Insurance Do’s and Don’ts in Spain
Although some insurance policies are mandatory by law, such as car insurance, most other types of policies are personal choice. We’ve included a series of tips and tricks but, of course, the final choice is up to you.
Young driver in the family? It’s cheaper to put him/her on your own car insurance in Spain with yourself as the main driver. But watch out as insurance companies are catching on to this and, in the case of an important claim, may investigate. If it can be proven that you were not the main driver, this may invalidate your claim.
Don’t always take for granted that third party insurance is cheaper than fully comprehensive – compare prices first. Alternatively check out third party cover with extras (eg windscreen breakage).
It’s a good idea to use price comparison sites for car insurance such as Acierto. But if you put in the wrong details you may invalidate your cover. Additionally remember that not all companies are included in price comparison sites.
The EU directive states that all electrical appliances must have a 2-year warranty. Keep your receipt or invoice, during the first six months any repair should be dealt with by the seller without cost.
The tricky part comes after these 6 months where the buyer has to prove that the fault was not due to incorrect usage of the product.
Many sellers tend to avoid mentioning the two-year warranty and try to offer an extended warranty when you buy their goods. This leads to crazy pricing such as 40€ cover for a 60€ printer.
Check your home insurance policy as it may cover many of the eventualities that these policies offer.
For minor items we suggest you “save for a rainy day” rather than take out an extended warranty.
Before you think about paying for mobile phone insurance, check if it’s covered on your home contents insurance and, if so, up to what value.
If you have a top-of-the-range phone but you’re only covered for up to 100€ consider a policy either with your mobile phone provider or another company such as The Phone House.
House Insurance and Contents
Don’t underestimate your home contents insurance to save a few euros on your policy. If you have to make a claim on your policy (eg after a break-in) and the insurance company decides that you’d only insured for half the contents actual worth, then you’d only be entitled to half of your claim.
If you have an empty property on the market, reduce your contents insurance to what’s actually needed. Most companies have a minimum threshold for contents insurance cover (which may be above your actual requirement).
If you’ve rented out your property, let the tenants know they’ll be responsible for insuring their own contents.
The cost of pet insurance can be worthwhile given the potential cost of vet’s fees, but remember to check out the small print as, for example, if you forget to vaccinate your pet it could invalidate your policy.
Pets will normally have to have a microchip fitted and you won’t be covered if your pet takes part in sporting or hunting activities.
In Spain most of the major insurance companies offer policies for pets, so check out Mapfre, Santalucía or Ocaso. Additionally there’s a dedicated website called SegurVet. Anybody who’s brought their pet from abroad should make sure to mention it to the insurance company.
If you travel more than once a year, consider an annual travel insurance policy (also available in periods of 3 months) that tend to work out more economical than buying each time you travel.
Insurance companies must let you know the renewal cost 2 months before it’s due. You only need to let them know if you’re going to cancel 1 month before renewal.
For each policy before it’s up for renewal remember to:
- Check your existing cover – does it need amending (eg change in home contents value)? Are there any new circumstances that you need to include or remove?
- Shop around, use price comparison sites to find cheaper deals.
- Call your current insurer and let them know the deals you’ve found. Give them an ultimatum, in most cases they’ll equal the price and, if not, switch to a new company.