Renting a home in Spain? Don’t make the mistake of not insuring your possessions

I recently received this email from a regular reader called Stephen Biggs, pointing out the importance of home content insurance even if you rent. His email explains why.

I have tenants in Spain who renew their contract on a yearly basis (effectively a long term contract now). Recently we, and a number of other properties nearby, suffered a electrical power surge that damaged numerous items of electrical equipment. Of the damage items list compiled, one third was mine and two thirds were owned by the tenants. When the settlement from the insurers came through, only one third of the items were covered; all were mine. I was insured, but the tenants were not and the insurance assessor had been astute enough to sneakily ask our tenants who owned what. My tenants simply could not understand why their belongings were not covered by my insurance. I struggled to get to them to understand it was not the obligation of the landlord to insure tenant’s personal belongings. On top of that, tenants who are not insured leave themselves open to claims by the insurance companies in the event the cause of a problem was the tenants themselves. This is not just applicable in Spain, but across all EU countries in which the major insurance companies do business.

Below is an extract from an email on this subject from my insurance agent in Spain;

“With regards to your question as to the type of insurance your tenants should have I would advise them to take out a basic household insurance to cover their personal property and which would also cover them should they inadvertently cause any damage to your property (e.g. in the case of an accidental kitchen fire started by your tenants, your insurance company would pay you for the damage to your installations but they would then claim against the person who caused the fire; in this case your tenant) – so whilst you would not be economically affected directly, your tenants would unless they have their liability covered under their own personal insurance policy.”

I know many Brits and Norwegians living in Spain and of those renting, almost all of them have no personal belongings insurance. Many of them have lived in Spain for 10s of years, but are blissfully ignorant of the risks they are exposed to.

One thought on “Renting a home in Spain? Don’t make the mistake of not insuring your possessions”

  1. Mitch

    I’d like to follow the advice in this article, but I’m unsure about how much cover to buy. The article mentions a basic policy, but what most concerns me is the owners’ insurers claiming against me for accidental damage, and I don’t know if a basic policy covers this. I see the word “continente” listed as an optional extra on even the intermedio class of policies, but the maximum amounts are low. I appreciate that rebuilding costs are of most interest to the owner, but if I have to pay when my son burns down the house…..
    What are the main options I should look for as a tenant couple with one child (no jewels, Rembrandts etc.) in a semi-detached, mortgaged modern house?
    Thanks.

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