La Palma Volcano - The Cost Of Disaster
One of Spain’s seven
Canary Islands, La Palma is the most north-westerly islands of this
chain of volcanic isles which include Tenerife, Gran Canarias,
Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.
A popular tourist destination and the fifth largest of the islands. The volcanic eruption that befell the island on Sunday 19th of September at the Cumbre Vieja volcano turned, for some, this rocky paradise into hell.
With a population of roughly 85,000 plus holiday makers and spanning an estimated area of 7,493 km squared one could almost excuse the Spanish Tourism Minister for calling the eruption a “wonderful show” and a potential tourist attraction, but no and pardon the pun for saying that his comments came under fire!
It is believed that the eruption may well have been triggered by a 4.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the islands. The eruption started at 3.15pm local time having last erupted in 1971 and is anyone’s guess as to how long it will last, days or even months So far, there has only been material damage, with hundreds of properties, and building being destroyed, and 6.000 people have been evacuated.
There is further talk of a potential tsunami but scientist suggest that the triggering of a tsunami rippling out across the Atlantic and potentially reaching the United States is small. Volcanologist Dr I Yeo of the UK’s National Oceanography Centre said: “The eruptions have caused a great deal of local damage but the current level of seismic activity is not something that we would expect to trigger a landslide and cause a mega tsunami in the future.
Here at efpg Insurance Brokers we have been asked by our clients in La Palma if their Home Insurance will cover them if their property is damaged by the erupting volcano.
Volcanic eruptions are considered 'extraordinary risk', the same category as falling space objects, meteorites and the like, as well as cyclonic storms (storms of intense winds), floods, hurricanes, storms all can come under the extraordinary risk title or as we would refer to suck in the UK “Acts of God”.
risks/acts of God are not covered by your Insurance Company but you
must have the insurance in place, be that for your car insurance or
your home insurance, in order to receive compensation from Spain’s
Insurance Compensation Consortium.
This is a public entity within the
Ministry of Economics and Finance and acts on a subsidiary basis to
cover the insured in exceptional situations such as being witnessed
currently in La Palma.
To be able to agree on compensation, the first thing to do will be gain access to your home. It is important to make an accurate list of the material losses suffered. Include everything, computer, television, kitchen appliances, stereo or photography equipment, or clothing.
Ensure you keep all the bills for the expenses that the family has had as a result of not being able to access the house.
Mainly, the expenses of accommodation
and supplies. Contact us as your Insurance Broker immediately.
All of the above can change when the event, in this case, the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, is declared a 'natural catastrophe'. The state government, and not the Insurance Compensation Consortium would then be in charge of covering the cost.
Hopefully such disasters you will never have to be deal with but any challenges, big or small, you know efpg will be right by your side.