The French word for insurance is assurance and I can assure you that we’ve been trying to buy some ever since we arrived. Because of rental laws here, apartment and house leases usually run for 3 years and you are required to have renter’s coverage for that whole time. Our place is furnished so we don’t fall under those same rules but we still felt it was important to be covered, especially since our own household goods have arrived. Trying to get an insurance company to accept our money has not been easy.
Bill has spent several afternoons online comparing coverages, costs, and payment options for some quite reasonable plans. An average annual price is about 150 euro and that’s exactly what we thought we were going to pay the company we signed up with. They accepted the initial deposit using the debit card from our free online bank based in Germany but then said that we would have to pay the remainder with an account from either France or Monaco. Legislation is in place that requires all businesses in the European Union to accept payment from all banks operating within the EU, and this insurance company’s website even acknowledges that, but the answer we got on the phone was “we can’t”. Oh well, we got a refund and Bill’s still looking on the Internet.
Carcassonne has no lack of bricks-and-mortar insurance agencies, but we think that it’s just so much easier to do this investigation and application process online. There are lots of questions about the house itself, the contents, and the levels of coverage we might want, all of which we can take our time with and translate as needed, without feeling rushed and confused. I will say though that if we have to choose between more phone calls and a personal visit to get this solved, we’ll definitely be walking into an agency, dictionary at the ready!
Update: Since writing that, we did visit an insurance office in town and within 15 minutes had the policy in hand.