Car Insurance in Spain: Are you planning to get behind the wheel in Spain? Then, make sure you’re covered with our complete guide to car insurance in Spanish.
If you plan on driving in Spain, make sure you stick to the right side of the road and follow the local laws. Car insurance is a legal requirement in Spain, so you don’t want to leave the house without it.
This guide examines the key issues in the Spanish car insurance market to help you understand them.
- An Overview of car insurance in Spanish
- Types of car insurance in Spain
- Other Types/forms of Spanish car insurance
- Car insurance bonuses and penalties in Spain
- Car insurance companies in Spain (Companies that provide car insurance in Spain)
- How to choose car insurance in Spain
- Applying for Spanish auto insurance
- Making a Spanish car insurance claim
- Canceling a contract and changing provider
- Making a car insurance complaint in Spain
- Roadside assistance in Spain
An Overview of car insurance in Spanish
In Spain, you need to insure all vehicles to at least a third-party liability level. This includes automobiles(cars), trucks, recreational vehicles(RVs), motorcycles, and scooters. Bicycles, on the other hand, do not require insurance. Anyone caught driving without insurance by Spanish police faces a €3,000 fine.
To obtain car insurance in Spanish, you must first register the vehicle. You can drive foreign vehicles without Spanish registration for a limited time (3-6 months), but you must have at least third-party insurance. Even parked or inactive vehicles require insurance, though insurers will typically only cover roadworthy vehicles.
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Insurance is applied to the vehicle rather than the driver, as it is in many other countries. You can add drivers to the policy, but those under the age of 25 or with a poor driving record may result in higher premiums. Policies are frequently transferable to another vehicle in the event of a sale, though premiums may vary.
Car insurance is one of the most important insurance markets in Spain, accounting for 31.5% of all non-life insurance in 2017. In Spain, insurance companies are regulated by the Directorate-General for Insurance and Pension Funds (Direccion General de Seguros y Fondos de Pensiones – DGSFP).
Can I use Car Insurance from Another Country in Spain?
If you relocate to Spain from another EU country, you can keep your current insurance policy. However, you must confirm with your insurer that you have international coverage.
Citizens from non-EU countries may be able to use insurance from their home country for a limited time (3-6 months), but if you are relocating to Spain from a non-EU country, you will need to register your car and purchase car insurance in Spain once this period expires.
Types of Car Insurance in Spanish
There are three (3) main types of car insurance in Spain, they are:
1. Third-party liability (responsabilidad civil obligatoria or seguro obligatorio)
This usually covers all third-party damage and costs, including vehicle damage, personal injuries, and legal fees. A standard policy, on the other hand, will not cover any of your own expenses.
Third-party insurance can be customized to include extras such as roadside assistance, so when purchasing this type of insurance, keep coverage and exclusions in mind. It’s a viable option if you have an older or less expensive car, or if you don’t drive frequently.
2. Third-party fire and theft (responsabilidad civil obligatoria, incendio y robo)
This covers standard third-party claims as well as damage to your own vehicle up to a certain amount. It typically includes fire, storm, natural disaster, and accident damage, as well as theft and vandalism.
As with standard third-party liability policies, you can tailor this insurance to meet your requirements.
3.Comprehensive (todo riesgo)
This type of insurance covers all costs incurred by both you and third parties, regardless of fault. However, keep in mind that most companies will not pay out if you break the law (e.g., driving while drunk).
Comprehensive insurance is a good idea if you have an expensive car that will cost a lot to repair, if you drive every day, or if you face specific risks while driving. However, keep in mind that as risks increase, so will your premiums.
Car Insurance In Spanish Costs
In 2016, car insurance premiums in Spain averaged just over €350 per year, slightly higher than the EU average. Premiums have decreased from an average of more than €450 in 2005. Third-party insurance can be as low as €150 but is usually around €250-300. Fully comprehensive policies are likely to cost €400 or more per year.
Spanish premiums, like those in most other countries, are determined by factors such as vehicle value and age, driver profile and age, and any additional risks associated with the policy. Your location is also important in Spain, with higher premiums associated with busier cities such as Madrid and Barcelona.
You can lower your annual premiums by increasing your excess or deductible, which is the amount you must pay toward each claim. Most policies require an excess amount, though comprehensive packages can usually be purchased with no excess. These will cost more than standard comprehensive policies. Some insurance companies also provide temporary (3-6 month) policies at a higher monthly rate.
Other Types/forms of Spanish car insurance
Aside from standard third-party and comprehensive policies, most companies provide additional coverage. Here are some of the most common types:
- Breakdown assistance: pays for towing, repairs, and replacement transportation.
- No-claims bonus protection: enables you to keep your no-claims bonus if you file a claim.
- Legal expenses insurance – covers legal fees in the event of a court case arising from an accident.
- Personal accident insurance – covers medical expenses and can provide compensation in the event of death or disability.
Car insurance bonuses and penalties in Spain
Spain has a no-claims bonus system in place, which allows drivers to reduce their premiums year after year if they do not file any claims. Each business will have its own no-claims policy. You will typically receive a 5% discount for each year of no-claims. The maximum discount is approximately 65%.
If you can provide proof of no-claims history, you can carry over no-claims periods from other insurers when switching providers. No-claims bonuses earned in other EU countries are usually recognized by Spanish insurers. They may also accept good driving records from certain non-EU countries, though this varies by insurer.
While no-claims periods earn discounts, if you have a history of accidents, your premiums are likely to rise. However, you should expect to pay through the nose if you:
- Have been involved in any incidents that were your fault;
- have any points on your license for things like speeding or drunk driving;
- are you a young or inexperienced driver? In Spain, drivers under the age of 25 typically face higher insurance premiums.
Car Insurance Companies in Spain – Car Insurance In Spanish
List of companies that provide car insurance in Spain: Providers of Spanish car insurance include the following:
There are several car insurance companies in Spain that offer different types of coverage, premiums, and services. Some of the most popular car insurance companies in Spain include:
- Mapfre: One of the largest insurance companies in Spain, Mapfre offers a range of car insurance policies, including third-party liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, and optional coverage for roadside assistance and glass breakage.
- Allianz: Allianz offers several types of car insurance policies, including third-party liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, and optional coverage for roadside assistance, legal protection, and personal accidents.
- Direct Seguros: Direct Seguros is an online car insurance provider that offers a range of policies with different levels of coverage and prices, including third-party liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, and optional coverage for legal protection and breakdown assistance.
- AXA: AXA provides car insurance policies that include third-party liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, and optional coverage for legal protection, personal accident, and breakdown assistance.
- Línea Directa: Línea Directa is a specialist car insurance provider that offers a range of policies, including third-party liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, and optional coverage for legal protection, breakdown assistance, and replacement vehicle.
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When choosing a car insurance company in Spain, it’s important to compare different options, read the terms and conditions carefully, and choose a policy that suits your needs and budget.
However, if you’re finding it difficult to choose between insurance companies in Spanish, Acierto.com can help you compare their services.
How to Choose a Cheap Spanish Car Insurance
When looking for car insurance in Spain, it’s a good idea to shop around, taking into account a variety of factors rather than simply selecting the cheapest policy. Other factors to think about include:
- Policy coverage – third party and comprehensive coverage can differ from company to company. What is included, and how much does it cost to add on what you may require?
- No-claims bonus – what discounts does the company provide, and can you transfer no-claims periods from elsewhere?
- Excess/deductible options – is there a mandatory excess, and what are the options for increasing it voluntarily
- Company reputation – what are customers and reviewers saying about this company and its practices?
- Roadside assistance: What level of coverage does the company provide, and will it be extra?
- Claims procedure/process – how simple is it, and how quickly will you be reimbursed if you file a claim?
Applying for Auto Insurance in Spain – Car Insurance In Spanish
Each automobile insurance company will have its own application procedure. Interestigly, most businesses now allow customers to apply online in order to streamline the process. However, a few smaller companies may ask you to apply over the phone or by email.
Most insurers will require the following as a minimum requirements:
- Spanish bank account details
- NIE number
- Spanish driving license or license that can be used in Spain
- Spanish address of policyholder
Once your application has been processed by the insurance company, you will receive your insurance certificate, EU accident statement form, and green card to use if you use your Spanish car insurance abroad.
Note: It is no longer a legal requirement to keep your car insurance documents in your vehicle, but it is still a good idea to keep a copy on hand in case you need to show proof of insurance at any time.
Making a claim with a Spanish Car Insurer or Company
When you purchase an insurance policy, the company should clearly explain their claims process to you. In general, as part of making any claim, you will be expected to do the following:
- Complete your EU accident report form (declaración de siniestro de automóvil) and have both parties sign it.
- If you are involved in an incident where the police are called, obtain a copy of the police report form;
- Get the contact information for the other party as well as any witnesses to the accident;
- If possible, take a picture of the damage.
If you have comprehensive insurance and file a claim for damage to your own vehicle, your insurance company will typically assess the damage before paying for repairs. More so, if a vehicle is written off, Spanish companies typically only pay a percentage of its value.
You will usually have a certain amount of time to file a claim. This usually happens within 2-5 days of the accident. Thefts should be reported immediately to both the police and your insurer. In the event of car theft, insurance companies will not pay out for 30 days.
Canceling a Contract or Changing an Insurance Provider
After the contract period expires, car insurance policies in Spain automatically renew. As a result, you must notify your provider if you wish to cancel or switch to another company.
Each company has its own cancellation policy, terms, and conditions. You can usually cancel mid-contract with two months’ notice; however, you will almost certainly not be refunded for any amounts paid in advance. Because Spanish premiums are usually paid in six-month or yearly installments, make sure you don’t miss out.
You can usually cancel without any penalty for the following reasons:
- Your insurer raises your premiums or changes the terms of your contract; the insured vehicle is written off or stolen
- If your insurance company gives you 15 days’ notice before the contract expires, they have the legal right to refuse renewal.
Generally, you must notify your insurance company in writing or via email of your intention to cancel, as well as the reasons for doing so. Customers can now cancel online at some businesses.
Making a Complaint About a Car Insurance Company in Spain
If you want to file a complaint against a Spanish car insurance company, you should do the following:
- The first step is to file a written complaint with your insurance company’s Ombudsman or Customer Service Department. Your insurer should provide you with details of its Ombudsman. If not, they can be found on the DGSFP website.
- Then, if you are dissatisfied with the response or do not receive one within two months, you can file a complaint with the DGSFP. After contacting the insurer, they will assess the complaint and issue a report stating whether they believe the company has complied with the law.
- Lastly, go to court if you are still dissatisfied. You have the right to go to court before filing a complaint with the DGSFP. Keep in mind, however, that you will be responsible for court costs.
Spanish Roadside assistance – Car Insurance In Spanish
As an optional extra, many insurance companies in Spain provide breakdown assistance. This is standard in some comprehensive policies.
You can also join a membership club like the Spanish Royal Automobile Club (RACE). Overseas organizations, such as the RAC, also offer breakdown assistance in Spain.
If your vehicle breaks down on Spanish roads, you should try to move it to a safe location (such as a roadside rest stop) and contact your coverage provider. If you do not have coverage, RACE can assist you, but you will be charged for the service.
Towing, alternative transportation for the driver and passengers, and emergency repair costs are typically covered by breakdown assistance. Howver, RACE membership costs approximately €16.50 per month and includes roadside assistance in other countries.
Car Insurance In Spanish – Seguro de automóvil
El seguro de automóvil es un tipo de seguro que cubre los daños y lesiones que pueden ocurrir como resultado de un accidente de auto. Hay varios tipos de cobertura que se pueden incluir en una póliza de seguro de automóvil, como la cobertura de responsabilidad civil, la cobertura de colisión, la cobertura de robo y la cobertura de lesiones personales.
Algunas palabras y frases útiles relacionadas con el seguro de automóvil en español incluyen:
- Seguro de automóvil: Car insurance
- Póliza de seguro: Insurance policy
- Cobertura: Coverage
- Responsabilidad civil: Liability
- Colisión: Collision
- Robo: Theft
- Lesiones personales: Personal injuries
- Prima: Premium
- Franquicia: Deductible
- Conductor: Driver
- Vehículo: Vehicle
- Accidente: Accident
Es importante comparar diferentes opciones de seguro de automóvil y leer cuidadosamente los términos y condiciones de cada póliza antes de tomar una decisión. Además, es importante cumplir con las leyes y regulaciones de tráfico de su país o estado para evitar accidentes y multas.
Conclusion – Car Insurance In Spanish
When you’re ready to explore your new surroundings in Spain, take a drive around your neighborhood and city, or even go on a Spanish road trip! Perhaps you’ll travel to the north of the Iberian Peninsula, where green mountains meet a greyish-blue sea. Or maybe you’ll go south, where the horizon is endless and the earth is orange-tinted and speckled with white houses.
Whatever your plans are, you’ve probably been getting your car ready to drive in Spain so that you know it won’t cause you any problems on a daily basis. In addition to preparing your vehicle, you will need to insure it in case something goes wrong. In order to travel around Spain, you must have a minimum level of insurance. Therefore, it is advisable to get car insurance in Spanish (car insurance in Spain)
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