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01 Aug 2014 19:12 by nitram Star rating in castalla. 172 posts Send private message

A neighbour of mine has just lost her husband, as she was looking through his papers found out his car insurance was only renewed 5 weeks before his death, his insurance company said she is not due a refund, can anybody clarify the law in Spain on this matter please, she is going to look through policy.

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01 Aug 2014 20:47 by sping Star rating in Stockport & Playa Go.... 148 posts Send private message

sping´s avatar

Insurance companies are reluctant to pay out on claims, so a refund is probably out of the question. They usually give a cooling off period but 5 weeks is a bit long. That said a large provider would not want bad publicity and sometimes (and you will have to peruse this) they might refund something and say it is a good will gesture! Speak to their customer services and Good luck.

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01 Aug 2014 21:26 by nitram Star rating in castalla. 172 posts Send private message

Thank you Sping

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02 Aug 2014 19:22 by acer Star rating. 1391 posts Send private message

Spig, perhaps you have genuine grounds, but as a generalism I never understand why folk are so keen to slag off insurance companies so readily.  I spent many years doing battle with them on behalf of clients and found that they are honourable people and pay up without any problem whatsover, providing of course that they are legally liable to do so.  But days of the ex-gratia payments are now long gone.

The cynical might say that there is a massive volume of consumer legislation and regulation, so they cannot really do anything else!  But IMHO if all companies were as straightforward as insurers the commercial world would be a far less perilous place.  I would trust an insurer above a lawyer any day of the week.

Sometimes folk just seem to jump to the wrong conclusions.  I tried to assist one chap who was a friend of a friend who was foaming at the mouth and reckoned he was being "ripped off" by Norwich Union (now Aviva) after a small fire in the kitchen.  When I got the details together it transpired that he only insured Household Contents cover - the bulk of the damage was to the fitted kitchen units, insured under the Household Buildings policy by the landlord, who he hadn't informed.  Fitted kitchen units are always considered as part of the building and so claimable under the buildings insurance.  He had been told this by Aviva, but didn't want to know.

The "cooling off period" is purely to comply with the Distance Selling Regulations and not connected to the cancellation of the policy in the situation indicated.

Nitram, the policy will show details of the cancellation terms.  It will normally be a table and generally the maximum return will be 75% or so of the premium within a month on a decreasing scale.  Your friend is best off to read the policy first, then speak with the insurance company.  If there is any problem do send me a PM and I'll be pleased to assist if I can.

Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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03 Aug 2014 15:36 by poniente5 Star rating. 12 posts Send private message

Hello Acer your reply interested me. I was an Insurance Broker for over 40 years and yes I agree kitchen units are classed as buildings in the UK. When we bought in Spain I went along to the Insurance Broker in Town and guess what I was informed categorically that Spanish Insurers class fitted kitchens as contents.Everything is different in Spain!!!  I was also told that an Insurer in Spain required 2 months notice of cancellation. I am sure if the lady in question wrote to the Insurance Company with a copy of the death certificate and proof the vehicle had been sold she would get a proportion of her premium back.

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03 Aug 2014 15:57 by nitram Star rating in castalla. 172 posts Send private message

Thank you for all your comments ., as you say best thing to do is look at policy and small print.

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03 Aug 2014 19:00 by acer Star rating. 1391 posts Send private message

Hi Poniente5,

Well I tend to agree with you, particularly about the fact that a refund should most certainly be due.

I've dealt with a few Spanish insurers and brokers and I'm not at all impressed with their "technical" knowledge - not that the kitchen unit query should be considered technical.  I wouldn't pretend I'm familiar with Spanish customs, but they will be obliged to follow the international format for re-insurance purposes.  Well that's the theory, but in Spain...?

I spoke with a representative from one Spanish insurer regarding household insurance who was absolutely gorgeous, but knew nothing whatsoever about insurance.  She literally did not know what a policy was - when I asked for a specimen policy she handed me a quotation sheet which had a summary of the perils and when I queried it further she told me it was a policy.  Later she admitted she had only been in the job for two months and had been given one days training.  Not sure what the Financial Conduct Authority would make of that!  They are 50 years plus behind the times on some things.

Hi Nitram,

I've never seen any policy that contained "small print" - that's another hackneyed cliche.   But all the local Spanish policies I've seen are several times longer than their UK counterparts and not easy to digest, even if you are fluent in Spanish.  I ended up placing my household cover with one of the UK agencies and got a policy written in English. And it was half the price of the Spanish equivalent and better cover.  I figured my chances with the Spanish sales lady were pretty small any way.


Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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