The return home of the residents of La Palma triggers insurance applications

The Gran Canarian palms



Start over. That is the premise that the nearly one thousand neighbors who have returned to their homes today after the volcano of La Palma, who appear buried in ash and without water until next week. Homecoming has been wrapped in emotion and excitement for a long-awaited return after more than four months, although it has also been accompanied by a barrage of requests to the Insurance Compensation Consortium (CCS), more than 50 daily.

Since December 21, every day, without exception, they have been receiving between 25 and 50 new requests daily compensation.

As of January 14, 2022, the CCS has paid 680 requests with value of €90.5 million to policyholders affected by the volcanic eruption on the island of La Palma, with 79.2 million euros corresponding to 525 homes, to 77 cars, for which, as a whole, an amount of 335,386 euros has been compensated; to 71 shops, hotels, office premises and other public or private real estate for non-industrial use, whose indemnified amount amounts to 10.5 million; and to 7 industries, for a total amount of 461,456 euros.

All these risks are located in the municipalities of Los Llanos de Aridane, El Paso, Tazacorte, Santa Cruz de La Palma, Breña Alta, Fuencaliente de La Palma and Tijarafe, with a compensation average paid per home of 150,860 euros, in the case of shops, hotels, office premises and other public or private buildings for non-industrial use, the average compensation amounts to 150,990 euros; in industries it is 83,000 euros; and in vehicles, 4,745 euros.

As a whole, the average amount paid per request for compensation is, up to now, 133.188 euros.

Until the 14th, the CCS has received 3,542 requests for compensation, for damage to 2,936 homes, 253 motor vehicles, 321 shops, hotels and office premises, and 32 industries.

By localities, the number of requests for real estate and assets in Los Llanos de Aridane, where 2,115 requests come from compensation; El Paso, with a total of 646 applications; Tazacorte, with 224 applications; Breña Alta, with 132 applications; Santa Cruz de La Palma, with 131 requests; Breña Baja, with 114; Villa de Mazo, with 84; Fuencaliente de La Palma, with 36 applications; and Tijarafe, from where 29 requests have been received.

CCS covers material damage suffered (lava and ash), loss of rent or uninhabitability of housing and loss of profits for the destruction or interruption of business, provided that both are insured.

Of the total, 149 requests for compensation have been rejected for various reasons, among which the existence of a grace period stands out, since the legal period of seven days between the date of issuance of the contract and the date on which, according to the verifications carried out by the CCS, the damage to the insured property; and the lack of coverage in the insurance contract for the uninhabitability of the dwelling or the loss of rent due to its lease, or because the circumstances set out in the insurance contract do not exist for the insured to be compensated for said concepts.

Other reasons, less frequent than the previous ones according to the CCS, are that the damages were caused in agricultural productions not susceptible to compensation by the extraordinary risks insurance; the abandonment by the insured himself of the claim for compensation initially submitted; the absence of insurance on the date the damage occurred; or duplicities in the presentation of the request.

Without water, buried and with a new landscape

The neighbors who have been able to access their homes in recent weeks after more than four months of evacuation they are not having an easy comeback, and there is still much to be done. Just as the newcomers to their homes allege, the around one thousand residents of Las Norias (partially), Hoya del Verdugo, Morro de los Judíos, Las Manchas, disseminated Las Manchas, Cuatro Caminos, San Nicolás and south of the José Pons la Jurona road.

At this time they do not have running water, but the main problem is the tons of ashes that accumulate on some roofs, greenhouses and in the accesses to population centers. The City Council of Los Llanos de Aridane removes more than 750 cubic meters of ash a day in an intense job that will still require months of cleaning.

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