How to Find a Cheap French Car Insurance Plan
Since a Law of 1958, it is mandatory to have a car insurance plan in order to be legally able to drive in France. For 60 years, more and more insurers have appeared on the market and you have now, not only a lot of different insurance providers but also a lot of different kinds of offers. Therefore, it is not always easy to find the right offer, with the good coverage that would fit your needs and provide you with the best guarantees for a cheap price. Hereunder we will give you some guidelines and tips to help you find the cheapest car insurance plan in France but also with the good coverage.
What different types of insurance plan may exist?
Third-Party car insurance is the basic coverage that provides you with the minimum guarantees required by law in order to drive a vehicle in France legally.
As it is mandatory in France to have, at the very least, this type of vehicle insurance, third party insurance has been created as civil liability coverage to protect the driver in case of damage.
Indeed, this guarantee will be the minimum insurance as it will cover only the material damages or the injuries caused to any third party while driving the insured vehicle. Therefore, if the driver suffers any kind of damage, he or she won’t be covered by third-party insurance.
Third-party insurance is the less protective car insurance but also the cheapest and should be chosen if you have an old or low-value car, or if you are a very occasional driver.
Third-Party Insurance +
Third-party car insurance + has a much wider coverage scope than the basic third-party insurance. Therefore, if you are looking for more guarantees, it could be a good option to consider. Indeed, this type of insurance will cover the civil liability of the driver but also the risk of a fire or explosion, the risk of glass breakage and the risk of theft.
Third-party insurance + can be the right solution for you are if you are not an everyday driver but still want some strong guarantees for your vehicle.
All risk insurance
All-risk car insurance provides the insured party with the widest coverage of all insurance plans. It is also the most expensive one. French insurer may also call it “multirisk insurance” as it will cover several different risks: it guarantees the driver in case of damage or injury caused to third parties but also in case of personal damages or injuries.
This insurance choice might be the one for your needs if you wish to have the largest coverage with the best guarantees for you, your car and others.
Some insurance providers may also offer you a specific plan called “mileage-based insurance” (also known as pay-as-you-drive or per-kilometre insurance) that will cover the risk for drivers on the condition that the insured vehicle is not used more than a certain, agreed-upon number of kilometres per year.
It might be a good option for our if you are an occasional driver or if you know in advance that you won’t drive more than a specific number of kilometres per year.
Options to widen your insurance coverage
If you have specific needs based on your particular situation, your insurance may provide you with one of the previous plans and add specific options to fit your needs.
There are many different choices to choose from, and here are some examples:
- “All accidents” guarantees (covers the risk of any kind of damage caused to the insured car);
- Glass breakage guarantee (covers the risk of glass breakage of any window of the insured car);
- Theft guarantee (covers the owner of the insured car in case of theft;
- Fire and explosion guarantee (covers the risk of damage caused to the car by a fire or an explosion damaging the vehicle);
- Collision guarantee (covers the risk of damage caused to the insured vehicle by a third party as a vehicle, an animal or a pedestrian);
- Roadside guarantee (covers all type of breakdowns).
Do not hesitate to look for these options that can be a good way to have a better coverage scope and meet your specific situation and needs.
How can you find the best deal for your car insurance plan?
Once you know what type of coverage you are looking for, you will have to find the best plan and the best offers. Here are some tips to help you find out the best deals.
Ask for quotes online
Almost all insurers are present online but those who are only present online and called online insurers.
By comparing all of them, you can be quite sure that you'll find the right offer for your needs. But in order to do so, you need to compare by asking quotes. Either you go on the website of each insurer or on a comparator website, the better is to have several quotes to compare from.
All insurers and insurance comparators will ask for the same information regarding:
- The car you would like to insure
- Your specific situation
Once you have filled the required information, it will take a few minutes to receive a detailed quote in your mailing box.
If you choose an insurance comparator, you will get several different quotes directly from different insurer partners of the online comparator and you will be able to compare very easily.
It might be the most practical and easy way to get a car insurance contract as you can get it any time of the day or the night.
Ask for quotes by phone
If you have specific questions or feel more comfortable by speaking to an advisor, you can also ask for quotes by phone, by calling different insurers or online comparators.
They will ask for the same information as online but they will be able to provide you with quick answers if you have specific needs or if you need more detailed information.
Ask for quotes in agencies
Finally, there is always the possibility to visit different insurers agencies and ask for quotes directly. It takes more time but it will give you the opportunity to have a personalized quote in each agency.
Indeed, the purpose of asking several quotes is to compare the coverage, the guarantees, the options, the exclusions, the deductibles and, of course, the premiums.
On what basis may car insurance prices vary?
If you take a look at the different quotes, you can see different premiums and prices. We help you understand what can make the price vary and how you can look for a cheaper offer.
Since 2016, the prices for car insurances in France have started to rise. In average, it is around 607 euros all taxes included per year and per car.
Prices may vary regarding several criteria described hereunder:
Regarding your profile
Your personal situation may also have some impact on the price of the car insurance plan you will pay.
Bonus and malus rates
The driver’s ability to drive without damages is rewarded by a bonus rate. In case of accident and damages that lead to calling for insurance coverage, the driver will have a malus rate.
Both rates, also called the “rebate/surcharge coefficient” will have a consequence of the premium of the car insurance. It will make the premium increase or reduce depending on the bonus or malus rate. If a driver has no accident, he or she gets a bonus, meaning he or she will have a discount on the initial premium the following year. On the opposite, in case of an accident, that will be a malus and the premium will increase.
Besides the bonus and malus rate, the experience of the driver may have a consequence on the premium of the insurance plan chosen. Indeed, as a young driver who just got his or her driving license, the risk of an accident is higher than for an experienced driver.
This vision is based on the fact that, having less driving expertise than an older driver, the young driver has more risk to have an accident and then more chances to require an indemnification.
Regarding the vehicle
The more expensive a car is, the more expensive the car insurance will be, as the risk of damage may lead to high expenses.
Therefore, as a general vision, a car insurance plan for a 4x4 vehicle will be more expensive than a car insurance plan for a small car. So, it is a good idea to keep in mind while you choose your future vehicle: the prices of the insurance may vary from the simple to almost double between a small car and a big one.
But that premium will also vary regarding the regions where the insured party lives.
Regarding where you live
Depending on the region or the city where you live, the price may vary. In practice:
- the cheapest region for car insurances is Bretagne and the region where the premium seems to be the highest is Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.
- the cheapest city for car insurances is Nantes and the most expensive one is Marseille.
But there are other criteria that can affect the price of the car insurance scheme.
Added to those criteria, the fact that the main driver is a man or woman can also have an impact on the premium. Indeed, as most deadly accidents are caused by men, statistically, the risk for the of having an accident is higher and therefore, their insurance premium will be higher.
How can you pay less for your car insurance?
In order to try to pay less for a car insurance plan, some tips may be applied and make you save money, either you are a young driver or not and no matter where you live.
Find an online car insurance
Online car insurances usually have very good offers and can have better prices than other insurers as they save money on their operating expenses (fewer agencies, therefore fewer employees and then fewer expenses).
With an online car insurance plan, you find the same coverage and guarantees as other insurances with an easy way of subscription. They can also come into effect as soon as you have downloaded all the required documents.
Choose the annual payment
A car insurance plan is usually subscribed for one year but, as the premium can be a big amount, all insurance providers offer the opportunity to pay a part of the premium each month.
Nevertheless, each subscriber can decide to make payment in full once a year and then save money by not paying additional fees that may exist in case of monthly contributions.
Choose the coverage that fit your needs
Based on the fact that the minimum insurance coverage is third-party insurance, make sure to know your needs before you look for insurance offers.
Sometimes insured parties do not know all the guarantees they may have in the appliance of their insurance contract. And sometimes they even pay for guarantees they do not need or already have in other insurance contracts.
Therefore, pay attention to the options and guarantees included in your car insurance plan and make sure they fit your needs.
The best way to do so is to read the general and particular conditions carefully before signing any insurance agreement.
Moreover, some options may not fit your personal situation such as the guarantee that covers the risk of theft for instance if there is no risk of theft where you park. Therefore, in order to save money, you can remove this option from your contract.
And, if your personal situation changes, make sure to adapt your insurance to it. You can easily save money this way.
If you are forward-looking and act in order to diminish the risk of damage (such as theft), you can be rewarded with a discount on your car insurance premium.
Therefore, for example, if you add a security system to your car, such as anti-theft system or an alarm, you can call your insurer and ask for a commercial gesture.
Buy a small car
Using a big car with little fiscal horsepower is also a good way to save money on the car insurance premium. Usually, the price of insurances will increase depending on the number of fiscal horsepowers.
If you want to have the cheapest insurance possible, the vehicle should be less than 6 fiscal horsepower.
Ask for a higher deductible amount
The deductible amount is the cost that you will have to bear in case of damage and indemnification by your insurer. For example, in case of glass breakage damage evaluated to 400 euros, there might be a deductible amount of 150 euros that you will have to pay. Therefore, the indemnification you will receive will only be 250 euros.
The more the deductible is high, the cheaper the insurance plan is. As a consequence, you can negotiate a higher deductible in order to lower your annual premium. It might be a good way to save money if you do not have any damage afterwards.
Compare the offers
Once you have requested several quotes, take your time to compare the different main information such as:
- Deductible amounts,
- Definitions of the insured risks,
- Insurance claims modalities…
In order to have a full vision of the different offers, make sure to carefully read the general and particular conditions of the offers that caught your attention. The exclusions, maximum indemnification amount and deductibles are described for each guarantee and may vary from one insurer to another.
A cheap offer does not always equate to proper coverage. Make sure you have the right guarantees for your needs in order to cover any risk that may arise in your particular situation.