France is to declare the damage caused by Storm Eunice a “natural disaster”.
The storm, which struck the northern coastline yesterday (February 18), caused widespread disruptions to traffic around towns and cities in the north, as well as damage to properties and streets.
There are no reports of casualties in France, but nine people around Europe are reported to have died.
This technical classification of "natural disaster" means that people in the affected area will be able to claim for damages to their property under the assurance catastrophe naturelle clause.
Read our guide to assurance catastrophe naturelle here: France’s ‘catastrophe naturelle’ insurance system: how to claim
France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said yesterday (February 18) that the state would make the declaration as soon as possible.
“Following Storm Eunice and at the request of the President of the Republic, the State will declare as soon as possible the state of natural disaster everywhere it is necessary,” Mr Darmanin said.
A la suite de la tempête #Eunice et à la demande du Président de la République, l'Etat décrétera dans les meilleurs délais l'état de catastrophe naturelle partout où cela s'avérera nécessaire.— Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) February 18, 2022
The declaration that Storm Eunice was a natural disaster will be published in France’s Journal officiel.
Once it is declared, people who have been affected will have 10 days to make a claim on their insurance.
This period is to be extended to 30 days under a new law set to enter into force, although no implementation date has yet been announced.