What is liability insurance?

According to the law (art 1240 of the Civil Code), any person involuntarily causing material, immaterial or bodily harm to another has the obligation to repair it financially: it is the civil responsibility . If a person has taken out liability insurance , it is this insurance that will intervene to compensate the victim of the damage. What do you need to know about the subject?

Liability insurance: mandatory or not?

In principle, taking out civil liability insurance is not compulsory . However, there are situations where it is necessary. Thus, those who own a car must take out liability insurance as well as tenants. Note, however, that even if the law does not require this insurance, it is a good protection measure to get away with damage to others. In fact, without insurance and in the event of an accident, it is you who will be responsible for paying compensation to the victim. And that can come back very expensive.

To exonerate you from your liability, you must then prove the existence of a case of force majeure or fault of the victim.


Insurance with different forms

As you will have probably understood, liability insurance is present in many contracts and can take many forms. For illustration, third-party car insurance, school insurance or the guarantee against rental risks are all civil liability insurance contracts .

Third-party auto insurance covers the damage you have caused to the third party when you are driving a vehicle. The school insurance for its cover damage caused by your child as part of the school.

It should be noted that there is a specific contract on civil liability: the private liability contract . It covers several damage to third parties:

  • Damages caused by carelessness or negligence;
  • Damage caused by your children
  • The damage caused by your employees (person under your control);
  • Damage caused by your pet or the one you have temporary custody of;
  • Damage caused by your home or an object you own.

Liability insurance: the limits

Any contract with limits and a contract of civil liability insurance does not escape this principle. Thus, the civil liability guarantee always provides exclusion situations in which the insurance will not be put into play if there is damage done to others. These situations are referred to as contractual warranty exclusions.

More specifically, liability insurance will not be used if the damage was done intentionally or if it was caused to you or your loved ones (the latter not being considered as third parties). Apart from that, it can not be used for professional damage. To be covered, independent professionals (independent employees, company managers, etc.) must take out specific insurance: professional liability insurance. With regard to employees, they are covered by the professional liability of their company.