Earthquake insuranceWe own a house near

GeoffAnn Image
11/04/2019 - 10:46

Earthquake insuranceWe own a house near Sansepolcro and have been insured with Intasure. They have just sent our renewal document and this year have excluded earthquake insurance. Does anybody have any suggestions on who else could provide cover? Geoff 

Topic

Comment

I was just about to ask the same question! We have insured with Intasure since 2013 but now they say that due to a change of Underwriters they will no longer provide Earthquake Cover in Italy.
I have contacted several online insurers but none of them offer Earthquake Cover.

My second question was to be:- Do the Italian government provide compensation to the owners of holiday homes if they are damaged in an earthquake. For clarity it is the only property we own in Italy, we do not have Italian Residency and the house is not let out at all.

Yes I read that comment as well.  I was really just trying to find out if there was evenany obligation on the part of the Italian government to pay non Italian residents - all I can see is that it saysit has to be the prima casa which I take to mean not a "second home" or "buy to let".

Whilst trawling the internet I saw a comment that in theory the Italian Government would rebuild a property but it would take more than 20 years. Given the economic problems Italy has I would think it would be very unlikely that they would do anything.

The idea that the government will pay to rebuild a holida home is fanciful.  There are still people living in containers from the 1980 Irpinia earthquake, and in temporary homes from the 1910 Messina one, so don't hold your breath.Whetheryou canget earthquake insurace will depend where you live.  Some companies, such as Generali/Genertel do earthquake cover, but from what I can gather its not available everywhere.

I use Allianz for home insurance, they also provide a seperate cover for earthquake cover, I am a resident but I also know they do holiday home cover, and they were priced better than intasure. my only query with them was the rebuild value wasnt high enough which they increased, 

Allianz have sold their personal insurance lines ( which includes house insurance) to Liverpool Victoria. I have spoken to them and they do not offer holiday home insurance.  Thanks to all who have replied. I am still looking but no success yet.

Same here Geoff.  I have contacted every UK insurance company that a google search for "Holiday Home Insurance Italy" identifies and they all go through the process of taking details and then come up with "sorry we no longer provide earthquake damage for your area".  This despite there having been no major earthquakes in our area for a great many years.  I guess it is because they have taken such a hiding in recent years from people with holiday homes in those areas that HAVE been seriously damaged.  Nor have I found an Italian insurance company that covers earthquake damage (anywhere in Italy).Please let us know if you come up with anything.  I will of course do the same. 

We had the same problem and it was only by chance that I noticed that earthquake cover was no longer included in our schedule. It took a while to find a company who would provide this cover by eventually went with Schofields. Their price was very competitive. Their U.K. number is 01204 365080. Goid luck! Shelagh

Thanks for your suggestion. We have been in touch with Schofields but they will not provide cover anymore. We have been surprised by the number of people we know who have a property in Italy but do not have earthquake cover!We will keep looking but our renewal date is 20th November so running out of time.Regards to allGeoff and Ann

Yes, this appears to be a very recent decision by Intasure as we are currently insured with them, including earthquake damage, but policy expires on the 20th Nov, when earthquake will be excluded.  At the moment it looks as if we will be self- insuring.

GeoffAnnn,I'm sure youve already tried this, but I Googled "Italy earthquake insurance" and it threw out some possible insurers, who say they do it.  [but caveat "ubject to the area that the property is in"] 

Like Geoff's, our Intasure policy expires at the end of November (26th) so we too are getting a bit desperate!I have tried absolutely every company that a google search has thrown up, to no avail - even though our area of north west Tuscany (we are just on the watershed between the Garfagnana and the Lunigiana) has not up till now been considered a high risk area for earthquake insurance (minor tremors of course but no major quakes since 1928).  I have also tried all the brokers I can think of, even if they do not specifically advertise Holiday Home insurance.  My two glimmers of hope are Swiss Re (I found an online article stating that "earthquake damage in Italy IS insurable" (but I don't know how old that article is) who I have contcted and am awaiting a reply and I am going to contact the BIBA on Monday (British Insurance Brokers Association) who offer a "find insurance" service and claim to be able to put you in touch with specialist insurers for "any risk".  We shall see! 

We are in the same situation and had extensive damage to property in 2016 earthquake which was sorted by Intasure. Have you found anyone to cover you as yet? We were considered by A-Plan, found on Internet but due to previous claim they wouldn't cover us, so may be worth a try, Tel no.01174032985. We're still looking and getting rather desperate.   

My father had a house that was damaged in an earthquake back in mid 60s in irpinia. As he lived in the UK he was low priority but the Italian government did finally allocate a suitable replacement in the 80s which was made available, I think, in the mid 90d. As others say, it takes 20 years at least and might be worse now.

Yes, we did manage to get some quotes but it was unclear if earthquake covered and to be honest for the price we doubted it. We'll try again and try to actually talk to customer service but not easy from Uk in our fairly useless Italian.Thanks for all your suggestions.

https://www.genialloyd.it/GlfeWeb/altre-polizze/terremoto.htmlhttps://www.zurich-connect.it/Guide/assicurazione-casa-terremotohttps://www.helvetia.com/it/web/it/chi-siamo/blog/Assicurazione/casa/assicurazione-terremoto.htmlhttps://www.genertel.it/assicurazioni-casa.htmlAll of these do earthquake insurance - but there will some areas which they will not cover presumbaly.  If you have a house on the slopes of Vesuvius I doubt anyone will cover you.  

I have already tried a couple of those modicasa and the problem is that although they do cover for earthquake damage, you can't take out insurance with them from the UK and you have to be resident in Italy.  And Zurich, for example, who operate in the UK as well, don't do house insurance in their UK franchises!I tried the scontopolizza link as well and the same applies.I have pretty much run out of ideas.  I am going to have to renew with Intasure (on 26th November) and then continue to try to find stand alone earthquake cover.  There MUST be a specialist underwriter SOMEWHERE who is prepared to do it - our house is not in an area where there has been a major earthquake since the 1920s - minor tremors of course, but nothing to cause damage.  I've heard it said that you can insure any eventuality if you are prepared to pay the premium - fashion models for example, who insure their legs or their faces!  The problem is that I don't know how to find such a specialist underwriter - they aren't exactly ten a penny and they don't advertise their services on the internet.  Even those specialist brokers that do claim to be able to do bespoke quotes all seem to use the run of the mill underwriters.  I must have tried a dozen or more so called specialists to no avail! :-(This discussion alone shows that there is a market for such cover - I'd be prepared to pay a fairly high premium for the peace of mind and I am sure that as more people receive their renewal notices from Intasure there will be a growing number in the same situation.

Thanks so much for this information, it will save us a lot of time and like you I think we will have to insure again with Intasure, while searching for someone who will insure for earthquakes. Once you have made a claim within the last five years,as we have done a number of insurers will not consider you, even though our house is far more able to withstand any future earthquakes than it was previously.

If I have any success in finding somewhere to cover us I will let you know Valeria.We have never made a claim (for anything) on our Italian house insurance! But we are still in the same boat as you because our area (la Garfagnana -  north east of Lucca) has for some unknown reason, now been included in the "excluded" despite not having suffered any damage in recent history.  I believe our house (built circa 1830) was slightly damaged in the 1920s.

OK, for all of you who need immediate cover, we have had some limited success.  We have not got as much cover as we would probably have got with a British based insurer, but we do now have some earthquake cover.  We have obtained this through the cousin of some friends who live in Italy, who is Italian and an insurance broker. He is happy to try and help anyone who contacts him and his details are as follows:-Dott. Filippo Leonardi, Via Liuti 2, 61122 Pesaro. Mobile number 0039 329 6889183.Filippo speaks a very little English, but if you speak in English, he can always use a translation App.Hopefully this may be helpful to anyone who goes down this route.  Obviously it depends on the location and size of house and so on, but for us the cost was not astronomic.May we thank everyone who has responded to our original question with suggestions and as we say, hope this will do the trick.Best wishes,Geoff and Ann.

Geoff, thank you very much for this information.  My written Italian is better than my spoken Italian so do you have an e mail address for Dott. Leonardi?Have you taken out full house and contents insurance with him or just stand alone earthquake damage cover?We are happy to pay a reasonable premium and do not even mind a relatively high excess - anything is better than having to bear the full cost of rebuiding iin the worst case scenario.

We contacted the suggested broker on Friday and he replied with numerous questions to which we replied but have not heard anything since, despite emailing him today urgently, as our insurance runs out at midnight. To make matters worse we are out of the country from midday Thursday for 10 days. Have you had a suitable quote from him and if so how did you pay him, as money transfer would take too much time. It looks as if we will have to insure again with Intasure and cancel if necessary within the 30 days. Val

Sorry you haven't heard anything yet, but we can only presume that because you have had a fairly recent earthquake claim, the broker was obliged to make more enquiries with more insurers than was necessary for us.  We feel sure he will reply as soon as he has anything to report.  If you read the various posts above, you will see that we did in fact get a quote, but obviously it was easier for him to obtain as we have not, touch wood, had any claims, earthquake or otherwise.  As regards payment, we paid by money transfer (Halifax) and luckily we had a few days to spare and it all reached the insurer in time.  We can only suggest that you wait and see if he manages to get you a quote and if so, cancel your other insurance and take up the new one if you want earthquake cover, which we fully understand if you do.  Remember though that you will be dealing with an Italian broker, an Italian insurer and Italian insurance practices and these do seem to be different from British practices.

Yes, sorry. Email is leonardifilippoassicuratore@gmail.comWe have taken out full house buildings and contents cover.  Doubtful if anyone would give earthquake cover on its own.  It is the other part of the cover which is probably less than we have had in the past with Intasure and others, because British based insurers tend to throw in all sorts of cover to justify the enormous premiums. We feel now that we have bascially something which would cover us in the event of a total loss, be it fire, flood, earthquake and so on.  Theft we are not exactly sure what we have, but as we are not in the habit of making claims for small losses, we are keeping our fingers crossed that we will just be OK in event of the biggie, however caused.Hope this helps.Ann and Geoff. 

Filippo Leonardi is very helpful and has sorted our insurance Geoff - thank you so much for providing his contact details.As you say, the cover isn't quite the same as we would have got from a UK company, but it includes the all important earthquake damage cover (up to 80% of the total sum insured, and they just upped the total sum insured to make sure that would be enough!). It also covers the building for fire and flood and provides third party liability.  But, unlike Intasure it doesn't cover theft nor accidental damage to contents.  However, it was (we think) very reasonably priced - a good bit cheaper than Intasure.My Italian is reasonable, but even when translated the policy documents are estremamente complicato!However after careful reading of the smallprint, I can't see anything nasty hiding between the lines.Did you hear from him again Valeria?  

That is excellent news, Il Roseto.  Pleased to have been able to assist.  Let's hope none of us ever has to call upon their services!!  We agree with your general comments as regards the scope of cover and it is also worth noting that the italian insurers do not appear to settle claims on a 'New for Old' basis, but on an indemnity basis which could be tricky in event of Contents claims.  However, we were told that an insurance broker is a useful go-between in such circumstances, whatever that might mean!!  Hopefully we won't have to find out....Like Il Roseto, we too are wondering if you have had any further progress, Valeria.  Do hope so, but sadly you do have that previous claim to contend with and therefore even the Italian insurers may now be less keen to quote for earthquake damage.  Good luck anyway and do let us know how you get on.Ann and Geoff.

Good to hear you got your insurance sorted II Roseto but sadly we haven't heard anything yet. We had to insure with Intasure again but we have a 30 day cooling off period, in which to sort out another insurer. Still hoping we will hear something soon. Val

That is what we did Val.  Ours expired on 26th and although I contacted Filippo Leonardi on the 22nd or 23rd, there wasn't time to sort it all and get the bank transfer done in order to complete the contract before our current insurance expired.  Of course most Italians and probably many Brits would laugh at us for panicking at the thought of being uninsured for all of a couple of days, but my husband and I like to be able to sleep at night!Anyway, things worked out well in the end for us because, due to the fact that Vittoria Assicurazioni don't cover theft or accidental damage of contents, we chose just to cover the building and I phoned Intasure this morning to reduce our cover to contents only.  I increased the value of the contents, as we were not quite sure which elements of our non-fitted (but partly screwed down!) kitchen would be considered as fixtures and fittings v contents.  The upshot was that we've ended up paying only £33 extra for the two policies in total and bearing in mind that Intasure's premium was reduced this year to reflect the lack of earthquake cover, we are actually paying less than we would have done if Intasure had continued to provide the cover.The very helpful lady at Intasure also told me that she has discussed the situation with their underwriters who say they will review it next year. I do hope that you manage to get yours sorted Val and I recommend this route to anyone else who has the similar problem when they receive their Intasure renewal invitation.I'd also like to add a thank you to the forum - this is a typical example of how useful it can be.Grazie.

Thanks for this, Il Roseto.  Didn't think of that unfortunately, but it seems an excellent solution.  Presumably both companies are happy with the fact they only insure part of the risk, as it were.  Probably too late for us to change now, but perhaps next year. And fingers crossed no break -ins this coming year!!  Time was when insurers didn't cover Accidental Damage for Contents, but we Brits have all got used to having everything covered.  Our greatest fear is any total loss however caused, hence our anxiety about wanting earthquake cover.Ann and Geoff. 

Just to let you know that we have now received our insurance offer from Italian broker and we are in the midst of trying to translate it but it looks to be very similar to those already agreed, so should be fine.

Thanks again for all your help and support and to everyone on this forum.

 

Val

Thanks again for all the info. We are actually out of the UK at the moment with lousy internet connections and at present Richard can't access his email account so not sure if we have received a reply as yet. At least we have cover with Intasure at moment so once we hear from broker we'll follow your idea. Hopefully Intasure will change their underwriters next year.Will let you know how we get on but thanks for your help. Val

That's good news, Val.  So pleased you have managed to get something.  Let's hope this insurer decides to stay in the earthquake market!!  The tremors near Florence recently won't help if they are at all twitchy!!

Best wishes.

Ann and Geoff.

Hi we live in Italy  and have had house insurance with "Insure my  Villa" for  the last  four years  I was more than happy  with it  , very recently they gave me a quote  which included the earthquake cover  , allowed me to  pay for the policy  then asked for what I call sensitive information...  "the code fiscale  we used to  buy the house" (our tax codes)   , before they  would release the  policy . I  cancelled  my policy as I felt it was un necessary  and not  right to  ask for on the outside of the policy  and after payment I have taken it to  a complaint  level . Still looking for another provider that will include  earthquake cover ,  you  might  be interested to  know  POST ITALIANE , do property insurance including earthquake we just found this out  earlier  today , you  need to make an appointment  to discuss your requirements   go to their site for information .      

Your codice fiscale isnt really sensitive information.  It falls into the same class as giving your name and address, which presumably you had on the policy.   It's also publicly available, as (for example) your act of sale is a public document and will have your CF in it, so will the visura for your house etc etc. 

Same here. My Intasure policy was due for renewal this week and I received the familiar notice about changing Underwriters and having to drop earthquake damage. They cheekily offered to renew my policy without any discount, as if the earthquake cover didn't amount to much! To me, this was the main reason for insurance, as my house was built to replace the previous one which was destroyed by the Naples/Eboli earthquake 40 years ago. I wasn't satisfied with their response and went to my UnipolSai agent who deals with my car insurance and surprise, surprise, he offered me a comprehensive house insurance quote which is better than the original Intasure offering, at a similar premium.

UnipolSai Assicurazioni are based in Sala Consilina, Potenza. 
I can give you my agent's contact details if requested.