Car insurance (motor vehicle): recourse in the event of disputes with the insurer
Verified 11 February 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)
If you have a disagreement with your insurer, you must first try to resolve the dispute with the company's services (advisor, general agent, customer service for example). If no solution has been found and the dispute persists, you can refer the matter to the Insurance Ombudsman or the Court of Justice.
You must contact your insurer in case of a dispute with its services before you can contact the mediator.
You must contact your usual contact person (advisor or insurance agent) before entering your insurer's claims service.
Contact with your usual advisor
In the event of a dispute with your insurer (on thecompensation for a loss or on the amount of a contribution, for example), you must inform him of your disagreement, by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, before the end of the limitation period two years.
Negotiations (oral or written) can then begin and reach an amicable solution.
A transaction is then signed between you and your insurer and the dispute is closed.
you can also call on an independent expert from your insurer, for example if you disagree with the compensation proposal.
If the dispute persists, please contact your insurer's claims department
If the dispute persists, you can enter your insurance company's claims department.
Contact details for these services can be found obligatory in the general terms and conditions of the insurance contract.
You must send him a letter indicating the subject of the dispute with your insurer and the steps you have already taken, with copies of the documents related to the dispute (invoices, letters...).
The service should respond within 2 months of receiving your mail.
If you do not have an answer or no amicable settlement of the dispute is possible, you can then refer the matter to the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman is an independent authority outside the insurance businesses.
It helps to find amicable solutions to disputes between consumers and insurance companies that are members of the Insurance Mediation.
Who can seize it?
It may be seized by the following persons:
- Insured or representatives of the insured
- Consumer associations
- Legal professions
- Public authorities
- insurance business, with your consent
Which mediator to seize?
The mediator to be seized must be entered in the insurance contract.
This is usually the insurance ombudsman.
Who shall I contact
If it is a different mediator than the Insurance Mediator, you can ask your insurer for his details.
When to seize it?
It can be seized when you have submitted a written claim to the insurance company and you have not obtained a satisfactory result.
How do you seize it?
You must send a letter or an email, indicating at least the following:
- Name of the insurance company with which you are in dispute
- Number of your contract
- Description of the events and the subject matter of the dispute
Also attach photocopies of the necessary supporting documents (insurance contract) and correspondence exchanged with the insurance company.
procedure interrupts the limitation period two years.
You can use a mail template:
Processing of the application
The Ombudsman shall deliver an opinion within an average of 3 to 6 months.
The scope of this opinion shall be specified in the insurance contract.
If you are not satisfied with the Ombudsman's decision, you can still make a legal action.
When other means of redress have failed to reach an agreement, you can take the matter to court.
Which court to seize?
The competent court depends on the sums involved in the dispute.
For a case greater than €10,000No, it's the court of law.
Who shall I contact
if the dispute is related to an accident, the court of law always has jurisdiction.
You can bring an action for damages before the court of your domicile, except in 2 cases:
- If the dispute is related to an accident, you can enter the jurisdiction of the place where the accident occurred
- If the dispute concerns a building or movable property, the court of the place where the insured building or article is situated must be seized
If you live in Paris and have had an accident in Bordeaux, you can go to the court of Paris or Bordeaux.
Do you need a lawyer?
You must be represented by lawyer if the amount of the dispute exceeds €10,000.
In other cases, when the case is decided by the court, a lawyer is not required.
This period may be extended by one of the usual grounds for suspension, such as the appointment of an expert, the sending of a paper or electronic registered letter, for example.
This period is extended to 10 years for actions for compensation for personal injury.
- Insurance Code: Articles L114-1 to L114-3Jurisdiction and limitation period
- Insurance Code: Article R114-1Rules common to non-life and personal insurance
- Judicial organization code: articles L211-3 to L211-9-2Jurisdiction of the court
- Consumer Code: Article L612-1Right to mediation
- Consumer Code: Articles R612-1 to R612-5Rules of mediation in consumer matters
- Refer to the Insurance Ombudsman
- Seize the insurer in case of delay in the compensation of a claim