Chatel law: easier insurance termination

What does the Chatel insurance law allow?

The Chatel law obliges the insurer to remind with the notice of annual expiry the deadline on which the insured can terminate his contract (usually 2 months before the due date).

  • The expiry notice must reach you at least 15 days before the deadline.
  • If the insurer does not respect this deadline, the termination deadline is postponed.

With the Chatel law voted in 2005 (Law No. 2005-67 of January 28, 2005 tending to strengthen consumer confidence and protection), cancel your insurance contract more easily! This law avoids the tacit renewal of a contract and makes termination easier.

What is the Chatel law?

Originally, the Chatel law was created to help the consumer to terminate a contract, in particular toinsurance. Before this law, the organizations that issued a contract were not obliged to remind the subscriber of the due date of the latter and very often renewed contracts without notifying the consumer. Since its implementation, this is fortunately no longer the case!

Indeed, insurers are now required to inform the subscriber of the possibility of not renew the contract. As the anniversary date of the signing of the contract approaches, the organizations must send you a notice of expiry indicating the termination deadline.

Thus, the Chatel law has at least two objectives:

  • release policyholders from automatic renewal of their contract In progress ;
  • stimulate the competition between insurance companies : the citizen will be able to change insurer more easily in case the current one no longer satisfies him.

Note: It is highly recommended to take out another insurance before terminating your current contract. Indeed, you risk being confronted with an “empty” period, that is to say without any insurance. For this, it may be wise to use an insurance comparator like, to find the best insurance according to your needs and your profile.

Which contracts are affected by the Chatel law?

But then which insurance contracts can be terminated under the Chatel law? The Chatel law was designed in particular to facilitate the termination of the following automatic renewal insurance contracts:

In which cases does the Chatel law not apply?

Caution: the Chatel law does not apply to group (collective) contracts or to death insurancenor to life insurance. It only concerns contracts with tacit renewal taken out by natural persons, and this outside their professional activities. It therefore does not work for professional insurance contracts either.

Loi Chatel: what is a notice of expiry?

The expiry notice is the document issued by your insurer to notify you that your contract is coming to its anniversary date. Your insurer can announce the expiry of your contract by a letter whose main subject is not “Expiry notice”. The notice of expiry will often be notified in small print at the bottom of the page. Most of the time, it will even take the form of a simple mail indicating the amount of the premium for the coming year. You must therefore be extremely vigilant when you receive a letter from your insurer.

How to cancel an insurance contract in progress?

Since the adoption of the Chatel law (cf. article L. 113-15-1 of the Insurance Code), insurers must be more transparent with their customers. This law notably protects the insured against the disadvantages of tacit renewal of his contract. Thanks to this, he can choose to terminate his contract easily. However, it is necessary to pay attention to the deadlines to be respected so that the cancellation is well taken into account by the insurer.

How long does the insurer have to send you the notice of expiry?

Thus, the insurer must notify the insured between 3 months and 15 days before the deadline for termination of his contract. For this, the insurer sends a letter to his client indicating that the current contract is about to expire and that it can either be renewed or terminated. He also mentions the contribution amount for the following year.

Attention : more and more insurers choose tosend the notice of expiry of the contract by e-mail instead of going through the traditional Postal route.

When should you send your termination letter?

If you chose to terminate under the Chatel lawyou must send the termination letter with acknowledgment of receipt (AR) within 20 days of the date of dispatch of the expiry notice by the insurer.

In which cases do the deadlines for terminating an insurance contract differ?

You receive the expiry notice less than 15 days before the end of the cancellation period:

If you receive the expiry notice less than 15 days before the end of the cancellation period (the postmark authentic), you have a new 20 day delay to request the termination of your contract. If notice is not received by the anniversary date, you may terminate your contract at any time; the latter will end the day after the date of dispatch.

The legal notices do not appear in the letter from the insurer:

If your insurer forgot the various Legal Notice in his letter, you can send him a termination letter by registered mail with AR from the date of tacit renewal.

The insurer forgets to send you the expiry notice:

If the insurer has omitted the expiry notice, you may then terminate your contract at any time from the renewal date, by registered letter with AR to the insurer. Termination will take effect the day after the date shown on the postmark.

In this case, the insured will have to pay his insurance premium for the period from the date of renewal to the date of termination. If the insured has paid an amount greater than the sum corresponding to this period, the insurer has the obligation to to reimburse on a pro rata basis within 30 days of its termination. If the insurer does not do so within the allotted time, it will have to pay additional interest to its former subscriber.

Not to be confused: other termination laws

What is the 2008 Chatel law for?

You should know that there is two Chatel laws. The first is that of 2005, which relates in particular to the termination of insurance contracts. The second is Law No. 2008-4 of January 3, 2008 for the development of competition at the service of consumers. It is the latter which concerns, for example, sports halls or telecom operators.

It therefore applies to your Canal +, Canal Satellite, internet or even telephone (Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom, Free, etc.) subscription.

What is the Hamon law?

The Hamon law, which is also called consumer law, has existed since 2015. Thanks to it, policyholders can terminate their insurance contract after one year of membership, for any reason and without being exposed to penalties. The Hamon law applies in particular to contracts with tacit renewal. However, unlike the Chatel law, it does not allow you to cancel health insurance.

Chatel Law FAQ

  • Who benefits from the Chatel law?

    The termination of insurance with the Chatel law is addressed individuals who have taken out individual insurance. They may be employees, self-employed workers, students, job seekers or retirees. Everyone can be affected.

  • Thanks to the Chatel law, your insurer is obliged to notify you of the notice of expiry of your contract. This allows you to easily terminate your insurance contract by sending termination letter with acknowledgment of receipt within 20 days of the date of dispatch of the notice of expiry.

  • Before the anniversary date, the insurer sends a letter to its client indicating that the current contract is about to expire and that it can be either renewed or terminated. This is when the contract can be interrupted (unless it has been more than a year with the Hamon law).

  • There is no difference with other insurance contracts: the Chatel law also concerns health insurance contracts, mutual health insurance or other health contracts.

  • Sample letter: “I hereby inform you that I want to terminate my insurance contract bearing the references (contract number) on the date of (to be specified) pursuant to the provisions of Article (L113-12) of the Insurance Code and in accordance with both the general and specific conditions of the contract”.

  • You can attach a copy of your new lease contract or a rent receipt, or an electricity, gas or telephone bill for your new home. You can also send a copy of the exit inventory of your previous accommodation.

  • You can terminate your contract at any time at the end of one year of insurancewithout having to justify yourself and without taking into account the annual deadline.

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