Zurich España Insurance Company, the company that insured deposits for off-plan property buyers, is to return these to 6 victorious owners.
Since it was undisputed that Zurich had agreed to cover the risk of contractual default, when the Appeal Court in Malaga found that Pinares de Mijas had not delivered the properties on time -contrary to the earlier ruling passed by the Courts of First Instance in Fuengirola-, the return of the deposits was ordered with inmediate effect.
2 points worth quoting from this run-of-the-mill ruling:
- Legal interest is awarded from the date of lodging the claim, not since when the deposit was paid to the developer (as many other similar ruling have established).
- The delay in delivering the promised properties was counted not from the date when the construction of the properties was physically concluded, but from when they could be legally lived in, establishing that the meaning of “completion” has to necessarily coincide with the grant of the license of occupancy by the local authority (Mijas Town Hall in this case).
Claimants can now shrug off fears that Zurich would do what Mary Beth Senkewicz, former senior executive at the National Association of Insurance Commisioners (US), once warned:
the bottom line is that insurance companies make money when they don’t pay claims…they´ll do anything to avoid paying, because if they wait long enough, the know the policyholders will die.