Well, I lost count how many times I had British people asking how to cancel insurances in France (not from my customers of course, as nobody wants to leave BH assurances!!!).
Note also that in France, insurance contracts are renewed automatically!!
I know, IN ENGLAND, you just phone them and tell them you want to cancel and that’s it! But surprise, surprise, YOU ARE IN FRANCE and we like paperwork! So, here is an explanation on how cancelling your insurances.
- Anniversary date / Date d’échéance:
The important thing to find out about your insurance contract is the “date d’échéance” which is the anniversary date of your contract. Be careful, as sometimes, some companies will automatically put 1st of January as an anniversary date, so it is not always the date when you took out the contract originally. You should find this date on the original contract you signed or on the renewal notice you receive once a year. Normally, when you take out any insurances, it is for one year minimum (there are exceptions-see chapter 4). So, you need to see it through until the anniversary date. Before the Loi Hamon, the only way you could cancel was by sending a registered letter 2 month prior the anniversary date saying you wish to stop the insurance on its next anniversary (in 2 months)! Be careful, with some companies ‘s health top up insurance, it can even be 3 months!
The other way is called LOI CHATEL and with this method you had 20 days from receiving the renewal notice to send a registered letter saying you wish to stop the insurance. Do note that some companies actually send the renewal notice at the last minute, even sometimes after the actual renewal date so you think it is too late! But it is the date on the envelop (post office stamp) that counts and not the date on the letter so always keep the envelop when you choose this method. This method does not work for professional insurances such as public liability or decennale insurance or even with some health top up. It always works for cars and houses.
- LOI HAMON:
Since January 2015, you can cancel your car and house insurance anytime you want as long as you have had the contract at least one year. This new law does not work for top up health insurance or any professional insurances. From December 2020, it will also be the case for top up health insurance but not yet.
- How to cancel using loi Hamon:
- House insurance as an owner:
You simply have to notify your insurer with a letter and the cancellation will be effective one month and 3 days after receiving the letter (email is possible if you can be identified properly with it).
- Car and house (as a lodger) insurance:
The cancellation must be done by your new insurer! Hopefully ME!! Because car insurances and house insurances for lodgers are a legal obligation, the French government decided not to trust people! Therefore, to make sure that they are still insured, the cancellation can only be made by their new insurer.
Obviously, they are exceptions which allow you to stop your insurances without using the methods above. If you sell your car, you can cancel the insurance by showing your certificate of sale (certificate de cession de vehicle can be downloaded from internet) and the insurance will stop from the date on the proof of sale. If you sell the car abroad, always get a proof of sale of some sort. Without paperwork, it is illegal for an insurance company to stop a car insurance contract before its anniversary date! If the car stops working, a proof from the garage or mechanic can do (it does with us). If you move back to the UK, we need a proof of insurance from the UK.
If you sell your house, you can stop the house insurance with the paperwork given to you by the Notaire on the day of the sale.
For the health top up, it can be stopped if you move abroad and stop being covered by the French system. In this case, they can issue you a letter saying you are not in the French system anymore and the insurance is stopped. Otherwise, a proof from the UK showing that you are covered under the UK system should be enough.
For professional insurance, you can cancel with a proof from RSI or MSA saying you have shut down the business. Otherwise you can only cancel with a 2 months’ notice prior the anniversary date.
Basically, when there is nothing to be insured and you can prove it, the insurance can be stopped.
Hopefully now you should all be willing to switch your insurances to ME and BH Assurances (your favorite insurance broker in the region) especially when you know that I take care of all the cancellation for you. So, if you are happy with my quotes, I will do it all for you and you have nothing to do.
So, no excuse of waiting for the anniversary date to get cheaper/better insurances! Contact me.
And remember to check out our web site www.bh-assurances.fr/en for all my previous articles (“practical information”) and register to receive our monthly Newsletter. You can also follow us on Facebook: “Allianz Jacques Boulesteix et Romain Lesterpt”
And don’t hesitate to contact me for any other information or quote on subject such as Funeral cover, inheritance law, investments, car, house, professional and top up health insurance, etc…
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