Car insurance: is it mandatory?
Before taking out a contract, a question arises: is car insurance compulsory in France ? As required by the Insurance Code and as recalled by the Highway Code, the owner of a land motor vehicle has the obligation to cover at least his civil liability (1) . Therefore, car insurance is mandatory if you own a car, whether it is a private vehicle, a utility vehicle or a vehicle without a license. Similarly, the insurance obligation for a hybrid car is the same as for a thermal or even electric vehicle.
However, the insurance obligation only concerns your civil liability, which you can cover in particular through third-party insurance. This cover applies to all material damage and bodily injury that your vehicle may cause to a third party (other motorist, pedestrian, etc.). On the other hand, compulsory car insurance , most often taking the form of third-party insurance and covering only your civil liability, does not allow you to cover your own damage, in particular in the event of an accident at fault. To do this, you will need to take out a more protective contract (all-risk insurance, for example) as well as a driver’s guarantee. Note that, depending on the contracts, driver’s insurance may be included,
Good to know: following the subscription of a contract, the insurer issues you a green card (or certificate of insurance), comprising a detachable leaflet which constitutes an insurance certificate. This compulsory car insurance sticker must be displayed at the bottom right of the windshield of your car so that it can be consulted in your absence by the police.
What is the purpose of taking out car insurance?
Wondering why insure your car? As we have mentioned, it is above all a legal obligation. In the absence of insurance, driving a vehicle is an offense punishable by a fine of €3,750. You also expose yourself to various additional penalties (community service, day-fines, up to 3 years of driving license suspension, etc.) depending on the circumstances, particularly in the event of a repeat offense (2) .
Taking out car insurance is also a way to be better protected on a daily basis. If civil liability is the only compulsory guarantee, nothing prevents you from taking out additional guarantees or contracts in order to extend your coverage. This is all the more important if you take out insurance for your more expensive electric or hybrid car, or any other new vehicle. Depending on the conditions and limits set out in the contract, taking out insurance for your car may thus allow you to:
to be compensated in the event of glass breakage, fire or explosion of the vehicle;
to benefit from various services, such as assistance in the event of a breakdown or a defense-recourse guarantee in the event of legal proceedings.
Define your needs: in order to find the best auto insurance online , you must define the guarantees you need (theft, vandalism, glass breakage, vehicle damage, etc.). To do this, you can take into account the value of your vehicle and the risks for which you would like to be covered.
While it’s important to know how to get car insurance , it’s also important to know when you can do it. The subscription or modification of a contract can in fact take place:
However, the primary driver is not always the owner of the vehicle. This can happen if the car in question belongs to your parents or spouse, for example. In this case, the car insurance and the gray card will not be in the same name . When taking out insurance for a car in the name of another person , the subscriber must however indicate that he is not the owner of the vehicle.
How long does it take to take out car insurance?
If you are wondering how long does it take to insure your car , know that, most often, the subscription of car insurance is immediate . If the vehicle has just been purchased, it is generally the date of purchase that determines the start of the contract. If you change insurance, on the other hand, the date of application of the contract is conditioned by the deadlines provided for by the Chatel and Hamon laws.
In the case of an immediate car insurance subscription online or by telephone, for example, the insurer gives you a provisional insurance certificate, which can be sent to you by e-mail, allowing you to drive completely legally. However, you will have to send the documents necessary for the subscription of the contract within the time allowed in order to prevent it from being terminated. On this occasion, the insurance company will also give you the final insurance certificate.
On the other hand, the period for taking out car insurance may be longer if your file requires an analysis by the insurer. This can especially happen if you have a high penalty, if your loss ratio is high or if you are not the owner of the vehicle. In this case, you will only be insured after obtaining the agreement of the insurer.
Buy cheap car insurance online
Subscribing to cheap car insurance online may appear, for some, as an interesting solution to be covered quickly and at a lower cost. However, the price of car insurance should not be the only criterion taken into account during your research. Why ? Quite simply because a cheap car insurance contract taken out online (or by another means) can hide a low level of guarantees.