How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask T Perrin C Your Own Question
T Perrin C
T Perrin C, Consultant: information en droit du travail
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 1412
Experience:  8 years as a Senior judge at Paris Conseil de Prud'hommes (Paris Industrial Tribunal)
Type Your French Law Question Here...
T Perrin C is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello, We have recently moved to France. While looking for

This answer was rated:


We have recently moved to France. While looking for a house to purchase, we put ALL of our belongings into storage. We too 5000 Euros insurance to cover any damage that might happen to one or two items while in storage. The facility was new and seemed to be well equipped with security equipment etc. Hence our decision not to take more insurance.

Lat week, the facility burned to the ground, along with all of our worldly possessions. It has since come to light that the probably cause for the fire was sparks caused by a welder doing work to the building.

My question is; should we hire a lawyer to pursue the amount not covered by the small amount of insurance that we had? What would the odds of winning such a case be?

Kind regards,

I am sorry but you can only claim up to the amount insured (minus the décote) provided you have kept proof of the value of the merchandise insured (invoices, photos,...)
The insurance company will go against the welder's insurance company. But unless you can prove that the welder acted deliberately (in which case he will be prosecuted for arson in a criminal court), you have no ground to sue him for damages... The court will most likely hold you to the value you declared for insurance purposes.
Considering the loss though, one would suggest you take all contractual documents with you and consult a lawyer (avocat) to check the wording of the lease and see whether there is no possible angle of attack against the landlord.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much Mr Perrin. There is one other detail that I should mention. We were told that the welder did not follow the proper procedures when carrying out his work. Unfortunately, all of our receipts were in the storage units too so we have no documentation. Thanks again for your help.

That the welder did not follow the proper procedure will firstly have to be proved by a judiciary inquiry or a private insurance inquiry. It will then be matter of discussion and settlement between the welder's professional liability insurer and the insurers of the warehouse owner and other parties involved like yourself.
With no documentation regarding what you lost, it is unfortunately likely that you will not get much from the insurance company. Try to get as much pictures of lost belongings from friends and family or you'll end up with far less than 5000€. Insurers pay up to the amount insured provided the subscriber of the insurance policy making the claim can prove the existence and the value of lost items.
T Perrin C and other French Law Specialists are ready to help you