The principle of insurance in France
Risk insurance is as old as human societies. Insurance initially protected trade, ships and goods. They then covered the people and their property. Insurance needs are hardly any different today.
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The principle of insurance is simple: the insurer and the insured establish a relationship by signing a contract by which:
– the insured undertakes to pay one-off or regular premiums,
– the insurer undertakes, when an insured loss occurs, to pay compensation to the insured. The compensation aims to repair the material and bodily damage suffered.
What does the insurance contract contain?
The insurance contract clearly mentions the insured property or person and the exclusions of cover. It includes general conditions, common to all policyholders.
Special conditions may be added to this, which adapt the contract to the specific situation of each insured. These may modify one or more clauses of the general conditions, grant broader guarantees, remove exclusions not imposed by law, etc. They therefore always prevail over the general conditions.
What are the insurance obligations?
Legislation has progressively made certain insurance compulsory to cover the most significant risks:
– civil risks: if we injure others, we must be able to compensate them,- social risks: sickness, maternity, invalidity, death, unemployment, the insurance burden of which is shared between companies and social insureds,
– automobile risks: to compensate for material damage and bodily injury caused to others while driving a motor vehicle,
– rental risks: to compensate owners in the event of a claim for which the tenant is made responsible in the rented accommodation (water damage, fire, explosion),
– the risks inherent in certain professional activities: for example in construction or medical activities.
What penalty in the event of insurance default?
When a disaster occurs and it is not covered by an insurance contract, the person responsible must pay the compensation himself intended to repair the damage suffered by the victims. And if in addition the law requires him to be insured and he has failed to meet this obligation of insurance, other penalties are possible.
Example: a car insurance default is punishable by a fine of € 3,750. Depending on the circumstances and the severity of the accident, it may be accompanied by the immobilization or confiscation of the vehicle, a suspension or cancellation of the driving license, or community service.