House Insurance

Has anyone got any tips on searching for quotes. We have just had a quote from the company we used. No claims but they gave doubled it. They have both our cars insured at the moment although they refused to acknowledge our no claims proof so are looking to change those as well. Feeling ripped off! Thanks.

Thank you Shirley for taking the trouble and I’m glad you are coping after what sounds like a terrible accident.
I’ve learned that Insurance is very different here. As far as I can see you are only covered ny house insurance for theft. There are all sorts of waivers for the benefit of your insurer including in the case so Swiss Life that you are meant to close your shutters if you go out for 2 hours! Things like any wear & tear to shutters will make any claim questionable. I don’t know any that cover for freezer damage. We took out with Swiss Life for house last year and they failed to send us a renewal then claimed we didn’t cancel in time. Despite putting the premium up by 25% we are tied in for another year. The customer has few rights compared to the UK. As for medical care, I am still waiting for CPAM to issue my CV after now 15 months. There is supposed to be new legislation to protect consumers but when it comes down to it the customer is both wrong and helpless to speed things up.
Hope you continue in your rehabilitation Shirley and good advice too. Keep paperwork, relevant numbers to hand.
Very best wishes

Thanks John. We’ve changed to Aviva & knocked 100s off house & two cars.

I agree with Jane regarding Mutuelles. I'm with MAAF for one house and three cars. Very friendly folk and reasonable prices. So much better than the overpriced, incompetent Axa agent I previously with.

Thanks Melvyn

Hi Miriam,

Do try AXA Agency at St. Hilaire de Harcouet. Ask for Angéline - she speaks good English and do feel free to mention my name. They have handled our household and motor insurances for about 10 years, and all claims have been satisfactorily dealt with, NCDs honoured, and whilst premiums are not low they are competitive considering the quality of the cover and the service.


Thank you Karen. We have asked various others but got various opinions! We don’t go with the cheapest either but still struggle with small print in French. What has caught us out, and you’d think we’d have learned by now is that, not always knowing the deadlines etc, we’ve left things too late to change. We are just into our second year so I think I can fall into a ‘’ mentality too easily. As it is we’re getting more of what we need but are stuck with getting out of our last contract. All this info helps a great deal though. I hadn’t known that under our last policy there was a get out clause for them if we were robbed and had left the shutters open for 2 hours plus it was void! Blimey!

This might seem obvious but have your asked your friends for their experiences with other insurance companies who have dealt with problems in your area. I know our insurance ( with a well known french bank) will not necessarily be the cheapest (there's always something cheaper online!) but at the times we have needed them e.g. new roof after the 1999 tempete, car replacement after an accident caused by another party, serious water leak in original 1 metre thick walls, they were efficient, quick, and very fair with their settlements. They have an English speaking phone line if its needed although I haven't used it. I would recommend them to anyone who asked me so that is why I would suggest you ask around.

So true! I came back this morning having spent 11€ on posting a couple of letters & a very petit cadeau to my granddaughter!

That is why the Post Office makes so much money from Recommende avec Avis de Reception.

Yes, I rad it badly Jane. Thanks and will look into that. I’m so grateful for all this help. We do come unstuck so easily and I think I’m efficient! I can’t help but think it’s cynical to give their customers no warning and to know that it’s impossible to prove when Mail arrived.

Miriam, I do not mean a Health Mutuelle, rather a Mutual Insurance Company. It will be either for your town, city or region and is more competitive than a more commercial enterprise.

Thanks Geoff. It’s another learning curve. Swiss Life have withheld the letter as it’s dated 10th April and received 22nd. It’s a matter of their word against mine as to when it was received. I’m speaking to an English speaking French guy from Aviva & he can do it. Every time I think I’ve cracked the bureaucracy here I get another lesson!

I am in the process of changing my insurance from credit agricole to BIBA sarl (an english broker in France).

I am finding them very helpful, prices much better than CA and because they speak english it does help in understanding all the small print of the policy. I have not of course made any claims yet, but so for I can recomend them.


6 rue Roger Bissière

47210 Villeréal - France

Tél 05 53 01 13 84

Fax 05 53 36 62 17

Orias no 07006174

Hi Jane

We are OK with our Mutuelle but house and cars are the ones we have been paying over the odds and which we are changing. We are going to see a man near us in Vidauban. My husband goes to a night out with the lads thing and got advice & I followed the link sent by Simon. Once they have you they want to keep and squeeze you!

Do you have a Mutuelle near you?
We have one here in Cluny and are changing all our policies as they come due.
We are paying less for more cover and we can go to talk to the Boss!
He actually came out to see our house with his computer and gave us a quote at our kitchen table.
I was particularly pleased that they recognised that my freezer will be more full at certain times of the year, eg Christmas and that we live in a rural area so I tend to stock up.

I’ve just discovered that changing insurance companies is not so simple either. It requires a registered letter to be sent to the one you want to leave that has to be received within 20 days of receipt of your new quote. Thanks again Simon. I have researched it carefully & more than halved what Swiss Life were quoting.

Thank you Simon. I’ll have a look now!