The storms which wreaked havoc across Valencia, Alicante, Murcia and Almería last week were amongst the most severe we have witnessed in recent years and left a trail of destruction and sadly loss of life across the region.
If your home or vehicle is insured and has been damaged during these storms then you will want to make a claim. Your first call will be to your insurer or the broker or agent who sold you the policy. When you give them details of the damage and how it was caused you may well be advised that this is covered by the Consorcio de Compensación de Seguros and not your insurance company.
So, what is the Consorcio and how does it work? The Consorcio is a public insurance company created by the Spanish government in 1941. It has many functions but the key one in this case is coverage of extraordinary risks to persons and property. Contracting an insurance policy with a private insurer in Spain carries with it separate coverage against extraordinary risks, the coverage extending to the same property and people covered by that policy and for the same amounts.
The natural risks covered are earthquakes, tidal waves or tsunamis, floods, volcanic eruptions, wind storms (tornadoes and winds gusting to more than 120km/h) and falling objects and meteorites.
Flood is the risk that accounts for most of the claims in Spain. Flood is defined as an inundation of land due to the accumulation or runoff of rainwater, meltwater or waters from lakes, rivers or inlets through overflow of their natural beds or channels. It also covers damage caused by coastal battering.
Damage produced by rain falling directly on the insured property or collected by its roof or cover, drainage system or patios is not covered by the Consorcio. Water from dams, canals, sewers, collectors and other man made underground channels is also not covered unless these are ruptured by an extraordinary event covered by the Consorcio. A useful rule of thumb is that if the rain water comes through your roof it is not covered by the Consorcio but if the rain water comes through your door it is.
Appraisal of the damage is carried out by claims assessors appointed by the Consorcio.
The Consorcio is funded by a compulsory surcharge on the policy premiums on several lines of insurance including home and vehicle insurance. Private insurers collect this surcharge alongside the policy premium and deposit those funds with the Consorcio on behalf of the customer.
How to make a claim? As mentioned above, your first port of call is to the insurer, broker or agent who sold you the policy. If the damage you are claiming for is covered by the Consorcio they will advise you what to do next. For further information see www.consorseguros.es.
If your policy was taken out with Ibex Insurance, we will help you to understand the process and to complete the Consorcio claim form ‘hoja de comunicación de daños’. Just contact your Ibex office or agent and we will hold your hand through the entire process.