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%.
However, the good news is Liberty Seguros, as they have a separate, specialist ExPat Division with different terms and conditions attached, have been able to keep the premium increase to 2.4 %. This, of course, has benefited all the Ex Pats, and includes those unique “Baby Boomers”, who are with Liberty. What a great bunch we all are! Due to us being responsible people, and good drivers, we benefit greatly as ExPats and believe me, it is worth taking advantage, because it is not just the price that is beneficial.
When I see the advertisements on British television regarding house and car insurance policies, I am concerned that people will assume that the equivalent polices in Spain are exactly the same. They are not! For example, there is no need to join an independent recovery service, as Spain has the benefit of the excellent grua service which is part of your policy. They will try and repair the vehicle roadside, and if this is not possible a decision will be taken to take your car to a garage, either in the area of the break down, or to the relevant garage in your area. Remember, it is illegal to tow a vehicle in Spain. Depending on where you break down, you could be offered either a taxi or a hotel. Please remember that not all insurance companies offer free mileage via the grua, and this can become very expensive, if you are not fully covered. Also, if entitled, you will be offered a courtesy car.
Spanish insurance has another marvellous system. Every policy has a small Consortio tax. This tax is payable to the government, with a specialised department which handles all the claims from an area which has been deemed a “disaster”, usually due to severe weather. Why the UK doesn´t introduce this very simple but effective method is a mystery to me. It would help so much, especially when dealing with flooding.
I often see advertisements claiming cover for earthquakes, which of course if over 6.4 on the Richter scale are covered by the Consortio. However, when small earth tremors occur and damage is suffered by either the house or the contents, which often happens in Spain, you will need Accidental Cover to protect yourself and your home. Let me assure you that there are very few insurance companies that offer this Accidental Cover, but Liberty Seguros does. If you have a contents cover in excess of €30,000, this extra protection can be added to your policy. Obviously this cover is not restricted to just earth tremors, it is extremely comprehensive.
For further details, please call one of my offices or go to my website www.jennifercunningham.net