It is difficult to have an accident in Spain, even if we have lived here for many years…. Some things work differently from our country of origin, because here there are different laws and official agreements between insurers that work differently than in other countries. That’s why we are sending you this email, to explain exactly how the process of handling claims works in Spain for people with third-party policies and the fault of the other party.
We specialise in insuring English speaking expatriates and foreign residents in Spain, and this is a way of giving you a more personalised service.
We have also prepared a video in English, explaining you the process in a simple way: you can watch it below.
How long will it take to resolve?
If the driver of the vehicle at fault has already reported the accident to his or her insurance company and acknowledged his or her fault, the claim will be accepted within a few days. Nowadays there is even a digital database with all insurers, so if the claim is accepted, the system responds quickly (2 to 5 days).
However, if the other party has not yet done so, the opposing company will contact the other party to give its version of what happened. In this case the acceptance will take a little longer, between 7 days to three weeks (on average).
Why is it necessary to wait for acceptance?
In policies with Third Party cover, acceptance is important for the insurance company to authorise the repair of your car or motorbike. This authorisation is called “Commitment of Payment / Compromiso de Pago” and is sent by the insurer directly to the garage, once they have received the acceptance of the other party and the repair estimate.
When should I have my vehicle inspected?
In the case of superficial damage (bodywork and paintwork), it is usual to wait for the acceptance of the insurance company to have your car/motorbike inspected. In this way, we optimise your time, because on the day that the vehicle is sent to the garage for an appraisal, repairs can begin immediately. That is, of course, if the garage has the spare parts in stock, otherwise you will have to wait for them to arrive.
Where should I have my car repaired?
Zurich offers a large network of collaborating garages, with several additional services and benefits to the insured. One of them is the extension of the repair guarantee up to 12 months, when in non-collaborating garages it is 6 months (mandatory legal term).
Another benefit is the possibility to borrow a courtesy car (subject to garage availability) while your vehicle is being repaired.
You can however choose any garage you wish. The choice is yours.
Do I have a replacement car?
If you chose the “replacement car” cover when you took out your policy, then you can activate it. If not, then we suggest the use of a collaborating garage, with courtesy car – subject to availability .