The French Insurance Association publishes its forecasts for the cost of the drought in 2022: it will cost between 1.9 and 2.8 billion euros. The consequences are still visible today with cracked houses across France. In the Pyrénées-Orientales, the town of Saleilles was particularly affected.
Stéphanie and her husband bought their house in Saleilles in 2012. Nothing to report before the drought last summer, a drought that left its mark.
“I saw cracks everywhere, there, there and here“, she points to the wall in her garden.
Stephanie’s house was built on clay soil. During droughts, the soil shrinks and swells with water during rainy periods. Consequence: the ground moves and the houses with it.
“The gate sagged so much that we couldn’t close it at all. I had to take a tensioner and hook it to this pillar to keep the door in the “pressed” position but not closed, it was not possible“, she explains.
This mother is afraid of being robbed and no longer lets her dog out for fear that it will run away. But she refuses to pay for the work.
“It costs thousands of euros, we are in a period of high inflation and everything has taken 30%. Whether it is the craftsmen or the equipment. Especially since we’ve done improvement work, we don’t know if we’re going to stay there or not, and since in terms of resale, it’s honestly not possible to show your house with cracks,” notes Stephanie Richard.
In order for Stéphanie to be compensated by insurance, the city requested a “natural disaster” order from the prefecture. The first stage of an obstacle course.
“The prefect must appoint a reporter who will come to him on the spot and who will be the transmission belt between the citizens, the insurance companies and the services of the state, so that the prefect can send all these complaints to the ministry. explains Jean Pezin, deputy mayor responsible for city policy and security.
If Stéphanie is entitled to compensation, she will not receive anything until the summer of 2023. But according to the insurance companies, over half of the cases are rejected.
Written with Valentine Leboeuf.