Home Insurance - "All Risks" Cover

Help please - again!

I am sorting out the insurance on our new house which will be our principal residence. In the UK we always used to have an "all risks" section in which we covered things taken away from the house on a routine basis so clothes, watches, jewellery, cash, cameras etc.

I am being told that in France this cover does not exist. Is that correct? Does anyone have a policy which does provide this cover?

Does anyone have insurance specifically covering camera gear?

Many thanks.

I use Axa here from 2002 to current, and was paid out when a power cut occurred several years ago and we lost freezer contents, which i ddnt know weren’t covered, but have been since, and yes it cost more to add that after, but The Agency gave us an ex-gratia payment, to keep our business? Cynical though I am.

All paperwork is in French,but the various of their agencies I’ve used have all had an English speaking clerk available on the phone. There are two ladies on this website SFN, one is English, who run an AXA Agency, but beware insurance in France is not the same as in England, they don’t do your thinking for you and try and add everything on, it’s when you need it you discover you haven’t got it!

Same with car insurance (Assurance) being the word they use here in France. We had 2 cars. De died to make my husbands Fully comp, mine 3rd Party F&T effectively didn’t use it much. After we separated I forgot, they didn’t ask, and 4 days after my move to a new department car was written off, apparently So just got 150 euros from breakers yard! But Axa have made me an offer now based on the accident after effects, which are ongoing so not sure what to do in terms of full and final settlement! I don’t know what or if anything will be final! I’m sure most men will say it’s easy easy peasy, (my apologies Gentlemen, for being sexist here) but if I was you I’d be phoning those ladies who run the Axa agency, you’ll find details on here.

I last thing, a fuse went I think or rats in the garage this summer, but my freezer Went off unknown to me and yes, all food lost again, aah, upright freezer more than 20 yrs old, a good German make bought in UK and brought here, but not covered because of age! Was never told that either before. I last tip, we got loyalty discount here so annual premiums went up ’ less’ and being retired still said HOW MUCH? Then was offered a further discount! With car insurance, breakdown cover was included to be towed to the garage, I think they all have that, but yes it’s included in the price of cover!

I won’t start on Health cover options, depends on yyour Health! mine is with AXA, called Modulango, but cheaper for me specifically for reasons that are not general.

Axa not cheap, but happy to stay with them, even now I’m a tenant, so if shopping around quality check cover for the premium quoted or offered, food for thought if I haven’t just Frozen your brain!

Thanks Andy, that's very helpful.

Take a look at GMF - they now offer insurance to non-fonctionnaires as well and they offer a fairly comprehensive All Risks cover. Not as you would find in the UK, but pretty good.

Groupama also offer something they regard as All Risks - it looked ok when I got a quote a while back, but I never read the whole terms... settled with GMF for many reasons.

Thanks gentlemen. Apologies for the delay but I live down-valley of Lodeve and the electricity and phone/internet have only just come back on.

Our insurance agent friend said something similar except that the insurer has to have some kind of assessment on the state of the tree or to visit to examine it and the damage, which made him say that they are avoiding paying out. In fact, the person responsible for fauchage for this communauté de communes who is a maire-adjoint in this commune could have done it. He would have attested the weather as well. The point is that there is no consistency. Mind you, despite the agent being a friend, we have no evidence this lot are different. Perhaps it is something of a lottery.

I have heard (but have no evidence) that if a tree on your land causes damage to your property it would not be recoverable as the condition and state of the tree are the responsibility of the property owner. If it landed on a third party than that would be covered.

What I am not sure of is when you would need confirmation (from the meteo? or the mairie) of exceptional weather conditions.

The friend who recently came to take a look round before doing the new policy made it clear that all 'movable' objects, that is to say are likely to be taken out of the house, such as cameras are not covered. If such things are to be insured along with the house, yes as Chris says, make an inventory of all of them, it will add to the price but then yes. His advice about photographing them is probably very astute.

As for paying out or not, we would never try a verbal approach. Registered letter with acknowledgement or nothing. We have been OK with claims mostly, such as a washing machine that probably coincided with a storm knocking power out. The place we bought a new one from took in the old, then gave us a note to say it was storm/power damage. In fact, it was unplugged during the storm and went a while after. But we shall not argue. However, when flying tiles smashed a double glazed window and also damaged the frame, they said it was our fault the tiles were not secure. Yet on the separate claim for the roof there was no dispute, they simply paid out. In fact the roof had been in a perfectly good state and that was freak wind. The other one was when a bit of tree broke off in a similarly tempestuous wind and broke a gate. We should have had the tree cut back by a tree surgeon in their view, so no pay out. There was not even an assessment of any kind, so we believe it was done by osmosis. It goes both ways, but too many other people who are not spurious about such things say the same about CA, so we changed and are hoping that we do not need to claim but that if we must...

Thanks Chris, that is really helpful. I totally agree with you about two sides to every problematic insurance claim but this thing about having to have receipts (or a valuation) I find quite staggering and I suspect is at the root of many of the comments that people make about (honest) claims. As I read it my immediate thought was to photograph everything but to need a valuation as well?!

It did make me think, if you keep all the receipts for the thousands of items in your house then the house burns down - and the receipts with it - where does one stand?! I feel a lot of scanning coming on.... Yet another thing that makes moving to France farcically administrative.

Thanks again.

All risks cover is not available outside your residence. Cover for any such loss is only available following being attacked or mugged.

All risks cover is available within the house but you need to check whether you have it or not already.

Coverage for theft or damage from or in the premises is only covered if you can provide receipts for the purchase or a professional valuation. This includes furniture and inherited items.

It is always best to photograph any items you wish to have insured and then have them valued as well.

As to insurers not paying claims - there are always two sides to every story and unless and until I have heard from both sides I tend to treat such complaints with a pinch of salt.

Any communication with an insurer should be in writing and any answer from them in writing. Verbal answers are not proof of cover and the person who gave you the answer may not be there when the ooh nasty hits the fan.

Thanks Brian - all noted.

It's funny, the reason we're not considering the existing insurers on the house is because the owners say they hate paying out on claims!



We have changed our policy recently. Whatever you do avoid Crédit Agricole who appear to hate paying out on claims, which is why we changed. The agent who my OH went to is a friend anyway, so he has got us the best deal possible. However, the kind of all in one cover you know in the UK simply does not exist.