With the Euro – Sterling prices at a very favourable rate right now, many people will be considering buying their dream home abroad and most likely in France. In fact Brits are still the largest second home buyers in France, accounting for over a third of all foreign owners.
Whether it be a ski chalet in the Alps, Villa in the Cote D’Azur or Parisian flat, buying a French property can have its issues. While there are many services that can be taken care of by English speaking providers in France such as property buyers, mortgage brokers and housekeepers; there is still a real lack of understanding of why its worth considering an English based policy and not local French Property Insurance.
Local French buildings/ contents insurance policies through a bank or online provider is often cheap and therefore appealing to some. Unfortunately for some properties, like in the UK , it is not suitable and are often very restricted on cover, and a minefield when it comes to exclusions and warranties on their policies.
Limitations of French Property Insurance;
- Community buildings insurance for French apartments and flats often only covers communal areas, not actual fixtures and fittings within the building.
- Escape of water and resulting damage (burst pipe) claims are usually excluded when holiday homes are unoccupied if you don’t take certain precautions.
- Theft cover. You’ll usually have strict security requirements, and have maximum periods that the property can be unoccupied.
- Check what you are covered for – especially if you are using the house as a holiday let.
- Natural disaster cover is limited and subsidence usually not included at all
- 2 months written cancellation policy on French insurances.
- Premium rating based on number of rooms, not accurate rebuild costs via a survey and therefore cover for rebuild may be totally inadequate and average clause may apply
- And consider how difficult completing a claim in French could be, even if you’re a fluent and competent speaker.
If your French property is of a historic nature, or significant value to rebuild then a French policy may not provide full comprehensive cover. Insurance Tailors can provide access to the most comprehensive insurers who can cover second homes in France and also permanent residents in France as well. The policies are written in UK law and a dedicated claim service operating in English.