Cancelling a French insurance policy used to be a tricky process, but the introduction of the Loi Hamon back in 2015 has made it much easier. However, before you sign a contract for your home, car, or health insurance, it’s important to be aware of your rights. Here’s what you need to know about cancelling insurance in France.
Cancelling Home and Vehicle Insurance: the Loi Hamon
Thanks to the consumer law of March 17, 2014, also referred to as “Loi Hamon”, it is possible for consumers to cancel their vehicle or house insurance contract at any time. Under the law, any contract signed or renewed can be cancelled (résilier) or changed at any time once the first 12 months have passed.
You can also cancel a new contract within 14 days of taking it out, without the need to give a reason.
Formalities for cancelling a policy vary between insurers, but typically you will need to send an official cancellation letter (lettre de résiliation), which should be sent by registered post. You can find an example lettre de résiliationfor cancelling car insurance here or cancelling home insurance here.
The contract will then be terminated immediately for a new contract or within 30 days for an existing contract.
Some insurance companies will also allow you to cancel a policy by email or telephone.
Selling your car or home
In the event that you sell the insured vehicle or home, you also have the right to cancel the corresponding insurance. You should also inform your insurance company in writing (again, some insurers will these days accept an email or phone call). You should expect to be asked for the corresponding Acte de Vente (sales contract) or Certificat de cession d’une vehicle d’occasion (vehicle sales certificate).
Changing insurers in France
If you’re looking to change insurers, the easiest way to cancel your existing insurance is to mandate your new insurer to do this on your behalf. When signing your contract, the new insurance company will take care of the formalities of cancelling the existing policy and changing to the new one.
All you need to do is to sign the new policy and let the insurance company sort out the transition. The change takes effect within one month.
Cancelling or Changing Your Mutuelle Health Insurance
Cancelling your mutuelle health insurance is not covered under the Loi Hamon, however, from December 1, 2020 (thanks to law n ° 2019-733 of July 14, 2019), it is also possible to terminate your health insurance contract at any time, once the first year has passed. As with home and car insurances, you do not need to provide a reason, and there are no associated charges with terminating your contract.
Note that this only applies to employers and individuals; if you are an employee whose mutuelle is issued through your employer, this decision is down to your employer.
You will also need to send an official cancellation letter (lettre de résiliation) by registered post – here’s an example letter– and your insurance will be cancelled within one month.
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