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Warning re insurance in Spain

Warning re insurance in Spain

Old Feb 10th 2010, 9:40 am
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Default Warning re insurance in Spain

Information re insurance in Spain. January 2010

I wish to inform you of problems and dangers you may encounter when dealing with matters of insurance in Spain.

In doing so I rely upon my actual experience with Knights Insurance Brokers and ‘Reale Seguros’ (a Spanish insurance company). For that reason I am posting the complete information, just as an example of what can happen. Both the said companies have received copies of this information, neither has asked me to alter anything.

Warning to all who take out insurance in Spain.

I suggest that whenever you have any communication with your insurance company or broker, on any insurance matter, you request written confirmation of all exchanges, and to be particularly aware that you are required to give TWO MONTHS notice to cancel any policy, even though you will probably not be advised of the details of the renewal until very shortly before it is due. Not to do so could cost you dearly.

This is what prompts me to give you this advice:-

I had a policy with Knights Insurance Brokers. It had been transferred to them on the cessation of trading by another broker. I inadvertency paid for a year’s cover, even though I had cancelled the policy. The circumstances were :-

On 27/8/07, following receipt of a renewal notice, I informed Knights by email, that the property they showed I had cover on was a property which I had sold in 2001. They eventually agreed I was in fact covered for the property I had moved to: I renewed my policy.

On 13/8/08, I was informed by email from Knights that the policy was due for renewal on 9/9/08. Yet again, the notice showed that the property which was on cover was the one which I had sold in 2001.

On 18/8/08, I informed Knights by email that I did not wish to renew the policy. A while later, not having received a reply I called Knights and confirmed that I did not wish to renew. They confirmed they had my email, that the cover was cancelled, and that the premium would not be collected from my bank.

Subsequently I saw that the premium had been taken by direct debit. I called Knights. They said it was an error and it would be refunded. I believed them and did not keep a close eye on my account, thus I did not realise until a year later that they had not made the refund.

In 2009 I received a renewal notice from Knights, again quoting that the cover was for the property which I had sold in 2001 was due. I called and explained that following the wrong address being quoted in 2007 and 2008 I had cancelled the policy in 2008. They told they had no record of any cancelation and for that reason the Insurance company ‘Reale Seguros’ would not refund the premium they had incorrectly collected in 2008.

Subsequently, in an email account which had I not used for some time, I found Knights email to me regarding the renewal and my email cancelling the cover. Following further communications with Knights they accepted that I had not lied, as they had implied, and confirmed I had cancelled the policy in 2008, However, because I had not done so TWO MONTHS before the renewal date (i.e. two months before the renewal notice was sent to me) they would not make a refund. It will be noted that in 2009 the broker sent me a renewal notice for the policy which they agreed I cancelled in 2008, and which still showed the ‘insured property’ as that which I sold in 2001. Despite my email cancelling the policy, THIRTEEN MONTHS before they still had not cancelled the policy, hence the renewal.

Had Knights informed me that I could not cancel the policy without two months notice and that as such it would be current for a further year, I would not have re-insured my property, with another broker. However, of course they did not. At no time did I receive any notification that the policy had not been cancelled nor confirmation that it was still current.

Re the insured address.: Knights have told me that the address shown as being the ‘insured property’ on the renewal notices in 2007, 2008 and 2009 was not important as it was ‘just a typing error.’ I wonder what they would have said had I made a claim on the address where I lived but which was not shown on the renewal notice !
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Old Feb 10th 2010, 10:15 am
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Default Re: Warning re insurance in Spain

Sorry to hear of your problem with Knights.

Never heard of any company requiring two month notice. That may be a condition with your insurer? I did not give notice when I changed to Linea Direct.
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Old Feb 10th 2010, 10:21 am
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Default Re: Warning re insurance in Spain

Originally Posted by missile View Post
Sorry to hear of your problem with Knights.

Never heard of any company requiring two month notice. That may be a condition with your insurer? I did not give notice when I changed to Linea Direct.
I am pretty certain the two month rule applies to all Spanish Insurance Companies, but most, the ones who want to favourably impress present and future customers, would not implement it. My previous broker, the one who transferred his business to Knights, did not do so, nor dose the one I know have. But it is because the possibility is there, and we are in crisis so maybe the companies need all the income they can get, that I wanted to warn members.
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Old Feb 10th 2010, 10:27 am
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Default Re: Warning re insurance in Spain

Originally Posted by missile View Post
Sorry to hear of your problem with Knights.

Never heard of any company requiring two month notice. That may be a condition with your insurer? I did not give notice when I changed to Linea Direct.
I have been told, on more than one occasion, that ALL insurance companies in Spain require two months notice to cancel. That's even on the annual renewal. That is, if you have not given two months notice (after 10 months), then they will automatically take the next years premium.

For that reason, I no longer give my bank details to insurance companies and try to pay by cheque or in cash.
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Old Feb 10th 2010, 10:34 am
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Default Re: Warning re insurance in Spain

Originally Posted by snikpoh View Post
I have been told, on more than one occasion, that ALL insurance companies in Spain require two months notice to cancel. That's even on the annual renewal. That is, if you have not given two months notice (after 10 months), then they will automatically take the next years premium.

For that reason, I no longer give my bank details to insurance companies and try to pay by cheque or in cash.
In my present exchanges, Knights said I could have cancelled the DD payment (and maybe the company would not have pursued it, although they could) but I did not realise in time they had taken the premium, and foolishly I believed Knights when they said they would make the refund.
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Old Feb 10th 2010, 10:38 am
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Default Re: Warning re insurance in Spain

In my experience my previous insurer did not demand two months notice. I have looked at Linea Direct documents and there is not mention of such a condition there either.

Should you have a similar problem with DD in the future, please note you should have 28 days to reverse payments online - or at least I can with my bank.

Last edited by missile; Feb 10th 2010 at 10:41 am.
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Old Feb 10th 2010, 10:48 am
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Default Re: Warning re insurance in Spain

Originally Posted by missile View Post
In my experience my previous insurer did not demand two months notice. I have looked at Linea Direct documents and there is not mention of such a condition there either.

Should you have a similar problem with DD in the future, please note you should have 28 days to reverse payments online - or at least I can with my bank.
Good advice. In my case my car insurance was due at the same month as the house insurance. The bank statement showed the house insurance as 'Auto Seguro' so I did not pick up on it.

But as Knights said, the Insurance company can still demand payment even if one cancels the DD, and if Snikpoh is correct, which I think it he is, it applies to all companies.

Last edited by johncar61; Feb 10th 2010 at 12:12 pm.
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Old Feb 10th 2010, 11:54 am
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Default Re: Warning re insurance in Spain

Originally Posted by snikpoh View Post
I have been told, on more than one occasion, that ALL insurance companies in Spain require two months notice to cancel. That's even on the annual renewal. That is, if you have not given two months notice (after 10 months), then they will automatically take the next years premium.
I am insured with

http://www.ibexinsure.com/

I have just spoken to them, I can cancel a policy at anytime I like.
They do not require any notice period.
Also I can cancel a policy whilst it is running and will receive a refund for the outstanding period.
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Old Feb 10th 2010, 11:57 am
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Default Re: Warning re insurance in Spain

Originally Posted by snikpoh View Post
For that reason, I no longer give my bank details to insurance companies and try to pay by cheque or in cash.
Linea Direct would not insure me without DD.
My policy states 15 days for cancellation.
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Old Feb 10th 2010, 12:04 pm
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Default Re: Warning re insurance in Spain

Originally Posted by missile View Post
In my experience my previous insurer did not demand two months notice. I have looked at Linea Direct documents and there is not mention of such a condition there either.

Should you have a similar problem with DD in the future, please note you should have 28 days to reverse payments online - or at least I can with my bank.
Please be aware that every organisation has a different period within which payments can be reversed. These can vary between 0 (obviously) and 28 days.

I tried to reverse a payment via the bank only to be told (and shown) that I was outside the 14 day period - I hadn't spotted this clause on the factura.
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Old Feb 10th 2010, 12:11 pm
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Default Re: Warning re insurance in Spain

Originally Posted by Fredbargate View Post
I am insured with

http://www.ibexinsure.com/

I have just spoken to them, I can cancel a policy at anytime I like.
They do not require any notice period.
Also I can cancel a policy whilst it is running and will receive a refund for the outstanding period.

Thanks for that Fred.

I just called them too and they confirmed what you say, but only if one insures directly with them.

They said that through a broker might involve the two month cancellation requirement.

I guess that means, with some companies at least, maybe a broker is not the best way to go.
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Old Feb 10th 2010, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: Warning re insurance in Spain

Originally Posted by johncar61 View Post
Thanks for that Fred.

I just called them too and they confirmed what you say, but only if one insures directly with them.

They said that through a broker might involve the two month cancellation requirement.

I guess that means, with some companies at least, maybe a broker is not the best way to go.
OK John

I have never gone to Ibex through a broker so never gave that a thought.
I used to have an office virtually next door to them, and have known the boss for about 30 years.
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Old Feb 11th 2010, 9:26 am
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Default Re: Warning re insurance in Spain

I was previously insured via CAM bank with Mediterraneo Mediacion and I simply phoned and told them I did not wish to renew. I have contacted Linea Direct, they confirmed to cancel auto renewal, one simply phones when you receive the renewal notice.

There may be some who do, but there are at least two companies who do not require 2 month notice to cancel auto renewal. I don't see why Ibex should be any different via a broker?

I would suggest OP may have more success if he complains to his insurers directly.

FYI, Reale Seguros are part of Reale Mutua. The company was founded in Italy 1988. I don't know whether their policies are good, but their advert certainly is > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYw1FxwqUR4
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Old Feb 11th 2010, 11:26 am
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Default Re: Warning re insurance in Spain

Originally Posted by missile View Post
I was previously insured via CAM bank with Mediterraneo Mediacion and I simply phoned and told them I did not wish to renew. I have contacted Linea Direct, they confirmed to cancel auto renewal, one simply phones when you receive the renewal notice.

There may be some who do, but there are at least two companies who do not require 2 month notice to cancel auto renewal. I don't see why Ibex should be any different via a broker?

I would suggest OP may have more success if he complains to his insurers directly.

FYI, Reale Seguros are part of Reale Mutua. The company was founded in Italy 1988. I don't know whether their policies are good, but their advert certainly is > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYw1FxwqUR4
I have complained to Knight's who have repeatedly called me a liar, even when I have shown them the emails they sent me, and I have complained to Reale Seguros, they too were not interested. They equally were not interested when I said I intended to bring their business practice to notice in the press. Had they made a reasonable reply you would not be reading this now.
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Old Feb 19th 2010, 5:07 pm
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Default Re: Warning re insurance in Spain

I was interested in what missile has to say as I am just in the process of trying to cancel my insurance thru' CAM with Mediterraneo Mediacion.My branch manager has told me that I can't and it is Spanish Law!?! that I give 2 months
notice....I have then tried to contact the insurers direct without any luck...
Do you have a phone number for medit medacion missile?
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