Title I: Insurance of motorized land vehicles and
their trailers and semi-trailers
Chapter I: The obligation to insure
Section I: Subjects.
Any natural person or any legal person other than the State, whose responsibility
civil liability may be incurred due to damage suffered by third parties resulting from
to persons or property in which a vehicle is involved, must,
to circulate it, be covered by insurance guaranteeing this
responsibility, under the conditions set by decree of the Council of State. For the application
of this article, “vehicle” means any land motor vehicle, that is to say
any self-propelled vehicle intended to travel on the ground and which can be operated by a
mechanical force without being tied to a railroad track, as well as any trailer, even not
Insurance contracts covering the liability mentioned in the first paragraph of
this article must also cover the civil liability of any person having the
custody or driving, even unauthorized, of the vehicle, with the exception of professionals
the repair, sale and control of the automobile, as well as the liability
civil liability of the passengers of the vehicle covered by the insurance. However, in the event of theft of a
vehicle, these contracts do not cover the repair of damage suffered by the perpetrators,
co-perpetrators or accomplices in the theft.
The insurer is subrogated in the rights possessed by the creditor of the indemnity against the
person responsible for the accident when the custody or driving of the vehicle was
obtained against the owner’s wishes.
These contracts must be taken out with an insurance company approved for
to carry out insurance operations against accidents resulting from the employment of
The members of the family of the driver or the insured, as well as the pupils of a
approved educational institution for the driving of land motor vehicles, in
training or examination courses, are considered as third parties within the meaning of the first
paragraph of this article.
The provisions of Article L. 211-1 are not applicable to damage caused by
railways and streetcars.
Section II: Scope of the insurance obligation.
The insurance provided for in Article L. 211-1 must include a liability guarantee
civil extending to all the territories of the Member States of the Community
European Union as well as to the territories of any third State for which the national
all the member states of the European Community are individually
guarantors of the settlement of claims occurring in their territory and caused by the
circulation of vehicles having their usual station in that third State. This
guarantee, when called upon to play outside French territory, is granted by
the insurer within the limits and conditions provided for by the national legislation of the State on
territory of which the accident occurred or by that of the State where the vehicle is
usual parking when insurance coverage is more favorable.
This insurance cannot be canceled and its premium cannot be modified due to a
stay of the vehicle in a Member State of the European Community other than the
France during the term of the contract.
This insurance must also include a guarantee of civil liability in the event of
loss occurring during the journey directly linking two territories where the treaty
establishing the European Economic Community is applicable, where it does not exist,
for the territory traveled, from the national insurance office.
In this case, the insurer is only required to cover damage which may be
victims nationals of the States mentioned in the first paragraph of this article,
under the conditions provided for by national legislation on compulsory insurance in
force in the State where the vehicle which caused the accident has its usual parking.
Article L. 211-4-1
The vehicle is deemed to have its usual parking place in France:
1 ° When he bears a registration plate which corresponds to him and which has been issued by
the French authorities;
2 ° When, although subject to the obligation of registration in France, it does not have
license plate or carries a plate that does not correspond to it or does not
corresponds more and that the accident occurs on French territory;
3 ° When it is not subject to the registration obligation and the person who has
guard is domiciled in France.
The Council of State decree mentioned in article L. 211-1 sets the conditions of application
of this title, and in particular the scope of the guarantee that must be included in the contract
insurance, the terms of establishment and validity of the supporting documents provided
for the exercise of control, as well as the obligations imposed on vehicle users
in international circulation with a letter of nationality other than the French letter.
Any insurance contract taken out by a person subject to the obligation established at
Article L. 211-1 is, notwithstanding any clauses to the contrary, deemed to include guarantees
at least equivalent to those set in the Council of State decree provided for in paragraph
Any clause stipulating the forfeiture of the insured’s cover in accordance with
conviction for driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol
or for driving after using substances or plants classified as narcotics.
The provisions of this title do not affect regulatory requirements.
in force, insofar as these prescriptions concern different risks or
impose more extensive obligations.
Section VI: Compensation procedures.
The provisions of this section apply, even when transported
under contract, to victims of a traffic accident in which is involved
a land motor vehicle and its trailers or semi-trailers, with the exception of
railways and trams running on their own tracks.
Whatever the nature of the damage, in the event that liability is not
contested and where the damage has been fully quantified, the insurer that guarantees the
civil liability due to a land motor vehicle is required to present to the
victim a reasoned offer of compensation within three months of the request
compensation presented to him. When responsibility is dismissed or is not
clearly established, or when the damage has not been fully quantified, the insurer
must, within the same time limit, give a reasoned response to the elements referred to in the
An offer of compensation must be made to the victim who suffered personal injury in the
the maximum period of eight months from the accident. In the event of the victim’s death,
the offer is made to his heirs and, if applicable, to his spouse. The offer then includes all
elements compensable for damage, including elements relating to damage to
goods when they have not been the subject of prior payment.
This offer may be provisional when the insurer has not, within three
month of the accident, was informed of the consolidation of the victim’s condition. The definitive offer
compensation must then be made within five months of the date on which
the insurer has been informed of this consolidation.
In any event, the most favorable timeframe for the victim applies.
In case of multiple vehicles, and if there are several insurers, the offer is made by
the insurer mandated by the others.
On the occasion of its first correspondence with the victim, the insurer is barely obliged
relative nullity of the transaction that could take place, to inform the victim that he can
obtain from him, on request, a copy of the police investigation report or
of the gendarmerie and to remind them that they can, at their discretion, be assisted by a
lawyer and, in the event of a medical examination, a doctor.
Under the same sanction, this correspondence brings to the attention of the victim the
provisions of the third paragraph of article L. 211-9 and those of article L. 211-12.
Since the insurer could not, through no fault of its own, know that the accident had
imposed disbursements on third-party payers referred to in article 29 of law n ° 85-677 of July 5
1985 and Article L. 211-25, they lose all rights to reimbursement against him and
against the author of the damage. However, the insurer cannot invoke such ignorance
with regard to organizations paying social security benefits.
In all cases, the failure to file claims from third-party payers, within a
four months from the request from the insurer, results in forfeiture of
their rights against the insurer and the author of the damage.
In the event that the request from the insurer does not mention the consolidation of
the state of the victim, the claims produced by third-party payers may be of a
provisional. The same is true when social security benefits are paid.
after opinion of the departmental commission for special education or the commission
guidance and professional reclassification technique.
When, because of the victim, the third-party payers were unable to assert their rights against
the insurer, they have recourse against the victim up to the amount of compensation he has
received from the insurer for the same head of loss and within the limits set out in
article 31 of law n ° 85-677 of July 5, 1985. They must act within two years of
from the request for payment of benefits.
When the offer has not been made within the time limits set out in Article L. 211-9, the amount of
the compensation offered by the insurer or allocated by the judge to the victim produces full interest
right to double the legal interest rate from the expiration of the period until the day
of the offer or of the judgment which has become final. This penalty may be reduced by the judge by
due to circumstances not attributable to the insurer.
If the judge who fixes the indemnity considers that the offer proposed by the insurer was
manifestly insufficient, it automatically orders the insurer to pay into the guarantee fund
provided for in Article L. 421-1 a sum at most equal to 15% of the allowance allocated, without
prejudice to the damages owed by this fact to the victim.
The insurer must submit to the guardianship judge or the family council, competent following
the cases to authorize it, any transaction project concerning a minor or a major in
guardianship. He must also give an informal notice to the guardianship judge, fifteen days
less in advance, of the payment of the first arrears of an annuity or of any sum owed
be paid as compensation to the legal representative of the protected person.
The payment which has not been preceded by the required notice or the transaction which has not been
authorized can be canceled at the request of any interested party or the public prosecutor to
with the exception of the insurer.
Any clause by which the legal representative vouches for the ratification by the minor
or the adult in guardianship of one of the acts mentioned in the first paragraph of this article
The victim may, by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt, denounce the
transaction within fifteen days of its conclusion.
Any clause of the transaction by which the victim gives up his right of denunciation
The above provisions must be reproduced in conspicuous characters in
the transaction offer and in the transaction under penalty of relative nullity thereof.
Payment of the agreed sums must be made within one month after
the expiry of the denunciation period set in article L. 211-16. Otherwise, the
unpaid sums automatically produce interest at the legal rate increased by half
for two months, then, at the end of these two months, to double the legal rate.
In the event of a conviction resulting from an enforceable court decision, even by
provision, the legal interest rate is increased by 50% at the end of a period of two
months and it is doubled at the end of a period of four months from the day of the
court decision, when it is contradictory and, in other cases, the day of the
notification of the decision.
The victim may, within the time limit provided for by article 2270-1 of the civil code, request
compensation for the aggravation of the damage it suffered to the insurer who paid the compensation.
When the insurer invokes an exception of legal or contractual guarantee, it is required
to meet the requirements of Articles L. 211-9 to L. 211-17 on whose behalf it
will belong; the transaction may be contested before the judge by the one for
the account of which it will have been made, without questioning the amount of sums
allocated to the victim or his dependents.
For the application of Articles L. 211-9 to L. 211-17, the State as well as the communities
public, companies or organizations benefiting from an exemption under Article
- 211-2 are assimilated to an insurer.
The provisions of Articles L. 211-9, L. 211-10 and L. 211-13 to L. 211-19 are applicable
to the guarantee fund for compulsory damage insurance instituted by article L.
421-1, in its relations with the victims or their beneficiaries; however, the deadlines
provided for in Article L. 211-9 run against the fund from the day on which it received the
elements justifying its intervention.
The application of Articles L. 211-13 and L. 211-14 does not preclude the provisions
regulations governing legal actions against the fund. When the fund
guarantee is held at the interest provided for in article L. 211-14, they are paid to the Treasury.
Under the control of the public authority, a periodical publication reports on
indemnities fixed by judgments and settlements.
A decree in the Council of State sets the measures necessary for the application of this
section. It determines in particular the causes of suspension or extension of time limits.
mentioned in Article L. 211-9, as well as the reciprocal information that must be
the insurer, the victim and the third party payers.
The first two paragraphs of article 33 of law n ° 85-677 of July 5, 1985 are
applicable to insurers.
Where it is provided for by contract, the subrogatory recourse of the insurer who has paid to the
victim an advance on compensation due to the accident may be exercised against the insurer
of the person required to make reparation within the limit of the balance remaining after payments to
third parties referred to in article 29 of the same law of 5 July 1985. It must be exercised, if necessary,
within the time limits set by law for third-party payers to produce their claims.
Section VII: Penalties.
The provisions of the Highway Code punishing the driving of a land motor vehicle
without being covered by insurance guaranteeing civil liability in accordance with
the provisions of article L. 211-1 of this code are reproduced below:
“Art. L. 324-2 – I. – The fact, including through negligence, of putting or maintaining
circulation of a land motor vehicle and its trailers or semi-trailers
without being covered by insurance guaranteeing civil liability in accordance with
to the provisions of Article L. 211-1 of the Insurance Code is punished by 3,750 euros
- – Anyone guilty of the offense provided for in this article also incurs
the following additional penalties:
1 ° The sentence of community service, in accordance with the terms provided for in article 131-8 of
penal code and under the conditions provided for in articles 131-22 to 131-24 of the same code;
2 ° The penalty of days-fine under the conditions set out in articles 131-5 and 131-25 of
Penal Code ;
3 ° The suspension, for a period of three years at most, of the driving license, this
suspension that cannot be limited to driving outside the activity
4 ° The cancellation of the driving license with prohibition to request the issuance of a
new license for up to three years;
5 ° The ban on driving certain land motor vehicles, including those for
driving for which a driving license is not required, for a period of five years at
6 ° The obligation to complete, at their own expense, a road safety awareness course;
7 ° Confiscation of the vehicle which the convicted person used to commit the offense, if he
is the owner.
III. – Immobilization may be prescribed under the conditions provided for in Articles L. 325-1 to
- 325-3. “
The fines pronounced for violation of the insurance obligation provided for in article L.
211-1, including the fines that a pardon measure would have substituted for
imprisonment, are affected by an increase of 50% perceived, during their
recovery, in favor of the Guarantee Fund established by Article L. 420-1.
If the civil court is seized of a serious dispute, relating to the existence or
validity of the insurance, the criminal court called upon to rule on the prosecution
exercised for breach of the insurance obligation postpones proceedings until it has been
judged definitively on the dispute.
The provisions of this article do not apply when the insurance of the
civil liability concerns vehicles having their usual parking on the
territory of a State referred to in Article L. 211-4 with the exception of France and Monaco.
Chapter II: The obligation to insure – The central office of
Anyone subject to compulsory insurance who, having requested the subscription of a
contract with an insurance company covering in France the risks of
civil liability resulting from the use of motorized land vehicles, is opposed
a refusal, can seize a central pricing office whose conditions of constitution and
the operating rules are set by the Council of State decree provided for in article L.
The central pricing office has the exclusive role of setting the amount of the premium
whereby the insurance undertaking concerned is required to cover the risk which
was offered to him. He may, under the conditions set by the decree of the Council of State
above, determine the amount of a deductible which remains the responsibility of the insured.
Any clause in reinsurance treaties tending to exclude certain risks from the
reinsurance guarantee due to the pricing adopted by the central office of
Any insurance company that covers the risk of civil liability resulting from
the use of motorized land vehicles which maintains its refusal to guarantee the risk of which
the premium was set by the central pricing office is considered ne
operating no longer in accordance with the regulations in force. It incurs, as the case may be,
either the withdrawal of the approvals provided for in Articles L. 321-1, L. 321-7, L. 321-8 or L. 321-9,
or the penalties provided for in Articles L. 351-7, L. 351-8 and L. 363-4.
Chapter IV: Provisions specific to departments and
overseas territories and Mayotte
Section I: Provisions specific to departments
Decrees in the Council of State set the date of entry into force, as well as the modalities
application or adaptation of Chapters I and II to the overseas departments.