All about auto insurance

What is auto insurance? What does it protect? What are the different formulas and guarantees? What are the possible options? How to subscribe online? How to terminate (without necessarily waiting for the expiry date of your contract)? Review of details.

If you are still asking yourself THE question (is auto insurance compulsory?), The answer is YES, definitely YES. The law of February 27, 1958 is formal: all car owners must insure their vehicle, at least with the help of a liability cover (otherwise known as the third party formula).

This auto insurance is intended for cover compensation for material damage and bodily injury that you (the driver of the car or your passengers) could cause in an accident involving your vehicle. We will see below the various guarantees that can be the subject of an auto insurance contract: all risks, third parties, intermediate auto insurance …


If car insurance is therefore compulsory, you obviously remain free to choose your insurance company and your auto insurance contract. All auto insurance companies offer roughly the same types of contract but often at very different prices depending on the different options offered.

Concretely, and above all, your interest is obviously to carry out a car insurance simulation before you decide. For this, there are online comparators very well made and very easy to use.

And if, like millions of users, you choose to take advantage of the services of a comparator, the site is for you! In a few clicks, you will have access to a comparison of all auto insurance contracts available and you will certainly be able to save several hundred euros on your annual subscription!

Overview of the three main auto insurance contracts

Third party auto insurance

Third party auto insurance is, as we have seen, the mandatory minimum guarantee included in all auto insurance contracts. It supports the repair of damage (material and / or bodily) caused to the victim (the third party) during a disaster for which you could be responsible.

As part of this third party auto insurance, you can also take out additional options (guarantees), not included in the initial contract. This is the case, for example, of the driver’s warranty, glass breakage, theft, fire, natural disasters, legal protection, attack coverage …

Comprehensive insurance

All-risk insurance is undoubtedly the preferred car insurance of the French. Extremely comprehensive, it offers a maximum of guarantees (theft, damage and collision coverage, etc.) and allows you to be compensated in most responsible claims.

As with third party auto insurance, it also allows subscription of additional guarantees : mechanical breakdown guarantee, extension for all drivers, extended legal protection, loan of a courtesy vehicle in the event of immobilization of your vehicle, assistance 24/24, 7/7 in the event of an accident (in France and in most foreign countries), help in drafting your amicable report …

Good to know : Some companies offer all-risk eco auto insurance packages. As its name suggests, all-risk eco auto insurance allows you to be insured in the event of a responsible accident … without however benefiting from all the guarantees offered by the classic all-risk formula.

Intermediate auto insurance

Halfway between third-party auto insurance and all-risk insurance, intermediate auto insurance offers improved liability thanks to additional guarantees such as compensation in the event of theft, fire, broken glass , storms, natural disasters …

Your choice will depend on several factors including the type of vehicle to be insured, your budget and the profile of the driver. Indeed, young driver auto insurance will cost more on average.

Which auto insurance contract to choose?

Contrary to what one might think, comprehensive insurance is not necessarily the best choice when it comes to guarantees / premiums / reimbursement. Indeed, a vehicle 10 years old or with high mileage (in other words vehicles with a low rating) will be largely satisfied with a third party auto insurance.

Conversely, a new and / or expensive vehicle (luxury cars, SUVs, etc.) will be much better covered by comprehensive insurance in the event of theft or major accident. Indeed, most all-risk auto insurance contracts include, for example compensation up to the purchase price of the vehicle in the event of a claim, for the first two years following the acquisition.

And if you buy a used vehicle, it’s up to you to decide according to its purchase cost, the value of its coast, its condition, its mileage. A good opportunity ? Opt for intermediate auto insurance : you could be a winner in the event of theft. A truly affordable opportunity: third-party auto insurance will do the trick and won’t strain your car budget.

In all cases, a preliminary auto insurance simulation is always essential, coupled with a comparison between the different companies.

Auto insurance and special cases

What auto insurance for your electric car?

In this specific case, it is less the type of contract that should interest you than the specific guarantees that you could choose and which could be extremely useful to you in case of problems on the roads. What would you say, for example, to being towed free of charge to the nearest charging station in the event of a “dry” power failure? There are also other specific guarantees such as 0 km power failure assistance, coverage for electrical damage related to recharging, etc.

What auto insurance for a leased car?

If you have opted for a leased car (or LOA: rental with option to purchase), no problem! Most auto insurance companies offer a car leasing option in their contracts. And here too, do not expect to cut it! Even leased cars must be insured …

What auto insurance for a car without a license?

Without a license or not, the carts must also be insured. Again, do not hesitate to simulate and compare. All unlicensed cars are not the same (number of passengers, engine power, etc.), and the insurance premium can vary significantly depending on the formulas and guarantees chosen.

Other special cases: foreign license, young driver, temporary car insurance, car insurance per kilometer, etc.

You can insure your vehicle with a valid foreign license.

Good to know : For non-European permits, you can obtain validation for one year under certain conditions.

If you are a young driver, you are THE risk profile par excellence for insurance companies. Expect premium increases of up to 100% for the first two years after getting a driver’s license!Good to know : are you a young driver but have benefited from accompanied driving? The increase in your premium will not exceed 50% … Additional cost further reduced by 50% at the end of the first year if the insured has not caused a self-responsible claim.

If you want to insure your car for up to 90 days, temporary auto insurance is for you.

Good to know : you must be at least 21 years old and have had your license for at least 2 years.

If you use your car little during the year, you can opt for auto insurance per km: you will then pay according to the number of kilometers actually traveled.

Good to know : You can also choose the mileage package: in this case, you agree not to exceed the number of annual kilometers that you will have determined with your insurer.

Buy car insurance online, instructions

Whatever auto insurance company that you choose, you will be asked:

  • The date of your driving license (month / year, shown on your driving license)
  • The driving license date of your spouse / partner (month / year) if you are married, in a civil partnership or in a cohabitation (present on your driver’s license)
  • The date (month / year) of the vehicle to be insured (present on your registration card)
  • Dates of possible claims (month / year) less than 3 years old (data present on the last information statement sent by your insurance company)
  • The date (month / year) and the results of any blood alcohol tests under 5 years old

If you are currently insured, you will also need to provide:

  • The expiry month of your current contract (present on your current insurance contract)
  • The value of your auto bonus / penalty current (present on the last information statement sent by your insurance company)

After providing the requested data … and paying all or part of the insurance premium, you will quickly receive your auto insurance certificate (the famous green card) which will be used to certify the insurance of your vehicle, particularly in the event of a police check or accident.

Good to know : when you subscribe online, you benefit from a 14 day withdrawal period after subscription, if and only the contract is not effective immediately. Otherwise (immediate effect or within 7 days after signing), withdrawal is no longer possible.

To save money, use an online comparator

Simple, fast and exhaustive, a comparator worthy of the name ( for example) will allow you to scan all the offers of insurance companies. You will then be able to compare in all transparency the auto insurance quotes, the prices, the guarantees offered, the amount of the deductible … Insurance for you to choose the best contract, corresponding precisely to your needs, your vehicle and your budget.

Auto insurance cancellation, instructions for use

Whatever your reasons (price, guarantees, etc.), you can (relatively easily) terminate your auto insurance contract. For this, you will rely on the 2 leading laws of the market: the Chatel law and the Hamon law.

Chatel law

The Chatel law is intended to prevent the automatic renewal of current contracts: since its promulgation, auto insurance companies have the obligation to send you a notice of expiry of your contract between 3 months and 15 days before the date. of maturity.

Good to know : In the event that your insurer fails to send the expiration date of your auto insurance, you can cancel your contract at any time. In the event that you receive your notice of expiry after the deadline, you have 20 days to request the possible termination of the contract.

Hamon law

The Hamon law allows you to terminate your auto insurance whenever you wish after one year of engagement!

Good to know : It is your new insurer who, if you wish, will take care of all the steps to complete the termination.

Once your insurer is terminated, you just need to compare these car insurances to find your contract.