Frequently Asked Questions
What are the laws regarding motor vehicle insurance in Spain?
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. All our motor policies fully comply with the laws of the member states. We are able to insure UK and Spanish registered vehicles owned by expatriates in Spain, as our polisies are underwritten by Lloyd's of London who are allowed, courtesy of the EU "Freedom of Services" Directive, to cross border service from the UK and Gibraltar and therefore can insure UK registered cars driven in Spain. Also, as Lloyd's is "established" in Spain through the regulatory authorities they can also insure Spanish registered vehicles owned by expatriates living in Spain.
If I live in Spain can I drive an EU registered vehicle legally?Yes, you can bring your UK or any EU registered vehicle with you when you come to Spain however the traffic act that came into force in Spain on 9/5/2014 requires all foreign vehicles that are kept in Spain to be re matriculated to Spanish plates within 30 days of importation. Please contact us if you require help with this.
Do I need an MOT Certificate to obtain insurance for a UK registered vehicle?There is a strict policy requirement that your vehicle is roadworthy at all times and that it complies with the law of the vehicles country of Origin and Spanish law, and ANY breach of this would could invalidate your insurance cover. Additionally failure to produce a certificate of roadworthiness when required would lead to a fine by the local authorities.
What documentation should I carry with me whilst driving?It is recommended that you carry the following;
- Driving Licence
- Photo ID
- UK vehicle road tax
- MOT/ ITV
- The vehicle log book
- All your insurance documents - certificate of insurance, Green Card and copy of the receipt
What happens if the vehicle is stolen?
If your vehicle is stolen and the documents have gone with it you will have to arrange a denuncia and on Foreign plated vehicles insure the chassis number is included and complete a vehicle theft report to your insurer asap, this is provided by LSM insurance.
Can I recover my uninsured losses?These will normally only be covered if they have been specifically included in your policy either automatically or by taking out additional optional cover.
Can I transfer my No Claim Discount from my previous Insurer?If you have earned no claims bonus in an EU country this can be used towards your new policy, however written proof from your previous insurer will be required.
Can I tow a trailer or caravan?Yes if they measure 10 metres or less in total whilst being towed, including the length of your vehicle and are not being used for commercial purposes. You must declare that you will be towing a trailer or caravan and a small additional premium may be charged. Your policy will provide cover for legal liabilities while you are towing, but it does not provide cover for damage to the trailer itself or the items being towed, nor does it provide cover for the trailer whilst it 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 else's vehicle?No. Unlike most UK policies you will not be covered, and you must ensure that you are covered under the owner's Insurance policy.
What if I want to drive my vehicle outside of Spain?Your policy provides free foreign cover for temporary visits to: Any country that is a member of the European Union The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands Finland, Norway and Switzerland If you are travelling abroad especially to the UK for a period longer than a month you should notify us in advance. Similarly, if you are intending to visit any country not listed above you must contact us prior to departure, and if you intend to stay in any EEA country outside the Iberian Peninsula for longer than 90 days you should arrange a new policy locally.
What do I do if I want to include an additional driver on my policy?If you need to add any further drivers you need to call us, and cover will depend on the additional driver's status and in certain cases an additional premium may be charged and we may need to issue a new policy.
What does Buildings insurance cover?
Buildings insurance aims to cover damage to the actual structure and fittings of your home caused by the perils stated as covered in the policy. It will also normally cover toilets, baths and fitted kitchens, interior decorations and bedroom fitted cupboards, swimming pools, gates, fences, tennis courts, drives, garages and other outbuildings. The policy also includes cover against subsidence, heave and landslip if your buildings are not more than ten years old, subject to all paperwork (necessary permisssions and certifications etc.) being in order (this can also be included for older properties subject to a satisfactory survey).
What does Contents insurance 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, please contact us.
How much should I 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 will probably be different to the market value of your home. If recently purchased you might find your home's rebuilding cost on the Valuation Report or Survey, and annual inflation should of course be allowed for. Alternatively a surveyor, builder, architect or agent should be able to assist you, and we can assist with this if required. For Contents insurance, you should insure the contents of your home for however much it would currently cost you to replace everything as new.
I own a small holiday apartment and I only need contents cover, what should I do?We can arrange a policy specifically designed to cover small holiday apartments. It provides the same cover as home contents but is rated on the number of bedrooms - please ask for details or go to the quote form.
What if my Mortgage Lender asks for a copy of the policy?No problem, we will be happy to send a copy to you to pass on. If you have bought your home through a Spanish lender you will be happy to know that all our policy schedules are in both English and Spanish and comply with what they want.
Are my belongings covered outside the home or when I go on holiday?No, not unless you have taken up on "All Risks" cover. 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.
Is my PC covered?Yes, if it is for personal use only.
If I own valuable items are they covered when in my home?If you occupy your home as a permanent residence our policies automatically cover valuables up to 25% of your contents sum insured in total. If you have valuables with a single article limit worth more than €5,000 or 7.5% of the contents sum insured, they will need to be specified separately on the policy schedule. Valuations will only be required in the event of a claim. If, however, your home is a second or holiday home your valuables will NOT automatically be covered. For this situation we can arrange separate cover, for example via travel insurance - please contact us for more info..
Are there any important Exclusions or Conditions that I should be particularly aware of?All insurance policies have exclusions and conditions. Our Home Policy has been modelled on the type of policy you can expect to obtain in the UK, with added extensions of cover that are typical for Spanish policies such as damage caused to electrical goods by a surge in the electricity supply for example. The policy is written in plain English thereby eliminating the hazards of not fully understanding a policy written solely in Spanish. There are however a couple of important points that you should be aware of;
- Natural disasters. In Spain, all policies include a contribution to a national natural disasters fund - the Consorcio. When a natural disaster occurs, such as hurricane or flooding, it is this fund which deals with any claims. Remember, in the case of holiday homes and second residences valuables are not covered so these must be included under your primary home policy or a travel policy... contact us for help with this.
- When left unoccupied for any length of time you must lock all doors and windows and activate the alarm system if you have one.
- If your home is left unoccupied for more than 14 consecutive days then the water must be drained and switched off and if friends or family visit the property or you rent the property you must remember to tell them.
What level of security should I have for my home?This will depend on both the individual and total value of your items. The normal minimum security requirement for typical properties is:
- Outside Doors: These should be solid timber and be secured with 5 lever mortice deadlocks or their equivalent. These are locks that can only be secured and opened by key, i.e. not a typical "Yale" type lock where the door can sumply be pulled to. Doors that are normally locked from the inside should also be fitted with bolts.
- Patio doors or other glass door should be fitted with 3-5 point, i.e. with key operated bolts to the top and bottom opening sections in addition to one or more central locking device - most modern "double-glazed" doors meet this standard. Sliding or swing shut grills should preferably be fitted externally and secured with clasp locks, particularly if left unattended for extended periods.
- Windows should have grills or bars (called "rejas" in Spanish) and key operated locks must be fitted to all accessible windows - those on the ground floor and those near drainpipes and flat roofs or where the bottom of the window is less than 3 metres above ground level.
Can travel start from anywhere?
Our usual travel policy is designed for residents of Spain and so your travel must start and end from that residence. For one-way trips cover will end upon expiry of the policy or when you leave immigration in your final ticketed and declared destination.
What is the maximum trip duration for a single trip policy?120 days.
What is the maximum trip duration for an annual multi trip policy?31 days with Standard cover or 45 days with Super cover.
Can I extend the term of my single trip policy whilst travelling?No. Start and end date must be determined when taking out the policy
Can I make changes to my policy?Yes, you can upgrade your policy prior to departure but you cannot reduce coverage in return for a partial refund. If cover has not commenced we can also cancel policies without charge and create a new policy, subject to confirmation that no incidents have arisen up to that point which could give raise to a claim.
Can I cancel my policy?Cancellations are not available on single trip policies. As stated above, if cover has not commenced we can cancel the policy without charge and create a new policy, subject to confirmation that no incidents have arisen up to that point which could give raise to a claim. Cancellations of Annual Multi Trip policies can be processed mid term with no refund of premium.
Am I covered for travel in my home country?Residents of Spain are covered but must have pre-booked accommodation of one night or more.
Should I carry my policy documents when I travel?Yes. Some tour operators may request sight of the policy schedule. You should always keep the 24 hour emergency assistance number to hand.
Does my policy cover repatriation?Yes. All our policies include repatriation cover. The decision to repatriate is taken by the emergency assistance service.
If a medical condition is excluded what does that mean?Any claim which relates either directly or indirectly to the excluded medical condition will not be covered. Cover remains in place for any other unrelated insurance claim.
What is an excess and how does it work?
A health policy may carry a compulsory excess or you can choose to have a voluntary excess which will give a discount on the premium. A policy excess means that any claim monies due to you will only be paid once you have reached the excess level of your plan. The excess is normally annual and is applied to the first valid claim the insurer receives in the policy year. If your treatment carries over into a new policy year then the excess will apply again for that year. Be aware when choosing a policy that a few insurers apply an excess for every medical condition rather than on an annual basis.
On some policies there is a waiting time, what does this mean?This is time after the commencement of your policy during which you cannot claim. It is common for a policy to have a 2 month waiting period (except accidents) and up to a 12 month waiting period for some medical conditions, and pregnancy always carries a waiting time which can vary from 10 to 24 months.
What are pre-existing conditions?Usually a physical or mental condition for which medical advice, diagnosis, care or treatment is recommended or received before the starting date of the policy. Exclusions for a pre-existing condition may be applied to the policy, depending whether the condition is on-going and the type and severity of the condition.
Acute and Chronic Conditions.
Medical insurance policies are designed to treat acute medical conditions, which is defined as sudden in onset and of short duration. A chronic condition is a disease, illness or injury that needs on-going or long-term treatment and monitoring through doctor consultations, examinations, check ups and/or tests, continues indefinitely and has no known cure. Most standard policies exclude chronic conditions once the initial diagnosis has been made. They will cover all the investigations or tests leading up to diagnosis and any initial treatment to stabilise the condition, but not long-term treatment. Should you have an acute attack of a chronic condition then it is normal that the insurer will pay for further treatment until the condition is once again stabilised. For example, asthma would be regarded as a chronic condition, however an acute asthma attack needing specialist or hospital treatment would be covered on the policy until the condition is stable once again.
What is Underwriting?Private Medical Insurance companies have 3 different types of underwriting for individuals:
- Full Medical Underwriting wherein you will be asked to complete a medical questionnaire and to declare conditions that you have had previously or had, for example, in the previous 5 years. You will need to declare any medication that you are taking or any treatment that you are currently undergoing.
- Moratorium wherein you will not be asked about any medical history but instead the insurer will not cover any medical conditions which existed in the last (usually) 5 years. However, after a continuous period of two years these conditions will be eligible for cover but only if you have not had symptoms, received treatment, taken medication, had tests and advice from your GP or Specialist
- Continuing Personal Medical Exclusions (CPME) also known as Switch. If you transfer from one insurer to another, with no break in cover, you may be considered for cover on a Switch basis, whereby the new insurer takes you on with the same underwriting as on your old policy. This means if you have specific exclusions on your old policy then the new policy will also have these exclusions. Generally, you need to have had a year without hospital or specialist treatment and not to have had cancer or heart condition to be eligible.
Can I cover my cat or dog from birth?
No but we do cover cats and dogs from just 8 weeks old.
Is there an age limit for cover?We do not cover cats over 8 years old or dogs over 10 years old unless through renewal of a policy taken out before the pet reached the afore-mentioned age.
Will you cover a pet that has not been microchipped?No.
Can I take out cover if my pet's vaccinations are not up to date?No. Also if you take out a policy and do not keep your pet's vaccinations up to date we will not pay claims resulting from any illness that it should have been vaccinated against.
Are pre-existing medical conditions covered?No. Also we will not pay claims for illness or injury which start within 14 days of the start of cover.
Will my pet have access to complementary treatments?Yes. Up to the maximum benefit for each accident or illness for a period not exceeding 12 months as long as they are carried out under the direction of a vet and your policy remains in force throughout the period of the treatment.
Is my pet covered for foreign travel?If you take Silver or Gold level cover and if the pet holds a valid EU pet passport or PETS certificate issued prior to 1 October 2004.
If I cancel my pet policy mid term, will I get a refund?Not during the first year of cover but in subsequent years you can cancel the insurance if there has been no claim or no incident likely to give rise to a claim. The refund will be based on short period rates laid out in the policy document.
What should I concern myself with when I am choosing the right marine policy for my boat?
There are a series of factors which are important in determining the best choice of policy. It is key first and foremost to look at companies that have good security and are established in the market. Following this one must verify that they have a 'dedicated' Marine underwriting speciality with a 'dedicated' Marine Claims department. The other factors are determined by the type of boat one has, its navigational requirements and its use.
There are companies that specialise more in sailing yachts, others in racing, some in high tech. vessels, some in circumnavigation and a select few in the larger super yachts. Whilst price is important for most people one must be wary of very cheap options. Ibex deals with insurers with an excellent claims service. Generally speaking sail and motor vessels up to say €100,000 in value have a wide selection of quality insurers.
What does boat insurance cover and exclude?We cover the following risks: • Fire/Explosion • Theft/Attempted theft • Vandalism/Piracy • Storm • Contact with third party objects • Your negligence The following are excluded: • Wear, tear, depreciation or gradual deterioration • Gradual breakdown • Corrosion or electrolysis • Deliberate acts of negligence or recklessness under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Do I need qualifications for my insurance?Generally speaking, qualifications are required but this varies depending on the size of boat, navigational waters and its activity. For coastal cruising within the Med. in a vessel under 10 meters the key requisite is over 3 years experience. With larger vessels and broader navigational requirements qualifications are required plus experience. Within the UK system it comes under the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) and this range from entry level courses, day skipper, advanced pilotage, coastal skipper and yacht master. (See useful links). Normally one needs to abide by the regulations of the country under which the vessel is registered. For standard boats the ICC (International Certificate of Competence) is generally acceptable throughout.
Can I tailor make the policy to suit my specific needs?Most policies have a series of options that you can choose from in accordance with requirements. Some examples are as follows: waterskiing liability, club racing for sailing boats, extension of navigational waters by degrees, incremental third party liability, waiver of excess, crew cover, charter cover, protection & indemnity cover (all encompassing liability and crew cover package for the larger yachts with employed crew). It is therefore also important to identify what will be required so as to avoid paying for cover that is not really necessary.
I am always concerned about claims. What should I do if I have an accident?When you have an incident to deal with, it is very important, for expediency sake, to take photographs and make a small written declaration as to what has occurred – e-mail is acceptable nowadays. If it's a theft then it should be accompanied by a police report. This is far better than just ringing or writing as it will speed up the process as it will be requested anyway. If you are at sea and you are concerned about running aground then seek assistance. Insurers will look favourably upon eforts make to reduce risk and avoid total loss of the craft or personal injury.
Is my boat covered whilst in transit by road?Loss or damage to the boat is automatically provided for boats less than 30' in length. We can cover larger boats providing the transit is undertaken by a professional transportation company using purpose built trailers but you need to notify us in advance.
If I lend my boat to a friend, will they be covered under the policy?Yes, provided they are doing so with your permission and you are confident in their ability to handle the boat.
If I change the boats' permanent mooring location, do I need to advise you?Yes, you must advise us of any relevant changes to your own or the boat's circumstances throughout the year, at the very latest by renewal.
I am not intending to use my boat next season, what should I do about insurance?As a general rule, most boatyards and marinas would expect you to retain at least third party insurance whilst the boat is on their premises but you should also consider other risks such as fire, theft, malicious damage and stress of weather.
Do I have to declare the increase of stock during the sales campaigns?
Yes. You can specify this when you issue the policy or at the beginning of the campaign.
Are the goods held in trust covered?
Yes, we cover the goods that you hold in trust and are inside your premises.