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A.Valcke
A.Valcke, Solicitor
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 731
Experience:  Lawyer with Maîtrise en droit & Licence spéciale en droit européen.
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Good evening. I have insurance on my two French properties

Customer Question

Good evening.

I have insurance on my two French properties with AXA. Last November my Bank, the CMB offered a discount deal if I transferred my poilicies to them. They assured me that all arrangements would be undertaken by them, and that with a short period, the AXA policies would be ended and that the new policies would be put in place.

Monthly premiums began on 5th February. However the AXA payments continued too. I queried the matter with the CMB Branch Manager concerned, but he offered no solution. I repeatedly asked him by email to cancel the Bank policies but he refused to take any action. Finally he said that I needed to wait until the next AXA premium was due this month, and then he could carry out "resiliation" of the AXA contract.

I have waited for the AXA policy renewal to arrive, but none has been received to date. I am in very ill health and asked AXA for advise last week. They said that in France it is illegal to have two policies on the same property, and that it is for the most recent policy to be rescinded ie that of the CMB. I contacted the CMB branch manager today and he disagreed entirely with that view. In fact he said it was perfectly legal in France to have as multiple insurance policies - as many as you like ... Frankly I find that hard to believe.

Both AXA and the CMB cannot be right, so my question is does the CMB have the right to continue to take my payments for a second policy that they have plainly failed to administer correctly.

Is there a French Agency who could point me to the relevant law in this matter, so that I can direct the Bank accordingly.

Thanks for any advice.
Richard Simpson
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: French Law
Expert:  A.Valcke replied 1 year ago.
Dear Mr Simpson,

Thank you for your question.

I am sorry to hear of your troubles.

From what you mention, I am assuming this is a "assurance solde restant dû".

In the first instance, I would suggest that you send a letter to CMB asking them to cancel the insurance policy on the basis that they have failed to honour their engagement to you. At the top of your letter you should write "Mise en Demeure". In you letter, you should briefly explain what they told you they would do (specifically that they would cancel the policy with AXA) and what has happened since (the AXA policy is still running and CMB have refused to cancel the policy). You should ask them to terminate the policy immediately and reimburse you all premiums paid. You should request an answer within 7 days.

You should send your letter by recorded delivery with acknowledgement of receipt (lettre recommandée avec accusé de réception).

In the event this does not resolve the issue, you should lodge a complaint with the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel (ACP). You will need to complete the complaints form and send it to their dedicated email address:
http://www.acp.banque-france.fr/protection-de-la-clientele/lacp-et-vous/comment-contacter-lacp/formulaire-de-transmission-dinformation-assurance.html

I hope this answers your question.

Kind regards,

A. Valcke



A.Valcke, Solicitor
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 731
Experience: Lawyer with Maîtrise en droit & Licence spéciale en droit européen.
A.Valcke and other French Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the reply.


 


I suspect the CMB branch manager knows full well that his assistant somewhat "messed up" while about to go on maternity leave ..and so is on damage limitation. There is not a huge amount of money involved, but on principle I dislike being given the "run-around". I will do as you suggest and write to the Bank with AR.


 


In the meantime, can you tell me if it is indeed the case that according to the CMB Manager, speaking to me today, it is perfectly allowable in French Law to have multiple insurance policies on the same property? If so, I find that quite astonishing, as it would surely lay the way open for potentially fraudulent claims ...


 


Regards


Richard

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi - I sent a short follow-up reply asking if my original question about multiple insurance policies on my properties as suggested by the bank was actually legal. It's vital to know so that I can act quickly and resolve this matter.

Do you have any information on this?

Kind regards
Richard Simpson
Expert:  A.Valcke replied 1 year ago.
Dear Mr Simpson,

According to the information I have been able to find, it is not illegal for you to have multiple insurance policies. I found several websites of French newspapers that confirm this.

However, you would need to check the terms of the existing insurance policy to see if this is allowed as a matter of contract.

You would therefore need to read through your insurance contract with AXA to see if there is a contractual prohibition on taking out further insurance.

I hope this answers your question.

Kind regards

A. Valcke
Expert:  T Perrin C replied 1 year ago.
It is not illegal to have several insurance policies but the same risk can be covered only once. For example you insure your house twice with insurer A and insurer B. It is destroyed by fire and the losses amount to 250 K€. You must make claim with insurer A OR B first, and with the second insurer ONLY for what might not have been covered by the first insurer.

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