French Insurance Cancellation & Renewal
As we approach the end of this crazy rollercoaster year, many property owners and families have used this time to scrutinise their insurance arrangements, especially health and life insurance contracts, including the small print.
And as December / January will be insurance renewal time for many families, property owners and businesses in France, now is a good time to get prepared, just in case something unexpected happens to you or your loved ones.
Here’s some basic information about taking out, renewing or cancelling a French insurance policy if you are planning to move to France, or already live there.
In France Insurance is CompulsoryIn France health, home, pets and car insurance are compulsory for all people, of all ages. And french residents must be covered for Civil Responsibility Insurance (assurance responsabilité civile) as it’s considered that an accident can happen anywhere or anytime; and whether you are the injured party or responsible for an accident, it’s everyone responsibility to fix and repair any damage that may have occurred, it’s a duty.
This is why your notaire will ask about your home and content insurance before completion, as you must by law have an insurance contract when you receive the keys of your new french house. People who are not insured will end up having to pay compensation at their own expense and may be subject to heavy fines, possibly prosecution depending on seriousness.
About French InsuranceIn France all insurance companies are regulated by the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority which have a specific laws governing the rights and obligations the insured and insurers. The policy with the insured is a ‘proper’ contract and must be taken very seriously. When signing an insurance contract in France it’s essential to understand the statements that you have made and the extent of your cover if you needed to claim.
Choosing an Insurance Company in FranceBefore choosing an insurance contract in France, you should be aware that the cancelling process is very likely to be different compared to the process that are used to at home. In France you can’t let a insurance policy lapse or cancel with a last minute phone call or email.
All insurance contracts are made on an automatic renewal basis (reconduction tacite) thus your policy will be renewed automatically the following year unless you have given prior notice, usually in writing.
Renewal of French Insurance PolicyIf you are thinking of changing because of a lower premium, a better cover or because you want the policy in English – ensure you cancel your French contract first. And if you don’t follow the correct insurance cancellation procedure you may be liable to pay the full years premium, even if you have taken out an alternative policy.
Until 2014, people needed to cancel their insurance contracts with plenty of notice requirements, usually 2 or 3 months before renewal date, and by registered letter.
Cancellation or Terminatation of an Insurance ContractUnder the new loi Hamon (from march 2014), consumers can terminate their insurance contract at any time after the first anniversary date but must provide evidence to their current provider that they have taken out a new policy with another insurer. There's a new "cancel online in 3 clicks" law coming into place it's being launched in June 2023.
This is ONLY valid for home and car insurance at present and will apply to health insurance from January 2021. This opportunity to cancel with just 30 days notice is only applicable if your present policy is at least 12 months old.
The easiest and most practical is to ask your new insurance company to prepare a letter on your behalf confirming that you are covered – or you can send them a copy of your new policy with details of the new insurer. You must put your cancellation notice in writing and send it by registered post. The insurer will have 30 days to cancel the policy.
Apply today to find out if our insurance partners can provide a cheaper premium and save you money. Likewise, if you're foolish enough to use your high street bank for your currency transfers, our fx experts may be able to help.