Cleaning up after a disaster: who has to pay in France?


Fire, water damage, burglary, or flooding are some of the different types of disasters that can happen to any occupant of a building, office space, house, etc. The occurrence of a disaster is a problem in itself. However, it can lead to other conflicts or problems, such as conflicts over who is responsible. This is why the topic of this article is post-disaster cleanup. We will answer the question: Who should be responsible for the costs? So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn more about this.

The insurance company


The insurance company to which the victim of the damage is subscribed will bear the costs of cleaning up after the damage if this responsibility of the insurer has been agreed upon between the two parties and stipulated in the clauses of the insurance contract. In addition, the insured is required to notify his insurer. In other words, he must declare the loss to his insurance company. And this, as soon as possible.

Moreover, according to the Insurance Code, in the Legislative Part, Book I, Title I, Chapter III on the obligations of the insurer and the insured, Article L113-2, Number 4, the insured is obliged “to give notice to the insurer, as soon as he is aware of it and at the latest within the time limit fixed by the contract, of any loss so as to entail the insurer’s guarantee (…)”.

The insured

In principle, the insurer’s assumption of liability, or even both parties’ assumption, is always specified in the insurance contract. The same applies to the types of loss covered. For example, in an insurance contract between insured A and insurer B, it is stipulated that in the event of a claim, the insurer is responsible for the entire cost of cleaning up after the loss.

If the insurance contract does not contain a clause on post-loss cleaning, either at the beginning or at the time of renewal, the insured must pay the costs of post-loss cleaning out of his pocket. However, in another contract signed by the same insurer, but concluded with another insured C, the insurer only partially covers the costs of post-loss cleaning. In this case, the payment of the costs of the post-loss cleaning must be covered by both parties.

The person responsible for the loss

In the case of claims that may occur as a result of the unintentional actions of others, the person(s) responsible for the claim will be responsible for the costs of cleaning up after the claim. To do so, they have two alternatives. In other words, either they pay out of their pocket or call on their insurance company’s services.

The Insurance Code, in the regulatory part, Book I, Title II, Chapter Iv on liability insurance, Article R*124-1 stipulates that “Insurance policies covering civil liability risks must provide that, with regard to this guarantee, no forfeiture motivated by a failure by the insured to meet his obligations committed after the loss will be enforceable against the injured parties or their beneficiaries.

They must not contain any clause prohibiting the insured from calling the insurer into question or calling it a guarantor in the event of a claim settlement. For your information, an insurance policy is just another name for the insurance contract.

Good to know:


The cost of a post-loss cleanup usually depends on various criteria, such as:

    • The general condition of the damaged area
    • The involvement of the insurer
    • The type of insurance taken out (home insurance, comprehensive home insurance, comprehensive business insurance, etc.)

It is always prudent to solicit the services of a professional cleaner to carry out the cleaning after a disaster.

Sound off in the comments section below and tell us what you want to read next and if you want to read more about cleaning up after a disaster.

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