House insurance? Why trouble – they by no means pay money owed! – The Portugal Information

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in News, Home & Garden
20-08-2021 09:59:00 1 comments

How many times have we heard people complain that a home insurance claim has been denied, but they have never explained why and it is always seen that the insurer is to blame. But to put this in perspective, more than 95% of claims are made and processed by the insurers. Therefore, it is perception and the urban myth that lead to these unfounded claims of unfairness by insurers.

The important word in the previous paragraph is "valid"; Insurance policies are contracts between insurers and their customers, and both parties have responsibility and liability. If insurers refuse to meet a claim, it is because it is not a valid claim, whether because the policyholder failed to meet the terms of their policy or tried to make a claim over an uninsured event . There is also a small minority who fraudulently attempt to claim items they do not own, clearly not a valid claim!

The main reason for non-compliance with the terms of the policy is improper securing of the property. If your policy requires you to take certain steps to secure the property but don't do so, any claim will likely be denied.

Even if a property is unoccupied for more than 14 days and your policy requires that the water system be drained and the main water turned off, this can be considered reasonable steps to ensure that the property is protected from water damage that has not been undertaken.

We receive claims due to theft or damage to household items if the client has taken out a building insurance only, or claims from household contents insurance due to structural damage to the building. In any case, there is no valid entitlement. Therefore, before making a claim, you should review your policy to make sure you have the necessary coverage for the claim being made.

Theft of or damage to valuables and personal effects outside the home is not always insured and, if available, only as an option at an additional cost. Portuguese insurers do not offer this option, but Ibex does offer this option which is known as "All Risks" coverage. iPads Cell phones, watches, jewelry, hearing aids, golf equipment, bicycles – these are all things you would normally take with you when you go out, but unless you have specifically added the “All Risks” coverage for such items outside of your home .

There is no “All Risks” coverage for holiday or rental apartments, nor is there any insurance for the personal belongings of non-family members who live in your holiday home, so travel insurance is a must for every tenant.

One aspect of some of the old Portuguese directives is that electrical equipment had to be specified in order to be protected against overvoltages. The problem arises when televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, etc. have been replaced over the years but the insurance policy has never been updated so everything that was originally stated is still insured under the policy whether still owned or not not, but not replacements. The 26-inch CRT TV, which was the best on the market when you bought it in 1999, may still be on the policy, though you've replaced it (and several subsequent TVs) in the years in between but the 60's – Inch Smart TV from Sony that cost you € 1300 last month IS NOT COVERED.

Current insurance policies include “First Risks” overvoltage protection, which covers all electrical devices up to certain limits (usually € 5,000) without you having to provide a specialist advisor to see whether your policy is “ First Risks ”of the surge protection level.

If you are underinsured and a claim is made, insurers are almost certain to apply an average clause so, in simple terms, if you are insured for € 100,000 but you should be insured for € 200,000, then insurers will not exceed 50% of the Claim amount pay. Ibex has access to the Portuguese insurance institute's average rebuilding costs and can therefore give you confirmation of your place of residence. However, keep in mind that your own rebuilding costs may be higher or lower as they are average.

All in all, the simple message is “Check your policy” and this applies to recently purchased and older policies alike, although older policies may require more attention. Ask our expert advisors to review your policy, even if we did not initiate it, to make sure you have the policy that best suits your current needs – what was suitable ten years ago may be inadequate today.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices in Almancil or Tavira for the most suitable policy for your needs or call us on 800 860 708/289 399 774 for Almancil or 281 325 842 for Tavira. Or send an email to

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