Monday, October 2, 2023
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1,2,3,4 wheels: insurance is mandatory!

Do you own a car, motorcycle or other motorized land vehicle in circulation, such as a bicycle or an electric scooter? You then have the legal obligation to insure your vehicle in order to drive it. When are they mandatory? Are you covered for all risks? Bercy’s explanations.

Just as you must have your driving license to drive a car, it is a legal obligation to have liability insurance for your vehicle (Article L211-1 of the Insurance Act). However, only so-called “third-party” insurance is mandatory. This only covers damage caused by a third party while driving or parking the vehicle. Lack of insurance represents a criminal offense punishable by a fine of up to 3,750 euros, possibly accompanied by a suspension of the driver’s license for three years, or confiscation of the vehicle and other additional penalties.

“Third party” anyway

This obligation applies to “any motorized land vehicle”, that is to say any self-propelled vehicle intended to circulate on the ground, which can be actuated by “mechanical power without being attached to a railway line, as well as any trailer, even uncoupled”.

More specifically, liability insurance is mandatory for cars (passenger, utility or unlicensed), tractors and agricultural machinery, 2 or 3 wheels (motorcycles or scooters) and even non-approved quads (such as mini-motorcycles for example). self-propelled lawnmowers equipped with a seat that allows the driver to maneuver the machine, electrically assisted bicycles (VAE) whose power exceeds 250w or whose speed exceeds 25 km/h,

motorized personal transport such as electric scooters, monowheels, Segways and other hoverboards.

Almost “all-risk” contracts

Please note: multi-risk insurance is not unlimited! You should check the guarantees, deductibles and exclusion clauses in detail before signing. Indeed, guarantees do not apply in all circumstances. Many contracts provide, for example, that the driver cannot receive compensation if the accident occurred while driving without a valid driver’s license or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Most insurance contracts contain a deductible. It is the sum that remains the insured’s responsibility after an injury, and which is therefore not reimbursed by the insurance company. Most insurance contracts contain them, and they must specify for each situation how the deductible is calculated and what type of deductible is involved.

The contract must provide you with very precise and understandable information about the limits of guarantees and the exclusion clauses (these must be limited, formal and written in visible characters, that is, in such a way that they differ from the rest of the text ), the excess amounts, the law applicable to the contract and the competent authorities in the event of a dispute. Also check the effective date of the contract, which may be different from the date the contract was signed.

Cover image: DR illustration




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