Dani Worth of Op de Beeck & Worth considers just how your insurance company will deal with your claim after the floods
The heavy rains and flooding have left many people wondering how their insurance policy will respond to the damages caused.
The nature and intensity of the rainfall means that instead of being picked up by the insurance companies, the majority of the claims will be dealt with and indemnified by the Consorcio.
So who and what is the Consorcio de Compensacion de Seguros? It is a central compensation fund which is funded by a very small percentage of the sums insured on every insurance policy sold in Spain and which is run by the Government. It has been in existence since 1941, and is designed to compensate victims with insurance cover for losses resulting from “extraordinary events”, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, terrorism & floods.
The claims coming in from the intense rain tend to be from either flooding into ground floors, basements, gardens and the like from rain water penetrating from the street, or damage caused by water penetrating from walls, roofs or first floor and above terraces which could not evacuate the water quickly enough and ended up overflowing into the apartment. The former claims from flooding will be dealt with by the Consorcio whilst the latter claims will be dealt with by the insurance company themselves.
Just to be clear – the Consorcio will only intervene if the property which suffered the damage had at the time of the loss had been insured.
If you have had the misfortune of suffering a loss during the recent flooding, you should first contact your insurance broker or agent who should be able to advise you whether the loss falls into the Consorcio category or the insurance company, or indeed a combination of both. Your broker/agent should then be able to register the loss on your behalf with the relevant entity and offer you advice and assistance throughout the claims process.
Obviously, there will be some delays in getting around to visit victims of the flooding, but the Consorcio have drafted in 100 loss adjusters from other regions to complement those already on the ground
, and in our experience, once they visit the damaged property, they tend to be quick, efficient and fair.
Given that it may be a few days before a loss adjuster comes to visit your home, I would suggest that you;
- Take photos of any damage to buildings and/or contents.
- Undertake any necessary cleaning, repairs etc and be sure to conserve any invoices, etc for the loss adjuster.
- Prepare a list of damaged items.
- Prior to throwing out any damaged items, conserve them until a loss adjuster has had a chance to inspect them.
- Take whatever reasonable steps are necessary to minimise the impact of a claim.
It seems that many insurance companies, brokers or agents are telling their clients to lodge the claim themselves with the Consorcio – quite a daunting task in a foreign country, but if you need to do so it can be done by phone on 902 222 665 or 952 367 042 or via web http://www.consorseguros.es/web/inicio.
Op de Beeck & Worth’s commitment is to handle and respond with maximum speed to the claims our clients have suffered, and our week started at 6.30 on Sunday morning with our first client suffering a flood in the basement and staff quarters of their villa, and has not stopped since. We have opened in excess of 120 claims, over 70 of which are with the Consorcio, and will over the next few days and weeks be following up on the claims in an effort to ensure that our clients can get on with their lives as quickly as possible.
Catastrophes such as Marbella experienced bring to light the importance of having the correct insurance in place for those times when we feel the full force of nature. With this in mind we would encourage you to review your Insurance Policies, and make sure that you have the correct cover in place and that it will respond as you would like in the event of a loss.
Photos and video – James Bland