That’s it! You’ve done it! You are now the proud owner of an apartment in Spain and whether you like it or not, a member of a community and as such, partly responsible for the upkeep of the building in which you live. Obviously, this costs money and this is where the community fees come in. Community fees vary on every urbanisation depending on the quality of the build, whether there are swimming pools and garden areas to maintain, etc. etc.
The unenviable task of allocating and managing the community budget falls to the president of each community.
One of the first and most important issues a president must deal with is community insurance. By law, each community must have a minimum amount of insurance in place which includes buildings cover, public liability insurance and insurance against water damages.
“Why do we need it?” I hear you ask. Well, suppose after heavy rain, the roof leaked and water flooded through the building. You could try claiming against the promoters / developers if you fancy a long battle or simply claim on the community insurance and let the insurance company claim the money back afterwards! Without this insurance, the community, and ultimately you as owners via increased community fees, would have to settle the bill.
Pity the poor president, he has a big decision to make. Obviously, he wants adequate cover for the best price – you don’t want him spending all your hard earned cash!! He does not want to over-insure and by the same token, he doesn’t want to under-insure and should the worst happen, there is a shortfall that would have to be made up by the owners.
There are several factors to consider when deciding what type and amount of cover the community needs.
Buildings Cover. Obviously, the fabric of the buildings within the urbanisation must be insured. The amount of cover needed is based on the built area of the urbanisation. Areas such as garages and storage rooms do not need as much cover as actual living space. Generally, we multiply the m2 built of the urbanisation by a co-efficient which is dependant on the location and build quality of the development in question.
Community Water Damage. As mentioned before, if a community pipe bursts and floods throughout the building, then this risk must be insured.
Public Liability. The community must have insurance against possible legal action by and damages caused to third parties. This cover comes into play when, for example, a tile falls from the roof and causes damage to a passing vehicle of worse still a person!
The above covers are required by law. On top of these, there are additional covers available to top up the policy. These include ascetic damages, glass cover, legal defence and private water damage.
So next time you moan about your community fees, remember what some of it is spent on. Whilst community insurance is a legal requirement and every community has it, it must not be taken as an alternative to your own personal home insurance. With this in mind, if Zurich insure the community, they will offer a 10% discount on any private home policies taken out by the owners of properties within said community.
Remember the motto “Rest Assured – Your Insured”
Quote My Community
My Community has insurance, do I still need to insure the buildings and contents under my own policy?
In Spain, most properties are located in gated urbanisations known as ‘communities’.These communities generally have a president, someone voted in by the property owners.The president’s role is to act as a go-between between the administrators of the community who commission services such as gardening, pool cleaners, insurance and the residents of the community.
Communities usually have an insurance to cover that community of houses.The type of insurance for communities ranges from basic cover to quite a complete cover.Many owners assume that as they are contributing to a community insurance, that they no longer need to have a buildings cover.It is advisable to speak to your community president and see what the policy covers and if indeed the community does have any cover.
If your community has a basic cover and public liability cover, then damage to individual houses/apartments such as water damage would not be covered.It is then advisable to take out a buildings cover to ensure that damages are covered.If the community has public liability cover, basic cover and water damage, then the chances are that you will not need buildings cover. However many individuals do purchase buildings cover regardless of the latter as firstly banks usually require it if you have a loan on the house and secondly, if a community is not efficiently run, processing claims etc. may prove to take longer as it has to go via the community.
Contents are never covered by community insurance.