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french insurance explained


French Insurance explained

Do you have it covered?

Whether you live or work here or are considering a move to France, French insurance is one of those must have’s in terms of contract and knowledge.  We asked Léna Eaton of Agence Generali for a straightforward overview.

french insurance explained

Léna Eaton of Agence Generali



Property insurance covers your building, content, and public liability whether you are an owner, tenant or co-propriétaire.  Options incliude valuables, musical instruments, sports equipment, etc.  Clauses can be added if you let your property (annually or seasonally), exchange home, or if you work from home (téletravail).  Tenant’s insurance is a legal obligation in France.

Tondeuse auto portée

If you have a sit-on mower check that it’s included within your household policy, you will need to insure it for fire, theft and damage in a separate policy.


Covering cars, motorcycles and camper vans, you have a choice of cover: Third Party, Third Party Fire and Theft, Fully Comprehensive.  An annual green card is normally provided, and some insurers can insure your foreign registered vehicle whilst you are in the process of re-registering it in France.  Options include assistance, recovery home start, replacement vehicle, content, and driver’s life/disability insurance.

Santé : Complémentaire, mutuelle

Around 88% of people in France have a top up medical insurance policy providing full cover or cover for hospital treatments only.  The insurer usually liaises directly with l’assurance maladie to reimburse you.  If you are not registered in the French system, private plans are available for a few months or for a longer term basis.

french insurance explained



Whilst this can be taken out separately, school insurance can be an option within your property insurance and covers the damage a child can cause to others, as well as corporal accidents at school, on the way to school, and during extra activities.

Garantie des Accidents de la Vie (GAV)

Even if you are registered in the health system, certain accidents are not covered by the State.  GAV looks after the financial consequences of a domestic accident such as falling off a ladder, crossing the road, medical accidents, gardening, sport activities, etc.

Protection Juridique

Legal protection insurance covers your interests in France, representation in court, when solving disputes with, for example, an artisan, defending you with daily nuisance, purchase on internet, car repairs/purchase and neighbourhood, problems etc.

Assurances Professionnels

Depending on your type of business, this can cover building, stock and loss of income. Public liability/Responsabilité civile can also be included or contracted separately.


This liability Insurance is obligatory for all builders and covers building repairs when fault is attributed to the insured artisan.


and, in the final part of French Insurance Explained:

When can you cancel?

An insurance policy is initially taken out for one year and is automatically renewed thereafter.  Prior to cancelling, check your policy as they can differ, but these are the general rules.

The new insurer will usually organise the cancellation of your house and car insurance and give 30-day’s notice to the existing insurer.  However, you need to send proof.  If you sell/leave your home, send the ‘attestation de vente’ provided by the notaire on the day of the final signature, or end of tenancy contract (fin de bail).  If you have sold your vehicle, send the ‘certificate de cession’, and if you close your business, send the ‘certificat de radiation’.

First published in the July and August 2020 issue of The Local Buzz 

Images:  Agence Generali and Shutterstock


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