The Great Insurance Rip-off

Ever been refused a payout by an insurance company? Millions have and it's getting worse!

As the global financial slow-down starts to really bite the only way that insurance companies can keep their heads above water is to increase premiums and decrease pay outs.

I've just cancelled my home & contents insurance, it was costing me €43 per month and I've never made a claim. Being a builder, if there's a problem I fix it, we have 5 dogs, so if we're burgled I'll scrape the offender up and discreetly dispose of the remains, we have the latest consumer unit on our electrics, along with new wiring, which I installed so I know it's OK.

My main reason for cancelling the insurance is that a few friends of mine have been 'burned' by their insurance companies not paying out for genuine claims; one friend claimed that a pipe had burst and the water damage included a ceiling coming down, the insurance company refused to pay up as they claimed that 'the boiler had not been serviced for over one year'!

A client of mine was refused a payout for burst pipes as they 'hadn't drained down for the winter' regardless of the fact that they were here all winter, that one is strongly being contended at this very moment!

I'm also 'downgrading' the health top-up insurance. I'm covered for glasses(that I can buy in the UK far cheaper than here, even with the cover), I'm covered for dental work, but if you read the small print most of the work anyone needs doing is excluded, I'm covered for maternity!!!! I get my prescriptions free, but I haven't had the need for one for several years, and I'm covered for hospital stays & surgery, which I've never had. I have been paying €1500 a year for the wife & I, the downgrade will cost €700 but I won't be covered for loads of stuff I don't need.

I've discovered a French comparison web-site and it really has opened my eyes to the rip-off prices of high Street companies like Generali, who have quoted me €550 to insure my Peugeot 607 Fully Comp whilst I can get it for €342 on the assurland website.

Tip for the day: Make sure you're not over-insured & check out the competition. I've saved myself over €1400 a year by sorting it out now.

We are in the process of negotiating reductions with our insurance which so far is working out - I think you just need to go and see your broker ocasionally and say 'the cost is too high, what can you do?'. However, we have just been told that our mutuelle won't pay out for two years and we will not get any paybacks from the government on health because we have been forced to change from CPAM to RSI. Has anyone else come across this or are we just being ripped off.

I dunno, guys, my car burnt to a crisp last year, in december, and in early January, I had my cheque from Groupama, for almost the market price of my lost car. They were also very good in explaining things to me, because people were coming to me with constats, and asking me to sign things, and the lady in Groupama told me "no, sign nothing, say nothing, hand them this card with your case number on it, and we do the rest".

Very satisfied, but perhaps it's because we have two cars, a truck a motorbike, our apartment, a mobile home, and a grange all insured with them.

I took out full breakdown insurance with the RAC years ago while on holiday broke down on the Autoroute mid France got towed off and left,Rac were worse than useless didnt want to know its wk/end cant do anything, car and caravan lucky i had caravan at least we could cook and sleep, wife and two young girls eventually on Monday evening i got a garage out and got towed in, the garage organised a hotel while they fixed the car not the RAC eventually the RAC paid the hotel bill and as good as said it was my fault for travelling weekend in France didnt i know they dont work Sat and Sun so their 5 star breakdown is useless at weekends i asked oh no was the reply we cover weekends so why did they leave me two days, round and round we went the French dont work weekends but their breakdown covers weekends i got £50 compensation and told its better not to travel at weekends

I, too find this system a time-wasting nuisance. I regularly keep up with about a dozen other forum groups and none of them use this system. The only worse one I have found is one that requires you to log in before you can even read existing postings.

Ah! Thank you Steve.

Sorry, I was just being flippant!

The order is first to last, so the last page of a discussion will show you new replies unless they were indented, ie someone replied to a particular comment, in which case it will be right below that comment. If you are subscribed to the thread (automatic if you have commented) you'll receive email notifications of any new replies with a link taking you directly to that reply.

If you want to follow a thread that you aren't already just click the follow link under the post.

Hope that helps!


By the way, would you be able to upload a profile photo pf yourself please?

Hi Paul

Thanks for the feedback, what difficulties are you having, hopefully I can explain, after another coffee :)


James, Love the forum but I have to agree with Doreen. I don't want smileys and all that rubbish either but I am finding it increasingly difficult to follow messages on some subjects, and I'm sure I miss a lot of important and interesting stuff because of it . Are we the only ones having difficulty ? How do most people use the forum ? Any tips or shortcuts you would recommend ? I don't get much time but find it so time consuming just to go through one thread ....

I hadn't realised that most UK ophthalmologists back the sight requirement off a little so that your eye muscles continue to work for their living.

Thanks Celia, that explains why they missed out my previous prism setting, which sharpens the focus.

Or perhaps I should NOT have gone to Specsavers :-).


I have already posted re Britline and Pacifica. We did not get what we were promised and were left high and dry with a fully loaded car, ready to go to UK, no wi discreet wipers and it was absolutely pouring down. The Pacifica helpline said we were not insured, even though we had at home. Also they said they could not send anyone as it was a Sunday. We were laying premiums for seven days and only service for six!

That's because we have the ability to reply to individual comments within a discussion Doreen. I'm not a fan of old style bulletin boards. You'll be wanting smileys next ;)

Have used Credit Agricole Britline (Caen, Normandie) Its the same bank but an English speaking arm of the main bank. They explain all the insurance policies which are arranged through Pacifica. Have only ever claimed on a windowscreen, which we had no problem sorting out. Also used Allianz who are also English speaking. Hope this helps.

Best of luck Robert but i have seen the results of withholding information and giving false information it wasnt pretty i was also self employed what that has to do with it not sure plus ignorance is no excuse

I'll take my chances thanks John.....sometimes it doesn't always do you any favours to ask too many questions, and it certainly doesn't pay to be too "squeaky clean", either here or in the UK. Ran my own business in the UK for many years, it's still running as such......

I pay tax in the UK and don't yet pay any here, so "c'est pas grave"

you pay the doc 23€ but the CPAM refund 15 so it nets out to 8

As I understand it hospital copay costs are capped at about 30€ per day (plus single room surcharge) and at 30 days.

I quite understand, if it would be hard to write a cheque here and now for 1400€ then perhaps it's for the best to have at least hospitalisation cover.

I've asked on this forum and elsewhere, but I've yet to hear from someone saying it was definitely the mutuelle that forked out a large sum, over 5000€ say. (as opposed to their total medical bill was huge, but not sure how much the CPAM paid and how much the mutuelle).

I'm thinking that upmarket hospitalisation cover might make sense, so you can afford the very best consultant/surgeon if you have something tricky, but other than that, no.


In my area - 83 - a visit to the docs cost 23 euros not 9! I'm pleased to announce that after nearly 9 years we at last both have a carte vitale. I pay out for eyes and teeth, very little of the dentistry is reimbursed but then you pay a fair bit in the UK too even on NHS.

Most of my eye exams were reimbursed and I got the prescription made up online with spex4less who offer a very fair service. It wasn't their fault that the French prescription is far too strong and I got headaches for weeks until my eyes got used to it. I hadn't realised that most UK ophthalmologists back the sight requirement off a little so that your eye muscles continue to work for their living.

For home insurance, we pay through the nose and they pay out as little as possible, and most often nothing at all. I used Assureland for a car ins. quote and found several much cheaper options. I then went back to my regular insurers and they matched the price, including the excess.

Now, that's worth a try.

Agree, plainly and simply.