You've subscribed to a home insurance in France, but now you would like to change for another provider, or for a better offer? Your situation has changed or you need different guarantees? Here is a guide explaining in what cases you can terminate your actual home insurance, and how to get a new, more suited one.
In what case can you change your home insurance contract?
Termination on each annual expiry date
The principle of duration of a home insurance is simple, you commit yourself to stay with the same home insurance provider until first expiry date. Usually it is one year but sometimes it can be on the 31st of December (or other date written in the contract), even if you have contracted during the year. Therefore, at each annual expiry date, you are allowed to terminate your contract. If you do not ask your insurer for a termination of your insurance, the contract will be renewed for another year.
Thus, you can terminate your home insurance each year, at the annual expiry date and without any justification. To do so, you have to be sure that you send a termination notification to your insurer 30 days before the annual expiry date (which is the date your insurance first entered into force).
That is the general rule, but some specific rules have been created, to protect and give more rights to consumers.
In application of the ‘’Chatel Law’’
Since 2005 and the so-called ‘’Chatel Law”, the insurers have to inform each policyholder of his or her right not to renew the insurance contract. This notification of such right shall be sent as soon as 3 months before the expiry date and at the latest 15 days before the limit date for termination. If the notification sent by your insurer arrives late, you will have 20 days from the day of delivery to decide whether you want to terminate the contract or not. If the notification of your insurer arrives after the annual expiry date, you will be allowed to terminate the contract any time after.
This law has been created to give more rights to consumers and prevent any automatic renewal of insurances without the information of the subscriber.
Termination at another date than the expiry date
Any termination at another time than the expiry date shall be written in the general and particular conditions of your insurance contract. In that case, you will be able to terminate the home insurance contract if you fulfill the specific conditions we will describe hereunder.
In application of “the Hamon Law’’
Since 1st of January 2015 and the Consumer Law called ‘’’Hamon Law’’, it is easier to change your home insurance (but also your car insurance). These new rules allow consumers to change their insurance any time after one year of subscription and without any penalty or other fees if they find a better offer. It means that when you sign a home insurance contract, you commit yourself to stay for 1 year with this specific insurance provider (but there are exception allowing you to terminate the contract before). You are allowed to terminate the contract any time after this date.
Therefore, after the first year, if you find a better home insurance deal, you will only need a 30 day notification before the termination will be effective. The new home insurance provider you find will handle all the process of termination and handle the administrative questions with the previous insurer.
Termination because of a price increase
Some specific situations allow you to terminate the home insurance contract at another time than the annual expiry date. These types of specific situation may arrise in the case of a price rise of your insurance. If the premium you pay is revised and the price increases, you can ask for the termination of your contract. Such modification of your initial conditions shall be justified by your insurer and based on some particular reasons that your insurer shall provide you with.
In such case, you are allowed to ask for the termination of your home insurance contract with a 30 days prior notice. Your contract will be terminated 30 days after the insurer receives the written notification from you by registered letter. As said, this termination does not have to be at the annual expiry date but a consequence of the price increase decided by your insurer.
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Termination in case of a change in your personal situation
If your personal situation has changed, in some cases you are allowed to terminate your home insurance contract without any fees or penalties. What are usually the different types of situation that allows such termination?
- A move to another place;
- A marriage;
- A death;
- A professional transfer;
- A loss of professional activity;
- A disability;
- A retirement.
As all these situations would lead to a change in your situation and the risk covered by the insurance, you will be allowed to ask for a termination of your contract. To do so, the termination request shall be sent by written and registered letter within 3 months of the event. The contract will be terminated 30 days after the insurer receives such written notification. The insurer will have to reimburse you the difference of the annual premium and the time spent under the insurance.
Termination if your insurer decides to end another of your contracts
This termination option is less known than the others described here. Nevertheless, it has to be kept in mind as it may be an important solution for those who have several contracts with the same insurer.
If your insurance provider decides to end one of the insurance contracts you have, you will be allowed to terminate some or all other contracts that you have subscribed with the said insurer.
Such termination shall also be made by written registered letter.
How can you terminate your actual home insurance?
Look and compare the offers
Even if you terminate your home insurance contract, you will need to have another insurance provider to cover the risk on your home, house or apartment. Having a home insurance is a legal obligation for all tenants and landlords and there are few exceptions to such rule. In all cases, it is always better to be sure that you are covered for all risks on your goods and damages that could happen.
As soon as you intend to terminate your home insurance, you should start looking for another home insurance provider. To find the best deal, there is only one rule to follow: compare!
The price is not always the principal point to look for. You should first compare the different coverages and guarantees but also the deductibles and maximum amounts that may be covered. Do not hesitate to ask for quotes and take your time to make a decision.
Terminate your contract by a written and registered letter
In any case of termination, you have to send a written request by registered letter to the postal address indicated in your insurance contract, inside the general conditions. If you cannot find this address, go online, on the website of your insurer and you will find all the information for such termination, included the address where you should send your letter. You can also call you insurance provider and ask for the right postal address where your letter should be sent.
Subscribe to a new home insurance contract and terminate your previous contract under the ‘’Hamon Law”
The process of termination of your home insurance may appear surprising, as it seems that you will have 2 different home insurance providers at the same time, - but you won’t.
Here is the entire process:
- On the day of subscription to a new home insurance: After you have found a new home insurance provider, contact their customer service and subscribe to the offer you want, explaining that you would like to terminate your previous contract with your previous insurer;
- From Day 1 to Day 30: your new insurer starts the process to terminate your previous home insurance. Within 15 days after the notification of your wish to terminate the contract, your previous home insurer will provide you with a summary of the amount that will be reimbursed to you regarding the premium you had already paid.
- Day 30: Your previous home insurance is terminated and you will receive the amount overpaid within 30 days.
- Day 31: Your new contract comes into effect.
How can you find a better deal and a cheaper home insurance?
Ask for quotes online
Comparison is always a good option, and taking the time to do so, at your home, is even a better idea. Many different sites offer quotes comparison and can help you to do so. Selectra offers you the services of experts to help you find the right option for your profile and your needs. It is an easy and simple way to get different quotes and have a global vision of the market.
You can also go online, directly on different insurer's websites or apps and get a quote by answering some questions. Do not hesitate to take your time and compare the different offers from different home insurance providers.
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Ask for quotes in the agency
If you have some particular questions, or if you would feel more secure talking face to face to someone, you can also go to a home insurance's agency and speak directly to an agent or adviser. He or she will give you precise answers and provide you with different quotes for free. You don’t have to subscribe directly, you can take your time and even go to other agencies and ask for other quotes.
Why would you have to change home insurance?
Usually the first answer would be price, because you have seen a better offer from another insurer. But it can also be because of several changes that would impact your rights, guarantees and need of coverage:
- Work in your home that would impact the value of the goods that you want to guarantee;
- Change of job;
- Change in your personal situation;
There are many cases in which you might need to look for a different home insurance contract. Be sure to respect the obligation of notification and the acceptable conditions for termination.
Terminating a home insurance contract is getting easier and easier for consumers. Despite that fact, the conditions for such termination must at all time be respected and fulfilled, otherwise you may face a refusal from your home insurance provider. So pay attention to the conditions, compare and feel free to change!