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Key formalities

Compulsory insurance
Responsibility
Everyone over 18 and of sound mind is responsible for their actions. In order to make reparation for potential damages caused, some types of insurance are compulsory.
Multi-risk home insurance
Whatever your nationality, whether you are the owner, tenant or simply the occupant in a property in France, a multi-risk home insurance (called contrat multirisque habitation) is compulsory.
This contract covers several different types of risk: 
  • Risks linked to the property itself: water damage in your property or in a neighbour's, fire (except if voluntarily caused), burglary, attempted burglary, vandalism (where proof is provided), natural causes (hail, snow, lightning, storms), natural or technological catastrophes, bombs, terrorist acts.
  • Risks run by occupants further to one of the above.
Family civil liability
In France, in the event of harm or damage to others, there is a legal obligation of compensation. The above multi-risk contracts therefore include a family civil liability coverage (responsabilité civile familiale) which covers the reparation of any damage or harm caused: 
  • involuntarily,
  • by a family member
  • in the sphere of private life,
  • to other persons or their possessions.
The contract also generally includes school insurance (assurance scolaire or assurance extra-scolaire) (limited to children's liability), and an insurance policy to cover sporting activities. Please note that this excludes many "dangerous" sports.
Car insurance
It is also compulsory to be covered by a car (or motorbike) insurance policy when driving a "land motorised" vehicle (car, motorbike, etc). In addition to the civil liability cover provided by this insurance policy for reparation of damage to others when behind the wheel, this policy can also cover the damage caused to the vehicle itself and its driver. However, you are free to choose the cover of your choice: theft, fire, with or without windscreen cover, or an "all-risk" package.
 
 
NB
Insurance policies generally carry legal protection enabling the policyholder to obtain professional legal assistance in the event of legal proceedings.
 
 
© All Contents, Laurence de PERCIN, janvier 2014.
Groupe Société Générale