Living in France: How to Convert Your American Car Insurance History – Frenchly | CarTailz

[Sponsored article] When you move abroad you have to organize everything from scratch and it can get overwhelming to say the least. Registering with schools, dentists, doctors is bad enough! But when it comes to filing papers, things can get tricky. Factor in different country requirements, the French’s attention to detail, and the difficulty of doing it all in a foreign language, and you’ve got the perfect storm!

Fabien from Fabfrenchinsurance, a car insurance broker in France, advises you – on insurance.

Insurance is a complex subject; Policy details can be difficult to understand at the best of times, and with the complications mentioned above, it’s no surprise that insurance coverage is one of the top three things expatriates in France say bother them the most.

What is not accepted in France?

All too often it is assumed that the information required for insurance cover in the home country is sufficient. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case and there is absolutely no point in providing French insurers with documents that they simply will not accept. Typical examples of documents that will not be accepted as proof of previous coverage are a renewal letter or offer or offer for renewal. That may sound insurmountable. But fear not: once you understand exactly what French insurers need, you can provide them with exactly that and everything will fall into place.

What do French insurers expect?

Before you can take out a policy, all French insurers are required to see a comprehensive breakdown of your insurance history. In France it is called “un relevé d’information” and it is personal for each insured driver. It is a legal document covering the last three to five years (depending on the insurance company) detailing incidents related to the policy, claims made, vehicle characteristics and proof of the “No Claims Bonus Equivalent” – the “bonus-malus” or “KRM.” This document covers all the essentials that your new insurer will ask for – namely proof of insurance interruption, an accurate statement of claims and proof of the no-claims bonus – NCD. You will also need a list of named drivers. French car insurance covers the vehicle and not the driver; However, insurers will still want to know who the main drivers are should a claim be made. This also benefits the named drivers when concluding a contract at a later date, as they already have an insurance history.

The insurance history required must cover the last three years and if you have switched insurers during this period a certificate is required from all insurers concerned showing the start and end dates of the various policies. UK insurance companies often make this available on the ‘Proof of No Claims’ rebate certificate which can be presented after the policy has been cancelled. But in other countries, this could be something different, such as a state’s driver record in the US.

Insurers will also want an uninterrupted insurance period. Insurance cover is also possible with interruptions. But any period of more than three months of interruption in coverage over the past three years is likely to result in a sharp increase in premiums. Gaps are therefore avoided as far as possible!

As far as French insurers are concerned, the indication of six years of NCD on an offer or a renewal notice does not guarantee that no claim has been made during this period! You will need either a table detailing all claims made or a statement specifically stating that “no claims have been made during the period of insurance”.


And finally some good news! As mentioned above, if you are a named driver on a policy it helps if you insure your own vehicle as you do not need to have been a previous policyholder to get a discount. Happy driving!


Look for an offer that’s right for you in terms of coverage and cost. using a car insurance broker being able to choose policies from a wide range of insurance companies is a good idea. They will be able to clearly explain the options available, the levels of coverage offered, etc. This saves you both time and money. And of course stress!

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