How can I reduce the cost of home insurance in France?

Extra cover and location are two primary factors of higher annual charges

You should review your insurance cover on a regular basis
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Reader Question: We were informed the home insurance bill for our second home in the south-west was going to increase to almost €500 this year. Is there anything I can do to lower this, or should I just switch companies? Is this possible to do without too much difficulty?

The average insurance price for a home is around €372 in 2024, so as your quote is significantly above this you may feel justified in researching whether you can reduce this.

If you wish to switch to another company, it is now easy to cancel your contract in a few clicks.

Read more: Cancelling insurance in France is now easier

Before doing so you can use price comparison websites or those of the insurers themselves, to see if your cover would be cheaper elsewhere.

After signing with a new insurer you can allow them to cancel your old policy, making sure you are always fully covered.

Note some areas in France have higher home insurance rates due to the tendency for natural disasters such as river flooding.

In the south-west, shrinkage of clay soil from droughts is a particularly prominent issue and has seen premiums rise.

However, there are a number of things you can do with your current company to try and reduce your bill.

Read your contract and avoid ‘affinity insurance’

Multi-risk policies (multirisque habitation) contain basic cover such as for burglary and fire, but can contain many additional elements of cover.

You may be aware of some of these but there may be a number of additional clauses you did not previously know about.

Just as you may wish to add cover for to your policy for issues for which your home may be at higher risk, you can also remove or reduce some cover detail after reviewing what are known as ‘affinity insurance’ premiums (assurances affinitaires).

For example you may be paying a premium for cover against frozen pipes, but if you live along the Mediterranean coast you may decide it is unlikely your pipes will freeze during winter.

You can question your insurer over how each element of cover stipulated in your contract will personally affect you, and ask them to remove as you require (even though they will likely try and convince you otherwise).

Some elements may double up on rights which exist by law in any event.

In addition, it is always a good idea to read your contract carefully as certain cover only applies if you take certain action.

For example if there is a flood when your home is empty and you did not turn your water off, you may not be covered – the rules differ greatly between each insurer.

Read more: Water leaks, blocked pipes: what does home insurance cover in France?

Review and revise your French insurance contract

It is important to ensure your insurer is up to date on the contents of your home for which you require cover.

For example you may not be insured for newer objects or pieces of equipment of which your insurer has not been made officially aware (solar panels, for example). Also older objects may be classed as having lost value if you have not updated this amount with your insurer.

In the same way you can remove cover for objects you no longer own, potentially reducing your premium.

Take care with grouped policies

Many insurers offer combined policies that cover both main and second homes, especially if both are based in France.

However it can be more expensive to opt for a grouped policy than two individual ones, and because of their location, the specific cover required might be very different.

For example, most policies include an ‘uninhabited’ clause where you will not receive compensation if you leave your property empty for more than 60 (sometimes 90) days at a time. This may be fine for a main but not secondary residence.

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