09 Sep Obligations and Rights against House Insurance Companies
The forest fire of Javea and Benitatxell, which caused the evacuation of more than 1,400 people and burned houses in 812 hectares has not caused extensive damage inside the homes of any of these two municipalities, however it has affected to a greater or lesser extent dozens of plots and gardens. Cases like this remind us that it is important that we have our largest investments protected, especially our homes. In such situations it is essential to know our obligations and rights that we have concerning the home insurance companies.
As an insurance holder you are entitled to:
- To contract and choose which insurance coverage is more convenient to your needs and interests, so as to obtain adequate protection required by a particular policy
- To choose freely and voluntarily the insurance company which will assume the insurance coverage, as also the intermediary or broker
- To have access to accurate, timely, clear and complete information about the conditions of the insurance policy you are applying for. The information should include the necessary background to enable to know and appreciate aspects and basic features of the service offered.
- To request a copy of the policy
- If you have a complaint or want to file a complaint about the performance of an insurance company, you can submit a presentation in writing to the office of the latter, who are required to handle and answer the written submissions received
In case of accident, you are entitled to:
- The liquidation of the claims.
- Payment of compensation in case of an accident that is covered by the policy
- Conduct and obtain answers to your queries and complaints.
As an insurance holder you are entitled to the following obligations:
If an incident occurs it is important to call the insurance company and be aware of whether the incident was provoked or could have been avoided. It is important to remember that institutions, before enforcing insurance coverage, will do an investigation to see if the causes of the accident were incidental. However, having insurance does not mean you should stop preventing or taking care of your insured property. Try to avoid unnecessary risks as well as avoiding any aggravation that may arise.
We must make a timely payment of the insurance premium. Not making this payment in a timely manner can release the insurer from its obligation to protect the person who contracted the credit, depending on the conditions mentioned in the insurance policy.
If you have the possibility, it is necessary that you inform immediately about any occurrence of an accident, indicating the causes and consequences, as well as other relevant facts that allow the insurer to protect you. On the other hand, the policy must indicate the deadline for notice to these events, it will be different depending on the type of insurance. It is imperative to include information that is useful to determine payment and form of negotiation, if any, to be performed by the claims adjuster or insurance company representative. It should be noted on this point that it is necessary to submit all documentation, procedures and formalities that can enforce the payment of the claim.
Do not forget that the breach of duties as an insured person could mean the rejection of the payment of compensation or early termination of the insurance contract.
In addition, policies may establish special obligations to the type of risk insured.
Also, insurance companies must meet obligations, some of these are:
The main obligation of insurance companies towards their clients refers to the payment of compensation for damage or loss that the client has suffered once they have completed all relevant investigations by an appointed expert and within a maximum period of 40 days of reporting the damage.
It should be clarified that this doesn’t mean the insurance company is always obligated to pay compensation as long as the nature of insurance allows it and the insured person agrees, the insurance company can repair the damage or replace the damaged object. In addition, if it is proved that the insured person acted in bad faith, the insurer shall be free from any obligation.
Another obligation of insurance companies, especially when it comes to home insurance or life, is to report changes in the terms of the contract or the value of premiums. If it does not do so, the insured party is entitled to terminate the contract without any penalty being applied.
If the insurance company does not want to pay:
Any refusal of payment from the insurance company, in whole or in part, must always be communicated to the insured by letter sent by the insurance company, arguing and specifically outlining the restrictive conditions under which the refusal is based. In view of this situation, the insured party should consider in the first instance the content of the communication received from the insurance company and contrast it with the general / special conditions of insurance subscribed.
Any dark aspect found in the contract will always favour the weaker party, corresponding to the insured party, meaning that any refusal or limitation of compensation to be performed by the company despite presenting gaps or weaknesses, law will favour the insured party.