Car Insurance problem with AXA agent

Hi everyone, I wondered if anyone has any sound advice for my Insurance problem. It's a bit of a long one so bear with me. Here goes.

I had 3 Insurances with a local agent representing AXA. Insurance Juridique and 2 car insurances. My car insurances are causing me a big headache. One insurance certificate was due to expire on 30/6/2012 and the other 30/10/2012. This a letter of explanation I have taken to the Agent having recently had a letter from AXA recovery dept threatening to come to my house and remove goods to the value of €277.

  • Early April I came to your office in Montpon and spoke to the young man in the office near the door and explained that I wanted to cancel my insurance and he told me that I should send a registered letter stating so.

  • April 8, I sent the letter to the office of AXA Assurances in Montpon cancelling insurance for my Renault Laguna, the certificate expired on 30 June 2012 contrat no , my Renault Express whose certificate has expired October 30, 2012 contrat no and legal insurance.

  • I was disappointed by the office because the two previous years I had paid for legal insurance by cash and continued to receive requests for payment five months after I had paid. I had to go to the office and show my received threatening letters before stopping.

  • In May, I received a letter asking for payment for insurance of the Laguna . I went to the AXA office spoke again with the young man and asked him why I received the letters. He checked on the computer and agreed the insurances had been cancelled and that the letters had probably crossed in the post and do not worry, they would not take money from my bank account.

  • Later, in June, I revisited office as I had received other letters. As I was talking to the same young man an older woman came over and rudely took over the discussion. I tried to explain my previous visits, but she was very rude, first of all, she told me to be quiet because she wanted to talk, she then went on to explain the Insurance Act in France, I tried to explain what had happened, but she would not listen and told me bluntly: "If you do not like the law in France go back to England" At that moment I got to leave, she said: “ You will pay and if you don't it will not be very good for you." I was very shocked by her racist remark and rudeness.

  • I understand that the insurance must be cancelled 2 months before its expiration, AXA Montpon received registered letters on April 10, 11 weeks 4 days before the expiry date of the Laguna and 6 month 3 weeks before the expiry of the Express. If there had been a problem with the termination of the policies the employee in the office should have said at the time, he did not.

  • I insured the car with a different AXA subsidiary and up until that point, I had not received a certificate of insurance for the car from AXA Montpon.

  • In August 2012, I realised that AXA Montpon had taken a payment for insurance from my bank, I went to the bank and explained that the payment was made in error. The bank cancelled the direct debit payment and recovered the previous month. (I believe AXA must agree to reimburse a payment and therefore acknowledged the termination of insurance.) I had not received a certificate of insurance up to that point.

  • At the end of August I received other letters demanding payment from AXA car insurance. I called AXA France to explain the situation and ask for a letter to confirm that I had no claims during my previous insurance.

  • Finally, I spoke with a lady in client relationships in the south-west. When I spoke with Mdme. Surier it was difficult to fully explain the situation because my French is not perfect and more difficult on the phone and Madame Surier did not speak English. However, I received an email confirming my previous insurance no claims and a copy of the Laguna insurance by e-mail. I did not ask for an insurance certificate.

  • Mdme Surier misunderstood my request. I said I was asked to pay for an insurance I had canceled and it was insurance I had no certificate for, this had confirmed to me that my cancellation was accepted. I have not used this certificate. Later in the week, I received a certificate from AXA Montpon in the post, I returned the certificate to the office in Montpon by hand with a note saying that it was sent in error.

  • January I was called by a customer service person who asked me about the problem I explained what happened and she told me not to worry that everything was finished. But I still get letters asking for money for this insurance.

  • I also receive letters asking for money for the insurance of the Renault Express letter of termination was received 6 months before the expiry date of the insurance.

  • I am unhappy with how I have been treated. I had business with you for 3 years and with no claims. This is unfair treatment.

S. Downie (letter sent in French)

I went into the office this morning and I was told the Laguna's insurance was not cancelled because the contract date was 01/06/2012 and not the expiry date on the certificate. The Express insurance was not cancelled because I had put 30/10/2012 on the letter and the contract date was 01/10/2012 not 30/10/2012 as the certificate said.

Any input gratefully received. Sorry it is so long.please excuse any typo's

Many thanks

Steve can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink!

I eventually got that AXA problem sorted as the email to the CEO got there attention and I had 2 pen pushers come to my house to resolve the problem where they wanted to see that the car was actually insured I had actually insured with Insurance direct which I found out later was infact AXA in disguise. So after all that it was sorted.#
However I decided to find a more local insurer and decided to get quotes from a Groupama office in my local town. So I had a verbal agreement that they would better the price and not reduce the cover so having got the renewal notice I went to them with it. Now the renewal notice was dated 5th June and I received it on the 10th June and it was a week later I went into the office and a few days after this that they came up with a agreeable price. The agent then printed of a lettre de resiliation and filled in the blanks and got me to sign it and put in in a envelope "letre reccomande avis de reception" and I signed up with them. In August we got a letre reccomande from Insurance Direct asking for payment of the premium. Which we ignored but mentioned it to the agent who went "Boff". So In Dec 2013 we get more demands and phone calls asking for payment so I went back to Groupama to ask them what to do as they said I was ok under the loi de chatel and as they had sent off the letre reccomande I thought they should know what they are doing. So the agent then photo copied the lettre de resiliation and the renewal notice and sent them to the recovery company by lettre reccomande and a letter came back refusing to accept my cancelation and demanded payment for the insurance. I am still getting phone calls and letters threatening court proceedings now. I am going back to groupama next week with a French chap who helps us poor Brits with this kind of problem. Apparently I was supposed to keep the envelope that the renewal notice was sent in to prove date of posting (not date received) I have to ask the question how come I have to send a letter by reccorded delivery to prove when it was posted and recieved and the insurance company doesn't. I just think that Insurance companies have too much power in France as do the banks and they obviously havepowerful representation in government to keep the consumers under there control.
You may be thinking this guy is not having much luck with insurance companies, and you would be dam right. C'est la vie.


You are not the only person to have had a recent satisfaction form to fill out. AXA has had a fair amount of negative press throughout Europe during the last 12 months, more so in France. But as with Steve's case it only needs one rotten apple in the barrel!

It would appear that it does not intend to rest on its laurels, having announced very good financial results for 2013. We have our health insurance policies with AXA PPP and it is very well run. My son is in the Swedish insurance industry and works for Moderna who has a close relationship AXA. That said it's worth remembering that complacency is the mother of intervention!

I have taken out 5 new policies with AXA in the last month, and after receiving the paperwork, they sent me an email 'satisfaction' formula to fill out - which I did amrking all sections with top marks except explanations in the case of an accident where it was somewhat vague? However, this is a new depart for AXA France, and indicates they are listening to their customers!!!???

My researcher was having a look through our AXA file and came across this:

AXA's COO's statement is interesting and I would recommend that anybody having a problem with AXA France should post on Facebook!

I am about to put out a general query to all members of our associated forums to see if they have had any problems during the last 12 months.

Are you making any progress? My offer still holds BTW.

It seems to me you have done everything you should have done and you are being bullied. We had a similar problem with Generalli, so Axa is not really the problem. The problem is the archaic law which allows the companies to behave in this manner. I did read somewhere that this is being looked at, so being modern "bring it on". You might like to write to Axa HO in Paris. Like you I am not a fluent speaker but I can write a poison pen. I had a problem with a top-up insurance and finally lost patience and did just that. I recommended the agent in question be "sacked" for incompetence. I also pointed out that I was a financial adviser before retirement in the UK and that Axa UK was infinitely more efficient than the French HO and they could do with lessons in running an insurance company. I can say this was the end of the story. I did name the agent and I did send her a copy.

I have been here for 12 years and was with AXA when I first arrived. We changed very early on when they refused to pay out on our Toyota Hilux stolen from Toulouse Airport parking. We got there in the end but it was horrendously stressful and the agent was positively obstructive. His actual words to us were ' I hope you can sleep at night, I have had to give you 1000 euros out of my own pocket'.

My advice to anyone else thinking of insuring with them? ....go with ANYONE but AXA.

Hi Steve,

Sorry to hear your tale of woe re AXA.

Yes, the insurance regulations in France are strict and specific, but they do not, regrettably, cover poor administration at the insurance company branch (or even head office). Like almost every "service" in France (and elsewhere, not excluding the UK) there are those where the customer is respected and service is efficient, and those where it is not - either case being down to the people working in the establishment.

As I understand it, AXA branch offices (like many other insurers) is run on a sort of franchised agency basis, so whilst representing the AXA brand, each branch has its own "personality", depending on its staff.

For almost 10 years now, my wife and I have been insured with AXA through its Agency in St. Hilaire de Harcouet, and have received excellent and timely service, with great politeness, even when we have had to make claims (several, in fact, all handled efficiently and kindly). We have always dealt with a lovely and efficient young lady there named Angéline, who speaks excellent English, and who has always responded to our needs with politeness and accuracy.

Prior to that, we were with another major insurance Group whose could not care less attitude persuaded us to change to AXA...

Yer pays yer monbey and yer takes yer choice!

Mel Anthony

Anthony - please make sure you reinstate your surname before posting again - thanks C.

Something that may (or may not!) be of help is this:[Planet-a-la-Une]-20140222

Essentially, since mid feb this year there's been a new law in France - la loi Hamon - which states that you can cancel your insurance at any time after the first full year of the contract, with one month's notice (lettre recommande advised). Probably can't be applied retrospectively but useful to know for future reference perhaps.

Get in touch with me about this. Incidentally I have a very senior contact in the AXA Press office and there has been far too much of this sort of thing going on. I would suggest that you scan all the relevant documents and create a file which you could send to me if you are agreeable.

In the first instance make me a friend so that I can send you my email address. I should mention that I am an automotive journalist.

Great feedback thanks; My real argument is with the agent who did not contact me once, despite phone calls emails and letters, even the local AXA office couldnt get hold of him!I was even worried he might be ill or have a family crisis! What angers me is that as I assumed the cars were not insured, I hired a car as I didnt want to take the risk of driving an uninsured car! when I moved to Spain.....anyway not giving up on this one, I know with any company there are good and bad stories , but thank goodness I didnt have an expensive medical claim which they might have ignored! Also I have never in my life had debts with an agency being employed to chase me so feel very bad about this....

Last letter to the Branch by a/r stating you will be calling on the 'MEDIATEUR de LA REPUBLIQUE' (There should be a local office near you) regarding the business errors.

Regarding the 'racism' (actually it's discrimination, and it's quite difficult to prove) - same procedure, or the 'European Médiateur' can be used.

Bad service has no address to address the problem, apart from the AXA Central Offices.

If you have proof (ie written proof from AXA that the affair is sorted out) simply ignore any further letters and let them (if they wish) take you to court!

Take a lawyer, pay him'her and leave it all in his/her hands, then try to get your costs back from AXA via your lawyer!

Axa are dreadful. i had similar problems and ended up writing to their head office (by registered letter) and later to the insurance tribunal who eventually ruled in my favour and ordered Axa to pull their finger out and pay me back.

I do feel for you Steve - we had huge problems with cancelling our AXA insurances - we moved everything to our local credit agricole bank but even with them working on our behalf it took over two years to get all the policies cancelled and taken over. The final straw came when the AXA agency wrote a letter to my bank manager basically the agent saying she had a stack of paperwork to deal with, she had had enough of 'all this work' and had no intention of signing off the insurances because she was just too busy! My bank manager was finally so incensed that she contacted AXA head office which I think is in Lyon, copying them the letter and saying she had never come across such a ridiculous situation and the Head Office finally closed my insurances down. The whole thing was a total disaster. I would say - get other people involved to help CLCV sound like a good idea.

I have insured up to 15 cars at a time with AXA over the last 5 years with absolutely NO PROBLEMS as described in the original posting! In fact, having moved back down to Nice from Deauville, I was considering using a local agent here, but decided the service I was getting was so exemplary up North, I would stay with them. One small claim paid out immediately, a rescue service par to none (in France) - so, OK , they aren't the cheapest, but I want decent cover, not hassle or small print nonsense - maybe I'm just lucky?? I seriously have nothing to compalin about the service from AXA!!


I have just discovered the consumer association CLCV. They have offices throughout france, and I think can help mediate in cases like this. Good Luck

I have been having exactly the same problem with AXA for almost a year now....Its completely unbelieveable how an international company can be so out of touch with their customers ;;;;I moved from France to Spain last August , had no replies from the LR and emails I sent to the agent when I gave notice to cancel my insurances in April ,nor from the AXA offices ; this included not just the three car insurances but also health insurance for two people and house insurance;silly thing was I was hoping to continue using AXA in Spain and now I wouldnt touch them with a barge pole;; the health and house insurance problems were eventually settled despite AXA still debiting my account, then sending threatening letters, one that even arrived the same time as a reimbursement ! the car insurance problems seem to has escalated , despite me selling two cars and re registering one on Spanish plates, which I have notified them about , and with constant threats of judicial action I have been paying what I have felt is ok just to get them off my back....finally told by the client relations dept which I think has to re define the meaning of the words client, and relations ,that if I paid one hundred and something euros this mess would be finished as long as I sent a French translation of the new Spanish registration of my existing car! I replied this could be impossible!well this week got another judicial demand for 650 euros which seems to have come from out of the sky ; I am now looking at taking my own legal action against AXA to get whatever monies I have sent to them these last nine months to be reimbursed . I feel a bit like a dog with the bone now and angry with their terrible treatment; this could happen to some very vulnerable lady or man who could be taken to the cleaners by this company; by the way someone mentioned contacting the mediator well I sent him/ her a dossier re the problem and never heard a thing what a surprise! I have had the most wonderfl love affair with France the past ten years, but AXA has turned the whole dream sour! Merci AXA