Household insurance - a policy written in English?

We are looking for insurance for our soon to settle home. Bearing in mind this will be a second home, permanently occupied for 6 months of the year, can anyone suggest an insurer who will provide a quote and a policy document in English?
I have had a quote from a very nice AVIVA agent, who is happy to answer my questions (in English)but he cannot provide me with a policy doc or quote, in English.
I know, it is appalling that I don't have enough French for a basic thing like insurance, but we are just starting out. This WILL change with time.
Many thanks in advance...

I live in France and commute to the UK for work each week and have been doing this over 5 years. I have an English car and only work part time in the UK and therefore in France for well over the 6 months and have never ever had a problem all that time. Added to the fact that the Gendarme are so lazy and avoid work at all costs I would say don't worry. I have even been stopped by the Police National and they checked by papers and off I went. I even told them I had just finished work and was on my way home, they were not interested for how long I had been out of the country or how long I was staying, which really says it all. Oh and I have a French Driving licence which is very easy to get and again have had no problems.

As for the supply of translated insurance policies, you will soon realise that this is another of the EU rules that France fails to conform to. If you purchase anything from a kettle to a car or insurance you will get any other language apart from English !! However, Credit Agricole offer a good service to explain their policies and are extremely helpful with any questions you may have, your policy will of course be in French. You will soon get to love the French and get equally frustrated with anything administrative. You will not be alone because the French get equally frustrated as well.

I've come in rather late to this discussion, and once again I am very pleasantly surprised by the way that SFN members really want to help each other.

However, I don't want to be a spoilsport, but any English-speaker who moves to another country where their language is not spoken (as the official language) really has to accept that everything they want done in that country will have to be done in a language other than English. Here, the subject is insurance, but any 6-month stay in France is going to involve a awful lot of poring over all kinds of official documents in French as well as discussions in French with professionals and tradespeople.

The French do not have a ready and comprehensive supply of translations in English on-tap for the members of the English-speaking ex-pat community. Any foreigner moving to France simply has to accept this fact.

Try Gaye Galliver at BIBA telephone number 0553011384 she is really helpful.

entente cordiale - the UK fails miserably compared to French efforts regarding speaking the other's language (from a qulified MFL techer who's taught in various institutions in both contries) also see the eu league table of mfl levels by country. France isn't the best, far from it, but is way above the UK and Ireland who were last and last but one the last time I looked!

French, the official language, is first language of 88% of the population. Most people who speak minority languages also speak French, as the minority languages are still given no legal recognition. 3% of the population speak German dialects, predominantly in Alsace-Lorraine and Moselle. Flemish is spoken by around 90,000 in the north-east, another 0.2% of the French population. Around 1m people near the Italian border speak Italian, roughly 1.7% of the population. Basque is spoken by an estimated 0.1% along the French-Spanish border and Catalan dialects are spoken in the French Pyrenees by around 260,000 people or 0.4% of the French population. Breton, is spoken by 1.2% and mainly in the north-west of France. None of those three languages have official recognition or status within France. In the South of France about 7m speak Occitan dialects, representing 12% of the population of France, also without official status. Nor does Corsu, the dialect of Corsica, closely related to Tuscan and is spoken by 0.3% of the French.

Arabic, is the third largest minority language, spoken by around 1.7% of the population. Other immigrant languages from former colonies include Kabyle and Antillean Creole. Then comes English somewhere in a couple of surveys that showed that around 20% of people in France speak some English. That includes first language English speakers, others using it in service industries such as the tourist industry, finance and trade.

88% use French as first language and it would appear that it is assumed most of the others with 'minority' languages generally do.

Recent surveys of the French in (only) London shows that as much as 96% of them use English.

In terms of the wish of Anglophone people to have documents in their language, it would be interesting to see how that is reciprocated in England. There is enormous effort injected into the census and other work the ONS does but whether that extends into insurance and banking is another question altogether.

yes and no, what's covered in an insurance policy differs from one country to another and takes into account what is required by the law too. And yes English is an international language but we're talking about insurances policies in France and nothing "international". I think people already bend over backwards in France for the Brits. Again I can't see Nat West having a "frenchline"...! But just light-hearted observations, nothing more ;-)

And if anything has been mistranslated, which does happen, then the French contract takes precedence. Isn't the whole question a little bizarre given that we all live (and work for many) here in France, could you possibly imagine someone wanting their insurance in French in the UK...! :-O

pretty sweeping statement - all insurances in France are difficult to cancel, were almost impossible until recent changes but YOU have to know your rights, quote the new law (loi Chatel) and insist. Never had a problem and have changed many times. Have no problems with CA either ;-)

my take on it too, Véro ;-)

...and I see Brian's confirmed it ;-)


Try This UK company specialises in insuring homes in France and elsewhere in Europe and can give you a policy in French or English.

Good luck


credit agricole have a pretty good english speaking section in the Perigord areas tho' I know loads of english who have been to Bruno Sellier in Cognac who has been dealing with the brits for about 25 years - I would imagine he would have policies in english (sorry, I don't know where you are based)


My in laws moved to the Bordeaux region a couple of years ago. I'm not sure it was the fact that Credit-Agricole had a branch in the village or back in GBR he had done all this sort of thing via the NFU office but he did find that they were very helpful in providing this sort of service.

As mentioned elsewhere here the 'official document' will be in French but they will, and did for him, provide a like for like translation in English


Thanks everyone for your contributions.
We are currently in the wilds of Scotland and have to drive 5 miles to the pub to get email.
I will be going through all your advice and suggestions when I have a reliable Internet connection
Needless to say, i am again grateful

It was I think the first claim I had ever made in my life for contents; it was due to a lightning strike.

Some companies just say if you have N square meters we'll guesstimate you have £X worth of contents, and £X is typically £50,000 so yes if the house burns down, and given rebuilding cost is say £100,000 the contents isn't just an little add-on

Hi Lesley,

You can try GSAR in Villeneuve sur Lot, 05 53 40 27 27, coverholders for Lloyds of London. Speak to Penny Macnamara or Vincent Pourreau and mention that Tim Abady suggested you call. To be legal in France the policy will have to be in french but they will haver an english translation.

I parted company with them (Generali/Sellier) after I made a claim.

Not connected with my case, but on other threads you will find that claims are often refused for lack of evidence that the missing/broken/damaged item ever existed. Well of course I don't have receipts for much of our stuff. I don't know if it would help, but I have taken a load of photos, and actually walked all around the house and garden taking videos which will at least demonstrate the articles existed, although I wouldn't put it pastg the b^&*s to say I'd borrowed them or something.

I'm impressed you think the english gobbledygook is understandable

Whatever you do, please do not tie yourself up with Credit Agricole - they are a nightmare when you want to cancel any insurance or change to another Bank.

Generali do house insurance policies in English. Best of Luck.

We used Martyn Pickering
after some difficulties with other policies.

Details Market leading quotations and insurance services in English for all types of insurance. House, Business, Car, Health, Boats, Pets.
Contact by telephone: 0468 206608. By Post: Olmes Difussion, 17 rue du 11 novembre 1918, 09300 Lavelanet.