Insurance options

We pay over €1200 a year for car, house, health and liability insurance, we need to reduce that figure can anyone help with suggestions?

For a family of 4 (Soon to be 5) we pay around 1400 euro on top up insurance, 500 euro contents, buildings & professional insurance for my husband and around 900 euro car insurance. On top of this we maintain life & critical illness insurance to cover our mortgage (many people forget they are also paying this as it's often rolled into your mortgage payment) 900 euro. That's a whopping 4000 euros a year on insurances. The top up insurance company is AXA, they have always paid out without a problem and with the babies I'm sure we've had more back than we've actually paid out in the past 2 years, Car insurance is AXA UK at the moment - horrific price but not much choice these days to reduce that as we need the full year Green card. I will probably switch our household insurance next year as it creeps up each year and I don't think that is competitive now at all, just need to remember to give sufficient notice, I missed the deadline last year. That's one thing that does irritate me a little bit about the insurance business in France, having to give at least 2m notice that you don't want them to automatically renew. I'm hoping to get the premiums down by 200 euro by switching. Can someone remind me end of Feb to give notice by recommendee? I think with No3 on the way in January I'll probably forget again!

Really must remember to check my typos before I click on the Add button!

Hi there,

I am waiting to hear about my Carte votale, but it looks as though sepite not being married, and only workin a few hours a week, I may get one as I have Ayant Droit, according to this helpline .

In case it all goes pear shape and I do not get one I have had some very good quotes for Freedom Insurance via this contact, they are even better value than some french top up schemes.

Car insurance wise I am just starting down that road so if I find anything good I will post it up.

Thanks Janet, we did go and try and sort it out at our local office and the woman there was clueless we will have to go into Tarbes the departament main town and see them there, they have now written to use and say we have a doctors bill to settle for a doctor we have never heard of. I did know about the change of rules but I believe they may or may not give back your Carte vitale on a case by case basis.

We are very unclear on whether my husband can get a carte vitale or not. We have lived here for 18 months, my husband works abroad, and has done for quite a few years. He was not entitled to the E106 as although he paid UK tax he did not pay national insurance. He now completes a French tax return, but has already paid more than enough tax in the country he works in. The people in the tax office here told us he would qualify for a carte vitale but i have been reading lots on the internet and can't seem to find any criteria that he fits into. At the moment we pay almost £3000 a year for private insurance. Does anyone have any information to help?

I ues Cabinet Brunetti - a broker's in Paris who are absolutely lovely and can speak some English. They got me an excellent deal on my car insurance (half anywhere else i was quoted by) and have got me good deals on other things too. When I had a car accident and later when we were burgled their advice was spot on and I always feel they are more concerned with my wellbeing rather than that of Covea the insurance company they use. They can be contacted at You can ask to speak English if you prefer. You are welcome to give my name.

We use Generali assurances in Cognac. English speaking and excellent service email ' or telephone

Nigel and Sheila

I originally went with Axa as they had an English speaking office - however their administration turned out to be appalling and I found them very difficult to deal with when I found far cheaper options on the market. I'm now with Allianz and have been pleased with their quotes and admin. There is a comparison site - unfortunately I've lost the address but I'm sure if you ask around / surf around you can find the insurance comparison site.

thanks for all your comments much appreciated

I have found an insurance company 'intastore' which is v competitive on house, contents and liability (£302)

We have all our insurance with the same company but i am really struggling with contents insurance, i found out when i lost a gold bracelet that it wasn't covered even though when we took the policy out we asked for accidental damage, loss.etc, when i asked about our watches i was told that they weren't covered outside of the home unless we were agressed and we would need a separate policy. I have asked numerous times over the last few months to get the extra policy setup, but as yet nothing has happened, I was also told that if i do take a policy out for my jewellery, in France they will only cover individual items of jewellery up to 2000e, are they trying to say that French people don't buy expensive jewellery?

I didn't think €1200 was too bad either, I have never had health cover, I know I should do by law, my partner had a carte vitale for two years because she had paid nat insurance before she came here, I retired early so didn't qualify. We are trying to get carte vitale through our local CPAM. I don't see this as a hand out, I paid into the UK system for 38 years, what's the point of being in the EU if these benefits are not transferable I'm quite happy to have another EU citizen benefiting from the NHS I have helped fund all my working life.

I phoned my insurance broker last week when I got my quote for €1200 for two cars, they knocked off replacement car cover, contents, tow bar cover (whatever that is) off and it came down by €175 on one car alone.

Careful on car insurance though. I had a breakdown two weeks back, clutch pins gone, needed a tow to the garage. Unfortunately it was not enough kilometres for me to claim for the 'depannage' although had I paid X more for XY that would have been repaid. If you do all round insurance with one company and do everything optimally at least then nobody will be that cheap - 600 Euros out of the question. It is perhaps expensive compared with the Uk but ask my Swiss wife if she considers it expensive and she will smile in a certain way that says it all.

This is a good post about insurance, let's keep it that way please :)

Colin, thanks - the Daily Mail type misrepresentations are not helpful. I think though, bryan and you are at cross purposes with the pensions post (he entirely, you a bit).

Mr Peet says that "immigrants" flock to Britain because of the handouts" - Well isn't Mr Peet, like the rest of us, an immigrant in France? I get really angry about all these "Daily Mail" type images - I came here from a very multi-ethnic and multi-national area of the UK where, without any shade of doubt, the biggest draw on the benefits system was by British nationals - Polish, Lithuanian, Asian and African immigrants tended to work harder for lower wages and without complaint.

you can contact pensions service in newcastle 08456006116 they are helpful my wife does this sort of work for a living and she says that as long as you have paid uk national insurance you will get a pension but by the sound of it not too much as you have not pain in that much due to the short period. you can also when sorted have it paid once a year and in euros if you wish. but you both will have to be of the retirment age required

So far I have found "britline" not too bad but we only have car and house and the moment we were paying with axa over 600 euro for 3rd party on our clio now its full comp for about 200 the secret i thi nk is to have all your insurances with the same company

1200, I would say whoopee - you've just chucked a good deal. Now just watch the bank screw up the ratchet year on year as they have done with their charges!

If our insurances were 1200 a year, I'd think myself lucky. We pay more than that just for health cover, although it is for 4 of us. My car is 600 and my husbands is 300, then the house and liability is another 400 or so. I have business cover and my husbands cover is colossal as he is a carpenter and has to have the dreaded 'decennial' cover as well as lots of liability cover.