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Car Insurance In France: A Comprehensive Guide

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

If you're planning to hit the roads in France, ensuring your vehicle is adequately insured is essential. Our in-depth guide to car insurance in France covers everything you need to know to protect yourself and your vehicle.

Introduction to Car Insurance in France

Car insurance is a legal requirement for all motor vehicles used on public roads in France. Understanding the nuances of the French insurance market is crucial to making informed choices for your coverage. To simplify this process, consider leveraging Assurland, a leading comparison website that analyzes policies from top insurance providers in the country. The experts at Assurland can save you both time and money by helping you find a policy that aligns with your needs.

Types of Car Insurance in France

In France, there are three primary categories of automobile insurance:

1.Third-Party Liability (Responsabilité Civile): This is the minimum legal requirement in France, covering financial losses and bodily harm to third parties in accidents caused by you. It doesn't cover your own vehicle's repair costs.

2. Third-Party, Fire, and Theft: This includes basic third-party liability coverage along with coverage for damage to your vehicle caused by accidents, natural disasters, theft, vandalism, and more.

3. Comprehensive (Tous Risques): Also known as "all-risk" insurance, this coverage protects against various scenarios, including accidents you cause. It's suitable for new or high-value vehicles, frequent drivers, or those with specific driving risks.

Can You Use Car Insurance from Another Country in France?

Non-residents can use foreign car insurance in France as long as it meets the country's basic standards. A green card demonstrating sufficient coverage is required. Full-time residents, however, must obtain auto insurance in France and display a number plate reflecting their French address. EU citizens can continue using health insurance from their home country.

The Cost of Automobile Insurance

Auto insurance costs in France vary based on factors like vehicle value, usage, coverage type, driver age, and location. Increasing your deductible can reduce premiums; however, carefully review policy terms for any exclusions. In 2016, the annual premium for auto insurance in France averaged around €400, making it the EU's fifth-highest.

Additional Forms of Car Insurance in France

Beyond the basic coverage, you can opt for additional insurance, including:

- Medical Insurance: Covers medical expenses after an accident, including costs associated with death or incapacity.

- Legal Insurance: Covers legal counsel and guidance in various situations.

- Breakdown Assistance: Covers car repair and towing in case of a breakdown.

- Equipment Insurance: Covers items in the vehicle, such as a car radio or baggage, up to a specific limit.

- No-Claims Protection: Safeguards your no-claims bonus in the event of an accident.

Car Insurance Companies in France

France boasts over 90 auto insurance providers, including well-known names such as Allianz, AXA, MAAF, and more. Utilize comparison websites like Assurland and Le Comparateur Assurance to compare premiums.

Selecting the Right Auto Insurance Policy

When choosing car insurance in France, consider factors beyond premiums:

- Insurance Protection: Review what's included and excluded in the policy.

- Extra Options: Understand excess amounts and potential premium reductions.

- No-Claims Bonus: Check available incentives and transfer options.

- Claims Process: Evaluate the ease of making a claim, including payment procedures.

- Company Reputation: Consider ratings and customer feedback.

- Roadside Assistance: Verify the reliability of the insurer's roadside assistance policy.

Applying for Car Insurance in France

Most insurers offer online sign-ups, requiring documents such as the vehicle registration certificate, a valid French driving license, a driver background check report, and identifiable information about the policyholder.

Making a Car Insurance Claim

In case of an accident, fill out the insurance claim and EU accident statement forms promptly. Collect information from involved parties and witnesses, take photos, and involve local authorities in significant accidents.

Canceling a Contract and Changing Providers

Cancelling an insurance policy in France can be intricate. Policies automatically renew annually, and cancellation is usually allowed only during specific windows. Comparison shopping annually is advisable, and switching providers is permitted, ensuring continuous coverage.

Making a Complaint about a French Car Insurance Company

Handle complaints through the insurance company's internal procedure. If unsatisfied, file a formal complaint with La Mediation de l'Assurance, an independent authority that reviews insurance complaints in France.

Roadside Assistance in France

While France lacks an equivalent to the AA or RAC, many insurers offer breakdown coverage. Ensure coverage includes towing, emergency repairs, replacement transportation, and potential international repatriation.



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