Home insurance in Spain

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 3 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #57274
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    A question…..

    We usually sort out insurance with a cousin (typically). Well, we used to tell her the amount of mortgage outstanding and the amount of contents cover we wanted.

    She’s now not working for the same company so we asked a friend who’s a bank manager how much their insurance was. She said that it needed the valuation of the flat ‘tasacion’ amount and not the outstanding mortgage amount. She said a usual amount was 700 euros per metre sq.

    My question is, what is the norm? We just want to be covered if anything happened to the flat and the few things we have sat in it.

    What happens if an earthquake wipes out the whole town, if the amount isn’t against the mortgage amount how much would they pay out? Or do they pay out to rebuild the place if needed?

    I don’t want to dig ourselves in deeper but wondered why we have been doing it with the mortgage amount and are now being told it’s not the usual way.

    ??

  • #115299
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi,itsme
    The basic principle of home insurance is that insurer undertakes to restore home to state in which it presented before event giving rise to claim took place( eg fire) Accordingly the insured value should be the re-instatement cost of home,which comprises rebuilding cost,architects and other fees,cost of removing rubble from site etc. Any mortgage on property is entirely irrelevant and market value should not be the basis because market value comprises both site value and building value(the decline in Spanish property values may have the effect of bringing market value below rebuilding cost,but this should not confuse issue-your challenge is to arrive at a reasonable testimate of what it would cost insurance company to re-instate home if it burned down(for example)
    I have seen estimates of building costs varying from €300 to €700 per sq metre for rural Spain-your friend might not be too far out in quoting €700.You might have a local contact in your location who could give you an estimate of rebuilding cost,which would of course vary from region to region and standard of construction and finish of houses would also vary
    I am insured with Intasure a company which insures all buildings under cover for up to €1 million automatically and therefore does not require a declaration of insured value for buildings-a declaration of value for contents is of course required.This company specialises in holiday homes and policies are in English and set out clearly what is and is not covered.The company has received mixed reviews on internet sites,some moderately unfavourable,most favourable-if you decide to consider using this company,you can arrive at a selection of reviews by simply Googling “Intasure”.The big plus with this company as I see it is that they understand clearly how holiday/expat homes are used and provide cover correspondingly.My dealings with the company have been satisfactory but I have never made a claim and I think an insurance company is really only tested when you make a claim.I am at present paying an annual premium of €165,with buildings cover up to €1 million and contents just under €6,000,with a general excess of €250,When taking out any insurance policy of course one should check carefully what is and is not covered
    You have headed the thread”Home Insurance in Spain” and I have here addressed the question of home insurance.There are of course a variety of mortgage insurance policies,which give protection in the event of death,loss of job etc-a different range of policies
    Best of luck in resolving your issue

  • #115327
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks Tenorio

    I’ll have to have a think then, it’s a second floor flat in a block of 20 flats where all but five are up for sale as repos by banks. Local Spanish investors are buying them slowly when they get to really low prices.

    What if all the neighbours don’t have insurance, if the block was destroyed would we have a block rebuilt with only say five flats because the others didn’t have insurance to rebuild? Or am I being too morbid about it and just go for a basic rebuild cost of say 60,000 euros and (hope 😉 it doesn’t get knocked to the ground?

    It’s 70sq m of flat so i’m guessing it wouldn’t cost that much to rebuild but might if the economy picks up.

    I’ve seen Linea Directa are doing 50% discounts online but to trust them??

    I’ll check out the company you suggested. The bank friend still hasn’t given me a price yet either, typical, and the cousin will probably come back with a better price at the last minute as per usual. Best to shop around and trust them all a bit less I think!

    Thanks

  • #115350
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    itsme
    I note that your property is located in a block of 20 flats.I presume that a community has been established and normally the community takes out insurance on the building block and common areas.This is a payment which should have been clearly defined to you during your period of physical occupation and paid probably on an annual basis.The apartment owner should take out insurance to cover fittings within apartment-kitchen fittings,bathroom fittings,marble tiled floors etc etc which are expensive to replace and classified as part of buildings by my insurance company ( I have read that this classificatin is common in Spain) ,contents insurance to cover furniture etc and accept public liability cover which will probably be included at no extra cost.The cost structure of insurance policies is such that the best option for an apartment owner might be to take out a normal building and contents insurance policy,rather than seek a policy which excludes external building on the basis that it is covered by community policy-a normal policy might be available at the same cost as a more complex individually tailored policy.
    Insurance companies are notoriously reluctant to insure contents only
    I note that a number of properties in your block are bank repossessions and it is almost certain that banks would ensure that any of the properties on their books
    are appropriately insured
    You appear to have excellent local contacts and I just wished to mention the community insurance aspect in case you were unaware of it

  • #115359
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    If you live in an apartment the community should pay the insurance for the shell of the building and you should only have to insure fixtures and fittings (I stand corrected but I think they are legally obliged to do so).

    Insurance through the banks is always the most expensive. We used a few different co’s. At one time we used Zurich but when there was a big fire a Mijas there as a big scandal as they were refusing to pay out. We finally went through Prescotts a reputable broker in Gibraltar and cut our bill by about 300€ small print was as good if not better than some of the others.

    I have heard a lot of good feedback about Direct line. I would certainly consider them.

  • #115361
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi, yes I know about the community insurance. I was vice president of the community for a number of years and the whole building insurance costs over 2000 euros. Luckily we have a mobile phone aerial on the roof terrace which funds things like this as our community fees are only 20 euros per month.

    The community insurance does cover the communal areas plus the lift, the roof terrace, the physical outside of the building etc.

    We want to be able to protect ourselves if someone smashes the door down to steal the few things we have left (just furniture so wouldn’t be worth their while trying to get in). We also want to be protected just incase our water pipes leak and cause damage to our neighbours below etc. The water is switched off at the main, as is the electricity, but we just want to be protected ‘just incase’.

    My bank friend said that no insurance covers earthquakes etc. and that it’s the consortium of insurance brokers which looks into cases such as that.

    We obviously don’t want to pay too much in such tricky times but it’s again the case of no one in the family or friends group out there in Spain who seems to be talking along the same wavelength?

    Thanks for your info.

  • #115372
    Profile photo of zenkarma
    zenkarma
    Participant

    @itsme wrote:

    We obviously don’t want to pay too much in such tricky times but it’s again the case of no one in the family or friends group out there in Spain who seems to be talking along the same wavelength?

    Hello

    I have a 1 bed flat in Almeria and the current insurance, which is comprehensive contents cover and includes accident liability cover (eg if a plant pot fell off the balcony and hit someone on the head) costs about €250 a year from mapfre.

    I don’t know whether it’s good or bad to be honest it’s just the policy that’s been on the flat since it was bought. I did try to get it changed the last time I was there but there hassle of trying to make myself understood to the insurance agents (who didn’t speak English) and my Spanish isn’t great, but improving, proved too much, so I just left it in the end.

    I was trying to prune some of the cost off but couldn’t fully understand what cover I would have so left it in the end.

    Not sure if this helps you at all, I think mapfre is a pretty large and widely distributed Spanish insurer.

  • #115432
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Zenkarma

    We’ve been paying 168 euros per year with Generali for a 3 bedroom flat. The cousin who sold us the insurance keeps on either going on holiday or away from the office for some reason. She lists the value as our mortgage but the reason I asked on here is because that isn’t normal. It’s supposed to be the value of the rebuild so therefore ours should be the size of the property: 70m x 600 or 700 euros.

    I’ve heard lots of horror stories about going for cheap insurance and then not being covered for anything. A friend thought that she had contents cover but when sadly the place was broken into she found out that they weren’t covered for any contents!

    I also know someone in town who works for Mapfre, and they are a trusted company. Another old school friend of my husband works at Axa there. I just want one of them to tell us a decent price and collect the money so that we are covered (as we aren’t at the moment which worries me…..).

    I’ll have a look at Mapfre now. Thanks

  • #115459
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Spanish has “que sera” attitude towrds Inusrance. I have a friend who was robbed and her very expensive family Jewellery was stolen.

    I met her a few days & she was not upset/sad/unhappy. I asked her if she had an Insurance. She replied what good id Insurance as it will not brimng the Jewllery back. I agrred with her on this point and said to her that she could replace the jewellery from the Insurance proceeds. She somehow could not see any point in my insistence

    In UK the building is covered by one Insurance company (Done by the Freeholders & he/she keeps a fat commission at point of legal & tribunal disputes )

    If your flats are insured or not insured as the case may be with different Insurers they could get into dispute about the percentage to be paid or not accept liabilty.

    Earthquake is considered as “Act of God” it not all insurance company’s cover them.

    Your are not being morbid. Insurance is all about risk & in the event. All you need is one idiot to be smoking in bed, leave the tortilla on or create arson as he/she wishes to kiss good bye to the cruel world.

  • #117579
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I wonder if anyone on this forum is able to advise me? I have a flat in Andalucia which I rent out. My insurance, which is with Intasure, includes Public Liability and I was under the impression that I was well covered. However last year a client tripped on the stairs in the Communal Area of the building (which obviously I neither own, nor manage). At the time she said that her accident was her own fault as she had mistakenly pressed a doorbell button in the hall instead of turning the lights on. Although there is emergency lighting it is obviously dimmer than the main light and, as she was running down the stairs in a rush she fell. 8 months later she decided to try and sue me for this using a “No Win, No Fee” law firm. When I referred this to Intasure – their stance was that my Public Liability did not cover me for this as it was outside of my property. Is it necessary to have Public Liability insurance for the communal areas of the building as well as for my own property? Intasure won’t comment or advise and certainly never mentioned this when I took out the insurance – although they were well aware at the time that the property was an apartment in a community block.
    Another aspect is that the rental contract, which the clients agreed to at the time of the original booking, was not with me personally but with my Spanish limited company and clearly says that the agreement is subject to Spanish law and the jurisdiction of Spanish courts. However the “no win, no fee lawyer” seems intent on pursuing me personally in the UK and keeps asking for my insurance details. I’m really not sure where I stand. Thought I had done everything right! If anyone has any insights or advice, I’d be grateful to hear from them.

  • #117586
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi, according to my understanding of the facts demand must be led against the owners association, not against you, because the accident occurred in the common areas and not on your property. you have to prove by deeds of the house is not liable for these areas, but the owners association, which in Spain is a legal entity and therefore can sue for civil liability. Therefore, it has no basis to sue you, must do so to the owners association and in Spain, which is where you live.

    Anyway, as the facts tell us not think he had successfully, if the stairs were in good condition and the lights worked fine, not the fault of the owners association.

    Regarding insurance will not cover due to the same reason, because it is their home, could have included, since you are part of the owners association, but not required.

    Another issue is the international competition of the courts, something more complex and in which I need not enter because there is no reason for you to sue you.

    I hope I have been helpful.

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