Family insurance

What does Family RC cover?

As soon as you are responsible for an accident in your private life, family R.C. insurance, also called private life insurance, compensates the victims. It covers material damage, bodily injury or any other type of damage. However, it does not cover the risks for which another compulsory R.C. insurance must be taken into account (accidents for which you are responsible in the car for example).
In order for family C.C. insurance to take effect, you must be responsible for an accident.

What is civil liability?

In short, civil liability is the obligation to repair the damage caused by one's fault or by the fault of people for whom one must answer. This is the case of parents who are responsible for their minor children, guardians for the people they have in their care (a person with dementia for example).

The responsibility can appear in any circumstance: during the practice of a sport, during your gardening, during your vacation stay in a hotel,… To know if you are really responsible for the incident, everything will be a question of circumstances and cases are examined on a case by case basis by the insurer.

However, for you to be considered responsible for an accident, three elements must be present: a fault on your part, damage caused to others and that the damage was caused by this fault (this is what calls the causal link between fault and damage):

A fault: it can be an action, an omission or a negligence. The existence or otherwise of a fault will be examined in relation to reasonable and prudent behavior in the same circumstances. Conversely, it is not, for example, reasonable and prudent to let your child play tennis on the party wall of the garden just behind which is your neighbor's all-glass veranda. This behavior is therefore faulty;
damage: the damage may be bodily, material or other (loss of income, salary, turnover, etc.).

Where should this damage come from?

- Of oneself.
- Of a person to whom we must answer.
- An object you own or have in your care (for example, an exploding TV).
- From a building that has not been maintained (for example, a brick from a ruined building comes off and falls on a car);
- Of an animal in our care; you don't necessarily have to be the owner. For example, your neighbor comes out your dog every day and the dog bites the calves of a passer-by during his walk. During the time of the walk, your neighbor takes care of your dog. Your neighbor is therefore responsible for the damage your dog has caused. It is his family R.C. which in this case will intervene; a causal link between the fault and the damage: there must be a link between the fault and the damage which has been caused. Let's take the example of a child playing tennis against the party wall and breaking the glass on the veranda. Upon hearing the noise of the broken glass, his neighbor, who has a weak heart, has a heart attack and must be taken to the hospital. The causal link between having let the child play tennis on the party wall and the broken glass is certain. Family R.C. insurance will therefore intervene for this damage. On the other hand, the causal link between having let the child play tennis on the party wall and the neighbor's infarction is less certain. The cause of the infarction is probably first linked to weakness of the heart. All of this is a matter of examining and assessing the facts.

Who is insured?

Family insurance covers your civil liability as well as that of other people for whom you are responsible. This goes far beyond the scope of your family members. This may be :

- Your spouse, or your cohabiting spouse if you live under the same roof.
- All the people who live with you, even if they are not domiciled there (example, the children of divorced couples with alternate custody, the children of your spouse) and even if they do not live there (for example: children who live together while studying or who go on a trip);
- People who temporarily stay with you (an exchange student, an au pair for example).

Be sure to inform your insurer:

- The people in your care (example: minor children during a birthday party, your minor grandchildren who come to spend their holidays with you).
- The people who keep your children or pets, for the damage they would cause to people other than you, your spouse and the people who live under your roof, ...).

- This list is not exhaustive. What is meant by "insured" can vary from one insurance contract to another. Check it well in your contract. If you are about to sign a contract, ask your insurer or broker to explain to you what is offered in the contract.

The main exclusions from coverage

The Family R.C. aims to protect people in the context of private life. The notion of privacy is very broad. This therefore means that this insurance could intervene in a large number of situations.

However, the law determines what exclusions (art. 6) the insurer can indicate in its insurance contract.

Here are a few examples:

- accidents that occur in the workplace (if, for example, you are a plumber and accidentally cause a flood in one of your customers);
- claims covered by compulsory R.C. insurance (such as auto R.C.);
- damage that you cause by practicing certain leisure activities or risky sports, the practice of which is considered a fault that the insurer does not want to insure, which is stipulated in the contract: such as bungee jumping, parachuting ;
- claims caused by certain vehicles or equipment for which you are responsible (motor boats in particular);
- hunting accidents;
- damage caused as part of a contractual relationship. Example: you rent a house by the sea and your children break the bed base by jumping on it.

Please note: there is no obligation for insurers to provide for these exclusions. The law provides a minimum framework for coverage. Nothing prevents the insurer from covering you beyond this minimum framework. Example: damage caused by saddle horses can be legally excluded. However, insured persons who practice horse riding can ask their insurer not to apply this exclusion. So read your contract carefully to know the exclusions.

Remember that the damage suffered by you and your household members is not covered by your family C.C.

What remains at your expense?

Insurers will generally provide a deductible in the R.C. Family insurance contract. A deductible is an amount that remains at your expense. This means that in the event of a claim, the Family R.C. insurer will compensate the victims for the damage caused by the insured who is responsible, after deducting the excess. It is up to the insured himself to pay the deductible to the victim. Example: your child knocks down a pedestrian while playing with his remote-controlled car. The pedestrian must be operated on the knee. Its costs amount to 1,500 euros. The deductible for Family Liability insurance is 200 euros. The insurer will pay an amount of 1,300 euros (1,500 euros - 200 euros excess) to the pedestrian, and you will pay the amount of the excess amounting to 200 euros as liable for the damage.

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