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Floods-Op de Beeck & Worth
May 16, 2017

December Floods

We are pleased to confirm that we are nearing the end of the dramatic increase in workload created by the December floods, and the vast majority of our clients have now put the experience behind them.

We opened in excess of 500 claims resulting from the unprecedented rains on the 3rd & 4th December, and have so far paid out well in excess of € 2M in settlement of claims relating to the floods.

Of the claims, at least 200 were opened with the Consorcio de Compensacion de Seguros, who despite not enjoying the best of reputations, deallt with the majority of our clients claims in a quick and efficient manner with settlements in line with our clients’ expectations.

Whilst we have dedicated two people exclusively to handling claims since the floods, we are conscious that in some cases clients have had to wait longer than we would have liked to bring their claim to a conclusion, and we take this opportunity to thank those clients who experienced a delay for their patience and understanding.

Having handled the volume of claims we have in the past few months has really highlighted how important certain aspects are when dealing with insurance and hopefully the following tips will assist you if you have the misfortune of suffering a loss;

  1. Make sure that you pay your premium on time,as failure to do so could leave you uninsured.
  2. Make sure that your sums insured reflect the true picture – in the case of buildings this should be full reconstruction value, including architects fees, cost of licence, site clearance etc. and in the case of contents it should reflect full replacement cost as new. Also, if you have any objects of value (art, antiques, rugs, silver etc.) then make sure these items are specifically listed in your policy. A recent study by Spanish Insurer Mapfre discovered that 63% of homes in Spain were under insured, and a further study by Direct Line determined on average home insurance sums insured in Spain were 32% below the correct sum insured. Needless to say, this can lead to serious problems in the event of a claim – so we strongly recommend that you review your sums insured before it’s too late!
  3. Having suffered the claim, the whole claims process can be made much easier and smoother, if you are able to present the claim to the Loss Adjuster as completely as possible, with photographs, video footage of damaged areas, estimates for repairs or replacement of damaged items, reports from engineers on electrical or electronic items which are damaged beyond repair etc.
  4. Be realistic about the amount you expect to receive from the insurance company. Insurance companies are in business to make a profit, and if they can repair an item at a lower cost than it can be replaced for, they will normally insist on the repair route being taken. Also, remember that property owners have a duty of care in respect of their property, which requires that routine maintenance and repairs are carried out on a regular basis. Rainwater should NOT penetrate into homes via the roof, window frames, or walls, and if it does so, it is due to the fact that there was a problem with the property before the rains, which allowed the water in. In these circumstances, the insurance company will indemnify you for the damage caused to the interior of your property, but NOT for the repairs to the outside area which gave rise to the water entering in the first place – this is deemed to correspond to the owner as a maintenance cost which was highlighted because of the rain, but was not caused by the rain.
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