The most commonly asked questions I receive are:
"is my insurance still valid if I don't have my chimney swept every year?"
"do I have to send you my receipt when I have my chimney swept?"
I thought is would be a good idea to give you some hints and tips regarding this.
To comply with the guidelines set out in an AXA policy, the fireplace and chimney must be kept in good condition and swept regularly. There is no condition that states it must be done by a professional and there is no need to send the receipt to us.
Although I can only give you the AXA guidelines I would imagine it is similar for all insurers in France.
Sounds simple? Wait, keep reading.......
If there is a claim for a fire then your property will be visited by an insurance 'expert'. These are companies who review claims for insurers in France. They are independent from the insurance companies. When the expert visits your property, the first thing they will be asking will be "are the fireplace and chimney in good condition and has been swept regularly". If there is any doubt then a receipt from a professional company is the only way you can prove that you have complied with this (unless it has gone up in smoke with the rest of your belongings!).
Also from a personal point of view, I feel that 60€ to 100€ once a year is money well spent to have an expert check the condition of the chimney and fireplace. This is especially imprtant if it is an insert or closed fire. It is not just the cleaning of the chimney that is the fire risk, it is the condition of the seals and flue. A good chimney cleaning company should be able to not only clean it all, but also give you advice regarding the condition of the equipment.
I hope that helps to give you some answers