Immovable. Housing destroyed during a war: does your insurance reimburse?

Far be it from us to hope that bombs will rain down on French soil in order to see its effects on real estate. But while a theater of war is unfolding on European soil, it is not uninteresting to wonder about the policy of insurance in terms of compensation in time of war.

In the event of partial or total destruction, would the owner of a property in France be covered by his insurance?

A disclaimer of warranty

“It’s no”, slice, unequivocally, Jérôme Robin, director and founder of NousAssurons, specialist in insurance brokerage. An owner would not be compensated if his property was destroyed by a war on French soil.

Indeed, direct or indirect damage caused by explosions, irradiation, mines, war machines are not covered by insurance, whether you are owner-occupiers or lessors. This is an exclusion in multi-risk home insurance, “that is to say all the eventualities for which your insurer will not cover you in the event of a disaster, such as war”, specifies Jérôme Robin.

In concrete terms, the law exempts insurers from covering losses and damages caused by war, whatever its nature: foreign war, civil war, riots or popular movements.

“And even if a very far-sighted insured would like to pay more to be insured against this damage, it is impossible: the insurance code does not provide coverage for this specific damage,” he adds.

A nuanced answer

The answer to this question, however, requires a nuance. If you have finished paying the credit financing your home when it is destroyed, then you cannot expect any compensation.

On the other hand, if you still have a loan running on your home, a solution can however work in your favor. “If the medical profession recognizes that your mental state is affected by the destruction of your home, that you are depressed for example, then the insurance linked to your mortgage could cover the monthly payments of your credit”, specifies Jérôme Robin.

Compensation in the past

In the past, compensation schemes for owners who have seen their homes destroyed have existed in France, in different forms, as explained in an article by Forbes magazine.

In 1792 was born a principle of “citizen fraternity”, allowing the compensation of an injured owner in the event of war. A principle completely swept away in 1823 under the Restoration.

At the end of the Second World War, a new law voted in 1946 allowed the compensation and repair of damage caused to real estate by acts of war.

The state to the rescue?

Provisions that have become obsolete since July 1976… Article L.121-8 establishing the fact that “the insurer does not respond, unless otherwise agreed, for losses and damages caused either by foreign war, or by civil war, or by riots or by popular movements. An article still in force today.

But Jérôme Robin also wants to be reassuring: “The French State has always taken exceptional compensation measures in the past. We saw it again with those taken during the Covid crisis. It is therefore easy to imagine that in the event of war, it would still take compensation measures for property owners today. »

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