In the insurance world, there is nothing that looks more like a motor insurance policy than another motor insurance policy. Although admittedly very similar, there can be major differences and these are not necessarily reflected in the amount of premium charged.
What we, at The Eric Blair Network, tried to do in this page is to give you basic information on car insurance, which hopefully will make you aware of these differences.
We can only insure cars registered in France or Monaco.
You may need to have your car ‘tatooed’ (i.e. have the chassis N° inscribed on the car windows and license plate number on the rear view mirror).
Although the French insurance system is more or less equivalent to any other country's system, there are still a few differences, which need to be pointed out.
The insurance policy is attached to the vehicle and covers it for the named drivers and any occasional driver using it. This extended cover has its limits however:
All main drivers must be mentioned on the policy (except for certain cases, such as company cars). The level of no-claims bonus, the profession, age and sex of the driver(s) will influence the annual premium. Any drivers with a driving license obtained less than three years ago involved in and responsible for an accident would see their cover "reduced" by an excess.
This type of policy will cover any physical or material damage to a third party whilst the vehicle is being used or parked. Since 1982, this cover has been extended to cover the family of the driver and/or the insured. Nevertheless, certain people are excluded from this mandatory cover, notably the insured and/or the driver (see general conditions for more details). We would like to remind clients that this policy does not cover the damage done to their own car even if they are not responsible for their claim. The insurance policy of the responsible third party covers this damage; it is therefore necessary that the identity of the third party be known.
The policy will cover the damage done to the vehicle (but neither the accessories nor the contents) resulting from fire, lightning or explosion.
This policy will cover the damages done to the vehicle resulting from the theft or attempted theft of the vehicle only. This policy does not cover damage due to vandalism or damage due to the theft or attempted theft of the accessories and/or contents (i.e. damage to the locks would not be covered if the thieves only broke in to steal the contents). Cover does NOT extend to contents of the car.
The insurance company will provide the insured with a solicitor in the event of legal proceedings following a claim if the insured is responsible or in order to obtain payment from third parties or third parties' insurance companies after a claim for which the third party was responsible.
The policy will cover the cost of repairs to the insured vehicle less the applicable excess if the insured and/or the driver is responsible for the claim but only if the accident involves another motor vehicle, animal or pedestrian and only if the third party can be identified. If the insured is not responsible for the claim he will be reimbursed for his own damage less the excess. The insurance company will then seek reimbursement of the excess from the third party's insurance (if he is known, of course), and pay it back to the assured.
The policy will cover the cost of repairs to the insured vehicle less the excess if the insured and/or the driver is responsible for the claim and if the accident is with a fixed or mobile object identified or not. If the insured and/or driver is not responsible for the claim, he will be reimbursed for his own damage less the excess; the insurance company will then obtain reimbursement of the excess from the third party's insurer (if he is known, of course).
Covers breakage of side and rear windows and windscreen at their replacement value.
As you can see from the above explanation, the driver and the policyholder (they may be different) are the only ones excluded from any cover in a responsible claim. This option enables to cover Death, Dismemberment, Medical expenses (within certain limits) of the driver if he is responsible for the accident. Various limits of cover are available.
Cars insured in France/Monaco usually benefit from an extra assistance benefits such as :
The Policyholder, Spouse or Partner are covered, as are ascendants (defined as people living under the same roof or other dependents) or descendants (defined as any person in the insured vehicle as a driver or passenger at the time of accident.
You can be covered anywhere outside of a certain radius, such as 25 kilometres from your home in France or Monaco or abroad (limited to Europe for the insured vehicle.)
Please be aware that in order to cancel an insurance policy in France, you must send a registered letter of cancellation 2 months before the annual renewal date. Failure to do this means that the policy will be automatically renewed and failure to pay can result in problems obtaining insurance in the future (rather like having a bad credit history).