The car insurance contract, everything you need to know about your insurance policy

The car insurance contract, everything you need to know about your insurance policy

Sometimes it’s hard not to feel helpless in the face of an insurer when negotiating your new auto insurance policy. Between the statement of validity clauses, the encryption of the franchises and the details of the risks covered, the jargon specific to the world of insurance must imperatively become an integral part of your general culture. You will avoid many disappointmen.

The signing of the car insurance contract, because of its mandatory nature , is often experienced by the purchaser of a new vehicle as a mere formality, or even a chore.

Too many motorists will be satisfied to grant a trust in principle to the commercial proposal of their traditional insurer, without checking beforehand that the level of coverage proposed is the one they really need, or that the derogations provided for in the contract do not are not too bad considering their driving habits.

Find below the summary of the main points to know and master before making an appointment with the insurer.

Which documents?

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Before you draw up your car insurance contract, the insured future prepares a questionnaire on which he declares a certain amount of detailed information. Thanks to a fact sheet given by the insurer , the insured future then becomes aware of the information relating to the prices and guarantees of his future insurance policy. The document can be likened to an estimate with the difference that it does not bind the insurer on a legal level.

The proposal may also contain certain reservations, issued in the form of limits or exclusions from the coverage of certain risks. The insurer can even go so far as to refuse to insure an individual if the latter presents a too unfavorable profile. The insurance application is generally accompanied by the submission of a brochure or information sheet, the main purpose of which is to summarize the risks covered and the services offered in a more synthetic way than the draft contract.

The subscriber of the insurance must sign on the insurance policy to have read thisinformation notice . The insurance policy is then signed by the insurer and the insured. This is the official document proving the existence of the auto insurance contract. This document contains the general and special conditions .

Before signing, show particular vigilance on:

  • the amount of the deductibles,
  • the amount of insured capital,
  • the extent of warranty exclusions
  • the possible delays before the implementation of the guarantees.
  • check the amount of your premiums (monthly or annual),
  • check the surrender value of your vehicle (old or old?), what compensation is provided by your insurance if your car burns  ?

Who subscribes the contract?

The main driver  : any car covered by an insurance contract must be linked to a “designated” driver who must be the signatory of the insurance contract. He alone will be allowed, in the eyes of the insurer, to use the vehicle in the usual way.

This does not mean that the designated driver will necessarily be the holder of the registration card . The vehicle may belong to someone other than the insured.

The main driver opposes the occasional driver who can not appear specifically on the contract and who is supposed to use the vehicle very punctually.

The amount of the premium

The calculation of the rate of your auto insurance premium will depend on a calculation combining the risks related to the driver’s profile , the type of vehicle and the use that will be made of it. These elements will allow the insurance company to measure the risk posed by the driver.

Driver profile

If you arrive directly from the competition, the statement of information published by your previous insurer will allow the new to determine more precisely your profile, and in particular your loss experience , that is to say your propensity to suffer claims, as well as the coefficient of bonus / malus associated.

In addition to this valuable history for the new insurer, your simple marital status is likely to greatly affect the amount of the premium you have to pay: a couple thus has a safer profile than a single person, as well as the insurance of ‘a young driver will be higher than that of another more experienced driver . The women , until recently, paid less than men in the same statistical reasoning: this practice was deemed to be discriminatory by the Court of Justice of the European Communities and officially ended 21 December 2012.

The type of vehicle

The type of vehicle you drive will have a noticeable effect on the amount of the premium. The registration card , the original of which must be presented to the insurer before the signature, contains a lot of useful information for the latter: make, model, fiscal power, type mines and the date of first entry into circulation are taken into account. account to better assess the risk represented by the movement of this vehicle on public roads.

The conditions of use of the vehicle

Depending on where you will be driving or parking , a significant additional cost may apply to your contract. The usual place of parking for your vehicle, especially at night, will be judged differently depending on whether it is a closed garage (the most secure case), a covered place or the public road.

Similarly, a car insurance premium in Paris will be higher than that from a small town. Indeed, large cities such as Paris, Marseille, Lyon, .. are more accidentogenic than the average because of the density of traffic and crime. They have a negative impact on the price of insurance. The premium will also be affected if you plan heavy use of the vehicle (hobbies, work or both).

The guarantees offered by the insurer

Before submitting an insurance application, the agent expects the driver to choose a guarantee for his car.

Third-party insurance or “civil liability”

The “civil liability” guarantee is the essential and obligatory foundation of any automobile insurance contract. Third party insurance contracts cover damage and injury that you may inflict on a third party or public space as part of your driving. On the other hand, it does not provide for the reimbursement of injuries and damage to you or your vehicle in the event of a responsible accident.

Third-party insurance plus, with theft, fire and broken glass

As its name indicates, the formula is a little more protective for its beneficiary since the insurer then agrees to reimburse the damage caused by a theft , a fire or a breakage. ice, with the most often of course some cases of exclusion duly mentioned in the contract.

All risks insurance

Formula at once the most complete and the most expensive, the insurance all risksguarantees the refund of the damage independently of the responsible nature or not of the accident , with however the application of a coefficient of malus in the first case. It is the replacement value of the vehicle at the time of the incident that is used to determine the amount of the loss, except for special provisions providing, for example, for a two-year replacement cost.

Other guarantees can be added to the insurance contract, such as the driver’s bodyguard , legal assistance, etc.

What are the pitfalls to avoid ?

Exclusion clauses: knowing them to better guard against them

The definition of an exclusion of warranty clause in the contract allows the insurance to refine the treatment of a risk and to exclude any repair in certain cases. This is the case, for example, of a theft in a vehicle without any evidence of tampering (suggesting that the owner did not lock the doors), or laceration of the inside seats (suggesting misuse of the vehicle by its owner).

Read carefully all the clauses of this type appearing in the contract before signing your signature, and do not hesitate to point out the provisions that you consider unfair . Note that the clauses referring to lapses or exclusions of guarantee must be mentioned in legible characters on pain of nullity.

Franchises: an invoice that can quickly become heavier

Franchises are very widely used in auto insurance contracts, so that the insured is responsible for settling repairs below a certain threshold. This is an acceptable practice, provided that it is not misguided by the setting of thresholds too unfavorable for the insured. This threshold will have to be assessed according to each risk  : a deductible of a few hundred euros is thus adapted to the risk of accident or theft, but not to the breaking of the ice, where the threshold should rather be counted in tens of euros .

After the signature

The subscription of an auto insurance is most often carried out in a relatively urgent context since its obtaining is obligatory before taking the road for the first time with your new vehicle. Thus, you can usefully request from your insurer the immediate delivery of a provisional certificate of insurance , which will serve as proof of receipt from the authorities until receipt of the final auto insurance contract, by mail or by hand. The insurance sticker to be affixed to the windshield will be given to you at the time of signing most of the time.

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