Closer to home in Spain, some of the worst weather in my 20 odd years of living here is happening. Sadly the houses are just not equipped to cope with such horrendous rain, cold and snow. In my company I personally offer a claims service for all my clients and I am confident that this is a great help to many. I do not have to provide this extra service, however I realise how difficult claiming sometimes is, especially in Spain. In Javea we have had a horrendous fire, then a large area of the east coast of Spain got hit by floods, then snow and now violent wind and rain. It never seems to stop and has become very, very demanding for both my company and Liberty Seguros, because of the sheer volume of claims. I have often spoken about the Consortium, which provides insurance for those events deemed to be catastrophic by the government and I do feel that I should reiterate the situation regarding this government department.
As no doubt some of you are aware, on every vehicle, home, boat and commercial policy there is a certain percentage of consortium tax, automatically included in the policy price, as standard. I think this is a great idea when dealing with a disaster. However, it is never quite as simple or as fast when you have to deal with the consortium. My company is not obliged to handle these claims for you, but we do offer help. One reason is that you will find very few speak English. Also, due to the amount of claims they have to handle when it is designated a catastrophe, always means a long queue. Yes, it does become frustrating and we do try our best to push them along, but due to the sheer size of the area often involved and subsequently the huge number of claims, this system, which I think not only works but is pretty magnificent, does and will take time to settle, no matter how many times you complain.
The other aspect where the Spanish have it well organised is health tourism. I read in one of the national newspapers from the UK, for example, that there was a £350,000 bill outstanding for a Nigerian mother, who gave birth to a child in a British hospital, who sadly then had to go into intensive care. She must have been in the hospital for some time, but still they didn´t obtain payment before she left. This would never happen over here. The first thing they ask for on your arrival at the hospital is proof of identity and confirmation of your eligibility to National Health, proof of health insurance, or the European travel card. When listening to debates on this subject in the English press, it is obvious that some kind of proof of identity should be produced before entering the hospital, does create and an outcry, because when the issue of identity cards in the UK is ever broached, the only response you hear is – it is against democracy and freedom. Is this realistic in this day and age?
As many of you are aware, private health in Spain is encouraged by the government, as they do not look at it as a class issue, but as a freedom of choice for many people. One great aspect is that there are a number of good companies selling health insurance at realistic prices. ASSSA, the health insurance my company has been selling for many years now, offers a very good service with an excellent policy. If you have an ASSSA policy and your recommendation results in a sale, you will receive a €50 Court Ingles or petrol voucher, as a thank you from ASSSA. Every little helps and at the same time as joining a health scheme, you can be confident in being seen very quickly and if you require further treatment or an operation, this can be dealt with very promptly, thus saving you a lot of anxiety, stress and pain.
Please call one of my offices if you require assistance or a quotation, or visit our website www.jennifercunningham.net