All French insurance companies, AXA included, require the policyholder
to take certain measures to secure the access to his home or secondary
residence. The requirements depend, among other things, on the insured
amount, on the postal code and on whether it is a primary or secondary
Typically, the insurance company will ask for a certain number of
locks on the front door and shutters or bars on windows. In some
cases an alarm system linked to a surveillance service may be required.
Failure to comply with these requirements could entail loss or reduction
Please also note that the policyholder is required to close shutters
whenever the house is left unattended for more than 24 hours. Obviously,
it makes sense to do so even during shorter periods of absence.
Also when it comes to prevention of frost damages, the policyholder
is obliged to take preventive measures. If a house is left uninhabited
and unheated for more than three consecutive days during the period
from 15 November to 15 March, the central heating system should
be emptied or secured with an anti-freeze liquid. In addition, the
main water tap should be turned off when the house is left for extended
"Contents" should be perceived very literally: it is what
is inside your house, flat or other buildings. Very few items are
covered outside your home (such as antenna, satellite dish, air
conditioning unit or awning). In other words, if the weather forecast
says "storm", put your garden furniture in the garage.
One out of four thefts is "inexplicable", in other words,
the thief had a key. Consequently, you may consider changing the
locks when taking over a house or flat or after a period of letting
to persons unknown to you, i.e. through an agency. Nobody knows
how many keys exist and who holds them. By the same token, always
pay key copies cash, never use cheques or credit cards.
Spread your valuables around the house - do not keep everything
in one place. And avoid the most obvious hiding places.
Once inside your house, the first thing the thief will look for
is a suitcase or a large bag! Hide them as well.
Many burglaries take place while the occupants of the house are
at home and consequently more careless. Do not leave your car keys,
wallets, credit cards etc lying about just inside the front door.
Outside your home keys and personal documents should preferably
be kept apart. If you loose both, the thief knows exactly where
Do not hide keys in the mail box, under the door mat or any other
place outside your house or flat. You will make the thief’s
job a lot easier, but not only that - your indemnity will be affected
Make sure you have proper documentation of the contents of your
home - before the accident happens. Keep documentation separately,
i.e. in a bank safe, with neighbours, friends or family. See FAQ
for requirements to documentation.
Many water damages happen because household appliances are left
unattended. Whenever possible, avoid using dish washer or laundry
machine during absence.
If you have a chimney you are required by law to have it swept once
a year. Keep the receipt – it is the first thing the loss
adjuster will ask for after a fire.
Gaz de France offers all clients a free check of the gas installation
in order to identify potential risks. Call 0810 163 000.
Buy a fire extinguisher and a smoke alarm. And make sure to have
them serviced on a regular basis.
Tenants and flat owners should check who the insurer of the building
is. AXA offers a discount in case the landlord or the owners’
association ("copropriété") is already insured
by AXA. AXA has a 30% market share in France so there is a fair
chance that you are lucky.