Multirisk Car Insurance in France: What it is and How to Sign Up

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If you move to France intending on driving while you're over there to get to work or go out with friends and family over weekends, you'll have to get your insurance sorted before hitting the road. And while many schemes exist, from least to most covering, we here go into detail about the latter, which is the French multirisk car insurance plan. Find out all about this type of coverage and whether this is something that would be suited to you and your vehicle.

What is multirisk car insurance?

The basic definition

A multirisk insurance scheme is an all-encompassing protection plan for both you and your car against accidents and damage from natural disasters. It includes third-party insurance, which will cover damage you cause to others and their vehicles, plus other guarantees.

While it is more expensive than basic French insurance plans (on average €450 per year vs €100 per year for a third-party insurance scheme), it will give you the maximal reassurance as you start driving in France -- especially if you aren't yet familiar with French roads and signs - or if driving on the right side of the road still doesn't feel normal.

The main advantages of a multirisk plan

The main advantages of opting for a multirisk plan are as follows:

  • Peace of mind regarding your car, especially if it's new and/or expensive: you'll have far fewer costs to pay to repair your car following an accident, making it all the more advantageous for high-value cars.
  • Very fast compensation: in most cases, the refund will come through to you even before the dispute is solved.
  • Extensive coverage: even if you consider yourself a cautious and experienced driver, some incidents such as vandalism, natural disasters or another driver driving in dangerous circumstances are unpredictable and completely out of your control, but thankfully MCI will protect you if these ever happens.

What exactly does a multirisk insurance cover?

Multirisk insurance schemes all generally include some core protections and some you can add-on as extras.

The core multirisk insurance guarantees

In most cases, you'll be guaranteed protection against the following:

  • Civil responsibility - also known as third-party insurance, this will protect you if you cause damage to another driver, passengers and other vehicles you hit. In some cases, you'll also be covered for harmed pedestrians.
  • Penal defence and legal assistance - you can rest assured you'll get help with any jurisdictional matters as the victim or person responsible for the accident Your insurer will help you with legal aspects of a dispute, even if you have to go to court.
  • Driver protection - your insurer will help you cover hospital and medical costs if you get injured, even if you caused the accident.
  • Assistance in case of a breakdown - in most cases, you'll get assistance for breakdowns that happen while you were driving at least 50km from your residence. You'll also get covered if you find your car won't start while parked at home or nearby.
  • Glass breakage - you'll be guaranteed a refund for any car window that gets broken or needs replacement.
  • Protection against fire or arson - you'll get coverage depending on the cost of your vehicle, as estimated by an expert.
  • All incidents - if your car gets scratched, hit a tree, gets damaged during a riot...

Additional multirisk insurance guarantees

Extra options can be added onto your plan if you feel they correspond to a concern of yours and your vehicle. These include the following:

  • Addition natural and technological disaster guarantees (in addition to those included with the basic formula)
  • Reinforced driver protection
  • Assistance for breakdowns occurring 0km from your home
  • Refund for the valuables that were in your vehicle during the accident
  • A replacement vehicle
  • Advanced legal protection

Only in France for 10 to 90 days? Opt for temporary car insurance!

How much will an MCI plan cost?

While as with all types of insurances, prices vary immensely depending on the options included, the provider and your situation. Some plans will cost up to the double of others!

As a rule of thumb and to get a grasp of the market prices you can expect, bear in mind that the lowest rates range between €450 and € 550 (with tax), while the more expensive rates can range from €800 and €1,200 (with tax).

Many insurance companies offer multi-level formulas for all-risk insurance, allowing everyone to adjust their security according to their budget.

Finding a multirisk car insurance plan that'll suit your budget

The best way to find yourself a great deal is to get quotes from a variety of providers. Online, over the phone or in person, the choice is yours.

Getting quotes for car insurance online

We recommend proceeding this way. Free and void of commitment, you can get yourself online car insurance quotes at any time of the day, in a matter of minutes. Just use an online insurance comparator, fill out your info and find the plans and rates fit for you.

Just note that not all providers offer this online service, so for those you can proceed in one of the two ways right below.

Getting insurance quotes over the phone

If you're more comfortable using a phone that a computer, simply call the providers you're interested in. This way, you'll be able to ask any further questions you may have and get assistance from an expert to get the plan right for you.

You do not benefit from the right of withdrawal for an insurance contract taken out in an agency. Be sure to check all aspects of your all-risk auto insurance before committing!

Going into agencies

Finally, you can arrange an appointment with an insurance advisor and get a custom plan. The advisor will be able to assess your needs and offer you a deal there and then. You remain free to accept it or to compare it to plans from other car insurance providers.

Multirisk car insurance: how do I sign up online?

Here's how to get started if you opt for an online insurance plan.

  Fill out the information about you and your car

As you would in a physical agency, you will be asked a series of questions to determine your needs and the best plan for you. All you need to do is fill out a form including fields on you and your car.

Typical questions about your profile include:

  1. Your contact details: full name, postal address, telephone number, e-mail
  2. Your personal situation (single, married, divorced, etc.)
  3. The year you got your driving license
  4. The state of your bonus/malus ratio
  5. Your number of reported claims
  6. How many years you've spent as an insured driver number

Typical questions about your vehicle include:

  1. Date of 1st use
  2. Registration date
  3. Where you park your car: at home, outside, on the street…
  4. Car model
  5. Number of car doors
  6. Horsepower tax

Some other questions may be asked, including your preferred start-of-contract date, any additional drivers you want to add to the insurance, whether you've ever had a provider cancel your plan and why...

  Compare car insurance offers

Get a maximum of free quotes done, but don't only compare formulas and prices. Take into account deductibles and any guarantee exclusions, which could leave your needs unfulfilled or deprive you of a form of protection you consider essential.

  Choose and confirm your subscription

Have you found the online multirisk auto insurance scheme right for you? Great! Now, simply confirm your online subscription by clicking "Confirmer" at the bottom of your quote. You then have to fill in some additional fields and submit your payment details.

An email or letter will be sent out to you to recap all the details of your car insurance contract: guarantees, exclusions, insured people, insured vehicle, deductibles, rates, etc.

  Submit supporting documents

Last but not least, your new insurer will require you submit a few supporting documents in order to finalise your contract:

  • Your car's registration certificate (certificat d'immatriculation), which is necessary for the insurance company to calculate your premium, based on the characteristics of your car.
  • Your information record (relevé d'information), which is required if you are changing insurers. It recaps your insurance information of the last 5 years: date of contract subscription, history of claims and liabilities, any bonuses or penalties...
  • Your driving license, as well as that of any other drivers you're signing on. Note that your vehicle will still be insured if your license gets lost, but if so you must inform your insurer.
  • The driver's (or drivers') ID card.
  • Your banking details (IBAN) and a SEPA mandate, if you want to pay via direct debit.