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Government promises compensation for snow and flood damage
16 February 2015 @ 10:58

LOSS or damage suffered as a result of the freak snowfall in Spain over the last two weeks will be compensated by the State, deputy president Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría has pledged.

She says MPs from the worst-hit provinces had already begun to quantify the damage, although this was proving difficult in many northern and central areas which were still under several inches – or even feet – of the white stuff.

The government's contingency fund always includes a given amount to 'guarantee such loss or damage is covered', says Sra Sáenz de Santamaría, but stresses that additional cash will be found if need be, even if this involves having to push through a new Bill of Law, or Royal Decree.

As well as property damage – structural defects to buildings caused by weight of snow, water damage through melting snow or frozen pipes bursting, or to parked cars and other physical objects – loss of income and destruction of agricultural produce is likely to be compensated by the government.

Sra Sáenz de Santamaría recalls that the State invests up to €200 million a year in farming insurance policies to ensure that any loss to landowners caused by extreme weather conditions is covered.

And now temperatures are beginning to go up again and the snow is melting, this could lead to floods as river levels rise, meaning the exact extent of any damage suffered across the country may not be known for a few weeks.

Already, over 8,000 hectares of agricultural crops have been destroyed in the region of Aragón after the ice covering the river Ebro melted and the water course burst its banks.

Insurance companies may refer policyholders to State-run Consorcio for claims

Loss or damage to residential homes or vehicles as a result of the recent extreme weather conditions may not be covered by household or motor insurance policies where they are considered to have been caused by a 'natural disaster' – in this situation, insurance companies will refer the policyholders to the State-run Consorcio to make a claim.

The Insurance Compensation Consortium, otherwise known as the Consorcio, pays out for damage considered to be caused by 'extraordinary weather conditions' and, where the loss falls within the remit of the Consorcio, it will not normally be covered by the main insurance company, so as to avoid double payment being made.



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