In the event of a dispute, is it possible to contact the direct opposing insurer?

The case: Mr. P. is overwhelmed that his neighbor upstairs, causing water damage in his apartment, did not stop the leak or warn his insurer. Can he write directly to the company, without going through his own?

The lawyer’s answer: Yes, because in the case of damage caused by others, the Insurance Code allows the injured third party to go directly to the opposing insurer, which guarantees the civil liability of the author of the damage. And there is no need, in this regard, for the victim to have previously seized his own company, as the Court of Cassation reminded an insurer who had not responded to the claim made against him by a motorist. , victim of a traffic jam, caused by a customer of the company who, for his part, did not consider it appropriate to declare the accident (2nd Civil Chamber, Judgment No. 20-16.340 of December 16, 2021).

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While this insurer pointed out that the injured driver herself had not complied with the obligation of the insured to declare any claim capable of entailing the guarantee contained in the contract, and that if she had complied with that obligation, she would not have had to pay the 2,000 euros of diligence, the judges ruled that “the admissibility of the direct action against this insurer is not subject to the prior declaration of the claim by the victim to his own insurer ». So there is nothing to prevent Mr. P. from turning against his neighbor’s company, without carrying out any other formalities.

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By Barthélemy Lemiale, lawyer at the Court, partner in the firm Valmy.

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