As our closest neighbour, France has long been a popular place to buy a holiday home, offering as it does a different pace of life, good food and of course, better weather – especially in the south. But while undeniably a wonderful place, maintaining a holiday home there can throw up an array of interesting obstacles – not least because French and UK insurance industries display some novel differences.

Some of these differences apply to holiday home insurance. If you’ve purchase such an insurance policy from a UK provider before, don’t expect that a policy from a French provider works in the same way. Those who have been forced to make a claim on their French policies sometimes find that they are not as covered as they would have been under a UK policy.

For example, burst water pipes may not be covered if it happens while a holiday home is unoccupied (a big risk in colder months), and cancelling an insurance policy in France is a hugely complex process compared to that of the UK (French red tape is notorious everywhere, but nowhere more so than in this regard). There are also strict deadlines as regards completing claims for storm and flood damage.

The benefits of taking your holiday home insurance out with a UK provider revolve around the removal of any language barrier and much a faster claims process. While sometimes cheaper, crucially, French policies can leave your property unprotected in some circumstances – which rather defeats the objective.

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