At Assetsure, we are happy to be able to offer you Buildings & Contents insurance for your French Holiday Home. Our policy will cover your property if you use it for your own personal usage, or you decide to rent the property out for commercial gain. We can provide you with a Comprehensive policy wording containing all the perils you would expect to receive from a Buildings & Contents Insurance Policy along with additional extensions unique to property insurance policies in France:-
Your policy will be extended to include French catastrophe insurance cover in accordance with the terms of the French Law No. 82-600 of 13th July 1982. Your policy thus provides cover in respect of financial loss following direct material damage to any of the property insured under the Policy due to an intense and abnormal natural event. However for this cover to apply, a publication in the official journal of the French Republic of an inter ministerial decree which states that a natural catastrophe has occurred. has to be made.
The liability section of your policy has been extended to include cover as required under Articles 1382 to 1384 and 1732 to 1735 of the Civil Code.( Tenants Risks)
The liability section of your policy has been extended to include the financial consequences of the liability which you may incur under articles 1382 to 1384 of the Civil Code for any material damage to property of neighbours and third parties resulting from fire or explosion originating in the premises insured or containing the insured property. ( Neighbours & Third Party Risks)
French Catastrophe Insurance – your policy will be extended to cover the cost of direct material damage suffered to the property for which cover is in force but not in excess of the sums insured you have chosen and of course subject to the limits and conditions provided by the policy at the time of any loss. If you have to make a claim under the catastrophe section of your policy, you will be liable for an excess, this excess is fixed by the latest inter ministerial decree in force and you are forbidden by law to insure against it.
Flooding – insurance will help ease the financial burden associated with claims but as in Britain, you may find that if your property is situated in a High Risk area, it may prove harder for you to obtain cover. You must declare all relevant information to the insurance company or you may find your insurance is not valid. If you are searching for a property in France, it would be wise to research the likely hood of flooding before you buy. If you are buying a property that has previously suffered from Flood damage, try to ascertain what remedial action if any has been taken, this may help you to secure insurance. Historically France is prone to flooding and the last 5 years have produced some very severe weather, with the government forced to declare several disaster areas. Without doubt the South of France is more likely to flood that then rest of the country. (Aquitaine, Departments 24,33,40,47, 64, popular with the British have escaped relatively flood free)
French Climate – in the South of France, the hot summers, sea and mountain ranges combine to produce short torrential down pours which can lead to flash flooding. The winter months do not escape either, cold air passing over the mountains meets humid air coming up from the Mediterranean producing very wet weather which can last for days on end.
The area Languedoc-Roussillion, again popular with the British has suffered many flood problems in recent years, departments; 30-Gard, 34 Herault and 48 Lozere have been the hardest hit.
Next door in Provence-Alpes-Cote d Azur, Department 84- Vaucluse has been identified as the area must prone to damage by flooding and again if you are going to seek to buy your French Holiday home in this area, you should undertake checks in respect of your desired property. Slightly further north in Rhone Alps, the areas of Ardeche and Drome are considered to be at risk from flooding.
In the north of France, Normandy & Brittany have recently suffered from exceptionally high rainfall,whilst in the Loire Valley flooding has occurred between Orleans and Angers.
In the North east of France in Picardy, in the department of the Somme (80) serious flooding has occurred in the past, departments 02 Aisne and 60 Oise have also be affected. Parts of Champagnme- Ardennes department78 Ardennes, have also suffered.
In the east of France, in Bourgogne,areas near the river Saone have flooded and Lorraine has also been struck by floods. This list is not exhaustive and as mentioned above, you should conduct your own enquiries if you are at worried.
Forest Fires – in July 2003 a devastating forest fire swept through the South of France ( Le Var 83), as many as thirty fires were reported. Although arson was suspected, the exceptionally hot weather and strong winds helped to spread the fires quickly and in total approximately 21000 hectares of forest was destroyed.
Earthquakes – the Cote de Azur is considered to be situated within an earthquake zone although there has been nothing of consequence in recent years.
Subsidence – as in the United Kingdom, French policies cover the risk of subsidence, France has it’s fair share of clay soils which is arguably the main offender when it comes to the causes of subsidence. The worst affected areas tend to be in the North of the Country, Paris and the Departments of Nord (59), Yvelines(78), Seine et Marne (77) Essonne (91) and Indre et Loire (37) Le Var (83) also has experienced some subsidence problems.