Liability insurance: what is it?

Civil liability is one of the most well-known insurances. But is it really mandatory? And what exactly does it cover? Discover all the particularities of civil liability insurance in order to be well covered in the event of damage to others. We tell you all about this essential guarantee on a daily basis.

What is that ?

Indispensable both in France and abroad, civil liability insurance protects you in the event of damage caused to others by imprudence or negligence.

This is a minimum and mandatory base of any auto insurance contract. However, liability insurance does not only concern road accidents, but all your daily actions. Insurers systematically include civil liability cover in their multi-risk home contracts.

What’s the point ?

Your civil liability is engaged when you involuntarily cause damage to others (e.g. water damage to a neighbor during work on your home). In this case, you must provide reparation to the victim when the latter is able to prove the damage suffered.

Note, your civil liability is also engaged when your minor child causes harm, unless you do not have parental authority. On the other hand, the fact of occasionally entrusting your child to a third party (grandparents, school, etc.) does not exonerate you from your responsibility.

Then, the civil liability insurance also covers acts committed by your household employees (gardener, cleaning lady, au pair, etc.).

Finally, the insurance also protects you when your animals or those you keep cause damage.

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Is it mandatory?

French law requires the subscription of some insurance including civil liability. This is the minimum coverage that all insured must take out.

Liability insurance is included in the home contract for your home. And some insurance also partially covers your civil liability. School insurance, for example, covers children’s liability in the event of damage. And car insurance protects you in case of road accidents.

And to take all your precautions, check who is covered by your civil liability insurance contract. Is the whole family, including animals, protected in the event of damage to others?

What is covered by liability insurance?

Liability insurance covers both the insured persons as well as the damages.

The insured persons

In general, the guarantee covers both the subscriber of the contract as well as all the people residing in his home, including single adult children and adults living with him.

Damage covered

Bodily injury, material and immaterial damage caused to third parties are covered by the insurance in a pecuniary manner.

Situations not covered

On the other hand, certain damages or situations do not respond to civil liability insurance. And they are therefore not covered by the warranty. Among them :

  • willful damage. Willful misconduct is part of the exclusion of warranty;
  • professional activities except extended warranty;
  • damage caused to oneself or to one’s loved ones;
  • damage caused by dogs trained to attack or of breeds reputed to be dangerous. Note, however, it is possible to provide an extended warranty in this case;
  • items entrusted to you. However, some contracts cover the liability of the insured in the event of loan or rental of equipment (audiovisual, gardening, DIY, etc.).
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How much does it cost ?

Given that the civil liability guarantee is generally included in the multi-risk home insurance, it is difficult to indicate a precise price. Be aware, however, that home insurance costs between 160 and 500 euros per year.

Note: each insurer has its own pricing in this area. But, in general, it is possible to obtain civil liability for less than 30 euros per year with most insurance companies. In fact, the price varies according to the age of the insured. Thus, student mutuals offer civil liability insurance for 20 euros per year. And the older the beneficiary, the more the amount of civil liability will increase.

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