Why are home and car insurance premiums set to rise in France?

Damage during recent riots should not impact the cost of insurance, experts say, but premiums are expected to increase for other reasons

Insurance costs to rise but not due to summer riot damage
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This summer’s riots saw 5,000 vehicles set on fire – but this is not the reason why insurance premiums are expected to rise.

Instead, climate change is said to be the cause for an increase in home and car insurance prices.

The costs of the riots are just a drop in the ocean in comparison, said Jean Barès, secretary-general of FEDEXA, a federation of independent insurance experts.

Read more: 1,000 ‘drought disaster zones’ named in France: what to do if affected

Natural disaster claims will balloon over 20 years

A report from the France Assureurs federation revealed that insurance firms paid out €650million following the riots, mostly to businesses and local authorities.

By comparison, in 2022 French insurance firms paid out just under €10billion in environmental damage due to increasingly severe and frequent storms, floods and droughts.

“We expect that number to balloon up to €150billion by 2050,” said Mr Barès.

“For the next 20 years, natural disasters are expected to become increasingly destructive and costly.”

MPs recently approved a bill that would make it easier to claim for cracks to houses caused by drought. It must now be passed by the Senate.

A report from the French insurance authority ACPR predicts €143billion in environmental damages by 2050, which would cause home insurance rates to double or triple.

Read more: Drought damage claims could get easier due to reforms and Météo-France

Inflation will impact car insurance premiums

Car insurance will follow a similar trend, with rises following inflation but with no noticeable impact from the riots.

However, the garantie incendie (fire/arson clause) required for reimbursement if your car is set on fire might become slightly more expensive.

Help if your car was damaged by rioting

France has brought in extra help for drivers whose cars were damaged by rioting and who do not have the appropriate coverage (10% to 15% of victims).

Those with taxable income below €27,606 in 2022 can claim up to €4,601, increasing for every child in the household.

This is drawn from the Fonds de garantie des victimes, the national victims’ fund to which everybody with an insurance contract contributes.

Claimants must fill in a form and send it to the Commission d’indemnisation des victimes d’infractions (CIVI) at their local court, with insurance documents, proof of damage and a reference of the complaint filed with police.

For more information, call the government’s free helpline at 116 006.

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