Insurance for your property in France


property-insurance-franceThe deed of sale has marked the transfer of ownership between the seller and you. The first task you now need to undertake is to seek insurance for your property in France. Be aware that you will not receive your title deeds for at least approximately three months after the signature of the deed of sale. However, this does not prevent you from searching for a property insurance. Indeed, the Notaire will give you copies of a certificate stating that you are the new owner of the property. This certificate will then be paramount to obtain your property insurance. The presentation of this document to home insurers will allow you to start your approaches.


In a similar way to obtaining a mortgage in France, French insurers may sometimes show a bit of reluctance when dealing with applications from foreign buyers. Nevertheless, nothing is insurmountable, even more with our support and our insurance broker partners!


In France, it is not compulsory to be insured except if the property is part of a condominium. A condominium is a mixture of individual and collective properties. Each owner is, on the one hand, the exclusive owner of a private part, often an apartment. On the other hand, each owner is part owner of the common parts such as hallways, stairs or elevator.


However, we strongly recommend that you take on property insurance, even just for the peace of mind! Indeed, in the event of a loss, if you are not insured, you alone would need to bear the costs of the damage caused. Basically, let’s take an example. If an accidental fire damages your property and you do not have property insurance, you will not be compensated.


In this article, we are going to consider property insurance in France when you are a non-resident owner. We will begin with an overview of property insurance in France. We will then discuss the process of finding a property insurer. Then, we will tell you about all risks property insurance. We will conclude this article with our involvement in the establishment of this contract.


Property insurance in France

A property insurance is a contract by which an insurer in France undertakes to reimburse you all or a part of the damage suffered on your property and its contents when specific events covered occur. This contract also insures the damage you could be responsible for within your personal life. For example, this contract covers you if your child breaks the neighbour’s window with his football. Generally, you subscribe to a property insurance contract in France for a duration of one year. Most of these contract will be automatically renewed. This means that if you want to terminate your contract, you will need to send your insurer a letter of termination, no later than one month before the deadline.


In a property insurance contract, you must study each clause closely to avoid disappointment. A French insurer must include certain essential safeguards in his contract. It is up to you to check their inclusion to ensure the best cover. Civil liability cover is without a doubt the most essential cover. Every all risk property insurance contract in France will include this. It covers both the insured (i.e. you) and the persons allowed to live under your roof. Then comes fire cover, also covered by all contracts.



Additionally, you should check in detail the levels of compensation for risks related to climatic events. Minimum contracts only cover events recognised as natural disasters. Natural disasters are defined according to the location of your property in France by a prefectural order. It is better to have extended cover against this type of risk.


Concerning water damage, the fourth important cover, you should check that infiltration through the walls and facades are covered. Last guarantee of paramount importance in property insurance, theft. As strange as it may seem, most of the property insurances would only include cases when burglars force entry. Therefore, it excludes theft committed through aggression…


Also, do not agree to sign the first contract of property insurance you receive! It is essential to study and read these contracts to understand their meaning. You also absolutely need to understand which situations your property insurer covers you for.


Avignon, region PACA

Finding a French property insurer

The offers on the market for property insurance in France are multiple and differ greatly. It is one of the most competitive sectors in the country. Therefore, many businesses are active on this market, offering different levels of advantages. There are various options available to find the property insurance which corresponds to your needs. To find an insurer, you can use four channels.


Using an insurance broker

The insurance broker is going to gather and compare all offers on the market for you. He does not sell contracts directly to you. He helps you to find and buy the best contract. His advice is essential. He has a thorough knowledge of the insurance market in France and keeps himself informed of its developments. He helps you to clearly lay out your requirements and guides you in the choice of a contract.


Independent of insurance companies, he selects among the products on offer on the market the contract best suited to your specific situation. Sometimes he may have to be innovative by designing a made to measure contract to meet your requirements. He then launches a call for tender and negotiates the premiums for you. We have some English-speaking broker partners who regularly work on behalf of foreign buyers. They will allow you to clearly simplify these steps of searching for property insurance in France. This will save you precious time.


The banks

Today, most of the French banks have a service dedicated to property insurance. The rates are often quite good but the flexibility of the contract is virtually nil. Nevertheless, taking on property insurance through a French bank can sometimes be a good idea. Indeed, if the offer exactly corresponds to what you are looking for, the deal can be advantageous for you. The following French banks offer property insurance.


High Street insurance companies

There are many high street insurance companies in France offering a service relating to real estate present. These firms hold the lion’s share of the market. Their contracts are generally more flexible than those of the banks and therefore more customisable.


Online comparison platforms

These are property insurers that only provide online services. Generally, they are affiliated to several key players on the marketplace such as banks or high street insurance companies. The big advantage of these online comparison websites is that these tools offer you rather attractive prices. As their names indicate, you can compare all offers in a few clicks. Nevertheless, it will be necessary for you to be very vigilant when reading your contract. On purpose, these are very complex and very long. Customer support is also much lower than when taking on home insurance with a bank or a high street company. The same offer from a bank underwritten by the bank directly or through a comparison site can be different! Therefore, be careful when checking online comparison platforms.


All risks property insurance

All risks property insurance contracts are multi-cover contracts. They allow you to protect your property when you are unfortunately responsible for or the victim of a loss. This is the most complete and most common type of property insurance you can find in France. It gives you total peace of mind. In fact, it includes every type of damage that you could come across through ten covers.


Civil liabilityBasically, the obligation to repair the damage caused to others. This damage may result, for example, from carelessness. The insurer covers you if you cause damage. The civil liability underwritten includes damage to third parties caused by:


  • You or your children
  • Ascendants living under your roof
  • Your employees (maid, gardener, baby-sitter)
  • Your pets
  • Objects that you own or have borrowed or rented

Fire-explosionAll multi-risk property insurances on the market offer you basic cover for damage resulting from a fire. It also covers against explosion, an implosion, lightning, as well as damage caused by extinguishing a fire. Many of the contracts also contain “household damage” cover. These contracts protect you for damages caused by excess of heat without a fire (e.g. hot iron falling on the carpet).


Water damageCovers the consequences of water damage. However, it does not cover the costs of the repairs to the part of the building that caused the damage.


TheftThis includes the disappearance, the destruction or deterioration of movable property resulting from:


  • Thefts
  • Attempted thefts
  • Acts of vandalism

Whatever the type, you must provide the evidence to your insurer in France. Certain items such as jewellery or furniture will be covered for a limited amount.


VandalismIncludes material damage resulting from acts of vandalism.


Glass Cover damages (breakage, cracks) to:


  • Windows
  • Window panes
  • Floor to ceiling windows
  • Velux
  • All the glasses and windows of the contents of your property

Natural disastersLegal mandatory cover of French property insurance. By insuring your property against fire, water damage, theft, your insurer also covers you against damage from natural disasters. The implementation of this cover is subject to a statement of the natural disaster by a ministerial decree. This order must determine the geographical areas affected, the period and the nature of the damage concerned.


Storm and other climatic eventsSome insurance contracts covering fire damage or any other damage to property must cover the effects of wind due to storms, hurricanes and cyclones.


Technological disastersCovers you if you are victims of a technological disaster. The Law provides that the compensation due must be paid to you by your insurance in a period of three months from the date of delivery of the estimate of the damaged property.


Riots and popular movementsAll risks home insurance contracts may also insure against the damage caused during riots and popular movements.


The content (furniture, equipment, jewellery) of your property in France has its own value. You will need to assess the total amount of what you own (furniture, household appliances). Do not neglect this step. In addition to determining the maximum compensation in the event of a loss, the value of the materiel assets has a direct influence on the annual premium.


Involvement of French Property Connection

We still support you after the completion of the transfer of ownership. Therefore, we naturally assist you in the search for the best possible property insurance. The best way to get an insurance corresponding to your needs at an attractive price is to approach a broker. So, we put you in touch with one of our partners. This will enable you to correctly define the type of property insurance you need.


The broker then gathers all the suitable offers on the market for you. He will also he negotiate advantageous. Then, we translate the offers into your mother tongue. It allow you to have the whole of the market in your hands in a language that you understand. With the advice of the broker, you no longer have to compare. You just select the offer that you think is the most beneficial. Moreover, your insurance premium includes the broker’s fee. The premium for the insurance corresponds to the price that you will need to pay monthly for your cover.


If you do not want to use a home insurance broker, we approach the banks as well as the high street insurance companies on your behalf. We also carry out simulations on the online comparison platforms to find the best offer possible. Like a broker, we collect the various offers. We then conduct a comparison that we send to you in your mother tongue.


Similarly to the search for a mortgage, it is virtually impossible for us to obtain as attractive a price as those of a broker. Regardless of the option that you choose, we remain, as always, close to you during this search for property insurance.


How are you planning to find property insurance in France? Which way do you believe is the most efficient to quickly organise home insurance as a non-resident? Feel free to use the comment box below to comment this article. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have on this subject. We will be delighted to answer!

About the author

Samir Grattery is the creator of French Property Connection. Holder of a Master in Property Law from the University of Sorbonne in Paris, Samir first worked as an estate agent. He was then working on behalf of sellers and defended their interests. He then decided to solely collaborate with buyers. Working as a property finder in Paris, he accompanied non-residents throughout their purchase project and protected their interests against sellers.

In 2015, after moving to the United Kingdom, he created French Property Connection to enable non-residents wishing to buy a property in France to simplify their purchase process, particularly by avoiding the pitfalls and problems usually faced by foreign buyers.

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