Best house and contents insurance for holiday home

Post reply   Start new thread
:: New - Old :: Old - New

Pages: 1 | 2 | Next |

Forum home :: Latest threads :: Search forums
The Comments
18 Jan 2015 09:11 by Spanner64 Star rating in Peterborough/Daya Nu.... 5 posts Send private message

 

 

 

Hi, I need to renew my house and contents insurance and have research various companies on line but it's seems a minefield after reading various reviews they all seem as bad as each other.  I used to have my insurance with the bank but the premium have been increasing so much over the years I have now cancelled this.

I only use my house in Spain as holiday  home 3 to 4 times a year so only need a basic cover as I don't keep any valuables in the home.

Is it best to use a uk based company I'd like insatsure, schofields etc? Or a spanish end based company like Liberty seguro?  I've had a good quote from Liberty seguro but unsure on what is the best and easiest plan for me, and should I have a claim which one would be more readable on paying out?  Any had any experience they could share??  Thanks

 

 

 

 

 


This message was last edited by Spanner64 on 18/01/2015.


This message was last edited by Spanner64 on 18/01/2015.



Like 0      
18 Jan 2015 11:29 by acer Star rating. 1361 posts Send private message

If you try to read the Liberty Seguros household policy you might struggle.  I've tried.  It seems to be a poor attempt at a translation from their Spanish wording, but leaves you open mouthed.

Unless you are well experienced to some extent you are wasting your time in trying to even read the policy.  You must of course check the schedule (the personal typed part) to make sure they've got your name, address etc right) but in insurance it's not just what's written, it's also what does not appear, that is important.

It is a fact that the legal system and consumer legislation in Spain is very weak.  There are vitally important aspects of cover which are uncertain in the standard Spanish policy wording and so if the worst happens you have to rely on the goodwill of the insurer.  For me this takes away the point in insuring in the first place, so I've opted to insure my property in the UK insurance market.  By doing so the policy is written in readable English and more importantly is subject to English law. So you have the Financial Conduct Authority, the Insurance Ombudsman and excellent consumer protection legislation, if needed.

At last renewal I looked at the policy wordings of two UK based agencies/brokers - "Intasure" and the snappily named "Insurance for Holiday Homes".  Both gave similar levels of protection that you would expect in the UK market.  As it happened the snappily named broker was most competitive, but subsequently a neighbour found the other best, so I would recommend trying them both and of course any other UK based specialist broker.

I've made similar comments in the past and received replies like "...I've insured with the nicky nacky noo and never had a problem..." and also... "I had a break-in and a telly was stolen and they paid up in 7 days"....  But these comments  mean little.  Insurers around the world pay up on small claims quickly as good PR.  It's when you get the home destroyed that the test arises.

Incidentally for those who do not have a Habitation Certificate you are taking a massive risk by insuring in Spain.  There is an implied warranty that effectively invalidates your policy.   Whilst in practice this will only be enforced at the option of the insurer, you really should avoid the chance of a problem and insure in the UK, having declared this fact to them.





Like 0      
18 Jan 2015 11:38 by steone Star rating in Santiago de la Riber.... 386 posts Send private message

You seem to be requesting the cheapest premium which in my opinion is actually the worst way of starting to find insurance. What you need to do first is decide EXACTLY what cover you want. For example do you have bicycles that you want to insure because most companies in Spain will not cover them unless they are locked in an approved shed and do not cover them when away from home. Some companies do this cover. Also another major thing you need to find out is how well they pay claims. It is no use paying a low premium if when you make a claim they will not pay out. With these companies it is not even worth taking out a policy. Another cover you might want to have is earthquake, which a lot of companies do not cover. Do you want buildings and contents cover and if so make certain that you are only covering the amount that you need. Does anyone at the company speak English? That is unless your Spanish is perfect.

Another 'problem' you might find is the length of time that your property is unoccupied as most companies have a limit. Also make certain of what your company insists you do when away for 'long periods'.

As you said it is a minefield, not only in Spain but also in the U.K.

After much searching I am insured with Ibex which is a Gibraltar based company underwritted by Lloyds of London. I have made a claim and was paid out fairly quickly with the minimum of trouble. Also they do give you a discount if you insure something else with them, i.e. a car etc.

All I can say is be careful and do your research carefully and diligently.



_______________________
Stephen



Like 0      
18 Jan 2015 12:18 by Spanner64 Star rating in Peterborough/Daya Nu.... 5 posts Send private message

Many thanks to you both for the your advice.  I think I will look into a uk based company as my Spanish is not fluent!!  I know know the cheapest is not necessary best but I want to get the best policy for the best price , just like everyone else. 

 





Like 0      
18 Jan 2015 14:05 by acer Star rating. 1361 posts Send private message

Steone, some of your comment is good, but saying that insurance is a minefield in the UK gives the wrong impression.  The UK insurance buyer is probably the luckiest in the world - the exceptions are largely those who fail to use a bit of common sense.

The only problem I've regularly encountered is people not taking time to discuss their needs and give full information.  As you imply, too many jump for the cheapest without grasping the basic detail of the cover being provided.

It's only a minefield if you blunder in without thinking where you are going.  I've even experienced people paying too much as they "didn't want the cheapest", when the cover etc was identical!  If you are uncertain then use a reputable broker.  The idea that you are saving money by "cutting out the middle man" is another fallacy.





Like 0      
18 Jan 2015 14:13 by hosilverlining Star rating in Property owner in Gr.... 173 posts Send private message

We ditched the bank's policy a while ago and now insure through Op de Beeck brokers, they are in Spain but all of our communication - and our policy document - is in English. Give them a try and you can compare with your Liberty Seguros quote.  We found them very helpful in sorting out exactly what we need, and provided several quotes for different options (e.g. it will cost more if you want to let the place out commercially). We also visit our property 3 or 4 times a year and our policy covers us as long as the property isn't empty for more than 6 months.  Make sure you answer the proposal questions carefully.  If you only have bars on a couple of windows, answer to the question about windows/doors having bars is no.  Likewise you will be asked if there is 24 hour security, or an alarm.  Again answer no unless this is the case.  We know people who have had claims refused because they didn't check their policy arranged by the bank and these questions were answered incorrectly.

Good luck.





Like 0      
18 Jan 2015 14:47 by camposol Star rating in Camposol. 1411 posts Send private message

we have no certificate of habitation.

Spanner46- we are with Liberty Seguros.

We had a problem with the pool last year, the assessor came promptly,said there would be no problem, the claim was settled in a short time.

Make sure you get accidental cover for both building and contents.

This will cost a bit more but is worth it.

Other firms could not match their premium 





Like 0      
18 Jan 2015 14:56 by mariedav Star rating in Ciudad Quesada. 1062 posts Send private message

If your holiday home is on a community or urbanisation, check what they cover your for. We were with the bank and the cost was ridiculously high and found it didn't even cover contents. We then got quotes from Mapfre (a neighbour had a flood and they were in very quickly, replaced all the furniture and redecorated/made good) and Linea Directa because that's who we insure the car with. We then found our community was covered for earthquakes, subsidence etc through the insurance and we had a fund set up to cover any of these costs (a legal requirement, I believe, since the Lorca earthquake). We then got extra cover for contents and buildings through the same company, ING. This is a Dutch company but has offices in Spain and provides the policy in English as well. We save rather a lot with them especially compared to the bank.





Like 0      
18 Jan 2015 15:46 by hosilverlining Star rating in Property owner in Gr.... 173 posts Send private message

Very good advice from mariedav if your property is in a community.  You will need buildings cover but only for the part of the building which is your property and not the responsibility of the community.   Also beware that if you have a mortgage the bank is likely to have insured you for the whole of the mortgage, any insurer will quote you for the actual rebuild cost based on an average for the size/type of property.

Any spanish insurer can provide a copy of your policy in English, so I suppose the main factor is being able to speak to someone in English who understands your needs.





Like 0      
18 Jan 2015 22:45 by acer Star rating. 1361 posts Send private message

No Hosilverling & Mariedav you misunderstand the way it works.  In Spain and many other countries certain perils, often termed "catastrophe perils" are insured by the government.  When you insure part of the premium paid be it to a Spanish insurer or a UK is paid to the government as part of your contribution to the fund for these perils.

On a different issue if you are in a block of flats the only sensible way to insure is as one entity - insure the whole building together in joint names.  Any alternative is likely to produce a nightmare scenario if a large loss occurs.   For example you would have problems in re-instating a first floor flat if the property underneath is not insured.  It would get worse if the owner below has no money.  Also having lots of policies with different terms, conditions, exclusions, forms of cover and levels of insurance would cause a horrible conflict.  I know they insure flats etc individually in Spain but it is very silly practice.

Camposol, you may want to ask Liberty Seguros how they would react if your house was destroyed say by an electrical fire, given that you are without a Habitation certificate.  You may find that at branch level they don't know, but when a large claim happens HO get involved and they'll be asking considerably more searching questions.  It's your call but I would say why take the risk yourself when really that's what you are paying your premium for?

Anyone without an HC is taking a risk by insuring their property in Spain.  The sales person might well tell you that of course they'll pay out, but you'll wait a long time for written confirmation!





Like 0      
18 Jan 2015 22:51 by camposol Star rating in Camposol. 1411 posts Send private message

Well, they've already paid out on one claim, so they've set a precedent!

 Are you saying no one without a cert of H should insure their property?





Like 0      
18 Jan 2015 23:22 by bobaol Star rating. 2257 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

We lived on a community where no-one had a habitation certificate. I've posted before that the town hall were absolutely rubbish and so full of infighting that very little was done. I believe they still have no LFO even though most now have their deeds (due to a crooked builder taking out mortgages on the land already paid for). All are connected to the mains utilities and have been since 2005 or thereabouts.

However, back to thread. We were insured with Mapfre which was recommended at the AGM. I know of at least 3 houses in that area (consisting of several separate streets) which claimed. One for cracks appearing after an underbuid was opened (it did form part of the original building works but wasn't opened for some time), one for the solarium cracking and letting in water and one for theft. The first two couldn't claim under the 10 year guarantee because the builder went bust. In all those cases, Mapfre paid out for the work to be done and compensated for the stolen property.

I think the Habitation Certificate may be a bit of a red herring. (Oh, and property is still changing hands despite the previous comments on these certificates. I think the notaries are so cheesed off with the town hall that they simply put a clause in the paperwork and the seller has to deposit a sum in case the townhall ever gets around to issuing them).

 





Like 0      
19 Jan 2015 08:29 by acer Star rating. 1361 posts Send private message

Camposol,

You cannot have read my earlier post :

If you try to read the Liberty Seguros household policy you might struggle.  I've tried.  It seems to be a poor attempt at a translation from their Spanish wording, but leaves you open mouthed.

Unless you are well experienced to some extent you are wasting your time in trying to even read the policy.  You must of course check the schedule (the personal typed part) to make sure they've got your name, address etc right) but in insurance it's not just what's written, it's also what does not appear, that is important.

It is a fact that the legal system and consumer legislation in Spain is very weak.  There are vitally important aspects of cover which are uncertain in the standard Spanish policy wording and so if the worst happens you have to rely on the goodwill of the insurer.  For me this takes away the point in insuring in the first place, so I've opted to insure my property in the UK insurance market.  By doing so the policy is written in readable English and more importantly is subject to English law. So you have the Financial Conduct Authority, the Insurance Ombudsman and excellent consumer protection legislation, if needed.

At last renewal I looked at the policy wordings of two UK based agencies/brokers - "Intasure" and the snappily named "Insurance for Holiday Homes".  Both gave similar levels of protection that you would expect in the UK market.  As it happened the snappily named broker was most competitive, but subsequently a neighbour found the other best, so I would recommend trying them both and of course any other UK based specialist broker.

I've made similar comments in the past and received replies like "...I've insured with the nicky nacky noo and never had a problem..." and also... "I had a break-in and a telly was stolen and they paid up in 7 days"....  But these comments  mean little.  Insurers around the world pay up on small claims quickly as good PR.  It's when you get the home destroyed that the test arises.

Incidentally for those who do not have a Habitation Certificate you are taking a massive risk by insuring in Spain.  There is an implied warranty that effectively invalidates your policy.   Whilst in practice this will only be enforced at the option of the insurer, you really should avoid the chance of a problem and insure in the UK, having declared this fact to them.

+++

Bobaol, I'm unsure how you can suggest that my advice is a "red herring" but you are mistaken.   But in fairness it's become almost traditional for some EOS folk to make comment on facts about which they know little.

The technical standards of the insurance staff in Spain are low, it's 50 to 100 years behind UK and it's effectively unregulated.  So if you cannot rely on what you are told.  And if you have a problem you are on your own.

There is one firm I came across that knew what they were doing, I forget their name, but they are a Brit run agency/broker in Mazarron puerto close to Mercadona.  They were aware of the Habitation certificate proviso, but were unable to identify a local insurer who could provide the full cover.

To re-iterate, if you are without an HC you are best off effecting cover in the UK through a specialist broker - and in doing so make sure you disclose the lack of the HC in writing.

 





Like 0      
19 Jan 2015 09:49 by mariedav Star rating in Ciudad Quesada. 1062 posts Send private message

But in fairness it's become almost traditional for some EOS folk to make comment on facts about which they know little.

 

Well, I bow to the expert. However I do know the 3 people I mentioned did not have habitation certificates but had no problem claiming. I was simply recounting an experience, not trying to seem as if I was a Lloyds of London broker. I also query your reasoning on insuring through a UK company. My insurance policy is perfectly readable, thank you, or in so far as all insurance certificates are readable considering the gobbledegook they write them in (and a magnifying glass for reading some of it).

 





Like 0      
19 Jan 2015 10:12 by acer Star rating. 1361 posts Send private message

Mariedav,

I believe I mentioned that the insurer will invariably pay small or medium sized valid claims without a problem - it's good PR.  I've also known them pay claims which are outside the scope of cover, not sure if this was intended as good PR or lack of technical training.

But when a large claim occurs, perhaps involving several properties w/o Hab Certs, there is a risk that the claim will be investigated more thoroghly and the absence of a Hab Cert makes the policy voidable from the outset, at the option of the insurer.  Personally I wouldn't want to be in this position.

I've also explained the benefit of using a UK broker several times - it's a combination of the policy being written under English law and the fact that is accompanied by the FCA, Insurance Ombudsman, reasonable consumer legislation and the ability to obtain justice in court if all this fails - isn't this better that doing battle with the Elshifty in Madrid?

There is an expression about taking horses to water that springs to mind...





Like 0      
19 Jan 2015 14:37 by fonziedas Star rating. 55 posts Send private message

I'm with Liberty Seguros, and I'm very satisfied. In case of natural disasters, like the floods that happen so often in Spain, your insurance company won't pay out, but Liberty will report your damage to the appropriate authorities, will your UK insurance company do that ? Will your UK insurance company help you with anything here in Spain ? probably not.

But every insurance company is only as good as it's agent, and my Liberty agent in Spain is also fluent in english, he used to work in London, I guess that helps a lot.





Like 0      
19 Jan 2015 14:54 by baz1946 Star rating. 2177 posts Send private message

I had full house yearly insurance on a house in Spain all done via a UK company, while in the UK, and plenty of these companies are about as well, we had a robbery in this house with close to £4000 stolen, some of the items they wouldn't pay out on, but in fairness these would have been the same items as if the house was a UK property, we expected this, and they (Tried) wriggled a bit, also to be expected.

The house had no H/C, and the people I bought from didn't have it either, wasn't asked for, or ever  mentioned, perhaps if the claim had been for £50,000 plus they might have done, but then they knew the amounts I was insuring this house for from the onset, so if they were bothered, before accepting the house for insurance that would have been the time to ask for it. 

No mention at all on any insurance forms I filled in when I insured the house was it mentioned H/C.

 


This message was last edited by baz1946 on 19/01/2015.



Like 0      
19 Jan 2015 16:49 by camposol Star rating in Camposol. 1411 posts Send private message

Acer- if they have already paid out on a claim, they cannot refuse to pay out on a major claim simply because the property doesn't have a C of H.

They would be contradicting themselves! What reason could they give for not paying out if they have previously settled claims without a C of H ?

All over Spain properties without C of H are bought, sold,  insured, rented out.

The council collects IBI from them, grants planning permissions, 

Electricity, Water  are connected to them, and owners receive bills without problem 

People in them register on the Padron, receive post etc

 Can you not accept the situation as it is ?

We all know that in Spain many things are not done by the book, but it all seems to work out, and people get on with their lives.

 

 

 

 

 





Like 0      
19 Jan 2015 16:49 by camposol Star rating in Camposol. 1411 posts Send private message

Acer- if they have already paid out on a claim, they cannot refuse to pay out on a major claim simply because the property doesn't have a C of H.

They would be contradicting themselves! What reason could they give for not paying out if they have previously settled claims without a C of H ?

All over Spain properties without C of H are bought, sold,  insured, rented out.

The council collects IBI from them, grants planning permissions, 

Electricity, Water  are connected to them, and owners receive bills without problem 

People in them register on the Padron, receive post etc

 Can you not accept the situation as it is ?

We all know that in Spain many things are not done by the book, but it all seems to work out, and people get on with their lives.

 

 

 

 

 





Like 0      
19 Jan 2015 16:49 by camposol Star rating in Camposol. 1411 posts Send private message

Acer- if they have already paid out on a claim, they cannot refuse to pay out on a major claim simply because the property doesn't have a C of H.

They would be contradicting themselves! What reason could they give for not paying out if they have previously settled claims without a C of H ?

All over Spain properties without C of H are bought, sold,  insured, rented out.

The council collects IBI from them, grants planning permissions, 

Electricity, Water  are connected to them, and owners receive bills without problem 

People in them register on the Padron, receive post etc

 Can you not accept the situation as it is ?

We all know that in Spain many things are not done by the book, but it all seems to work out, and people get on with their lives.

 

 

 

 

 





Like 0      

Pages: 1 | 2 | Next |

Post reply    Start new thread


Previous Threads

Dishwasher - 4 posts
Second Hand Furniture Required - 1 posts
Law firm wins a case - 7 posts
Anyone for Tennis - 0 posts
good restaurant - 0 posts
Photo Url problem - 2 posts
Easter parades - 0 posts
DESPERATE APPEAL FOR A FOSTER PLACE OR FOREVER HOME .... - 0 posts
Tv programmes re buying in Spain - 23 posts
Advice on water bill - 6 posts
Question on succession law in Spain - 15 posts
Fran - 3 posts
NEW! Null mortgages by the Supreme Court - 0 posts
virtual cadastral map Spain - 1 posts
€900 to put electric in my name? - 3 posts
Help and Advice on rentals in Mojon Hills - 9 posts
Reregistering a car over 25 years old. - 1 posts
driving from uk to the costa blanca - 3 posts
Dog friendly hotel near Spanish border - 0 posts
Dogs vs caterpillars, sandflies and other maladies - 3 posts
Long Term Rental Sought - 10 posts
Apartment wanted for July, August, September rental for two careful tenants. Anywhere Costa del sol. - 0 posts
Looking for Rented Property - 0 posts
New to EyeonSpain - 5 posts
Cerrado de Calderon area? primary school? good area? - 0 posts

Number of posts in this thread: 30

DISCLAIMER:  All opinions posted on these message boards are the opinion solely of the poster and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Eye on Spain, its servants or agents.


1 | 2 |
Our Weekly Email Digest
Name:  
Email:
   


This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x