EXPATS claiming for damage caused by the recent fires and floods are being warned they may have to foot much of the bill themselves.
This comes despite the government setting up a dedicated fund to help the thousands affected by some of the worst natural disasters to hit Andalucia in decades.
Many are likely to miss out because they fail to meet the strict criteria imposed by the government because their homes are not correctly registered, claims a leading expat insurance broker.
“The government is promising the world, but in reality many people will not be entitled to any help,” said Jacqui Caplen, from the Insurance Centre, in Coin.
She revealed that owners, whose homes are not classed as legal will not be entitled to a penny, while even homeowners who are fully-insured face a lengthy battle to claim compensation.
It comes as most insurance firms are not required to pay out because the floods and fires are considered ‘acts of God’.
“It means all those affected must apply through the Spanish Insurance Consortium, which handles natural disaster claims,” continued Caplen.
The consortium is a fund set up by the government into which all insurance companies pay a set annual premium.
It is different to the emergency fund which was set up by the government immediately after the events to help people who are not insured.
“For those that are insured a lot of people assume that their insurance company will sort out their claim, but they don’t realise this is something they must do themselves,” continued Caplen.
“It can be a long and complicated process and they will probably need to seek independent advice, perhaps from a lawyer.
“It is heartbreaking to see the effects these things have on peoples lives and it is a shame they are not better informed about the claims process in the first place.”
‘It comes as most insurance firms are not required to pay out because the floods and fires are considered acts of God’.
Where to start with this blatant attempt not to pay out.
Did these insurance companies tell the purchasers of their products that you had to believe in sky pixies at point of sale or that they could not insure you because they had checked that your home was illegal.
The only country in Europe that I know for sure will not pay out for flood claims is the Netherlands and that would be made absolutely clear to any buitenlander/foreigner before any documents were signed.
Anyone affected should look carefully at all documents to see if fire and flood are excluded, this is mandatory in EC legislation. If there is no clear and specific exclusion clauses then they are liable. Of course it may well take years to acheive any financial satisfaction.
Don’t even bother to ask for help at the British Consulate as if you are not a VIP, you are nobody and nothing – go away and don’t annoy us’ will be their response, of course dressed up in polite newspeak.
Yet another very good reason not to buy in Spain.
It’s in the insurers bible of a thousand and one excuses not to pay and they reckon bankers are bad.