Expats in Spain warned about house insurance companies underhand methods

Published:  8 Jun at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain, Money, Euro
Expats in Spain are up in arms about tactics being used by house insurance firms, with some claiming the methods used to prevent clients changing companies are underhand

House insurance is one priority which the majority of expats take seriously, but recent reports claim the methods used by some companies to prevent clients leaving are underhand at best. Online complaints about the problem aren’t confined to those living in Spain as it seems expats in other European countries are also affected.

In Spain, insurance companies commonly demand a minimum of one month’s notice before a policy can be cancelled. A major problem experienced by many expats is that, even although timely notice has been given either by phone, fax or email, their bank accounts are still being debited for the full amount of the renewal payment. Disgruntled customers are reporting their notices of cancellation are simply being ignored.

One expat living on the Costa Blanca had written and faxed his insurance company a full month before the policy was due to be renewed, only to find the renewal premium had been debited from his bank account. He contacted his bank, which agreed to arrange a refund, but the insurance company is still insisting he owes them a full year’s premium. He’s refusing to pay, and believes it’s only expats who are being targeted in this manner.

An elderly couple in Tenerife have been plagued by twice daily phone calls from their insurance company demanding 420 euros for a policy they’ve cancelled. They’ve become so anxious about the calls they are now changing their phone number. Another victim said the insurers had demanded her bank account details even although she’d insisted on paying by cash at a local branch office.

Later, she found the company had taken money form the account without her permission, and refused to cancel the policy after she’d reinsured with another company. Unbelievably, when she tried to get a refund, a representative of the company suggested she could choose between the two companies’ policies should she need to make a claim.

One elderly expat, also living on the Costa Blanca, became so scared by the endless letters from his insurance company that he simply paid up even although he no longer needed the policy. He said he’d always ‘done the right thing’, adding he was frightened they would take him to court and he would lose his right to live in Spain. Many expats do the same because of fear, and it seems the insurance companies are taking advantage of this fact by using underhand methods and trickery.
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