Insurance to cover heat pump

We have a new-build house and I am planning to fit a heat pump to cut our heating and hotwater costs. What insurance will cover the work being done? M.T.

This is a timely question as the Cour de Cassation, the highest appeal court in France, recently ruled on this subject and clarified the law on what works are covered by a company’s 10-year garantie décennale.

It ruled that faults affecting a heat pump installed in an existing building came under the garantie décennale if they made the property uninhabitable.

The house owner had taken the installer’s insurer to court to obtain redress under their 10-year protection but lost in a ruling in the appeal court which said that equipment fitted to an existing construction were not covered by the garantie décennale, which covered only those fitted at the time of original construction, but came under a different two-year guarantee.

Cour de Cassation judges overturned this ruling saying that problems with the heat pump installation did indeed come under the garantie décennale as soon as they affected the house as a whole. They made it uninhabitable – there was no hot water or heating and the family had to move out.

In consequence, the heat pump installer and insurance were fully responsible for the problems and should repair the fault or pay suitable compensation.

Question answered by Sarah Bright-Thomas of Bright Avocats

Tel: 05 61 57 90 86 -

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