Could it get any worse?

Could it get any worse? Every time a politician opens his mouth to speak, it is a different story. All I know is that it is becoming a bit of a dangerous farce. There are so many issues and differences to be discussed and many agreements to be made. One example is Northern Ireland, I cannot see an easy resolution happening here and when did the Irish ever resolve anything quickly, especially when it comes to border control and customs.

There have been many warnings of the effects of coming out of the EU, but especially the customs union and trade agreements. These warnings do not seem to be taken on board and there is a mountain to cross regarding the negotiations. I think if I lived in the UK I would be making an exodus to live elsewhere in Europe whilst I had the chance to do it relatively easily, making Spain one of the first choices.

I understand there are a number of people panicking about being able to stay in Spain. I have no fears whatsoever, as both Rajoy, the Prime Minster, his Foreign Minister and the Consulate have many times assured us that we are very welcome to stay (of course we are – the economy would drop enormously without us).

The advice given by the Consulate is to request your Residencia as soon as possible and they are advising that to do this you must have proof of healthcare and if you are not entitled to state healthcare, you need private health insurance, with a certificate which must be presented and approved by the police.

My company can provide you with this certificate when you purchase and complete payment of a health insurance policy. All my offices can assist you with this process, with the applications then be forwarded to my Head Office and your application for your health certificate processed.

I am a little disturbed by many applying for this certificate and after a year, cancelling the policy. Unless you are accepted into the state health system, you will, of course, not have any cover at all in Spain. At this moment it is not illegal to be without health insurance whilst living in Spain but it is very foolish. Accidents and illness happen far too frequently to be without cover. Not only could the costs be high, depending on the illness and if you are unable to pay the invoice you will find yourself with embargoes on your home or bank account.

The other situation you could find yourself in, is needing to reapply for health insurance and find yourself in another age bracket, or have a pre-existing condition, which will both increase the premiums and the pre-existing condition could affect your coverage. Another issue with the state health care is the huge waiting lists and the pressure on the resources. So take care.

Currently I am re-launching Expat Services and have introduced a new service which is named after my Sound Advice programme on Bay Radio – “Jennifer’s Sound Advice Surgeries”, starting in my Javea and Els Poblets offices and extending to the southern offices shortly. I have selected very trusted professionals, who are all fully regulated, to work alongside me, offering their experience of living and working in Spain and what is required to do so. This includes solicitors, financial advisors, currency exchange and a structural surveyor. Two pieces of advice I can give you now is to go to a solicitor when you are thinking of purchasing a property and make sure your solicitor is independent, especially when buying off plan or a new build. This advice will be invaluable, before you even start looking for a property.

When you need any insurance, always go to a specialist, not your bank or solicitor, as in all probability the result will be a Spanish policy, not a policy tailored for the Expats, which my company specialises in. This particularly applies to life insurance. The premiums could be far higher than necessary and you may not be sure of exactly what is covered. When purchasing Mortgage Protection, a medical may be necessary and if you are not offered this and have a condition, your estate may have problems when trying to claim.

It is that time of year again where we are thinking of going on holiday, camping, travelling, hotels or cruises. My company has an excellent policy which you can pay in Sterling, which has many benefits, especially the optional extras when you go on a cruise, which includes cover if you are confined to your cabin due to illness and miss pre-booked excursions, and cover for missing ports or connections during your trip. And of course, all the normal cover of lost luggage, illness and repatriation and being able to speak to someone in your own language is always beneficial.

For those who live near the Els Poblets office, where the Renewal Department is based, I require a part time Sales Consultant to sell general insurance. Sales experience is necessary and other languages would be an advantage. Please send your CV to

For more information, please contact one of my offices or email and to book an appointment for the Sound Advice Surgery, email

Where to start?

Where to start? So much to say. Maybe just start by mentioning Brexit as it is so important to all our lives. I am so concerned that when a report is produced by professionals, pointing out the downside, it seems to carry no importance with the press and no time taken for any discussions. There are always two sides to any negotiations and I don´t feel that the UK is facing up to the reality of trying to replace a structure that has been in place for over 40 years, and pretty successfully. I understand that one of the most important issues is the customs and single market. Although this appears to be one of the UKs demands, how can this be granted, as Norway, for a start, would be very hostile, as they have to pay to be in this club and accept immigration. Then of course, there is Ireland, and indeed, Gibraltar, which has just been put on hold. We shall see, but I and many others are feeling very uncomfortable at what is happening and the time taken to not come to any conclusions. As Expats, we have no certainty of our position at the end of all this. I am very aware that a large number of Expats, myself included, would like the option of remaining European, as I feel so distant from my country now, which is very sad.

It would appear, at long last, that the housing market seems to be recovering rather well and many people are still following their dream of living in Spain. I launched Expat Services some time ago, but because of the housing market having taken a dip for quite some time, the need for the services I offer was limited. Over the Christmas and New Year period I watched quite a number of programmes where people were following their dreams of living in Spain and I became more concerned as time went on. The reality of purchasing a property in Spain is far removed from their expectations and priorities. Having bought and sold apartments just recently, the process is far from easy, very expensive and the paperwork and costs change depending on the area. How buyers manage to steer themselves through this formidable process, which I found to be daunting, I don´t know. So many obstacles can trip you up and unless you get experienced, independent and regulated help, mistakes can and do happen. In response to this situation and other services required by the Expats, including wills, taxation, finances, pensions and money exchange, etc. from the middle of February, I will be offering a very good service, Jennifer’s Sound Advice Surgeries, initially from my Javea office. Once a week, the associates that I work alongside with, will be doing a surgery where the first consultation will be free of charge. The professionals, who are all fully regulated, will be a solicitor, structural engineer and currency exchange advisor. You can either drop in and take a chance, or book an appointment by calling 96 579 5372 or email

For those planning to become Residents in Spain, if you are not entitled to the national health service, unlike the UK the government encourage and make it mandatory for you will be required to obtain private health insurance for your application. We can help you here also, as ASSSA Health Insurance supply a certificate that is accepted by the police, on full payment of the policy. It is an excellent policy with a comprehensive list of doctors, consultants and hospitals, and you have a first class back up service in English to assist you.

I understand the banks are yet again encroaching on the insurance business. This time by offering health insurance, which is completely ridiculous. Please do not be tempted to go this route as it will be a nightmare for you. The product that ASSSA offer is an expat policy, designed especially for your needs.

I mention Expat policies quite often but I am not sure if people really understand what I am talking about. An insurance company who invests in setting up a completely different department and policies for the ExPat market, meaning separating what is on offer to the Spanish market place in order to meet the requirements that the Expats expect and often at a more affordable price, due to many reasons but one of the most important is the lower level of car claims from the Expats in comparison, is to be applauded. It also has the knock on benefit of far lower increases on renewal premiums, and of course, documentation and support in English.

Do your research with regard to your own policies and if in doubt, call one of my offices, and one of my Sales Consultants will be able to help you. We sell Liberty Seguros insurance policies, dedicated to the Expats. This also applies to the ASSSA insurance health policy. Why not make it easier for yourself?
When selecting a financial company to deal with your very precious money and pensions, do your due diligence and don´t be persuaded unless you are very comfortable with the regulatory bodies. If you need any advice on this subject, call one of my offices as the two companies I have selected to work with are regulated and secure and carry indemnity insurance.

For further information, contact one of my offices, visit my website or email

Packages tailor-made for expats

Here at Jennifer Cunningham insurance we work closely with two legal companies, one in the south and one in the north with many years of experience working in Spain. They have tailor made packages specifically designed for expats needs, with Brexit on the horizon the consulate is advising that you seek residencia, signing onto the padron and seeking advice on your taxation needs. Here at Jennifer Cunningham insurance this is where we can help you. Below are a few services mentioned starting with conveyancing, before you start to even look for a property to purchase you need a solicitor straight away to help you through the minefield of a different language and culture.

Inheritance tax in Spain can be quite daunting and expensive and you need to understand that you will need to find the funds very quickly.  If you consider the assets you owned in Spain as a surprise box that no one can open until you are gone, you are placing your family in a difficult situation. Independently of the size of your estate, there is a variety of reason to contemplate having an Inheritance plan. The associates have developed  a complete service which interconnects all the legal, fiscal and practical matters  in dealing with the inheritance process, making things simple for your beneficiaries and family.

Making a Spanish will can help ensure that your wishes are carried out in the way you intend. If you are due to inherit assets in Spain the process can be difficult, long and very expensive if you don’t have it and you make it far simpler and quicker for your loved ones to reside in a different country and have no wills in place it doesn’t make sense.

Taxes rules that operate can be difficult to understand and if you don’t follow them correctly you can be subject to fines and interest payments. Unfortunately we all have to pay taxes and with Brexit its even more important to understand in which country you must pay the taxes. Their is also module 720 which is your worldwide assets which if they are in access of 50,000 they have to be declared. Our trusted teams are there to help you and assist you getting it right in finding the correct solution for you.


Please do not hesitate to contact the team for  further information by emailing

Currency Exchange

THE COST savings of using a specialist currency company are attractive but I have been put off as I understand there could be extra work involved. I also have concerns regarding the safety of my money – am I being over cautious?

Specialist currency providers are becoming popular choices for British ex-pats living in Spain or, indeed, those returning to the UK. Opening a trading facility is much easier and quicker than you may think but is necessary to comply with European KYC anti-money laundering legislation.

Our associates offers the option for customers to apply for registration on-line, via our website, which is a short and straight forward process. Alternatively, customers can simply complete a paper registration form. Additional documentation such as proof of identity and proof of address may be required in some cases.

For the small amount of effort to apply for an account, there are many potential benefits available. These include potential cost savings and the advantage of having a range of currency services that are not always offered by traditional financial institutions, such as high street banks. Trading is also straightforward and is normally conducted over the telephone.

Put simply, you can have access to great rates along with ‘real time’ information on the market which can help you to trade your currency at an advantageous time. Using a specialist currency company means you can arrange to have the rate monitored on your behalf, to help you make the most of market movements and potentially avoid trading when the market is not favourable for you.

Purchasing a Forward Contract, means that you can fix the prevailing rate of exchange to buy currency now, to be settled at a determined date in the future, thus avoiding any potential impact from subsequent market fluctuations. A deposit of 10% of the total amount is required for this service.

The question of security is completely understandable and one that any client needs to be comfortable with.

There are certain questions that will allow you to choose a currency provider with confidence and should be addressed if you have any doubts:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • How many staff do you have?
  • What is your turnover?
  • How many clients do you deal with each year?
  • Do you have any other divisions as part of the company?
  • Do you speculate with the funds?
  • How do you handle client funds?
  • Do you have audited accounts at Companies House?
  • Where are your offices?
  • Are you Financial Conduct Authority regulated?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How many staff do you have? (Over 760 last year)
  • What is your turnover?
  • How many clients do you deal with each year? (We executed over 7 million client transactions in 2016)
  • Do you have any other divisions as part of the company? (Yes. Retail, Wholesale, Commercial including an award-winning on line trading platform)
  • Do you speculate with the funds?
  • How do you handle client funds? (All client funds are safeguarded in segregated client bank accounts.)
  • Do you have audited accounts at Companies House?
  • Where are your offices?
  • Are you regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority?


Sleeping Beauty!- Jennifer’s December Blog Post

I was in despair when watching Sky News with a discussion about Sleeping Beauty and the comment made was that as Sleeping Beauty had not given the Prince permission to kiss her, therefore it was not politically correct. To my dismay they felt decisions would need to be made about the future of Sleeping Beauty!!!

Further to this conversation, I understand there is a book being produced on teaching and helping males and females how to flirt safely. Flirting is one of the most natural and basics part of our lives and it can be great fun. How can you regulate flirting and consoling someone? What a place to live. Get a life!

In the meantime, as suspected, the Brexit negotiations are getting harder and harder and especially now with the discussions regarding the Irish border. I personally cannot see this being dealt with quickly or ever. What a nightmare this is all becoming and I am convinced if the British public had known the truth and how expensive and drawn out, thereby creating uncertainty, they perhaps would not have voted as they did. I, along with others are looking in on Great Britain and have many fears and concerns for their future. For many reasons, I am glad I live in Spain.

I was very shocked when hearing of the increasing amounts, which are already over £ 1 billion and growing, relating to fraudulent insurance claims, which of course, increases premiums for everyone. However, the insurance company’s investigators are becoming extremely good at unearthing a fraud claim, and when they do, the fines and possible criminal record, will hopefully deter so many people from trying it on. One of the recent scams in the UK is to stop the car suddenly and with no warning, so the car behind hits them. Then of course, they claim for not only the damage to the vehicle but injuries to themselves. This particular scam is now not so easy to get away with.

At present, Spain does not encourage the compensation culture and makes it very difficult, as of course when you have an accident, the Guardia are involved and a claim form should be completed there and then. I, for one, would be very apprehensive in making a false claim in Spain, as it would mean the Guardia would be involved and that is a very daunting situation. At the same time, genuine accidents do happen and I am pleased to inform you that my company is unique in providing a dedicated Claims Department to help guide you through the process of claiming, with the added bonus that it is a normal rate telephone line.

There is good news for static home owners. My company has recently launched a policy, new to Spain, for this type of home. All the information and the claims service is in English. The insurance comes from a very well known, respected company that has specialised with this type of policy for many years and also covers France, Portugal and the UK.

I understand that there are administrators who select the insurance policy to be used on many sites and I am confident when I say that this policy will be better than one you may have, if you even have insurance. Our cover includes your contents, new for old for homes up to an age of 20 years, it is issued whether occupied or unoccupied, there is cover for theft or attempted theft, plus cover for damage from storms, flooding and falling trees. These are just a few of the excellent options available. Call myg my company for a quotation and information on what this policy covers. It is extremely comprehensive and competitive.

I have never been one to stand still any my progress continues as I have just opened two new offices as part of the Grupo Barcelo, in Cuidad Quesada and Playa Flamenca. They are both very comfortable offices. However the Playa Flamenca office, is particularly spectacular and I am extremely proud to be part of this successful Spanish company. You will find the Playa Flamenca office near the Saturday market and just off the Sunny’s roundabout. The Quesada office is on the High Street. Please go along and discover how we can help you with many aspects of living in Spain. We have architects, surveyors, solicitors, financial advisors and currency exchange, all selected by myself for being fully regulated which means you are protected. If you need help with any one of these services, please contact one of my offices.

If you would like more information or a quotation, please contact one of my offices or here on the website.

Once again, this year my company is one of the collection points for the Bay Radio Annual Christmas Children’s Party, who are this year, as well as providing presents and support for the Preventorio in Gandia, are helping the local children of families in need, including those using the Red Cross Food Banks in Javea.

We’re looking for new toys, gift sets, treats and new items of clothing for children aged 3-14 years old. Please could you wrap the gift, note the age it’s for and whether it’s for a boy or a girl.

You can drop them in to any of my office, as well as the Bay Radio office in Jávea or the other drop off points across the region.

4 Questions To Ask When Choosing a Financial Adviser

November 2017

4 Questions To Ask When Choosing a Financial Adviser

by Steve Iball – Area Manager  deVere Spain



No doubt you’ve heard about the recent troubles and demise of a local expat financial services company. Amongst many aspects, it brings into question the work of everyone in the industry. But instead of saying “come to us, we’re the best”, I thought I would share 4 key questions you should be asking before retaining a financial adviser.


1 – Where Are You Regulated?

Now, there’s a difference between registered and regulated. Regulated companies in Spain regularly receive audits and inspections which must be passed. The regulating body in Spain is the DGS. If your advisor is only registered, the burden of liability here in Spain is significantly less and do not have to be inspected here in Spain.  They may also not be covered in dispute complaint by an Ombudsman as the advice was given outside the country where the IFA was regulated, Ie Regulated in UK advice given in Spain


2 – What Happens If You Are Suddenly Out of Action?

This is the proverbial “hit by a bus” scenario. Small firms and individual advisors simply won’t have the structure and organisation breadth for a colleague to pick up and carry on as if nothing happened. It’s your money at stake and no matter how sorry you may feel for the individual, you should expect no interruption to your service


3 – Who Checks Your Advice?

We all expect it to be correct however  it’s important that any advice you received has been looked over by someone up the chain and equally accountable. It prevents mistakes and focus by the checker on Complaince and “Best Advice” .

The compliance Manger will also check that the client is not doing to be disadvantages and the advice fits with their attitude to risk.


4 Experience counts

Profile the Adviser to how long they been working as an IFA , what experiances they have had and who they keep up to date with changes and tax and regulations , my opinion 10 years +is what you need to fully understand this business


All reputable IFAs will be only too delighted to be asked these questions and demonstrate that they have the Financial backup to offer you the best advice, do quarterly face-to-face reviews and put your needs and aims above all. By asking these 4 simple questions, you’ll be  sure of the correct financial adviser that you can have confidence in now, and in the future after all its your money!


My company regulated in Spain by DGS , we complete 100% compliance calls on new  and change of funds business, my recommendations are checked by Head Office Legal team and my Line Manager, we review all clients every 3 months and random checks are made to ensure that happens . Oh if anything happened to me a new Adviser who be appointed within 24 hours,however I working flat out for the next 6 years + .  My experience extends beyond  38 years. Our support to expats living in Costa Blanca is at no cost to double check your financial situation

Whiplash Insurance Claims

Please do not Compare Insurance with the UK

Recently I listened to a programme on the compensation culture in the UK.  Once again, I am appalled by what is happening and I understand the Spanish, especially in areas like Benidorm, are becoming increasingly angry and hostile regarding claims being made by British tourists on their return home claiming they have suffered badly from food poisoning.  Last year the EU brought in a ruling that insurance premiums would need to be increased to be able to compensate for the vast increase in claims, particularly for whip lash.  In the UK 11% was added, whilst Spain increased the premiums by 8.9%.  Read more

Bespoke Life Insurance

Bespoke Life Insurance

I, like many living in Spain, are looking forward to the Ex Pat situation being settled in both countries and when hopefully we will be able to sigh with relief and get on with our lives.  Many of us think there is a great possibility that a greater proportion of people will want to leave the UK and come and live in Spain.  To avoid the consequences of Brexit, the increasing terrorist threat and to get away from the very frightening press, who seem to take no responsibility for anything that they say nowadays.  Read more

Els Poblets Office

My Els Poblets Office

I was fascinated this morning by what I saw on television.  The government are very concerned about the runaway costs regarding the National Health in the UK.  The expectations of this wonderful service are far too high for the amount of taxes that are paid by everybody.  The government are in discussion regarding the situation of the exploitation by health tourists.  Read more

Funeral Insurance

Funerals – Living in an Uncertain World

I understand in the UK that the uptake on funeral plan purchases is quite staggering.  I find this quite refreshing as it means that the British are at long last able to discuss their demise in a clear and constructive way.  One wonders if this is down to the “baby boomers” coming of age at long last.  Read more