The number of Spaniards who have ended up paying, against their will, and insurance from which they intended to unsubscribe can be counted by tens of thousands.
Some insurers do not accept the simple return of the receipt as a sign of cancellation: some harass the insured with calls and threats of lawsuits and inclusions in delinquent files.
And a few even carry out their threats, knowing that they have won the trial beforehand.
The truth is that most companies do not use these practices, considering that it is losing a customer for life, but the risk that we run into one of those insurers so jealous of their collections is there and we must prevent it.
Letter to cancel insurance
The good thing is that we can avoid these inconveniences and problems in a very simple way: just write a simple letter. The General Insurance Law, in its article 22, specifies textually that:
“The parties may oppose the extension of the contract using a written notification to the other party, made at least one month before the conclusion of the current insurance period when the person who opposes the extension is the policyholder, and two months when he is the insurer.”
We stress that the law does not speak of burofaxes or letters with a certified copy and acknowledgment of receipt. It simply indicates that the opposition to the extension must be made by written notification.
In other words, a simple certified letter or normal fax would suffice.
Fortunately, today we have a more reliable, faster, and safer way to do this: email.
Deadlines for canceling insurance
There is some confusion on the internet about the current deadlines. The confusion is because some information is not updated and refers to the previous wording of the aforementioned article 22 of the Law.
Before its modification, the term for cancellation was 2 months, both for the insured and for the insurer.
The current wording of this law has been carried out to give priority to the rights of consumers over large companies, maintaining the 2-month term for insurers and reducing the term of communication by the insured to one month.
Exceptional cases to terminate the contract
The policyholder or his heirs can cancel the insurance early in some cases:
- Death of the policyholder
- Loan-linked insurance
- Home insurance, when the house is sold
- In vehicles, the sale, destruction, or definitive disappearance due to theft
- Life insurance for more than 6 months can be canceled up to 30 days after contracting
- When the company unilaterally changes the terms of the policy or applies an abusive increase in its price
We are going to clarify some doubts that may arise and we will also see a sample cancellation letter:
When can I cancel insurance?
Some think that it is not convenient to cancel insurance well in advance, but we can cancel our insurance from the same day we have paid for it.
Of course, in that case, we will have to wait the remaining more than eleven months for the cancellation to be effective, but we will have communicated our cancellation decision promptly.
Until that date, we will continue to benefit from the insurance conditions as if we had not sent the letter. That is, we do not need to wait until the date on which we want to cancel is closed.
It is best not to rush the deadlines too much to avoid getting our fingers caught.
What do I have to do to cancel insurance?
It is enough to send a reliable communication of cancellation, within the periods already indicated.
It is valid to send it by email to any customer service email account of the company, as long as we keep the copy of the communication on our email server. This electronic copy is considered valid for the Courts of Justice.
The only precaution we must take is to verify that the communication has reached its destination effectively.
In other words, in our inbox, ‘spam’ and junk mail, we must verify that we have not received any message from our ‘Mailer Daemon’, warning us that the mail has not been delivered.
By sending our cancellation communication promptly, we will be protected against any economic claim from the insurer.
How to cancel my car insurance?
The process to cancel car insurance is no different from the one that must be followed to cancel any other type of policy.
It is not even necessary to provide the license plate of the vehicle. The only relevant data is that of the policyholder, the policy number, and the date of termination of the insurance contract.
In the exceptional case of cancellation due to sale, destruction, or disappearance of the vehicle, the license plate and the documents that prove the circumstance that allows the policyholder to cancel in advance must be provided.
One thing to keep in mind is that insurance companies do not usually return the amount corresponding to the months already paid and not used. The usual procedure is to record these amounts in a customer account.
When the client takes out new insurance, these amounts will be deducted from the cost of the new policy.
How to write a letter to cancel life insurance?
Many people do not know how to write these types of letters and think that they need to be written by experts.
Nothing is further from reality. To cancel our insurance, we simply express our intention to do so and include our identification data and the policy number.
A simple and 100% valid model for a cancellation letter is as follows:
“ To the attention of the Customer Service Department
I inform you that I have taken out Life Insurance with your company, whose policy number is [insert policy number], and that it ends on [insert date].
Through this communication, I indicate my firm and irrevocable intention not to extend said insurance contract at the end of it.
Therefore, I ask you to proceed to the definitive cancellation of the aforementioned policy on the indicated date, indicating that any payment receipt drawn to my bank account and corresponding to the aforementioned insurance will not be attended to, neither before nor after said date.
Without further ado, receive a cordial greeting.
In [insert location], on [insert date].”
In the case of early cancellation of life insurance before the first 30 days, we will replace the second paragraph with one that indicates that we make use of our right of withdrawal within the period indicated in the Insurance Law.
We will proceed in the same way in early cancellations of car and home insurance, indicating the reason for the early cancellation and attaching the appropriate documents.
- If we send the communication by email, we will end by including our name and surnames, as well as our ID number, of which we will send a copy as an attachment.
- If we use fax, burofax, or certified mail, we will also sign in handwriting, also send a photocopy of the DNI.
- We must highlight the indicated concepts in bold font so that it is very clear that we terminate the contract.
And we add that, except in early cancellations, no explanation or justification about the decision must be included. The legislation is very clear: to cancel insurance, the only requirement is that one of the parties expresses its intention to do so promptly. More information on how to cancel your home insurance.