The Great Insurance Rip-off

YES! this morning, in fact. the insurance agent from Mutuelle DE Poitiers, phoned me with bad news :Our cabin/workshop was burgled for the second time and around 700 euro worth of stuff stolen- tools- and about 400 euro worth of damadge to the window volets and the door frame. They are offering us only 250 euro total, and saying we will no longer be covered for theft.

With Amaguiz, Our UK van was vandalised last month too, and despite the fact the insurance company gave NO DEFINITIVE DATE for it needing a french carte gris, they keep arguing that it is not covered. I am arguing back and have now pursuaded them they have to cover it. we are just victims.

Very dangerous ground there Robert wait until you have a bump then it hits the fan big time, using another address in the uk considered as fraud from what i was told if you pay taxes here in France then French resident i was insured with Saga for years they would not touch me as soon as i mentioned France i added i lived at my daughters address in the uk for so many months a year and they went very defensive the girl said that wont work sorry and its not impossible to register a vintage or otherwise old vehicle provision is made for those

Yes but paying the surgeon €1400 8 years ago is a lot cheaper than paying 1400€ every year in premiums

A. She is French, B. she was only about 56/7 when it happened and C. CPAM did not consider somebody with assets 'available' as she did was eligible. It is all a bit like roulette.

you might accidentally mistype your number

Courtney, you can insure your car with UK registration here in France. I did this with my formerly German registered car because the German insurer did not wanted to insure for over a year due to TÜV (MOD) regulations when the car is over 185 days pa in France. So I've found a broker in Valbonne ( and they insured my German registered Land Rover (incl trailer) for ca 200 pa., ironically the insurance again is Allianz... But best is when you go through the French registration process to save on tax in UK similar as in Germany I would have had to pay lot of tax.

I had a very miserable and expensive experience with Generali for mortgage insurance but now have the same coverage from AXA for half the charges of Generali and much smoother administration. I would recommend avoiding Generali at all costs. I think one of our members here is a Generali agent and I'm sorry if this comment hurts but you are working for a very screwed up company. My advice would be to find another employer for whom you can be proud to work.

With regard to health top up, we have recently changed from a policy including glasses and dental, and now have the ' hospitalisation only 'policy. We pay the amount per month we are saving ( 70 ) into a separate account every month so that there will be money there if we need it. Hopefully this will build up, but at least we are saving our own health expenses fund. At the end of the year, the insurance company don't give you anything back for not using them much ! But of course you never know what you may need. So yes, a visit to the doctor will cost about 9 euros. After each month any expenses will be transferred into the cheque account. The best thing is that at any time Axa have assured us that we can move to a policy that includes much more, like we had before. Also the hospitalisation policy means that for a month before, and a month after a hospital stay, you are covered for any care related to the hospital visit.

"Permanent" is a word open to interpretation, 6 months, 2 years.......

I've been here for well over a year but don't consider myself permanent and use my parents address in the UK for quite a few bits and pieces. Who knows what is round the corner.

Yes, Allianz will insure your English registered car. Some cars are impossible to matriculate. Old or vintage for example. The biggest problems for me were the trailer and caravan issues.

Our house burnt down entirely in 2006 and it took 5 years and a good deal in lawer's fees (which we won back thankfully) to get them to pay up!! We were only renting but Groupama paid the landlords 3 years earlier than our insurance paid us!! Having said that - looking around for cheaper insurance is well worth it. We changed our car insurance from Generali to MMA and saved 800 euros too.

We were assured by Britline that we were fully covered for all eventualities on our car insurance.
Unfortunately, when we needed breakdown cover at home the people on the helpline at Pacifica did not agree!
We felt as though we had been swindled.

There's a website which compares insurers according to customer opinions.


I thought if the car was here permanently it had to be imported and insured in France. We could not find a UK company who would insure a UK registered car based in France... perhaps i misunderstand you post and don't want to drive this thread of topic. Also are you saying Allianz will insure a UK registered car based here? I heard of some companies doing this but not paying out if you claim!

My experience with GROUPAMA has been expensive, i have been misled , lied to , poor service , and reasonable claims refused.

havent the time to elaborate fully but they have become a major problem in our lives and its cost us a lot of our money to replace and fix things that your insurance should cover.

dont touch them with a barge pole as we brits sometimes say.

Good post Glen....and a subject which I've been considering for some time.

My restoration project is insured and costs me a modest 170 euros a year but I'm aware it covers little else but my 3 party liabilities. Had a quote for my English registered car recently with Allianz, 400 euros for a Ford Focus. Good level of cover but it didn't include 2 trailers and a caravan. Which I wouldn't be able to legally use if I matriculated my car without getting carte gris for them as well. Too complicated. Insured car with "Saga" in the end £175, unlimited european cover, including use of caravan trailers etc.

With regards to Mutuelle, I've been advised in the past that if you take minimum cover you are entitled to upgrade whenever you choose to do so. Not sure how much truth there is in that as I don't yet have health card.

Good to see this back and very timely. I have had a respirator for the night because I have sleep apnoea. Once it was diagnosed I was referred to the sleep clinic in Bordeaux and had an appointment with a particular specialist for December. Because I was to be seen soon he prescribed the respirator, indeed has even had a series of tests run using a slot in SD card that have been sent on to him. However, the appointment was changed to early February then March. Of course, being an AE the respirator was charged by the supplying company using my Carte Vitale and a bill to RAM. They contacted the specialist who initially did not reply, then when they called his office my name was unknown as a patient so the claim rejected and I received notification without details of whys and wherefores. OK, the specialist has files on me but they are not 'active in the system' so he got it wrong. RAM are being helpful.

In the interim my OH and I went off to the insurance company. The agent is a 'friend' because we have daughters in the same class and circulate in the same social group. So he naturally acted in our favour without question. The company then said 'no claim'. They simply rejected it because RAM had rejected it which, they claim, automatically cancelled out the complimentary claim. They turned down the explanation and would not look at it again. It will probably sort out OK because the supply company have supported the claim and since they have been in touch with the specialist know it is nonsense and RAM listened to them. The insurer refuses and is now saying that because the claim has been rejected they may now not be able to review it. They raised the premium because of my condition and the respirator, so do I get the feeling they are ripping me off? Well, given the agent says they are but it is out of his hands, my conclusion is obvious. We are not well pleased. We need the insurance but is there such a thing as an honest insurance company. Sure, they have forked out for a lot of expensive treatment already but Glen's original point is exactly right nonetheless. If I remember from economic history which I did at A level, albeit it many years ago, insurance was contrived by a group of friends at Loyd's Coffee House in the City of London as a means of earning a lot of money by acting as guarantors for the insured, mainly ship owners and traders then, knowing that a) very few goods imported or ships would actually be lost, and b) they had a lot of exclusion causes that kept them in front. I get the feeling that the guarantor element has been entirely overrun by the latter principle, which is to avoid payouts at all cost without clear reason. In simple terms, a band of rogues!

Very good tip of the day Glen, I shop around each year for insurance and end up with internet deals for most things idmacif are cheap for cars etc too macif via internet. Just one warning - you have to have responsabilité civile insurance in France, it's the law, and that's nearly always part of your contents insurance, if you don't insure your home, you can take out a specifique responsabilité civile vie privée policy ;-)

As for your mutuelle... I pay 20€ a month, the OH 50€ for top cover and both kids on hers...!

Yes mate, but this year the health insurance has paid out many more times than we pay for the family. I have an electronic implant in my chest and a gadget for reading it that is worth alone more than we pay out. It is a hard one I know, but some of it we can live without like you but never skimp on health. I've just learned that and boy am I happy I did. Somebody not so far away had a massive heart attack and was expected to pop off but they helicoptered her to Bordeaux and then gave her immediate teratment, heart bypass and all. She had stopped paying health insurance entirely and got a bill for €80,000! She had to sell her house to pay for it and with the market as it is had to sell it very under value to get rid of it quickly in order to pay the medical costs. Is it worth it, it's subjective but has to be looked at very seriously before doing anything.

Oh yes - just recently, following burst pipes for property in uk that I rent out. The insurance company dragged things out for over a year before refusing to pay out which has cost me dearly. I have put in a complaint to the ombudsman but am not expecting to achieve anything from it.