Health Insurance For Expats In Serbia

The Best Health Insurance For Expatriates Living In Serbia

Posted by Greg Jones on January 24, 2020

If you've searched Google for private health insurance that covers expats in Serbia then you are probably for looking for established UK based health insurance companies that will cover your medical expenses in Serbia.

Living as an expatriate in Serbia you want to avoid any unwanted and unexpected medical costs. In some countries these can amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds for serious conditions.

Our advice when shopping around for health insurance that covers expatriates living in Serbia is to speak to a insurance broker. Health insurance is very complicated and if you want absolute certainty that Serbia is covered by your policy you should consult with a broker who can explain which policy providers will cover medical costs for expatriates in Serbia and which will exclude it.

There are many advantages to using a insurance broker but the largest by far is that you're using their expertise at no cost. They are paid by the insurer (Aviva or Bupa etc) rather than you so it costs you no extra to use their services.

  • Do you live in many different areas? Some will give you a lower premium than offers. A insurance broker will be able to advise whats best.
  • Do you have a hobby that may invalidate your insurance claim? A broker will know this critical information.
  • If you are a couple and one of you has claimed on your insurance policy this year would it be cheaper to separate you both onto two different policies?
  • You've lean't you're at risk of developing a certain condition and want to know which insurer offers the biggest amount of cover for it. A broker will know this instantly saving you huge amounts of time and effort.

You can call around every medical insurance provider you can find and ask if they provider cover for expats in Serbia, however this will be a very time consuming process. Each insurer will ask for your medical history because its not normally a simple yes or not if a medical condition is covered or not.

Its far far quicker to speak to one health insurance broker which will know which policy providers on the market offer cover for expats in Serbia and under what conditions they do or don't cover it.

Serbia Information

Tourism in Serbia is officially recognised as a primary area for economic and social growth. The hotel and catering sector accounted for approximately 2.2% of GDP in 2015. Tourism in Serbia employs some 75,000 people, about 3% of the country's workforce. In recent years the number of tourists is increasing, especially foreign ones for about hundred thousand arrivals more each year. Major destinations for foreign tourists are Belgrade and Novi Sad, while domestic tourists prefer spas and mountain resorts.

The origin of tourism in Serbia is connected to the abundance of thermal and mineral springs, so much, that history of Serbian tourism is sometimes equaled to the history of Serbian spas (Serbian word for spa, banja, became part of numerous toponyms). Some of them had wider historical and evolutionary impact as remains of the prehistoric habitats have been discovered around them. Wider, practical use came with the Roman conquest in the 1st century AD. The Romans also developed other public activities as predecessors of modern tourism, especially around Singidunum, precursor of modern Belgrade. Hilly areas east of the city, along the Danube river functioned as an excursion area, with numerous villas and summer houses for more affluent citizens. In the area of Belgrade's modern neighborhoods Ada Huja and Karaburma, which were outside of the city in the Roman period, numerous thermal springs were used for public bathhouses.

Roman successors, the Byzantines, continued to use the spas. In the medieval Serbian state, some spas prospered. There are records of springs around Čačak, modern Ovčar Banja, where "magnificent" high domes were built, with large pool, numerous smaller cooling pools (as the thermal water was too hot), and large living and dressing rooms. They were opened for both the gentry and the commoners. Serbia also inherited important Roman roads, like the Via Militaris, which in the Middle Ages developed into the Tsarigrad Road, with some additional trading routes developing in time. With numerous merchants and caravans traversing the country, hospitality services began to develop along the roads. They included large inns and caravan stations with spacious inner yards for keeping animals and storing goods. The inns had upper floors and sleeping rooms, and some were designated for merchants only. Emperor Dušan established an obligation called priselica by which the denizens were obliged to host domestic dignitaries and foreign representatives. It was compulsory only for the residents of the rural areas, since the towns had inns to provide the service. The innkeepers and were bound to pay for any damage or shortage during caravan's stay in their facilities.

Use of spas continued after the Ottoman conquest in the 15th century. The Ottomans added the specific architecture, which included Turkish baths, or hamams and specific oriental ornamentation of the spa objects. After visiting Ovčar Banja in 1664, Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi wrote that 40,000 to 50,000 people visit during the summer ("watermelon") season, but also described the spa as the location of numerous fairs and as a major trading place. Some of the hamams survived until today, like in Sokobanja, while several are still in use (Brestovačka Banja [sr], Novopazarska Banja). Hills east of Belgrade remained popular excursion sites during the Ottoman period. Upper classes built numerous summer houses, especially on the Ekmekluk Hill, today known as Zvezdara.

By the 2020s, the second most visited tourist attraction in Belgrade, providing one third of foreign currency income for the city, was the bohemian quarter Skadarlija, a vintage street dotted with kafanas. The very first kafana in Belgrade, an oriental-style bistro, was opened in 1522 and was arguable the oldest venue of that type in Europe. It served only Turkish coffee, but later some offered nargile also. Despite frequent Ottoman–Habsburg wars in the 17th and 18th century, and change of occupational rulers in Belgrade and northern Serbia, the number of kafanas was always high.

As Serbia remained on the main trading route connecting Middle East and western Europe, the hospitality venues along the roads continued to develop. During the Ottoman period, the caravans grew bigger, involving new animals, so the caravans of 500-650 camels were recorded. When Çelebi visited Belgrade in 1661, he counted 21 khans and 6 caravanserais. The largest was the Caravanserai of Sokollu Mehmed Pasha which had "160 chimneys", while some of the larger ones even had harem sections.

Early roots of modern tourism in Serbia can be traced to the 19th century. Serbian government, and the rulers personally, actively participated in development of the spas, by hiring foreign geologists to survey the spa waters and sending medics to the newly formed spa centers. In time, they attracted foreign visitors, mostly from Austria-Hungary and Greece. Until World War I, Banja Koviljača, Niška Banja and Vranjska Banja emerged as the most visited spas, though Vrnjačka Banja, Sokobanja and Ribarska Banja are considered to be among the oldest. Also popular was one of the latest discovered, Mataruška Banja, which was founded in the late 19th century.