Home Insurance in France: The Cheapest Providers in 2021
The market is full of offers and insurers providing insurance for your home. But how to make a choice and how to find a good offer that will fit your needs? We give some advice in order for you to find the best insurance for your home in France, with the coverage needed and for the cheapest premium. Follow our guideline!
What is a home insurance plan?
A home insurance plan, in France, is a guarantee for individuals’ apartment, house, studio apartment or even non-occupied property. The coverage is generally extensive and will insure the property and premises, but can also, in some cases, cover the civil liability of the inhabitants.
If damage is caused to your property, it will be up to the insurer and your insurance to cover the cost of repair and losses, in the application of the provisions of the insurance agreement.
But different types of insurances exist and can be somewhat confusing, so you have to make sure you subscribe to the one that will fit your needs:
- Usually, most home insurance plans are called multirisk insurances. They protect the subscriber from many and different types of damages such as fires, natural disasters, water damage… and they include civil liability protection for the family of the subscriber living in the same place.
- Some home insurances cover some “specific risks” and damages. It means that they will be provided by the insurers to cover only the damages described in the agreement. You can find some “specific risk” insurances to cover the risk of fire or only your civil liability for instance. It is a good way to be sure you have insurance when you only need to cover a particular risk or your general insurance does not provide you with such coverage.
Therefore, a home insurance plan is a necessary agreement to be subscribed by all landlords or tenants even if it is not always mandatory.
Is it mandatory to have home insurance in France?
Depending on the situation of the family or people living in a particular place, there might or might not be an obligation to subscribe to home insurance protection. Nevertheless, even if it is not mandatory in some situation, we encourage you to have good coverage that will cover any risk that may arise and cost a lot of money if you have no insurance.
For the landlord
There is no legal obligation for a landlord who lives in a French property to sign up to home insurance, except if you live in a condo or a semi-detached house. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended to have an insurance scheme for your home in order to prevent any damage to the home, the goods or third parties.
If, as a landlord, you want to rent your home or a second house or apartment, there are some specific options that may be interesting for you in order to cover any risk that may arise from the rental. If you are in this specific situation, you can have a look at our guide on second home insurances or how to insure your French Holidays home.
For the tenant
As a tenant, there is an obligation to subscribe to insurance, and at the very least this should be rental risk insurance, in order to cover the minimal risk that may arise upon the house or the apartment rented. Indeed, since the implementation of a 1989 Law on this topic, this obligation allows the landlord to ask the tenant for a home insurance certificate proving that he or she has subscribed to such home insurance.
Should the tenant fail to provide the owner with such a document, the owner can terminate the lease agreement, if such provision exists and allows him to do so in the contract. This is why it is mandatory for the tenant to subscribe to home insurance before he or she enters the rented home.
For tenants, the best bet is to opt for multirisk insurance as it provides the widest coverage and will guarantee the tenant for any damage caused to the rented place, to its goods and to third parties.
And the best way to find the insurance that fit your needs is to compare and ask for quotes.
How to find the cheapest home insurances, one rule: compare!
Many different insurers and home insurance providers exist on the market and all of them have different offers of home insurances.
That should encourage you to compare!
Not because you only look for the best deal but also because you should find the insurance that will fit your needs and provide you with the best coverage for your situation.
The price is not the first criteria to be taken into account. You should first look at the coverage and the provisions of the contract. A low price does not mean a good insurance plan for you!
Ask for quotes
In order to compare you can first ask for quotes.
You can go online and ask for quotes to several insurers. You will have to fill different information in order for the insurer to provide you with the best offers for your needs. Usually, they will ask you information regarding your personal situation that may have an influence on the insurance:
- Your age,
- Your job,
- Your personal and familial situation: married or single, kids or not…
- Number of dependants,
- If you are the landlord or a tenant,
- The value of the goods you want to be covered and insured.
The insurers will also ask several questions about the place you want to insure such as:
- The geographic location of your home,
- The surface of the apartment or house,
- The different premises that may be included,
- The age of the house or apartment,
- The security equipment that may be already set up…
On both categories of information, the insurer will provide you with one or several offers that fit the criteria you gave.
You can ask as many quotes as you need and want to have in order to compare, not only the price but also the different coverage and options. Indeed, as insurers will have a different vision of what good coverage consists of, options, exclusions or deductible amounts and the maximum amount covered.
Below is our selection of the two French insurers we recommend for expats and any non-French person moving to France, as both providers are experienced with dealing with English customers, and offer quotes and customer service in English - as well as offering very good value for money.
The following quotes are for an adult tenant, employed, living in a 20 square metre studio in Toulouse. All quotes cover civil liability, fire damage, water damage, natural disasters, technological disasters, riots and acts of terrorism.
|Name of the insurer||What coverage will you get?||Price per year (with tax)||For more information|
||€103||Get your free quote now (in English)|
||€123.84||Get your free quote now (in English)|
Quotes are presented in price order and were created on 11/04/2019, on each above provider's website. Conditions apply. The providers mentioned have not provided any financial compensation to appear above.
Use online comparators
Sometimes it may be too complicated to ask each insurer for a quote, therefore you can also use online comparators. You can find different online websites that will ask the same question as the insurers and provide you with a comparative result of the best offers on the market.
At all time and regarding all offers provided by the insurers or online comparators, pay attention to the different coverage and options that are included or not.
Choosing the right insurance plan: what should be compared?
If you asked for different offers in order to compare them, that a good point! But the work is not done, we have to compare them and look carefully at different criteria:
Compare the included guarantees
Usually, it is the first thing, after the price, that we look for. The included guarantees are the ones that are included on your home insurance contract as a basis. In a multirisk insurance plan, you will find the essential guarantees to cover the risk that may arise in your home: water damage, natural disaster, fire, explosion… An MRH (or multirisk insurance) will also include a civil liability guarantee that will cover any damage caused to third parties or neighbours.
Make sure you will have all the needed types of guarantees included in the contract you want to sign. Some may not always be included such as theft. So, if one guarantee is not part of the basic guarantees (but you still want to subscribe to this specific insurance), you can add it as an option.
Compare the optional guarantees
In order to provide the best offers for the widest situations, the insurer can add some specific and optional guarantees to the general home insurance contract.
Therefore, if you need an additional guarantee such as an extension to a garage, a cellar, a deck or patio, a basement or a swimming pool, you can add it to your general insurance contract as an option. Usually, all the outdoor equipment can be part of an optional guarantee. Also, some specific risks may need a specific guarantee: theft is not always included in the general insurance, legal protection may also be an option such as electrical damages guarantees, for example.
Make sure all the risks that may be specific to your situation or your home are covered if you need so.
Compare the insured amounts
The amount insured corresponds to the maximum value up to which your home and your goods are guaranteed. In other words, it means that, in case of any damages, you can be reimbursed up to these amounts. It is an easy principle but the application will vary regarding the initial statements you made at the subscription of your insurance. If, after damage on some of your goods, you realize that the amount insured and declared in not representative of the value of the good, it will be too late.
So, it is very important to pay attention to the amounts and value of the goods that you declare at the signature of your home insurance contract.
Do not overestimate the value of your goods, as they will never be reimbursed at a higher price than their real value but, on the other hand, do never underestimate the value of your goods if you want to have a fair compensation in case of damage.
The insurer will have different criteria to determine the amount of indemnity:
- The use-value: it is the actual value of a good after an obsolescence ration has been deducted. This value takes into account the age of the said good and create an up-to-date value.
- The replacement value: it is the replacement of a good at its purchase price. Not all goods can be covered by such guarantee and they shall have less than 2 or 5 years. Look carefully to the definition of such terms in the insurance contract provisions.
- The new for old replacement: it is a guarantee for a replacement of the good damaged or lost by a new one. This guarantee is also very restricted in time so read carefully the conditions for such coverage.
Usually, the insurer will give you the guarantee for compensation at a use-value. It is the cheapest coverage for you but you can always ask for better coverage and pay an option in order to have a new for old replacement.
In order to be easily reimbursed in case of damages, make sure you keep all the proofs of the value of the goods insured (pictures of a sales receipt for example).
A deductible is the amount that you will have to pay in case of damage. It is deducted from the amount the insurer will reimburse you if the loss you suffered is covered by the insurance.
For example, in the case of glass damage, you may have a deductible amount of 150 euros. It means that your damage is evaluated to 320 euros, your insurer may indemnify you for 170 euros, the first 150 euros will be at your own expenses.
As you will see for the maximum claim amount, each specific guarantee can have its own deductible amount. Therefore, before you sign a home insurance contract, read carefully all the provisions and specific conditions.
And if an insurer says there is no deductible amount, it means the premium will be higher. So, a comparison will be the best way to find what would be a better deal for your situation.
Compare the maximum claim amounts
The maximum claim amount is the maximum amount that you may be reimbursed by your insurer for damage. It will vary depending on the damage.
For instance, if your home insurance contract mentions a maximum claim amount of 3,000 euros for water damage in your insured house or apartment, all the cost that will exceed 3,000 euros will be at your own expense.
Each guarantee described in your home insurance contract may have its own maximum amount claim. Usually, it is described and detailed in the general and particular provisions of your agreement. So make sure you compare all the different guarantees and look carefully to the maximum claim amounts.
Compare the exclusions
All home insurers have included in their insurances some exclusions. It means that if an event, that is considered as an exclusion for your insurer, happens to your home or goods, you will not be able to claim for indemnification.
So make sure to read and understand all the exclusions that are written in the particular and general conditions of the insurance agreement you are about to execute.
How to save money on your home insurance premium: negotiate with your insurer
Besides the comparison principle, you can always try to negotiate your insurance with your insurer. That is particularly true since it is much easier to introduce competition among insurers and to change your home insurance provider since a law called “Hamon Law”.
In addition, if you keep the same insurer for a long period of time and if you have several insurance agreements with the same insurer, you can be rewarded for your loyalty and get a discount. Usually, as you group all your insurance contracts with the same insurance provider, you can be rewarded with a discount of up to 20% of your global premium.
Moreover, having only light damages and accidents history is a good way to find cheap offers for your home insurance and also negotiate offers.
You can also add some security systems and make your home a safer place. All these additions should be mentioned to your insurer and may lead to lower your premium.
And finally, you can always reevaluate your needs to have home insurance that fits the value of your goods and without any insurance duplicate. Sometimes, having several insurances contracts lead to several duplicates in coverage. Take the time to read all the conditions of your contracts and adapt the guarantees to your needs!