Do I need a private home insurance policy if I have Community Insurance?
Yes, they are completely unrelated. One will provide cover for your home and contents and the other provides covers for your community/communal areas. We would always recommend that you take out your own private home insurance. The community policy is geared to cover communal areas and facilities. Its purpose is not to cover the contents of your private home within a Community of Owners. Very rarely will the communal policy cover an accident in your own home and it will only be indirectly at best i.e. water-related damages originating in communal areas. Statements such as “there is no need to have a private home insurance if your community already has an insurance policy in place” are misleading and unfounded. If you want to be correctly covered and insured you should have your own private home insurance policy.
What does a Community policy normally cover?
This is a general question to which there is no specific answer. The correct reply is “it depends”. There are a broad range of community policies available in the marketplace with different price ranges. The difference in premium is explained because the more expensive policies offer more cover and a community will tailor its insurance according to its own needs and circumstances. So the bottom line is you get what you pay for. There is no general communal policy acting like a blueprint to match one and all Community of Owners. It’s left to the discretion of the Communities’ governing body to ensure that they have the best policy, at the best price and cover to meet their community requirements.
Part of the community fee goes towards what is known as the community buildings insurance. Under Spanish law each community/urbanisation (Comunidad) has to have a minimum amount of insurance to cover buildings insurance, public liability insurance and insurance against water damage. The community insurance in general covers the outside or external part of the building. The public liability is also very important because accidents can and do happen. This insurance protects against legal action by third-parties. What is important is that you should know what you are NOT insured and covered for. Do not assume your community fee which in turn covers the community insurance is covering you for everything and that additional insurance is not necessary. As far as the common parts of the urbanisation or Community of Owners are concerned, the Owners Association will have arranged an insurance that will cover the communal areas. Although such insurance might cover privately owned portions of the building, under no circumstances will it cover your contents.