The Spanish DGT explains which climatic damages are covered by car insurance

Spain’s DGT explains what weather damage is covered by car insurance Credit: Twitter @DGTes

On Friday, June 3, the General Directorate of Spanish Traffic published a reminder on car insurance in Spain, relating in particular to meteorological phenomena.

In an article about Spanish Car Insurance on Weather Phenomena that they previously published on their official website on March 14, DGT explained the difference between regular insurance and “Consorcio de Compensación de Seguros” in English, Insurance Compensation Consortium.

The Consortium is an entity that goes further than the Spanish private car insurance policies taken out with private entities when extraordinary situations arise due to extreme weather events or natural disasters.

In principle, the distribution of roles is clear between the insurance companies and the Consortium: accidents arising from traffic, whatever the cause, are assumed by the insurance company; damage caused by external natural agents is the responsibility of the Consortium.

Basically: a traffic accident is covered by car insurance in Spain, but if an earthquake or hurricane damages a vehicle, it is the responsibility of the Consortium.

The Consortium’s statistics do not distinguish between the types of property affected, but the cumulative figures give clues to the most frequent phenomena: floods top the ranking, accounting for 64% of its payments from 2004 to 2020; winds and heavy rain – what the Consortium calls “atypical cyclonic storms” – account for almost a quarter of the total, at 23%; and earthquakes, 10%.

These are precisely the three major blocks of claims that the Consortium deals with. In other non-extraordinary situations, the normal car insurance in Spain takes care of it, such as rain, hail, snow or lightning.

Insurance companies take care of:

  • Rain: Direct damage caused by water infiltration above the threshold established in the insurance policy.
  • Hail: Aesthetic damage to the bodywork.
  • Snow: This includes both cosmetic damage and internal damage, for example to the brakes, if they have been buried.
  • Lightning: Burns or bumps. The vehicle should be closed and appliances switched off and this should not affect anything else.

The Consortium takes care of:

  • Flooding: Damage caused by waterlogging of the land due to rain or thaw, lakes or the ravages of the sea.
  • Eruptions: All damage caused by the volcano is covered by the Consortium.
  • Earthquakes and tidal waves: Damage covered when the National Geographic Institute certifies the phenomenon.

Damage caused by winds up to 120 km/h is covered by Spanish insurance companies, from then on the Consortium takes care of it.

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Justin D. O'Neill