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Insurance can be difficult to understand and finding the right policy that makes
sense in English can be a nightmare, you need to speak with an English expert.
We can arrange a full advice and placement service. Our advice and placement
service covers the cover you need from all the leading insurers here in Spain
and throughout Europe. We will demonstrate discuss the full range of options
available and help you to identify those that are most suitable to your specific
Some Frequently Asked Questions on Car Insurance and Home Insurance.
What are the differences between Spain and your country
It is important that someone highlights for you any key differences or unique
aspects that might apply to your policies here in Spain. Your professional
adviser should have a detailed knowledge of the products that are both available
and suitable alongside a background of long-term experience in the market. If
you're a property owner in Spain needing professional insurance cover for your
holiday home at a competitive price, we can provide a competitive quote.
What are the laws regarding motor vehicle insurance in
Spanish Law is similar to the road traffic laws in other countries throughout
member states of the European Union all vehicles using the roads must be
insured for third party liability risks. EU Regulations stipulate that vehicles
must be insured by an Insurer licensed to operate in their country of
registration. WE can arrange insurance for both UK and Spanish registered
vehicles owned by expatriates in Spain, as the insurer is Lloyd's of London.
Lloyd's is allowed under the EU "Freedom of Services" Directive to cross border
service from the UK and Gibraltar and thus can insure UK registered cars driven
in Spain. Equally Lloyd's is "established" in Spain through the Spanish
Regulatory Authority the DGS and therefore can also insure Spanish
registered vehicles owned by expatriates living in Spain.
Which Law is applicable to the contract?
EU Law now stipulates that you and the Insurer are free to choose the law
applicable to the insurance contract but in absence of agreement to the
contrary, the law of the country in which you reside at the date of the contract
(or in the case of a business, the law of the country in which the registered
office or principal place of business) will apply. If you own a Spanish
registered vehicle the Law of Spain applies.
If I live in Spain can I drive a UK registered vehicle
Yes providing you have not applied for, and received, "Residencia", you can
bring your UK registered vehicle with you when you come to Spain but by law you
can only use it for six months in any calendar year in Spain. Ibex can however
continue to insure it for as long as you keep it in Spain. Any Non-resident who
changes to resident status after six months must either import the car into
Spain, which can be expensive and complicated, and re-register onto Spanish
plates, or sell it and buy a Spanish registered vehicle.
Do I need to produce an MOT Certificate before I can
obtain insurance for my UK registered vehicle?
We do not request sight of an MOT (or its Spanish equivalent ITV) before we
insure you but there is a strict policy requirement that your vehicle is
roadworthy at all times and you should also comply with the law in which your
vehicle is being used. Any breach of this could invalidate your insurance cover
and, failure to produce a certificate of roadworthiness may render you liable to
prosecution and /or a fine by the authorities. As long as you are non-resident
and do not use your vehicle for more than 6 months in Spain (and return the
vehicle to the UK after 6 months) then an MOT is valid in Spain. It is now
becoming common in Spain for UK vehicles to be tested at the local ITV (MOT
equivalent) centre. But remember the ITV certificate will only be valid in
Spain, so if you travel back to the UK and don't have a valid MOT certificate it
could lead to problems with the Police there. So be sure you comply with the law
and keep your vehicle in a roadworthy condition.
I have heard that most Spanish insurance companies will
not provide Comprehensive cover for vehicles more than three years old. Is this
The market is changing, but slowly, and this is still often the case. We can
arrange Comprehensive cover for vehicles a lot older providing that they have
been maintained in good condition.
Is it true that I must carry all my vehicle documentation
in the vehicle at all times? And what happens if the vehicle is stolen?
Yes it is! Whilst driving your car on the road in Spain you MUST have the
following documents with you:
The car's Ficha Tecnica (showing the technical details of the car) or Log Book
if UK registered
All your insurance documents receipt, certificate of insurance (for UK
vehicles) and Green Card
If your vehicle is stolen and the documents have gone with it the situation can
become problematical. So, although slightly inconvenient, we recommend that
whenever you leave your vehicle unattended that you take the documents with you.
However if you don't you will have to arrange to replace them before your claim
can be settled. The procedures involved to get replacement documents are as:
Attend the Guardia Civil station and make a Denuncia (statement).
Apply for a new Ficha Tecnica at your local ITV centre probably takes around
a week and you need to take the Denuncia with you.
Once you have the Instancia and a new Ficha Tecnica you then apply for
duplicate papers at your Trafico Office.
For UK registered vehicles you will need to write to the DLVA and apply for a
replacement Registration document.
Can I recover my uninsured losses?
An accident may not only affect your vehicle and the no claims discount under
your policy, but it can leave you out of pocket. Costs such as the payment of
your policy excess, hire car charges, additional travelling expenses, and the
inability to work and claim earnings are all known as Uninsured Losses. In the
UK when the accident is not your fault there is a strong chance that such costs
can be recovered if you have opted to add legal assistance cover to your policy,
however, in Spain things are slightly different and you are only likely to
receive reimbursement of your policy excess. Spanish insurers are unlikely to
consider anything else. Recovery is a slow process even after the acceptance
of liability by the other party. In some cases it can take up to 12 months
before you will receive payment. Unfortunately this is simply the way Spanish
companies all operate. Therefore expatriates in Spain need a high portion of
patience and determination.
My car has been written-off. I paid much more for it than
the insurance company is offering in settlement. Why?
An insurance company will pay you the value of the car at the time of the
accident. The value of all cars reduces the moment they leave the showroom, and
year on year thereafter. After a serious accident a qualified motor engineer,
known as a "Perito" in Spain, will inspect the vehicle and he will determine the
current market value for the insurance company based on standard market trade
Am I able to transfer my No Claim Discount from my
If you have a UK or no claims bonus from your own country this can be used in
Spain with written proof from your previous insurer.
How does my No Claim Discount work?
You earn a no-claims discount for each year of cover during which you do not
claim. The discount increases each year up to a maximum of four years. A single
claim, if you are at fault' (or if we cannot recover full losses from another
person's insurer) reduces your no-claims discount by two years. However, if
damage to your car is limited to accidental breakage of glass in the windscreen
or windows (and you have this cover insured) any payment made up to 650 will
not affect the allowance of your discount. If you claim for an amount above 650
then your no-claim discount will be reduced at next renewal by two years. It is
important to remember that this is a no-claims discount and not a no-blame
discount. If a loss occurs and we have to make a payment then your No Claim
Discount will be reduced unless we can recover our outlay. For example, your car
may be damaged by Fire or by an untraceable third party.
Can I tow a trailer or caravan?
Yes if they are not being used for commercial purposes and are within the limits
allowed by law. A small additional premium will be charged. Your policy provides
cover for legal liabilities while you are towing, but it doesn't provide cover
for damage to the trailer itself or the items being towed, nor does it provide
cover whilst the trailer is detached from your vehicle. We recommend that you
arrange separate cover for these risks.
Am I insured under my own policy if I drive someone
No. You must ensure that if you are driving a vehicle that does not belong to
you that the owner of that vehicle has arranged for you to drive under the terms
of their Insurance policy.
What if I want to take my vehicle outside of Spain?
If you are travelling abroad especially to the UK for a period longer than a
month please tell your Insurance Adviser how long you are travelling for.
Depending on your policy cover will be provided for selected countries. If you
intend to stay in any EEA country other than Spain for longer than 3 successive
months you should arrange a new policy locally.
What do I do if I want to include an additional driver on
Your current schedule/certificate of Insurance/Receipt shows who is covered to
drive your vehicle. If you need to add any further persons to those entitled to
drive you need to speak to your insurance adviser. In certain cases an
additional premium may be charged and we may need to issue a new policy, but
your insurance adviser will provide you with all the information you need.
What do I need to do if I change my vehicle?
If you change your vehicle, please tell your Insurance Adviser immediately and
return the following documents to them - Certificate of Insurance/Receipt/Green
What happens if I cancel my motor policy after a few
Most insurance policies are designed to run for 12 months and the premium you
pay is for a full year. Therefore if you cancel mid-term and do not take out
another policy, strictly speaking you are breaking your agreement to insure for
the full year. If you do cancel there are still a number of costs that have to
be paid for, such as administration, documentation and commission to the agent
that arranged it. These costs have to be covered no matter how long the policy
runs. Therefore if you cancel within 12 months you will be charged on a short
period, rather than a pro-rata, basis and the refund you will receive may be
quite small. The short period rates are detailed in your policy.
What is Buildings insurance and what does it cover?
Buildings insurance aims to cover damage to the actual structure and fittings of
your home by the perils stated in the policy. It will also cover toilets, baths
and fitted kitchens, your interior decorations and bedroom fitted cupboards.
Don't forget swimming pools, gates, fences, tennis courts, drives, garages and
other outbuildings You can also insure against subsidence, heave and landslip
(compared to other Spanish market policies that don't) if your buildings are not
more than ten years old (However this can also be included for older properties
subject to a satisfactory survey). The cover or sum insured that you arrange
needs to be sufficient to cover the total rebuilding cost of the property you
live in - not the market value of the property, as this is likely to be higher
than the cost it would take to rebuild. As the homeowner it is your
responsibility to get the sum insured right, because any under-insurance could
result in a claim being reduced.
What does Home Contents cover?
Almost everything that you own and would take with you if you moved house. This
will include furniture, kitchen equipment, food and drink, electrical appliances
including televisions, computers, entertainment equipment, clothes, ornaments
and valuables. As with all policies there are some exceptions and exclusions so
we recommend that you take time to read the policy booklet to discover those
that apply. If you are in any doubt consult your Insurance Adviser. You will
also discover some important extensions to cover. For example - your legal
liabilities. So, if as occupier of your home, you cause injury to someone else,
or damage their property, your policy will pay, if your liability is proven. In
addition your defence costs can also be covered.
How much do I need to insure my home for?
For Buildings insurance, you should insure your home for its full rebuilding
cost i.e. how much it would cost to rebuild if it was totally destroyed. This is
different to the market value of your home You can find your home's rebuilding
cost on the Valuation Report or Survey you had done when you purchased the
property (although if it is more than a couple of years old it almost certainly
needs to be increased to take account of inflation). For contents insurance, you
should insure the contents of your home for how much it would cost you to
replace them new today. To decide what your minimum sum insured should be, it is
a good idea to make an inventory checklist of absolutely everything you can
think of in and around your home. Then calculate how much it would cost to
replace each of the items. This should include things that you have made or
built, been given or bought, as they would all need to be replaced if they were
stolen or damaged. You should also try to include an approximate date on which
the item was purchased and gather together any receipts you may have. Making
this list may seem a tedious thing to do, as you will have to go through every
room in the house, listing every item and then attributing a replacement value
to it. However, it is worth taking the time to do this properly, as you may be
surprised at how high the eventual total is.
I own a small holiday apartment and I only need contents
cover, what should I do?
There is a policy designed to cover small holiday apartments. It provides the
same cover as home contents but is rated on the number of bedrooms.
What does the Accidental Damage to Contents extension
This cover is not available for Holiday/Second Homes in Spain but standard cover
such as fire, theft, water damage etc., under Permanent homes can be extended to
include other loss or damage claims to household goods such as breakage of
furniture, staining of carpets etc.
Which law is applicable to the contract?
You and the Insurers are free to choose the law applicable to this contract but
in the absence of agreement to the contrary, the law of the country in which you
reside at the date of the contract (or in the case of a business, the law of the
country in which the registered office or principal place of business) will
apply. In respect of property in Spain, Spanish law on Insurance Policies
50/1980, dated 8 October and Spanish Law 30/1995, dated 8 November, on
Ordination and Supervision of Private Insurance and related subordinate
What if my Lender asks for a copy of the policy?
No problem, a copy can be provided for you to pass on. You should have a copy
including a Schedule that notes their interest and complies with what they want.
Are there any circumstances that don't normally apply to
my home and its insurance in the UK?
Depends on the policy we recommend certain policies that cover as in the UK,
thereby giving you the best of both worlds.
For example if you rent your holiday villa and you find that it has been flooded
just before your 'renters' are due to arrive and they cancel their booking
because of it is best to have cover for loss of rental income. Or as another
example if you arrive and find that the property is not habitable due to damage
caused by an insured peril then its best to have the cost of alternative
accommodation provided. If you have arranged for the optional Emergency Travel
extension to be included and there is major damage to your property whilst you
are back home, then travel and accommodation costs can be covered up to
specified limits to enable you and one other person to travel out to Spain and
take control of the loss.
Are my belongings covered outside the home or when I go
Only if you have arranged cover for All Risks. Items specified under this
section are covered against theft, loss or accidental damage outside your home
and within the geographic area you have chosen - Europe or Worldwide.
What differences are there to the policy if my home is a
second or holiday home?
Apart from the exclusion of cover for valuables cover provided is similar. It
may be a requirement to provide additional security protection to eliminate the
higher risk of robberies and break-ins whilst the property is unoccupied.
How can I make my home secure?
You may be busy tanning on the sun-drenched beach or by the communal pool, or
have just nipped out, to the local shops or for a coffee, but if you're not
careful you could be setting yourself up for a very unpleasant homecoming - a
burglar can be in and out of your home in two minutes. And whilst crime is not
yet so prevalent here on the Mediterranean, it is on the increase.
The feeling that someone else has been in your home can live with you for a long
time. The key to real peace of mind is prevention in the form of security. You
may have had a minimal amount of valuables at the start of your insurance and
not much in the way of a safe or security system, but since then you may have
purchased various items of jewellery. This has obviously changed the nature of
the risk and it is unlikely that these higher valued items are covered.
The following is the minimum standard of security we expect for standard
Outside doors should be solid timber and be secured with 5 lever mortice
deadlocks or their equivalent. These locks can only be opened by key. A burglar
cannot just use a plastic card to push back the tongue of the lock or break a
glass panel and reach in to open it. Doors that you usually lock from the inside
- for example the back door should also be fitted with bolts.
Patio doors or other glass door should be fitted with key operated bolts to the
top and bottom opening sections in addition to a central locking device - this
stops the sliding frame being lifted off the tracks. In addition sliding grilles
should be fitted internally and secured with clasp locks.
Most burglaries are through windows. Where grilles or rejas have not been
fitted, key operated locks must be fitted to all accessible windows - those on
the ground floor and those near drainpipes and flat roofs.