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Preparing for a long car journey

One consequence of the coronavirus pandemic might be that more of us are attracted to using the car to go on holiday, rather than by flying, or taking a train or a coach. This may mean that more of us might be driving longer distances than we are used to. With that in mind, here are some reminders.

The obvious point maybe be worth starting with: if you've been off the road for a long time (or even used to driving on much emptier roads), excess speed will be your biggest potential danger. If you picked them up in the first place, don't lapse into bad speeding habits.

Camping and your insurance

Now that 'lockdown' is over and summer is starting, here's a reminder about camping rules and regulations and some advice about your insurance. We look at le camping sauvage, bivouacking and where you can park your motorhome or campervan.

The 'staycation' may be in favour this year, so it counts to be prepared.

More generous reimbursements planned for those with health insurance

A reform of the reimbursement system for health insurance in France is under way. The evolving scheme was first announced back in June 2018 and is planned for completion by 2021. Plans currently under way aim to reduce the real cost you might have to pay opticians, dentists and audiologists by introducing a full reimbursement scheme by 2021. This will apply only if you hold a 'top-up' (complémentaire or mutuelle) health insurance policy. You may see this reform referred to - not completely accurately - as the 100% santé reform.

In case of flash-flooding

Prevencia will be here for you if you need to claim on your home insurance because of flooding. But it's wise to be prepared and know in advance what you should do if you are faced with the phenomenon of flash-floods. Here are some timely reminders that we hope you won't need to call upon.

Your security comes first!

Inside your property:

Poolside security

The pleasure of using your own swimming pool is always greater if you are safe in the knowledge that you have done your best to reduce all possible risks. Swimming pools pose inherent risks (and 5cm of water is all it takes for the worst to happen in tragic circumstances), but it is possible to plan to limit these risks as far as possible. Now that the swimming season is back again (most of the time), the following timely reminders may be appropriate.

Prepare to say goodbye to chemical pesticides and herbicides in your garden

From January 1st 2019, the sale, use and storage of chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides for use in your garden will be prohibited. This follows restrictions already in place (since the beginning of 2017) for this category of product in public gardens, but leaves their broader use in agriculture and farming unchanged - for the moment.

Tinted car windows

Tinted car windows (vitres teintées) are becoming more and more popular - both as an after-sales option and as a manufacturer's option for new vehicles. What we see in the movies, we now see on our roads and streets. This growing popularity can be explained by four reasons:

Crit'Air pollution vignettes

Towns and cities across Europe are battling with air pollution, a threat to public health caused by the vehicles we drive and the particulates, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide that they emit. Various countries across mainland Europe have adopted a system for restricting circulation and access of the most polluting vehicles (or favouring circulation and access to those vehicles that pollute less).

Speed limit changes

By now you will have picked up on the fact that a small but significant change has been made to the speed limits that most probably apply to roads near you. From 1st July 2018 the old speed limit of 90 km/h (56 mph) on certain roads has been reduced to 80 km/h (50 mph).

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