Car insurance in Monaco and French Riviera

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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.

What Do We Need To Know To Provide A Quote ?

  • Make and model of the car
  • Date the car was first put on the road
  • Value of the car
  • Whether it is leased or owned
  • Name, age, date driving license obtained, profession, family situation, whether you own your principal residence
  • No claims bonus rate
  • Claims made during the last 3 years
  • Where the car will be kept
  • Details of all named drivers

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).

What types of cover are available ?

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.

Main guarantees

Third party liabilities

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.

Fire

The policy will cover the damage done to the vehicle (but neither the accessories nor the contents) resulting from fire, lightning or explosion.

Theft

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.

Legal defense and recourse

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.

Damage to the insured vehicle if the accident is due to a collision

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.

Damage to the insured vehicle due to any type of accident (often compared to fully comprehensive insurance)

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).

Windows & Windscreen

Covers breakage of side and rear windows and windscreen at their replacement value.

Coverage on driver

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.

Assistance Details

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.)

Cover includes:

  • Repatriation or transportation back to your place of residence if ill or injured.
  • Indemnity for extended hotel stay in France or abroad due to illness or injury.
  • Medical costs incurred abroad not fully reimbursed by Social Security or health insurance.
  • Advance of funds for medical attention while abroad
  • Repatriation or transportation of deceased to France or Monaco in the event of death.
  • Legal Assistance while abroad.
  • Bail Bond advance.
  • Towing costs.
  • Help in obtaining indispensable spare parts.
  • Indemnity for hotel stay while car is being repaired.
  • Transportation to place of repair to recuperate vehicle.
  • Indemnity for hotel stay if car is stolen or being repaired (varies according to the policy).
  • Repatriation or transportation to home in France or Monaco if stolen car not found within 48 hours.
  • Chauffeur to drive vehicle back to your place of residence in France or Monaco if no one else can do so (with some policies, only if the company doctor deems you unable to drive).

What To Do In The Event Of An Accident ?

  • DON'T PANIC. If no one is injured, complete an Accident Statement Form (" Constat Amiable " in French) with the other party involved. If more than two cars were involved, a separate form should be completed with each party (if your vehicle was pushed on to the vehicle in front, mention it). These statements will speed up the settlement of the claim.
  • If someone was injured, even slightly, call the police.
  • The Accident Statement Form and the Number of the Police Report should be forwarded to us immediately. You have 5 days to declare a claim. If the car was stolen, report the theft to the closest Police Station, file a complaint " plainte contre X " and let us have the number of the Report (" Procés Verbal in French "). You have 24 hours to report a theft.
  • The car, if it can be driven, should be taken to the Garage where you intend to have the repairs done so that an assessor can estimate the cost of repairs and issue a report. Please call us to arrange an appointment with the assessor and above all, do NOT instruct the garage to start repairs until the assessor has agreed the amount of work to be carried out.
  • If your car can not be driven or was stolen, call the " Assistance " on the number provided so that they may organise repatriation of yourself and your passengers, of the car if necessary or even pay to rent a car. But always call them first before taking any action.

What Factors Affect Your Premium?

  • Your personal details such as age, profession, driving history etc.
  • The no claims bonus – this can improve your premiums by up to 50% but it takes 13 years to get the full bonus.
  • Where the car is generally kept.
  • Whether the car is restricted to exclusive or non-exclusive driving (exclusive is defined as only the main driver and spouse. Non-exclusive driving can be applied to any driver who is more than 23, with at least 3 years driving history).
  • Whether the car is used for private and professional driving or simply private (for retired people only).

Cancelling Your Policy

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).

Important & Useful Information

  • The maximum reimbursement that can be obtained is the “second-hand” value of the vehicle.
  • Before coming to Monaco or France, obtain proof of your no-claims bonus so that it can be transferred to your new policy. This document should mention the name and address of the previous broker, the name of the insurance company, the policy number and the percentage of no-claims bonus obtained to date. In France the maximum no-claims bonus allowed is 50%.

Documents Needed To Obtain A Carte Grise For A Second Hand Car

  • The original carte grise, with the inscription ‘vendu le ……’ plus the date and the vendors signature.
  • Document N°10672*01 – to register the car details. Obtained from the Prefecture.
  • Certificat de Situation – obtainable at the Prefecture, detailing any outstanding parking tickets, fines due.
  • Certificat de Cession – completed by the former owner of the vehicle.
  • Controle Technique – equivalent of the MOT. Must be less than 6 months old.
  • Proof of identity – passport, Carte de Sejour, driving license.
  • Proof of address – Rental contract or utility bill. Must be less than 3 months old.

Ask for your motor insurance quotation?