Newsletter December 2015

Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year!!
Where has the year gone?  It seems to fly quicker than ever each and every year.  I cannot believe that EU Insurance has been here 10 years!

Please note our office opening times during the Festive Season. 

Also please make sure you have emergency numbers in your phone, you never know when they may be needed!  If you are unsure of whom to call in the event of an emergency please email or call us before the Christmas Break to clarify.

We have added some additional phone numbers for the office to assist during busy periods, please note additional phone numbers as follows:-

951 080 118/635592610 Office hours only

The old numbers  are still current but please remember that my own mobile 676098464 is not only used for business but is my personal number too.  If you have an emergency outside office hours please call the 24 hours helplines specific to your insurer.

Are you Underinsured?
Research clearly shows that most homeowners greatly underestimate the value of their general contents and possessions, as the following case study shows:

  • Example of cover using a typical 3 bed villa
  • Study – €2000
  • Lounge/dining room – €20,000
  • Kitchen – €8,000
  • Master bedroom – €5,000
  • Bedroom 2 – €2,000
  • Bedroom 3 – €2,000
  • Other items – €10,000
  • Utility room – €1000
  • Outside and garage – €4,000
Client estimate of value:  27000 euros
Actual value of goods:  54000 euros
Under insured by 50%
In this case example a contents claim of 15000 euros would have resulted in a claims settlement of 7500.  (i.e. 50% due to being underinsured).  You can therefore see the danger that being underinsured presents at a time when you need your insurance policy to perform.
Under insurance can occur when you accumulate more personal possessions over time, jewellery and paintings and other items increase in value over time.  People appear to have more interests, i.e. golf clubs etc.   Many people whom I ask the amount of contents to insure say 10,000 euros!  Obviously it does depend on the type of property, whether it is your residential home here in Spain and you have brought all your worldly goods with you from the UK, or whether it is a holiday home or rented home where furnishings could be more limited.
It is always a good idea to spend the time to go through the home room by room, bearing in mind that kitchen fitments and bathroom sanitaryware have to be taken into account for contents as well.  Many clients only want to insure the expensive items, i.e. tv, hi-fi system, computers but contents insurance has to include every single item of moveable furniture, clothes, personal effects etc.  Having insurance for peace of mind is one thing, however in the event of a claim and being told you are under insured can be devastating.
What to do in the event of a claim
Unfortunately it is the time of year that opportunists run the risk of destroying our festive spirit.  All too often there are more burglaries this time of year and the need to be more vigilant is important.  Make sure all windows and doors are locked when you are out, if you have an alarm, make sure it is set, extra security doesn’t do any harm and to upgrade locks or other security measure is sometimes the only deterrent.  If you intend to be away over the festive period make sure neighbours know you are away, leave a spare key with a trusted neighbour or friend to check your property whilst it is unoccupied.

In the event of claim, try to stay calm.  If someone has broken in through a door, window, broken locks etc make sure that the house is fully secured as soon as possible.  If this means calling out the local locksmith or glazier to make emergency repairs, get these attended to as soon as possible.  Keep all receipts and send to us for reimbursement.  Call the emergency 24 hour assistance line for your insurer who will set up a claim and arrange for an assessor to visit.  Take photographs if you can and send them to us.

A Police report has to be made.  Make sure that you make a complete list of stolen goods, costs to replace the goods before you make the report.  If you make the police report and find a few days later that there are other items missing, you will have to make another one.  Search out any receipts that you have and send the police report with any accompanying receipts to us.  Over the holiday period when the office is closed it is best to know what to do in the event of such an emergency.

Should Banks offer Insurance?
I have many clients who ask for quotes for their home insurance and after accepting our offer come back to us and say that the Bank will not let them cancel their insurance.  I have always been of the opinion that Banks do what they do (look after our money and provide a service for paying our bills etc).  Insurance has become a side line for Banks who do not provide any back up service if you have to make a claim.  They direct you to the insurer who only speak Spanish and this makes the claim service impossible as there doesn’t appear to be any customer service.  The Bank state that you need to give them 2 months written notice.  Many clients who have taken out insurance through their Bank have no policy documents, are never contacted at renewal date (the funds are just taken out the bank) and have no knowledge what they are even insured for.

The reality is that you don’t have to give 2 months notice.  You can cancel your policy at renewal, especially if you haven’t received any notification of premium.  Banks apply bullying tactics and tell clients they will take them to court if they cancel.  Unfortunately for many clients this is very worrying and the thought of having a court case looming terrifies them into staying with the Bank.  The truth is that ex-pats in Spain constantly move around, cancel policies, pack up and return to the UK, disappear…..  it is impossible and financially not viable for any bank to take a client to court for non payment of cancellation of a home insurance policy.   It doesn’t happen.  However if this type of bullying terrifies you then the need to cancel any insurance with the Bank 2 months before its due in writing and making sure they have received it and confirmed the cancellation solves the problem.

If you have insurance through your Bank which you don’t understand and appears expensive give us a call to confirm when renewal date is, we can effect a new quote, or base it on a like for like basis and remind you 2 months before to cancel with your bank. You will find we offer better covers, more options, policies in English and customer service.

Also this time of year the Police are looking for their Christmas Bonus – and they are appearing on every junction stopping cars at random… Which documents is it obligatory to carry in your vehicle when driving in Spain?

a. A valid driving licence
b. The “Ficha Tecnica” – showing all the technical details of the car
c. Insurance documents (receipts, green card, certificate of insurance for UK vehicles)
We recommend you do NOT leave the documentation in the car when it is unattended, in case the car gets stolen, especially as you will need the paperwork when making a statement  
 For any advice or other information on any insurance problem or general queries do not hesitate to give us a call or email us.

Heres hoping that Christmas and New Year will be a peaceful and enjoyable celebration for all. 
For the many families who have experienced the horrific events of the last few months our thoughts are with them.  We can only pray for a solution to the world’s problems and hope that 2016 will see more peace and harmony in all our lives.

 For all your insurance needs or queries regarding your existing policies please do not hesitate to contact us.
952 830 843 /  676 098 464 

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