The explosive eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the island of La Palma, in the Canary Islands, with emissions of lava, smoke and ash that has led to the eviction of whole towns, a drastic change in the landscape, the destruction of multiple buildings, the closure of the airport, schools….
Who is going to compensate those damages and try to amend the situation as much as possible?
There are many facts in La Palma which are obviously irreversible, and there will be a before and an after to the Cumbre Vieja eruption. That’s nature in its brutal strength.
But, there are other situations, consequences of this natural explosion that will be compensated by the Insurance Compensation Consortium (CCS).
What is the Insurance Compensation Consortium?
The Insurance Compensation Consortium (CCS) is a public company attached to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation. Reading its Legal Statute, covered by RDL 7/2004, of October 29, in art.6 we find different phenomena of nature which the CCS covers: earthquakes and tidal waves, extraordinary floods, volcanic eruptions, the atypical cyclonic storm and the falls of sidereal bodies and aeroliths.
Has the CCS already assumed its position as a compensator?
Yes, the CCS has published a note in which it establishes that it will directly assume with its own means the management and payment of the compensation requests it receives, after evaluating the compensable damages that have occurred, and since it is still ongoing, of those that are occurring as a result of this volcanic episode.
Do all affected by the Cumbre Vieja will be able to access those CCS compensations?
Unfortunately not, as it seems a significant portion of the La Palma population did not have proper insurance. A prerequisite for submitting the request for compensation to the CCS is that the affected person has insurance (home, multi-risk, loss of earnings, rental, etc.) and that it was in force at the time the eruption began. The Consortium assumes the insurer’s role and takes care of the coverage that has been contracted in the policies.
What is CSS going to cover?
As long as there is a contracted insurance that covers it, the CSS will cover:
- Personal injury to the insured.
- Damages to insured property, homes; cars; agricultural or industrial vehicles, premises; warehouses, or commercial establishments, among others.
- Loss of rents
- Accommodation expenses due to the in-habitability of the home
- Loss of income due to the stoppage of commercial, service or industrial establishments, etc.
What amounts will CSS cover?
The CCS will compensate in accordance with the insured capital and according to the clauses of the insurance contract in force, so it is advisable to contact the insurers to know the coverage. It is possible that Insurance policies were left behind during the evacuation. Insurance companies offer a legal advice service for professionals specialising in these types of claims and their complexity.
They are also offering additional individual financial aid to clients, are not charging the remaining premium, or have enabled telephone or face-to-face services for emotional support and assistance, food donations, service of relocation and relocation of their clients.
Who can submit the claim?
The claim can be submitted directly by the affected insured himself or, on his behalf, by his lawyer or insurance mediator (agent or broker).
Can also be found a patrimonial responsibility of the Administration?
This is an increasingly frequently asked question, with the large number of houses that were allowed to be built on the foot of the volcano is striking.
For more information on insurance claims in Spain, see insurance complaints and for independent insurance advice.