Types of car insurance in Spain
The insurance of car has basically three modalities in Spain that leave from the insurance of minimum, obligatory to drive:
- Compulsory insurance or car insurance to third parties;
- Full-risk insurance (with or without excess).
The third party insurance is compulsory and covers damage we may cause our vehicle to other drivers or vehicles when we are the “culprits” of the accident or injury. The obligation that drivers have to respond to our actions (or those of third parties at our expense or with our vehicle) at the wheel is known as civil liability and the insurance modality covered by “compulsory civil liability insurance”.
This responsibility is regulated by law and is defined as follows:
Every owner of motor vehicles who have their usual parking in Spain will be obliged to sign and maintain in force an insurance contract for each vehicle of which it is the owner, covering, up to the amount of the limits of the mandatory insurance, civil liability … … However, the owner will be relieved of this obligation when the insurance is arranged by any person who has an interest in the insurance, who must express the concept in which it is contracted.
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The driver of motor vehicles is liable, by virtue of the risk created by the driving of these, for the damage caused to people or property due to traffic. In the case of damages to persons, this responsibility will only be exonerated when it proves that the damage was due to the exclusive fault of the injured party or to force majeure extraneous to the driving or operation of the vehicle; The defects of the vehicle or the breakage or failure of any of its parts or mechanisms will not be considered force majeure.
The non-driver owner shall be liable for damages to persons and property caused by the driver when he is linked to it by any of the relationships that regulate articles 1.903 of the Civil Code and 120.5 of the Penal Code. This responsibility will cease when the said owner proves that he used all the diligence of a good parent to prevent the damage.
The non-driver owner of a vehicle without the mandatory subscription insurance will be liable civilly with the driver for the damage to the persons and the goods caused by it unless it proves that the vehicle had been stolen.
In euros, this civil liability that covers insurance to third parties by law is up to € 15,000,000 per claim for the material damages we cause and up to € 70,000,000 per claim for the personal injuries that we cause to said third parties because of our driving, whatever the number of victims.
Be careful, because everything that exceeds these amounts we will have to pay out of pocket if the compensation exceeds these amounts. For this reason, insurers offer us compulsory insurance that covers more amounts, but which we accept voluntarily via a higher insurance premium: insurance for extended third parties.
Third party insurance extended
Hiring third-party insurance that only covers liability for damages to third parties (people and things), is dangerous for our interests. In fact, it is difficult to find these minimum coverages among car insurers in Spain. Generally, companies add third-party insurance coverage to break windows, fire or car theft. It is what is known as extended third party insurance.
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Technically, this insurance also complements the voluntary or supplementary civil liability. In economic terms, insurers offer to extend the limits of personal and material minimum damages fixed by insurance law to third parties.
Other coverages that are usually added to this “extended third party” are the legal defense of the insured and the driver’s insurance for damages that we may suffer as drivers.
Comprehensive insurance is the most interesting mode for drivers with new cars of high value or who are concerned about the state of your vehicle and possible damage to your driving. In exchange for a higher insurance premium, this type of insurance completes the coverage offered by the insurance to third parties and the extended third party, with the coverage of own damages.
The damages themselves are the damages produced in our own vehicle and that may have been caused by our fault (with exclusions, of course, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, without a license, etc.).
The own damages can be minor (scratches, dents, blows, buns, etc.) or really serious as the total loss of the vehicle, for which, the cost of coverage can vary greatly. To avoid raising the premium a lot and offer competitive insurance prices, insurance companies offer an all-risk insurance modality called all-risk with a franchise that what is done is to set an economic threshold (franchise) to the coverage of own damages, that the insured agrees to face in case of loss.
In this case, the franchise is paid by the insured person in case of loss and everything that exceeds it and that is covered (damage to our vehicle) will be borne by the insurer. For example, if we have a total risk with a deductible of 300 euros and we give a portion of our own damages for 1000 euros, the insurer would only cover us 700 euros, the amount of the franchise must be paid by us.
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If a full-risk car insurance does not have a franchise, the premium will be higher.
Compare car insurance prices
It is important to know that each insurer has its own coverage for different types of car insurance so when comparing insurance prices, not only have to look at the money but also the coverages included in each policy.