by | Oct 13, 2021 | Blog

Cristina Domínguez Esteve – Abogada en Figueras Legal

After the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma, which started on September 19th, the lava has already destroyed more than 1.000 buildings and hundreds of vehicles.

Therefore, in the following lines we would like to address from a practical point of view all those doubts that may arise in this situation:

Who is going to cover the damage caused by the eruption of the volcano?

The Insurance Compensation Consortium.

What is the Insurance Compensation Consortium (ICS)?

It is a public business entity, attached to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation.

What is its function?

To replace the insurers contracted by each individual or legal entity, covering the damages caused by extraordinary risks under the terms of the contracted policy.

What is an extraordinary risk?

The following are extraordinary risks:

  1. Natural phenomena: earthquakes and tidal waves, extraordinary floods, volcanic eruptions, atypical cyclonic storms and falls of sidereal bodies and aerolites.
  2. Those caused violently because of terrorism, rebellion, sedition, riot and civil commotion.
  3. Acts or actions of the Armed Forces or of the Security Forces and Corps in peacetime.

Will the ICS cover the damage caused by the Cumbre Vieja de La Palma volcano?

The answer is YES, if the following REQUIREMENTS are met:

1.- To have taken out insurance with cover for personal injury, damage to property (e.g., homes, cars, premises), loss of rents and accommodation costs due to the uninhabitability of the home, and/or loss of profits due to the stoppage of establishments.

2.- To have paid the last receipt of the premium prior to the claim.

3.- That the contracted policy includes the mandatory surcharge in favour of the CCS, which amounts to €2.10 – practically all insurance policies include it, also the so-called “third party insurances”. Exceptions are provided for in article 4 of Royal Decree 300/2004 of February 20th.

Where should I submit my claim?

The claim to the ICS must be presented directly by the affected insured person himself or on his behalf, to his insurer, agent or insurance broker.

What documentation do I need to present?

It is important to present:

1.- Certificate of ownership of the insured property.

2.- The insurance in force, the general and particular conditions of the contracted policy.

How long do I have to submit my claim?

It is recommended that the claim is submitted, if it is possible, within seven days of the occurrence of the loss, however, the ICS will still accept your claim if it is submitted after this deadline.

How much will the ICS pay me?

The ICS will compensate in accordance with the sums insured in the policy and the clauses of the insurance contract in force. That is: same goods, same persons, and same sum.

How long will it take to pay me?

In accordance with its action protocols, the ICS usually makes the first compensation payments within 10 days of the claim. In this case, 10 days after the eruption of the volcano, the ICS has already paid 625.000€ for the destroyed houses.

Is ICS compensation compatible with government aid?

Yes, if the total amount of both does not exceed the value of the damage caused.

Has the Government declared the area as a “disaster area”?

Although in several media it is stated that the Government has declared the area as “catastrophic” there is no concept of catastrophic area, but what the Government has declared in La Palma is “area seriously affected by a civil protection emergency”, and this declaration allow the ICS from paying the corresponding compensation.

Will the ICS cover my banana plantation?

Unfortunately, damage to crops or agricultural production is excluded from ICS coverage. In this case it will be necessary to resort to the combined agricultural insurance policies included in the plans approved annually by the Government.

FIGUERAS LEGAL would like to show our support to all those who have been affected by the effects of the volcano, and we remain at your disposal at