Print Posted By Lost in France on 19 Oct 2007 in Living in France - Insurance in France

How does the no-claims bonus system operate in France?

The no-claims bonus does exist in every country of the European community ! There is just one little problem... each country has its own way of adapting a calculation, and when you go from one country to another, you can get confused.

We know that in the UK you need four years of car insurance without any accident to obtain a bonus rate between 60 and 65 %. Even if you are insured for a longer time, the rate will not increase. This no-claims bonus will be reduced to zero if you have a responsible accident, and you will need four more years to come back to 60%. Unless... you have paid a little more to protect your bonus.

{loadposition contentad}As usual in France it's different ! Someone who has never been insured starts with a bonus level of 1.00. With each year without any responsible accident, this figure is multiplied by 0.95. This is why you need 13 years with no responsible accident before you can reach the maximum no-claims bonus rate, which is 50% in France.

The positive side of this system is that when you have a responsible accident, the bonus rate you have gained will be multiplied with a coefficient of 1.25 if you are at fault for 100%, or 1.125 if you only have 50% fault. This means that the first responsible claim does not make you lose completely your bonus like in the UK.

In France, the bonus cannot be protected. But...if you have had the maximum no-claims bonus rate (50%) for more than 3 years, some companies will not reduce your no-claims bonus with the first responsible accident.

A few explanations about the way a French insurer transfers the UK bonus into a French one

When you arrive in France with your British no-claims bonus which shows for instance 6 years of clear driving, then he will multiply 1.00 six times with the coefficient of 0.95, which gives a result of 0.72. This means that you have a reduction of 28% and that you will need 7 years more of clear driving to reach the maximum bonus rate in France.

Not fair! ... I hear you scream and even more if you know that you have many more years than the 13 required in France. For an British insurer, there is no reason to put more than four years on the certificate, but when you come into the French system you need these years, which British insurers cannot provide because the system is different.

If this is your case, then you have a good reason to call us, as we have a special agreement with our company. But you should not have been insured in France for more than 2 years, and if you have just arrived and you're looking for your first French insurance policy, then it's easier to transfer your UK bonus into the maximum French bonus, even if your certificate only shows 3 or 4 years of insurance. Of course the premium in the end is totally different!

* Glass damage, theft, vandalism and fire are not responsible accidents.

About the Author

The author Philippe Schreinemachers is the owner of Philippe Schreinemachers SARL who specialise in providing a range of French insurance policies in English. For more information please visit their website at or contact them using the links below.
Tel: +33 (0)5 62 09 79
[email protected]

© Philippe Schreinemachers

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