Newsletter January 2016

The New Year has started busy with many businesses starting off the year on a very positive note.  Properties appear to be moving finally at better prices, long term rentals, at least this side of the coast are extremely busy with many agents running out of properties to rent.  We have seen the cranes back in view and many new developments on the road to completion. Even dormant apartment blocks that were stopped are showing signs of life with machinery back on site .   I don’t for one minute think we are through the recession but it certainly builds confidence and positivity for all of us having worked through the last few years which has been slow and difficult.
EARTHQUAKE COSTA DEL SOL – are you covered?
Having many clients who have felt the earthquake tremers last week I would just like to confirm that our Home Insurances cover any damage caused by such events.  An earthquake is considered an extraordinary event and as such would be covered by the Consorcio in the event of a claim.   All Spanish policies have a small part of the premium paid to the Consorcio, so as long as you have a home insurance policy, the Consorcio will cover you.  If, of course anyone has experienced any damage to their property please let us know as soon as possible
Due to the surface material of Spanish Roads, different to the UK and other European countries, the roads in Spain are made to withstand the hot temperatures of the Spanish Summer.  When it rains the roads do not absorb the water and this creates extremely slippery conditions.  After such a spell of very dry weather the roads become like a skating rink and the inevitable accidents occur when motorists don’t take enough care.  After a spell of particularly harsh rainfall the amount of water on our roads becomes particularly hazardous and cars find themselves aquaplaning along the carretera.  Having had this happen to me recently found it frightening even though I am always aware of road conditions after a downpour.  Unfortunately it isn’t always us that are at fault but all it takes is a split second to take our mind off our driving for an accident to occur.  Just a note to be extra careful in the rain!
SOME insurance policies, like medical or travel cover, are optional. 
Your vehicle however, must be insured at all times, even if it’s kept off the road in a garage.  The minimum legal compulsory insurance is Civil Liability to cover any damage to or claims from a third party, resulting from your vehicle.  The existing legislation states that any car that is kept in Spain must be insured.

Only trailers and other special types of vehicles that weigh less than 750kg and cannot be driven on Spanish roads do not require insurance.

If you own a vehicle that’s not insured you could face a fixed penalty of between €601 and €3,005, and your vehicle may be seized and immobilised.

If you own a vehicle that is not being used and you wish to avoid paying for insurance, then you can apply to have it temporarily taken out of circulation. However, to do this the vehicle needs to have passed its ITV.  This can be applied for from your local Trafico office.  If you do not do this and the car remains uninsured then you are liable to be fined.  Many clients who spend 6 months here and 6 months in the UK, if they are not here at renewal decide not to renew until they return to Spain, this is not advisable as Trafico are getting hotter on clamping down uninsured vehicle, so just to make you aware.

ITV out of date
Police are clamping down on cars without ITV or with out of date ITVs, several of our clients experienced a 200 euro on the spot fine after being stopped by police when their ITV has been out of date.   As long as you have a booking for the ITV (it can be done online), the confirmation that the ITV is booked will prevent a fine!!
Receiving over 100 emails daily we are subject to receiving at least another 20 or so of spam emails which we delete.  However last week I received an email which I thought was from a client, it was a fax email and had a zip file attached.  One click on the fax attachment and my computer files were hacked.  The virus attached every word and excel file on my computer.  Trying to open a file it came up with a warning to say that it had been changed to a different format.  It wasn’t readable and a message told me that unless I give my credit card details and pay the company some money I would not get my files back.   Having got straight on the phone to my computer guru he told me it is the worst virus he has seen and it would find its way into every file and destroy it.   There would be no way of getting the files back.  So even having a virus checker and malware checker on my system didn’t prevent this from happening.  He told me to unplug the back up drive and turn the machine off immediately as normally the virus gets into the back up drive as well so he wasn’t too confident that my back up drive would be free from the virus.

Luckily my back up drive was clean and he was able to clean the virus off the computer and reinstall all my files, all good as new!   At a cost…..  and a frustrating day without the office computer….

So please be aware of any emails received that you do not recognise.  Don’t open them, delete them straight away.  After this incident both Ashley and I will not open any unfamiliar emails so please if you have something to send to us, from another email or source (i.e. internet café etc) then let us know otherwise we will delete everything we feel is suspicious.   I may not be so lucky next time.

FAX MACHINE:   Please be aware that at present we no longer have a fax.  We have evaluated the need for the fax as our contract for the fax line was coming up for renewal.  Having possibly 2 faxes a month we feel it is not cost efficient to keep it running.  Most clients send us documents by email or even now more are received through ‘whatsapp’, the fax has become redundant.
If you need any clarification on your insurance through us, if there is anything you don’t understand, please let us know.   We receive many calls from clients asking whether their insurance in Spain covers them to drive someone elses car in the UK.   The answer is no.   Spanish car insurance *generally covers the policyholder and any driver over a certain age to drive with the policyholders permission, all drivers have the same covers too.   (*some clients do ask for named driver only policies and some vans have to be named driver only) – so in this respect these policies are more limited.

We are able to cover drivers under the age of 25 years but they must be named on the policy.  We can also offer temporary cover, for a week or 2 weeks at a time, there will be additional charges but we can usually accept them.  If in doubt email us or call us.

Insurance and No Claims Bonus Proof
We have received several calls over the last month from clients moving back to the UK requesting proof of no claims.  In many instances clients have not provided proof of no claims before their Spanish cover was taken out, even though we had requested it.  When we ask the question as to how many years no claims a client has we act in good faith to honour this for the quote and when the policy is taken out inclusive of the discount allowed for no claims.  However in many circumstances even having chased a client several times for proof, it never materialises.  Then unfortunately a few years down the line when they request no claims, we are only able to provide proof from the time a client has been insured with us.  It is also important to note that many UK companies will not accept no claims from anywhere else from the UK.   In Spain we can accept no claims from any European Country but it is worthwhile shopping around if you are thinking of going back to the UK to check the individual companies to see whether they will accept a non UK No Claims Bonus.  It can save you sometimes 100s of pounds.

January 2016 as been our record for theft claims...     It is worthwhile noting that for any type of theft claim we will need a Police Report.  Many clients have problems especially if they are not on the coast when making the report can be difficult if there are no interpreters available.  Worthwhile number to call then where you can make a report in English (and in any language actually) is

902 102 112. 
Some general useful information is below:-
Crimes and circumstances that can be reported to the Police over the phone:
Theft with violence and larceny
o    Breaking into cars / stores / houses.
o    Documents and/or belongings
o    Robberies (bag snatching)o Petty larceny (pick-pocketing)
o    Swindles/ fraud or Damage to property (house, car...)
o    Loss of documents/ effects.
o    Objects recoveries.
o    Cars
o    Documents and or belongings
Once the report has been lodged by a telephone call, and if the complainant agrees with its content, it must be signed at the closest National Police Station within the following 48 hours.   Telephone Reports take precedence over those made at the Police Station.  This would seem a simpler process for ex-pats.   The number provides assistance in many languages.  Costs of calls to this number are between 15 – 25 cents a minute but considerably less than having to pay for an interpreter.

Whatever your needs, whatever your budget, whatever we can help with EU Insurance is here for you to provide peace of mind.

From cars to home (all risks available), commercial through to liability , life cover, pet insurance, health, travel, savings, pensions, contact us for more information:
0034 952830843/676098464

Comments are closed.