Phone scams, gardening, insurance claims: 5 French practical updates

Our roundup of recent practical articles you may have missed

We also look at changes to French bureaucracy, and a change to reimbursement rules at some dental centres

Insurance cover downgraded for some eco renovations

People installing heat pumps and wood-burning insert stoves are no longer covered by certain insurance rights after a ruling by France’s top judicial court. 

The ruling removes the obligation for artisans installing the equipment to take out a 10-year guarantee in non new-build homes. 

However, it is still possible to discuss obtaining this insurance with the artisans in question.

It comes after the insurance giant Axa challenged a previous ruling from 2017, which made the 10-year guarantee obligatory, including for work on older homes. 

Read more: Heat pump insurance cover downgraded for many home owners in France

Reimbursement for dental work ends in some centres 

Dental work carried out in nearly 30 dental centres across France will no longer be reimbursed, as the network which manages them is investigated for fraud. 

Patients who have work done at Nobel Santé + centres, which exist in four French regions – Île-de-France, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Nouvelle Aquitaine. 

The networks allegedly committed fraud up to a potential value of €3 million. 

Read more: Patient reimbursement to end at French dental centres amid fraud claim

What can I do with grass clippings? 

An increasing number of déchetteries in France are refusing to take grass clippings, leaving homeowners stuck with how to dispose of them. 

Alongside preventing clippings from being dropped off, communes are also preventing door to door pick-ups of grass.

We look at the three alternatives for what to do with grass clippings, if your local area stops collecting them. 

Read more: Grass clippings: what to do if the tip does not accept them in France

Beware of ‘smishing’ scams 

‘Smishing’ - a way to scam people by stealing their data by tricking them via links sent in phone text messages - is on the rise in France.

Texts are sent to unsuspecting victims, providing a link to a genuine-looking website, asking people to enter their details. 

This could be for anything from a chance to win a competition from a store or brand you like, to a text relating to your income tax declaration – but lead to fraudulent websites. 

We cover a list of precautions to take to prevent becoming a victim. 

Read more: ‘Smishing’: Warning over this common scamming trick in France

A simplification of French bureaucracy 

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has set out a number of key reforms to be introduced, that aim to simplify French bureaucracy.

It includes a reduction in waiting times, systems for making complaints and dealing with errors, and an increased automation of services including the use of AI tools. 

Up to 300 new France Services administration help centres are also to open by 2028.

Read more: How France plans to simplify bureaucracy for residents