99 extra French communes declared drought disaster zones for 2022

People with affected properties have 30 days to make insurance claim

Homes affected by droughts could see cracks and deep fissures appear on their walls
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99 communes that suffered from droughts in 2022 have been placed on the catastrophe naturelle list.

People with property in these have one month (30 days) to make an insurance claim if their house was damaged during the droughts.

The list of affected communes was published in the Journal Officiel on December 27. You can view the full list here.

Annexe I of Article V shows the list of communes reviewed by experts and added to the list, (in departmental alphabetical order) and Annexe II shows those reviewed but not added to the list.

Many of the communes are in the Drôme, Jura, Lot, Haute-Savoie, and Nord, although 31 departments are affected.

What does this mean for homeowners in the area?

If you own a home that was affected by the droughts in 2022 and your property is in one of the communes on the list, you will have 30 days to make an insurance claim.

It is advisable to do this by registered post (alettre recommandée avec accusé de réception), both to be certain that your claim is received in time and to have proof of this.

Read more: France’s ‘catastrophe naturelle’ insurance system: how to claim

All multi-risk home insurance policies (assurance multirisques habitation) have natural disaster cover for communes declared eligible in the Journal Officiel.

Most home insurance policies in France are multi-risk policies.

The Journal Officiel can also declare natural disasters for flooding, however this usually happens faster than for droughts, which require extensive and lengthy analysis.

This happened in November 2023 when more than 200 communes were placed on the list after severe flooding in Pas-de-Calais.

How do droughts cause structural damage to buildings?

Droughts can cause certain types of clay soil to harden and shrink during prolonged dry periods.

This expands again when the drought is over, which can lead to structural damage to buildings, including visible cracks and fissures in the walls and even damage to foundations.

An estimated 10 million homes in France may be at risk of this type of damage.

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