Decennial liability insurance

Who is affected by decennial liability insurance?

All contractors, real estate developers, developers, project managers, architects, technicians, design offices, consulting engineers and providers linked to project owners concerned by the construction of a new building or by a renovation are compulsorily subject to a ten-year liability regime. The latter engages the responsibility of these professionals for ten years in the event of damage. They are thus required to repair at their own expense the damage observed during the ten years covered by this insurance. This period starts from the signature of the reception of the works, that is to say at the official end of the works. The ten-year guarantee applies to future owners as well as to possible successive buyers of the work. "Work" means a house, a swimming pool, a veranda, a heating installation, etc. In the event of the sale of the building concerned within ten years of its construction, the sale contract must mention the existence or not of decennial insurance.

Namely: in accordance with French law, the decennial insurance also applies to foreign building professionals who work on French soil. In addition, the deductible required by the insurer is the responsibility of the building professional. See here for more information on insurance.

What damage is covered by the decennial liability insurance?

The ten-year warranty applies to all the most important structural defects or damage. They may concern the solidity of the structure and its equipment or all the damage which makes a building uninhabitable due, for example, to leaks or significant cracks.

The damage covered by the decennial insurance can therefore relate as much to the large structure such as the walls, the frame, the roof, etc., as to the equipment of the house, such as a heat pump, if their malfunctions make the uninhabitable good. It can also be a question of faults or defects relating to joinery, electricity or even insulation. On the other hand, the decennial insurance does not apply for aesthetic inconveniences.

In which cases is the decennial liability insurance valid?

The ten-year insurance must have been taken out before the start of the works to be taken into account. All work started before its subscription cannot be covered by this guarantee. On the other hand, it is mandatory that the ten-year insurance is valid in the geographical area where the work is taking place.

Building professionals (artisans and auto-entrepreneurs) must therefore provide their customers or the contracting authority, before the opening of the site, with proof of the ten-year civil liability insurance contract they have taken out to cover the ten-year guarantee. This certificate must also be attached to each quote and each invoice issued by building professionals. It must also include the contact details of the insurer and the geographic coverage of the ten-year insurance contract.

How to play decennial liability insurance?

As soon as defects or damage are noted following new or renovation work on a building, the owner must quickly send the company behind the work causing the problem a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt mentioning the defects and which gives notice to the company to carry out the repair work. The latter has the obligation to remedy it, at its expense, within ten years of receipt of the work. Otherwise, the person who suffers the damage can seize the competent court according to the amount of the litigation (the district court for litigation lower than 10 000 euros or the district court for amounts higher than 10 000 euros).

The damage observed must also be reported to the insurer of the owner of the building under his construction damage-work insurance, compulsory insurance in the event of construction work which allows, in the event of a claim, to be reimbursed quickly for all of the work of repair of damage covered by the ten-year guarantee.


02 395 53 67