the residents of that country are exempt.

EHIC does not cover the injuries that occur outside the EU/EEA territory, i.e., third countries. If you do not have travel insurance, you will have to cover all the injury costs in third countries.

However, travel insurance enables you to find the closest doctor once an injury occurs and covers the costs of medical treatment and medicines outside of Croatia.

Tired of research? Speak to Expat in Croatia and get all your questions answered.

We crafted this post to be as detailed as possible, but sometimes questions still arise because everyone’s situation is different. If you’d like personalized guidance on your situation, we can help.

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View our other insurance posts

Vrste osiguranja by e-Građani
Travel health insurance by MVEP
Putno osiguranje by WIENER
Putna osiguranja by GRAWE
Croatia Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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