Essential rental info

When and how can I change my home insurance in France?

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Home insurance is an essential element in ensuring peace of mind for both homeowners and tenants. Home insurance protects your home and personal belongings against risks such as fire, water damage, theft, damage caused by natural disasters, or other unexpected events. In return for the payment of premiums, the insurance company guarantees compensation in case of a claim covered by your home insurance policy. 

However, over the years, insurance evolves and personal lives change. That's why tenants and homeowners often ask this question: when can I change my home insurance, and how can I do it effectively? Due to a number of factors, such as searching for better coverage, better prices, a change in family structure, or moving to a new residence, it is necessary to review current insurance. In this article, we will explore in depth the conditions under which you can change your home insurance and the practical steps to take to request insurance cancellation.

Can I cancel my home insurance at any time?

You can cancel or change your home insurance policy at any time, free of charge and without explanation, after the first year of subscription or if there is a change in your personal life.

How do you change your home insurance policy in France?

When and how do you change your home insurance companies? Here are 4 important scenarios to follow.

1. Canceling your home insurance during the 1st year’s contract

You are not allowed to cancel your home insurance policy during the first year of the contract unless there are significant changes in your circumstances, such as :

  • Moving out of your current accommodation: if you move out of your current residence, you must inform your insurance company. 
  • Change in critical personal circumstances (such as divorce): changes in your personal life can increase risk for several reasons. When significant events occur, such as marriage, divorce, or the arrival of a child, your responsibilities, assets, and lifestyle may change significantly. These changes can increase the risks to which you and your home are exposed and, consequently, your need for more adequate home insurance coverage;
  • An increase in the insurance rate: check your insurance contract's general terms and conditions. Sometimes, you can cancel your insurance contract if the insurance rate augments.

2. Terminating your home insurance on the first annual due date

Can you cancel or change your home insurance policy after one year of subscription? The answer is YES. You can change or terminate your home insurance policy when it reaches its first annual due date, i.e., the first anniversary of signing the contract. 

All you have to do is send a registered letter two months before the contract expiry date. There are other possible ways to request the cancellation; find out in the following paragraphs. 

If you forget this expiry date, don't worry. Because in France, the insurance company must send you an informative notice reminding you that you can cancel your insurance contract at its first annual renewal. This notice will specify the date of this first renewal and the deadline by which you must submit your cancellation request. This notice must reach you at least 15 calendar days before the cancellation deadline. Therefore, you can request cancellation as soon as you receive the notification from your insurer.

However, if your insurance company does not inform you in advance of the expiry of your contract, you can cancel it at any time after the expiry date, free of charge. Cancellation takes effect the day after the postmark date.

3. Canceling your home insurance after the first year of the contract

After the first year of your contract, you can cancel or change your multi-risk home insurance anytime with no penalties and no need to provide reasons.

4. Canceling your home insurance due to changes in your situation

In some circumstances, changes in your personal circumstances may allow you to terminate your home insurance contract at any moment, regardless of its expiry date, even if it occurs before the end of the first year.

These are changes in your personal life that affect your contract coverage:

  • Change of residence
  • Change of civil status
  • Change of marital status
  • Change of professional activity
  • Retirement or permanent cessation of professional activity

You must inform your insurer of any change in your situation by registered letter within 15 days providing proof. Cancellation generally takes effect one month after notification to your insurer.

Termination following death

If someone passes away, their home insurance policy remains in force to cover their home. However, the heirs can cancel or continue the home insurance contract. If the heirs keep the insurance contract in place, they must pay the continuing premiums. On the other hand, if the heirs choose to cancel the contract, they must send a cancellation request to the insurer.

How do you request a cancellation of home insurance? 

To request a cancellation of home insurance as owner, you can choose one of the following methods:

  • Online or through a mobile app, if you contracted your insurance via an online platform, or if your insurer offers an online cancellation;
  • By registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt; 
  • By personally declaring your cancellation at the insurance company's head office or their representative (general agent, broker);
  • By using remote means of communication such as e-mail or telephone;
  • By any other method stated in the contract.
  • Cancellation of the contract will take effect one month after receipt of the cancellation letter by the insurer.

N.B. From June 1, 2023, all insurance companies in France offering customers the option of subscribing to a home insurance contract via their website or mobile application are obliged to give their customers direct access to cancellation functions online or through their mobile application. This move simplifies insurance policy cancellation and makes insurance contract changes easier and hassle-free!

How do you cancel a home insurance policy as a tenant?

Canceling home insurance for a homeowner is much more straightforward than for a tenant because French law does not request landlords to take out home insurance. 

But, French law requires tenants to insure their homes for the entire duration of the lease. Therefore, tenants must note that they can't send the cancellation request to their insurer during their lease term. There is the risk of changing a home insurance company to find yourself without insurance coverage during your stay in the apartment you rent. Therefore, legally, a tenant should take out a new insurance policy before canceling their current home insurance to ensure that their accommodation remains covered during their stay.

The good news is that when you switch your home insurance provider, your new insurance company will take care of the cancellation process of the previous insurer for you. You have nothing to do, and the new insurance company will handle all the administrative formalities. All you need to do is provide them with the details of your old contract:

  • your home insurance contract number,
  • your policy identifier,
  • your contact details,
  • the name and contact details of your insurance company.

In general, cancellation takes effect one month after the insurer receives the cancellation request.

How to write a home insurance policy cancellation?

Free template for a home insurance policy cancellation letter

First name
Full address
Tel. number
Insurance policy number
E-mail address
Insurer's name
Full address
Done at (city), on (date).

Registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt
Subject: Cancellation of home insurance policy

Dear Sir/Madam
I am writing you because I wish to cancel my home insurance policy, taken out on (date of policy signed) and referenced under policy number (policy number). This concerns my home at (full address of residence), for which I am currently tenant/owner.

(In the case of cancellation before the first annual due date) 
A change in my situation (specify which - moving house, change in the contract terms, etc.) has led me to request the cancellation of the contract mentioned above.

(In case of cancellation after the first contract year)
In compliance with article 113-15-2 of the French Insurance Code, I have the right to cancel my insurance contract without informing you of the reasons for this decision.

I, therefore, request that you proceed with the cancellation of my home insurance policy within one month of receipt of this letter, as evidenced by the acknowledgment of receipt. I also ask you to reimburse me for any sums overpaid under this home insurance policy.

Yours sincerely
Signature

What proof do I need to cancel my home insurance?

Thanks to the Hamon law in France, you don't need to provide any supporting documents to cancel your home insurance after the first anniversary of the contract. However, if you wish to cancel your home insurance because you have moved during the 1st year of the contract, you will need to enclose proof of your move with your cancellation letter, such as a copy of the inventory of fixtures at the end of the lease.

Do you get a refund if you cancel home insurance?

Yes, you will receive a refund for the part of the premium corresponding to the remaining term of the contract. If you have already paid your annual fee, the insurer must refund within 30 days the amount of the premium related to the period following cancellation. Otherwise, the insurance company will be liable to pay you interest on this sum at the legal rate.

In conclusion, understanding the ins and outs of changing home insurance in France is crucial for every homeowner and tenant. Knowing your rights and procedures can prevent unnecessary complications and ensure a smooth transition when switching home insurance companies.

Editor: Siyi CHEN

Sources : Matmut, Service-Public,Reassurez-moi

Credit Photo@Vlad Deep

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