Brit expat victims of Spain’s gota fria still waiting for insurance payments

Published:  17 Oct at 6 PM
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British expats in Spain who’ve lost everything due to the devastating gota fria weather event are being assured they’ll get compensation some time in the future.

The above is hardly reassuring to British expats who’ve lost homes, belongings, cars and treasured possessions, but it’s how Spanish bureaucracy works – slowly, especially when a large area is designated as a disaster zone. A small proportion of the cost of every expat's insurance policies ends up with the Consorcio de Compensacion de Seguros (CCS), a government body tasked with covering extreme events, an apt description of the massive floods last month. After such events, the CCS takes control, saving victims from having to contact their own insurers. Cover extends to exactly the amount you’re covered for, so if your own insurance covers 20,000, that’s what you’ll get after the wheels of the state have ground slowly.

For those who’ve actually lost their homes or those whose properties are still standing but are uninhabitable, an emergency payment of 4,500 euros can be had from the local town hall in order to pay for emergency accommodation as well as repairs and renewals. Unfortunately, if you’re uninsured or under-insured, you’ll have problems getting this emergency payout. British-plated cars aren’t covered even if they’re insured in Spain, and many car insurance policies don’t cover losses by flooding.

As regards taking time, one British family whose home was completely destroyed along with its contents are still waiting after four weeks for their insurance investigation to begin. They’d spent 10 years renovating and decorating the property, only to be forced to watch as it was swept away when the local river burst its banks. Not even the emergency donation of 4,500 euros has been given as, according to the couple, the local town hall doesn’t understand the claim. The family and their dog have been staying with friends since the tragedy, but are now considering returning to the UK until the insurance pays out.
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