Differences between Spain and our countries of origin
A few examples of what differs here in Spain from our countries of origin and other things to be aware of
We are used to having excess on anything and everything in a car insurance, like on the breakdown cover, but that is not the case in an AXA car insurance here in Spain. If you only have third party cover and need a tow away car you call AXA asistencia and it does not cost you anything. If you are planning to be driving outside of Spain make sure to have the Vip Asistencia cover.
If you take a fully comprehensive insurance you usually take it with an excess like 300 € on damage to your own car, because the premium is so much lower if the company can avoid the minor accidents, and because you loose bonus you would not make a claims report anyway for smaller things.
But important is that you pay excess only on repair of damage to your own car that AXA pays for. Not on breakdown cover, not on glass nor on theft or fire.
Also a warning for some insurance companies in which your car is only covered for a limited period of time outside of Spain like 60 or 90 days. Make sure you know what applies to you. And who can drive your car without any restrictions on your cover.
Differences between burglary, simple theft and mugging
You come home from the market and discover that your wallet is gone. You contact the insurance company and make a claim for mugging, but that is not true, you notice when someone assaults you use violence or threaten you with violence a weapon of some kind or cut off a strap or similar. That is usually covered up to a limit a small amount for cash, pickpocketing is usually not covered, that is simple theft just like if you hang you jacket over a chair and it is gone. Not covered.
Burglary on the other hand is if someone breaks in to your home then you usually find damage to the door/ lock or windows, or climbing on the facade, jumping from balcony to balcony. That you are covered for if you include burglary, but be aware that there is usually a maximum sum for money/ cash and valuables like jewellery. Even if you leave a door or window open or let in a neighbor or the plumber and they steal something you usually have a small cover for theft, with us max 600 €, that is what it is simple theft. But that is limited to inside of your insured home.
Information/ aspects to think about
The most difficult claim we encounter is when you get water in your home from a neighbor or the community . You can be insured but we can not send somebody in to repair the leak or what ever is causing the damage to your property. That the other party has to do. And we will not even send someone in to repair your property until the cause is repaired, because obviously if the cause is not fixed you will get more damage later on. If the community of owners have a leaking roof causing water damage to your property your insurance company will repair your damaged ceiling etc when the leaking roof has been fixed, not before!
What you have in your insurance that is very important in cases like this is legal assistance, meaning that your insurance company helps you to defend yourself against claims from third parties as well as in claiming against a third party damaging your property. They provide a lawyer/ solicitor to represent you in court and in negotiations with the other party.
It is of course very important to cover your assets, your property in case of accident but maybe even more important is to cover you against third party damage you, family, pets, property can cause on others, that can become very expensive.
Sometimes we are met with the suggestion that the community of owners insure the building so our clients do not need to do that, but that is not normally the case! A normal community insures the communal areas like staircase, lift, roof, pool, gardens, the structure, the main water- and sewage pipes the ones that go vertically in the building. But normally the community insurance does not cover your water pipes( the ones going horizontally inside your home), your kitchen, bathroom, window, doors. So in most cases you need to cover that in your own building insurance.
What to do/ consider in case of a claim
First obviously try to stop further damage, close mains water, extinguish fire etc if you can, call police, fire brigade or what is the most important there and then.
Then contact your insurance company (AXA tel. 902 40 40 84 or if you need assistance in an other language than Spanish 911 119 546) or if it is during our opening hours call us and we will do the claims report for you . If it is break in/ robbery/ theft, you should make a list of what has been stolen/ damaged and the individual value, make a police report with the list included. If it is an emergency and you need to have a locksmith or other professional to stop any more damage, be certain to take a proper invoice stating your name and address, the name and CIF number and address of the professional, and with the vat stated. Take pictures if possible and save the damaged goods/ destroyed lock or whatever the assessor may need to see and include in hos report.
We are here to explain to our clients how things work here. Some things are just the same as we are used to, other times not, sometimes it is better sometimes not, or maybe just different.
We pass on documents/ information from our clients to the insurance company, like police reports, pictures , invoices, information, contact information etc. We are mediators between client and insurer, we explain and coordinate or make sure a plumper or other relevant builder is sent our when needed.
Make sure to get all the relevant information about the other party/parties, name, address, phone, registration number, car: make modell, insurance company, policy number, type of damage, description of what happened, where and when, who was at fault. We may be used to splitting the guilt but in Spain it is not common, if you revers it is generally your fault if something happens, the same with roundabouts and exiting garage/ parking, not giving way to someone coming from your right etc.
Is my bonus from another country respected? It usually is with a proper bonus certificate in English from previous insurance company you can expect to get a discount here too on the premium, but is has to be a recent/fresh certificate and a recent/fresh bonus .
Who can drive my car? Generally speaking for AXA car insurance anybody can drive your car and the obligatory third party insurance is valid, but for the voluntary extended third party cover the driver has to be over 25 years of age and have had a driver´s licence for at least 2 years. That also goes for fully comprehensive cover, damage to your own car.
What do I do when I need a tow- away car or just help to start the car? You call AXA asistencia 900 300 188 or if you need someone speaking English 911 119 546
What to do if I forgot to pay the premium? You contact us as soon as you notice that you have not paid, if it is within 30 days you pay the premium and all is well. In Spain you have a 30 days periodo de gracia, a period during which the insurance is not cancelled even if not paid up. If the 30 days have passed but not more than 3 months, you may need to sign a declaration that you have not had a claim during the period when the premium was not paid and enclose a copy of your passport so we can ask AXA to revive/ reactivate the insurance and emit a new receipt. You have to pay in the premium immediately too.
When do I need the green card? If you are taking the car outside of Spain you need the green card since it is the international insurance certificate.