When we take out life insurance policies with banks or insurance companies, we are presented with a health questionnaire which, in most cases, we sign without carefully reading the questions about our health status. There have even been cases where people have signed a blank proposal which is then completed by an employee of the insurance company. This is a major mistake since, when the event covered by the policy (death or illness) occurs, it can block a payout to the beneficiaries of the insurance.

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Article 10 of Law 50/1980, of October 8, 1980, concerning insurance policies, authorizes an insurer to block payments to the beneficiaries of a policy if its holder has fraudulently concealed known and relevant information about their state of health, about which they were specifically asked, and which had an effect on the claimed permanent full disability or, if applicable, death. 

Even if the health questionnaire does not reference the condition suffered by the policy holder, and the illness was not the cause of incapacity or death, it remains obligatory to inform an insurer of it to be able to collect payment.

In its recent ruling of 15th November 2021, the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court rejected a claim against an insurer because it was not possible to determine negligence on the part of the insurance company simply because it did no carry out a medical check to verify possible illnesses, since the policy holder’s failure to declare antecedents of his own mental health about which he was asked exempted it from having to pay out because “the insurer could not be required to carry out indeterminate checks for possible illnesses as, given the negative answers provided in the original questionnaire, it would have subjected the insured party to an investigation in genere”.

Author: J. Escobedo

I am a member of the Tenerife Law Society since 1989 with a dedicated team for anyone who needs an immediate answer or long term solution to any practical or legal issues appertaining to any property or business investment in Spain. If you have decided to move to Spain to start a new life, whether that´s buying a property or a business, then you will definitely need the services of a good Spanish Lawyer who is fully conversant with Spanish protocol and who has a good command of the English language. I am based in the south of Tenerife and I am specialist in Property Law, Inheritance issues and taxes as well as Tenerife and Canarian law and a great deal more. ABOUT MY STAFF All my friendly and professional staff are fluent in English. We have been working for foreign clientes for over 30 years in Tenerife, providing legal advice and litigation services to all our clients investing throughout the whole of Spain and we pride ourselves on providing a high quality service to our clients in the form of clearer communication and advice.

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