A damaged septic tank must be covered by insurance

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An insurer cannot maintain that the sanitation installation would not be part of the insured residential building, the Court of Cassation ruled. It is indeed an inseparable element of the main building and without it it would be unsuitable for residential use.

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Let’s get back to the facts. A resident took out an insurance contract with an insurer including “flood” cover for his house. Heavy rains flooded the land of this resident, destroying the septic tank in particular. The insurer then refused to pay for the repairs of the individual sanitation network damaged by the bad weather, citing the details of the clauses of the contract and the resident in question took him to court, to pay the insurance indemnity.

A network inseparable from the main building

The insurer declared to guarantee the main inhabited building, in its parts exclusively reserved for the dwelling, as well as some precisely listed installations such as the heating installation, the wall coverings, the verandas, etc. And according to him, the sanitation facility, being located outside in particular, did not meet any of these categories according to the clear and precise terms of the contract.

However, the Court of Cassation ruled, to reject this reasoning, in a judgment delivered on December 16, 2021, this network is inseparable from the main building since, if it does not exist, the building is unsuitable for the use of dwelling. For the Court, the insurance contract cannot make subtle distinctions between the parts of a building which would be insured and others which would not.

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