Overview of Cyprus insurance system
Cyprus has a well-developed insurance industry, with 32 local and 465 European insurance companies operating in the country. Health, travel, life and many other types of insurance are available to both Cyprus citizens and visitors.
Cyprus is a member of the European Union, so policies purchased in any other EU state will typically be valid in Cyprus. The insurance cost in Cyprus is often lower than in most European countries due to the low crime rate and high life expectancy, which is currently 81.5 years.
Life insurance makes up the largest part of the insurance market in Cyprus — 47%. Motor insurance constitutes 20%, followed by accident and health insurance — 14% of the market.
Cyprus has public healthcare, which is affordable but not completely free. The country also provides all workers with social insurance, which includes benefits, grants, and pensions.
Foreigners are eligible for public medical care and social insurance if they are officially employed or have a permanent residence permit. You can get permanent Cyprus residence by investing at least €300,000.
Health insurance in Cyprus
Public health insurance. The national health service in Cyprus is called the General Healthcare System (GHS), commonly called GESY. It provides all kinds of medical services for citizens and residents of Cyprus — from personal doctors and outpatient specialists to inpatient and rehabilitation healthcare.
4 categories of people are eligible for public health insurance in Cyprus:
- Cyprus citizens.
- Workers from another EU country.
- Workers from a non-EU state with a permanent residence permit in Cyprus.
- Family members of beneficiaries from the categories above.
Every GHS beneficiary is registered with a personal doctor they can visit for primary healthcare free of charge. If a patient needs to see a specialist doctor, the personal doctor will issue a referral. A visit to a specialist with a referral costs €6; without a referral — €25.
There is no charge for women to visit an outpatient specialist in gynaecology or obstetrics and for people serving compulsory military service with a referral by an army doctor.
Emergency treatment and other medical services in Cyprus may require co-payment — a set sum paid directly to the healthcare providers. Usually, it is no more than €10.
While in Cyprus, EU and UK citizens can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) to access emergency medical treatment on the same terms as Cyprus nationals. The cardholders pay €3 to visit a general practitioner and can receive urgent treatment related to pregnancy, childbirth or a chronic illness.
Private health insurance provides faster access to various medical facilities and services. It is available for both Cyprus nationals and foreigners. Private health insurance is required to apply for permanent residence in Cyprus.
The cost of private health insurance varies greatly and depends on the selected plan, the age of the insured, their medical history, lifestyle, smoking habits, and more.
You can choose private health insurance from a local company or an international insurer that operates in Cyprus.
International private medical insurance may be up to 250% more expensive compared to a local insurer because it typically provides coverage for multiple countries. International providers also offer higher annual coverage limits — from €300,000 to €6,000,000. Some popular international health insurance providers are Allianz International, Cigna Global, Bupa Global, and Foyer Global.
Local private medical insurance offers cheaper premiums but is only valid in Cyprus. The average limit for local insurance companies varies from €100,000 to €2,000,000. The expenses are often paid up front and compensated later.
Some health insurance plans require the insured person to pay the deductible — an amount the individual must pay out of pocket before the provider starts covering the rest of the expenses.
Premiums paid for private health insurance in Cyprus are tax-deductible. It means a person can subtract them from the overall income amount and pay less income taxes.
Travel insurance covers unexpected events during a trip to Cyprus, such as trip cancellation, lost or delayed luggage, stolen belongings, delayed or missed departure, unforeseen medical expenses, and even accidental death.
Travel insurance is obligatory if you visit the island on a Schengen Visa or a tourist visa. The insurance must cover at least €30,000 for medical expenses and repatriation for medical reasons.
If you are an EU citizen visiting Cyprus, travel insurance is optional but highly recommended. Without insurance, medical costs for foreigners are noticeably higher.
Here are the 5 main types of travel insurance policies:
- Travel Medical Insurance is usually limited to the coverage of injuries or illnesses while you are in Cyprus.
- Trip Cancellation Insurance covers non-refundable expenses when you have to cancel your flight or hotel reservation.
- Cancel For Any Reason allows you to get a partial refund if you change your mind about going on a trip.
- Baggage Insurance covers expenses for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage and personal belongings while travelling.
- Personal Liability Insurance provides coverage for legal defence expenses and settlement costs in case a traveller causes damage or injury to others during the trip.
To visit Cyprus as a tourist, you should acquire travel insurance from international providers like Insured Nomads, Travel Guard by AIG, SafetyWing, World Nomads. Most providers offer several comprehensive plans to choose from. Basic coverage plans from an international insurance provider cost an average of €45—€72 per month for a single traveller.
The average price of travel insurance typically ranges from 4% to 8% of the trip cost. Factors that affect the price include the duration of the trip, the cost of local medical care, the insurance plan, the traveller’s age and health.
The cost of travel insurance in Cyprus from a local provider can range from €20 to €250. The average price for a seven-day trip is about €45 per person.
When choosing a travel insurance plan, knowing what it does and does not include is essential. In Cyprus, it does not typically cover:
- medical treatment for pre-existing conditions you have not declared;
- medical treatment for accidents and injuries while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- damages and accidents caused by extreme and winter sports not covered by your policy;
- natural disasters, civil unrest, and terrorism-related incidents;
- lost belongings left unattended.
The European Health Insurance Card and the UK Global Health Insurance Card cannot replace travel insurance, as they cover only emergency medical expenses.
Life insurance is available to any resident of Cyprus, permanent or temporary. It might be necessary for individuals whose relatives depend on them for income.
This type of insurance protects in the event of the policyholder’s critical illness, total permanent disability or death. Life insurance can also cover mortgages, funeral costs, medical bills, and other expenses. Some policies offer additional benefits in case of sudden job loss.
Life insurance policies are divided into 3 main types:
- Protection plans provide coverage in case of a specified event, such as loss of life. A common type of this policy is term insurance.
- Investment plans help save up necessary capital through systematic investment in certain funds linked to the insurance provider.
- Pension plans grant monthly instalments after the policyholder reaches their retirement years.
Term life insurance tends to be cheaper as it is bought for a specific period, but you can also buy Cyprus life insurance for life.
Life-long insurance has adjustable death benefits, investments, and payouts. Some insurance policies allow you to invest part of the premium payment and withdraw it during your lifetime if needed.
The cost of life insurance in Cyprus is considerably cheaper than in other European countries due to its high life expectancy and good quality of life. The cost is affected by the chosen insurance plan, the age, gender, health, and lifestyle of the insured.
In 2020, the average annual payment for life insurance in Cyprus was around €440. The European average for the same year was twice higher — €1,106 per person.
Cyprus’s largest life insurance providers are EuroLife, CNP Cyprialife and Universal Life. Together these companies accounted for 65% of all life premiums.
Car insurance in Cyprus
Car insurance is obligatory in the European Union. If you have a vehicle registered in any other EU country, the car insurance policy issued in that country will still be valid in Cyprus. If your car is registered in Cyprus, you must obtain motor vehicle insurance from a licensed local provider.
The 3 main types of motor insurance in Cyprus are:
- third-party liability;
- third party, fire and theft;
- fully comprehensive insurance.
Third-party liability is obligatory for any vehicle owner. It covers your legal responsibility to others involved in an accident that was your fault. An insurance company will compensate other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or property owners for damage to property, injury, and death. This policy will not pay for your own damage.
Third-party liability plan also provides coverage when you drive another individual’s vehicle of the same type or other people drive your car. If you use your vehicle for business services or to draw a trailer, the policy will protect your loading in case of an accident.
This type of insurance also covers windscreen damage. The compensation amount varies from €300 to €600.
Third party, fire and theft extends the basic coverage to the damage expenses of your car. It applies in cases when the vehicle caught fire or was stolen.
This insurance is recommended for those who own a car in Cyprus but often stay abroad. It is about 15% more expensive than standard third-party insurance.
Notice that third party, fire and theft policy does not allow using your vehicle for business services.
Comprehensive insurance combines the previous two types and adds coverage for damage caused by natural and man-made disasters like floods, storms, earthquakes, hail, hurricanes, and civil disorders. This is the only policy plan to cover damages to the insured vehicle, regardless of whose fault it was.
Comprehensive insurance pays €20—€30 in daily compensation for every day you do not have access to your vehicle due to damages. While your vehicle is in repair, the insurance provider will pay for a rental car or give you another car.
The insurance company will pay for the car’s market value if the vehicle is stolen or cannot be repaired. Some providers can replace your car with the same one.
The windscreen damage coverage is higher than in previous insurance plans and usually varies from €700 to €900. The comprehensive insurance policy reimburses up to €350 if personal belongings were damaged or stolen.
Comprehensive insurance is recommended for new car owners and Limassol residents, as this city has the highest accident frequency rate in Cyprus.
The cost of car insurance for each type is individual but is generally affected by the following factors:
- vehicle characteristics, such as type, value, gross weight, usage, make, model, and year;
- driver’s experience level and driving record;
- the number of drivers to use the vehicle;
- past and present insurance claim history.
The table below shows the minimum insurance cost in Cyprus. The figures are from Pitsas Insurances, who calculated the costs for a middle-aged male driver with a standard saloon car and a clean driving record in the past five years.
Approximate minimum car insurance cost in Cyprus per month
|Type of insurance||Inexpensive online insurance provider||Average insurance provider|
|Third party, fire and theft||€160||€250|
Note that some categories of drivers tend to pay more for insurance. Among them are drivers without experience in right-hand traffic countries or with driving experience of less than two years in Cyprus.
Owners of left-hand cars, motorcycles, high-horsepower and luxury cars with a value over €100,000 can also expect to pay higher premiums. Insurance companies often have dedicated plans for owners of luxury cars and motorcycles.
Property insurance in Cyprus
Purchasing residential or commercial property for at least €300,000 is the most popular investment option to obtain Cyprus permanent residence. To protect yourself from unforeseen expenses, you can take out property insurance.
Homeowners insurance protects your property and personal belongings from damages, losses, and natural disasters. It can cover repair expenses, replace belongings, or even rebuild your home from scratch. Fire, water leakage, earthquakes, floods, and theft are the usual damages covered by the policy.
House insurance is not obligatory but is often required by mortgage companies. It can be acquired only by property owners living in their house and not renting it out.
More extensive plans cover liabilities to people visiting or working in your home, such as maids or babysitters. The insurance policy will cover expenses for medical bills if they get injured.
Examples of investment properties in Cyprus
Holiday home property insurance provides coverage for property not used as a main or full-time residence, which usually includes villas, apartments, maisonettes, and houses. In addition to standard home insurance, it includes loss of rent or income coverage.
This type of insurance is designed to protect homes that are left unoccupied for up to 12 months or frequently rented. The standard homeowner’s insurance typically covers an empty house for only 30 consecutive days.
Since they are not used daily, holiday home insurance policies in Cyprus are 10—15% cheaper than standard house insurance.
Landlord property insurance is suitable for those who rent out property for a long term. It can compensate for income loss if your rental property is inhabitable because of extreme weather or a natural disaster.
Some landlord property insurance policies include liability coverage for medical and legal fees if a tenant gets injured due to the landlord’s fault.
The insurance protects the landlord’s belongings used to maintain the rental property, such as a lawnmower. However, it typically does not cover repairs to household appliances.
The landlord’s property insurance also does not cover the renter’s possessions if, for example, they get destroyed in a fire. In these cases, they need renters insurance.
Renters property insurance protects tenants and their belongings. It covers expenses if your place was damaged and possessions were stolen.
The package policy usually includes liability renters insurance to pay for repairs or legal costs and loss of use to cover temporary accommodation if the place becomes inhabitable.
Commercial property insurance, also known as business property insurance, protects the building you own, its contents and exterior. The policy covers theft, explosions, vandalism, fire, burst pipes, and storms.
The covered options typically include:
- electronics, computers, and documents;
- furniture and decor;
- exterior signage, fences, and landscaping;
- other people’s personal property.
The cost of property insurance in Cyprus depends on the property value, total area, year of construction and other factors. For landlord and holiday home insurance policies, critical factors that affect the cost are the monthly rental income and the rental period.
The annual average cost of personal property insurance is between €250 and €320. Commercial property insurance costs vary more — from €210 to €420.
5 tips for selecting the best Cyprus insurance provider
Finding the right insurance company in Cyprus can be overwhelming. You need to do thorough research and study all the options.
Here are 5 tips on what to focus on first:
- Compare insurance companies that provide the policy you want. Check general industry ratings and consumer reports. Pay attention to the provider’s financial strength to see if the company has enough money to pay your claim.
- Learn how long the provider has been in business and if it specialises in the type of insurance you need. Usually, the newer the company, the higher the risk.
- Make sure the coverage is appropriate for your needs. Remember to check the list of exclusions the policy does not cover.
- Examine the cost in detail: what factors it is affected by, how much the premium is, and if there are deductibles you need to pay out of pocket. High-deductible plans usually have lower premiums.
- Find out about available discounts. Many insurance providers offer packages and family plans at a reduced cost. You can also save money by paying annual premiums.
How to get permanent residence in Cyprus
Non-EU citizens can get Cyprus permanent residence by investing at least €300,000 in real estate, shares of Cypriot companies or units of local investment funds. It allows investors, their spouses and children under 25 to visit the country anytime and stay for as long as they wish. The application process takes about 3 months and can be done remotely.
Cyprus permanent residence provides 4 significant benefits:
- Termless residence. Permanent residence in Cyprus is issued for life. To keep the status, one must visit the island at least once every 2 years.
- Tax incentives. There is no tax on foreign income inheritance, taxes on property and income are low, and the corporate tax rate is one of the lowest in Europe — 12.5%.
- Prospect of obtaining Cyprus citizenship in 5 years. A Cyprus passport holder becomes a rightful citizen of the European Union with an opportunity to live and work in any EU state. With the Cyprus passport, one can also travel visa-free to more than 170 countries.
- High standard of life. Cyprus ranks 35th in the 2023 mid-year Quality of Life index, surpassing Italy, Greece, and South Korea. Investors have full access to Cypriot education and quality healthcare.
To apply for Cyprus permanent residence, an investor must be over 18 years old, have an impeccable reputation, no criminal record, and a legal annual income of €50,000. They cannot be under sanctions. Also, the principal applicant must own or rent accommodation in Cyprus and have private health insurance.
- Travel insurance in Cyprus is required if you visit the country on a Schengen or tourist visa. It must cover your medical expenses for at least €30,000. EU citizens do not need travel insurance.
- Life insurance is necessary if family members depend on you for income. Its annual cost in Cyprus is around €440 but varies depending on validity period, age, gender, and health.
- Private health insurance covers medical expenses and is required if you apply for permanent residence in Cyprus.
- Public healthcare is available to foreigners with a permanent residence permit or EU citizens insured in another EU state. It allows visiting a personal doctor for free and paying less for most medical services.
- Life and private medical insurance premiums are tax-deductible: you can pay less tax by subtracting the paid sum from your total taxable income.
- Car owners in Cyprus must have third-party liability car insurance. The average cost from an average Cyprus insurance provider is around €180 per month.
- Home insurance in Cyprus is not mandatory but can be requested by mortgage companies. Purchasing real estate for at least €300,000 is one of the investment options to obtain permanent residence in Cyprus, so getting home insurance can be a wise move to protect property in case of damages or theft.
Frequently Asked Questions
Travel insurance is required if you visit Cyprus on a Schengen Visa or a tourist visa. To apply, you must have travel insurance that covers at least €30,000 for medical expenses and repatriation. Travel insurance is optional but highly recommended for EU citizens visiting Cyprus.
The cost of Cyprus private health insurance heavily depends on the chosen coverage plan and personal factors like age, gender, and medical history. On average, private health insurance for a 35-year-old man can cost from €500 to €720. For an older person, the cost is between €680 and €960.
You can apply for Cyprus permanent residence by investment. The key requirement is to invest at least €300,000 in the country’s real estate, company shares, or local investment funds. You will be able to get Cyprus citizenship after 5 years.
Foreigners who have permanent residence or are employed in Cyprus access the country’s state healthcare. However, the General Healthcare System in Cyprus is not entirely free. You do not need to pay to visit a personal doctor, but visiting specialists, buying medicine, and using emergency healthcare will require payment.