28 Dec, 2022 @ 13:30
1 min read

Spain at worst risk of climate-related home damage, new study finds

Massive Investment Planned To Stop Repeat Of Disastrous 2019 Floods In Southern Costa Blanca Area Of Spain
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DROUGHTS, flash floods, forest fires, torrential rain… This year has seen a series of extreme weather events not just in Spain, but in many other parts of the world too. 

In the face of the dangers that these events pose to our homes, an insurance price comparison website has put together a guide of which locations in England and Europe are most at risk of climate-related home damage. 

And there is some bad news: Spain comes out worst. 

‘With a vast 4,185 acres of land burned by forest wildfires per year and an air quality and pollution level of 47 (which is bordering on moderate), Spain topped the list as the European country most at risk of home damage caused by climate-related issues,’ the study from Compare the Market found.

Next on the list was Bosnia and Herzegovina, ‘which sees less damage by wildfires (1,995 acres burned per year) but more floods caused by heavy rain (one per year).’ 

The UK, which came third, experiences far fewer wildfires than either Spain or Bosnia and Herzegovina (381 acres burned per year) but has a much worse air quality and pollution level (60), according to the study.

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A graphic from the study.

The site used a range of factors to draw up its list, including changes to average temperatures, the number of floods caused by heavy rain, how many acres of land are burned by wildfires and pollution levels. 

Spain’s neighbour, Portugal, was found to be the most at-risk country in terms of wildfires, with an average of 6,039 acres burnt every year. It was followed by Spain (4,158 acres) and Italy (3,373 acres).

The study recommends several measures to keep your home safe from climate-related damage, including installing shutters to block out extreme heat, replacing wooden floors with ceramic tile to lower the damage from flooding, and checking that all fences, doors and posts are secure in case of heavy winds. 

And of course, every home should have proper insurance. In Spain, most policies exclude ‘extraordinary risks’, such as damage from earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions and meteorites. 

However, citizens can claim at least some compensation from the Consorcio de Compensacion de Seguros (the Insurance Compensation Consortium), or from the state should an area be declared a disaster zone.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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