French health insurance


SOFICAS has partnered with a top car and house insurance broker: EUROPEA CONSEIL.

Like SOFICAS, they are dedicated to the Anglophone population living in France or on the point of doing so. Sharing the same head office in Bordeaux and the same high standards of service that SOFICAS clients have been accustomed. EUROPEA CONSEIL will be delighted to serve you too.

EUROPEA CONSEIL, like SOFICAS is an independent broker and as a SOFICAS client, you have a privileged access to the best offers from AXA, ALLIANZ, GENERALI amongst others.

Click on the logo below, fill in your details and EUROPEA CONSEIL will get in touch with you to talk about your house and/or car insurance needs very soon.



EUROPEA CONSEIL - 6 rue Jean Croix Treyeran - 33200 BORDEAUX - 05 57 09 20 08
RCS BX 493 323 679 - SARL au capital de 8000 €. Code APE 6622 Z
Carte professionnelle immobilière N° CPI 3301 2018 0000 38024 délivrée par la CCI de Bordeaux
CIF n° ECCIF144010. Membre de l'ANACOFI-CIF, association agrée par l'AMF



 Antoine BERTIN   -     Hubert de THOISY     -   Isabelle MAIRE


Temporary Private Health Insurance application
APRIL International PHI



The MY TRAVEL COVER by APRIL is full private cover whilst traveling.

Options are available to cover you anywhere in the world and personalised durations.

No medical details and immidiate cover on the EMERGANCY level only.  

The MTC can replace minimum French health requirements that are needed to register with the French authorities when applying for residency and your Carte Vital.

For VLS-TS applications an APRIL MHI policy is required. Please contact SOFICAS for further details.

To get your personalised quote for APRIL PHI, please click on the APRIL LOGO and fill in all information requested.

To change the language to English, simply click on the small green globe (top left) and select English.

Top-Up health insurance

950 route des Colles
Les Templiers
06410 - BIOT

ASAF (Association Santé et Action Familiale)
AFPS (Action Familiale de Prévoyence Sociale)

Established in 1974 with the objective of making accessible, Top-Up health covers to everyone, whatever their age, their personal situation or their particular health needs.

ASAF’s human resources and technical dispositions are supported by GIEPS (Groupement d'Intérêt Économique de Prévoyance Sociale) this gives us the possibility to maintain a sensibly sized structure with around 180 employees offering to adherents the best possible services.
At the end of 2010, ASAF & AFPS had 251 000 members.
 The reputation of secure insurer since the beginning, the group contract with AXA guaranteed financial solidarity to the durability to ASAF.

 Top-Up, Régime Complémentaire or Mutuelle.  

Most medical treatments are only partially covered by the régime obligatoire and some not at all.  It is French way of life to take out an additional insurance that works hand-in-glove with the French regime obligatoires to reduce or eliminate such shortfalls. 

Different levels of cover, adapted to different needs and especially for different budgets.  It is important to understand that French Top-Ups are designed to cover expensive unplanned medical bills incurred during treatment and not just to get a new set of dentures.  Unlike any other insurance, it is not because one person makes a claim that their premiums will increase.  Effectively in comparison, you could say that people in good health pay for people in need of treatment.  The Top-Up system is based on “solidarity” like the CPAM.  To stop your premiums shooting through the roof should you fall seriously ill, the costs will spread out annually to all clients, thus making Top-Up insurance accessible to everyone.  Those that are unable to afford Top-Up are granted help from the government called ACS to contribute towards a Top-Up proving how important it is to take out such insurance. 

Top-Ups starts at 100% of the base de convention and can go up to 600% or more depending on your needs and especially what area you live in. 

SOFICAS recommends middle of the range cover, around 200% for hospitalization permitting you to use Doctors charging twice the "Tarif de Convention“ but lower for other medical treatment as some base rates are very low.

Obligatory Health Insurance
Regime Obligatoire


National Health Service

Everyone will need to contact the NHS at one point.
It is the DWP that will issue your documents showing your reciprocal rights to French social security cover.
Even those with no rights will need to contact the DWP to obtain a document proving your ineligibility.
0044 (0) 191 218 (1999) or (7777)


Link to the "Accessing healthcare in France" NHS Official page.


The EHIC is entirely free of charge.  However, other, unofficial, websites may charge you if you apply through them. If you're having difficulties with the online application form, to update your personal details, or to replace a lost or stolen card, call the automated EHIC application service on 0845 606 2030.

Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie

French equivalent to the NHS.
French Social Security for salaried workers.
If you are employed in France, your employer must contribute to your health cover.
People still in possession of international rights must register with their local CPAM office.
Contact the English help line on 0811 36 36 46

Find your local CPAM office and contact details.
Simply put your post code, validate and chose the closest office to your location.

 On the AMELI site, you can see your personal account and reimbursements from the CPAM(French only).On your first visit you will need to enter your French social security number, name, date of birth and post code.You will receive from CPAM an access code permitting you to access via this link.
Information regarding the "Sécurité Sociale" with links at the bottom to the different French regimes depending on your personal status..
 The official site in English for the CLEISS"Centre of European and International Liaisons for Social Security".

Regime Social des Independants.

French Social Security for self-employed workers.
NB. RSI is the administrative umbrella and will not reimburse medical treatment.
Reimbursements come from a third-party called "Régime Obligatoire" (R.O.) that you must choose upon registration of your activity.
When choosing your RO. bare in mind that some of the smaller or local ones do not have the "TELETRANSMITION" facility with the Top-Ups.
This will not alter your rights but you will have to send off paperwork to get reimbursed. 

Couverture Maladie Universelle.

French Social Security for people without valid “S1” forms who are no longer active and/or often have limited or no resources.
The CMU will grant access to the CPAM provided that you have lived in France for more than five years or possibly less in case of unplanned eventualities.  English helpline – 0811 363 646

Wealth Management, Currency Exchange, Local Tax, Inheritance Tax

Expat Financial Advisors

Contact Brian Furzer


Mob: 06 25 36 30 65



Along with the resources of The Spectrum IFA Group, one of Europe’s leading independent intermediaries, Brian Furzer brings more than 30 years experience to the financial services industry. He specialises in

 addressing the unique financial planning needs of expatriates and those with cross-border interests and has a detailed knowledge of international product providers and tax-efficient structures that can assist in asset building, asset protection and, ultimately, estate planning.

As an independent adviser, Brian provides clients with the advantage of unbiased financial planning advice. He has access to many of the world’s most respected international banking, investment management and insurance institutions, which brings his clients the competitive advantages and convenience of being able to access multiple managers and product providers through one source.

Brian does not charge consulting fees for providing you with advice or on-going service. The Spectrum IFA Group receives industry-standard fees directly from the financial institutions with which they place their clients’ investments - not directly from clients.

Clients have varied needs, but typically either have disposable income they wish to invest regularly towards their medium to long-term goals, or have accrued capital they would like to invest for growth or to provide an income. Clients are introduced to Brian either by personal introduction (referral by existing clients), or by means of professional introduction (by financial institutions, employer Human Resources departments or by professional service providers such as accountants, lawyers, trust managers or relocation specialists).

Brian works with clients of all ages, wealth and financial experience. It is a well-established principle that people who plan for their goals are far more likely to reach them than those who don’t!

Other Information

He is a French resident and lives in the unspoilt countryside of the Charente Maritime bordering on Aquitaine between Bordeaux and La Rochelle.Keen on outdoor pursuits and nature generally, Brian is an accomplished flyfisher for trout and salmon and has qualified for the English Flyfishing Team and has published four books internationally on flyfishing. The Charente Maritime is the perfect environment for pursuing his interest of observing nature, particularly the varied birdlife of the area.

Brian is a member of the Franco British Chamber of Commerce & Industry. 

Brian provides an initial confidential consultation to:

• Assist you in evaluating existing pensions, protection (insurance) and savings / investment provision in a comprehensible manner.

• Identify and prioritise your financial objectives (short, medium and long-term).

• Identify how to reach those objectives, on the basis of resources you can comfortably engage. Importantly, he will focus on present and future tax-efficiency, product portability, your attitude to risk and events that may threaten the financial wellbeing of you and your dependents.

Next he will prepare a report recommending solutions matching your requirements and include any relevant product literature and illustrations to enable you to make an informed decision. Crucially, Spectrum are not agents for any particular company- representing clients from an unbiased position of independence. We feel that this strongly sets us apart from dealing directly with large institutions, where you may experience less-personal service, a high turnover of staff familiar with your circumstances and where there may be a bias to recommend their own products and services.

Spectrum’s recommendations are made without obligation or charge. You are free to accept our advice wholly, partly or not at all. We are pleased also to negotiate and arrange access to holdings specifically of your choice.




Why use Currencies Direct? - the benefits.

Challenging traditional banking conventions, Currencies Direct guarantees to beat any retail bank both in price and service. From the moment we were established our aim has been simple. To provide a personalised service and save our clients money from dealing with traditional banks.

  • Increasing your spending power. Because we deal directly with the currency markets we can offer the best foreign money exchange rates that the banks find hard to beat. These great foreign currency exchange rates mean that you get more for your money.
  • Saving you money. We want to make sure that you get the best forex deals you can so that's why we offer all our clients free transfers (over £5,000) and charge no commission. Plus, Currencies Direct does not charge lifting/receiving fees on forex transfers.
  • Tailored to your circumstances. As specialist foreign exchange brokers we are able to offer a number of product choices for foreign exchange including spot deals, forward contracts and limit orders. Which one is right for you will depend on your circumstances, foreign currency needs and timing.
  • Easy to deal with. You can trade in forex with us by phone, talking directly to a currency specialist, electronically or by fax. The first step is to become a registered private or business customer. Our registration process is second to none. You can register with us online and be ready to trade in minutes.
  • Make regular payments overseas. Mortgage, maintenance, insurance - whatever your reason for making regular money transfers Currencies Direct's Overseas Regular Money Transfer Plan can save you money. With free forex transfers, great foreign exchange rates and low minimum amounts we really make is easy to keep benefiting from our great service. Click here for more information.
  • For businesses, we are committed to delivering excellence in customer service and solutions to help your business grow and compete more effectively within the global market place.

Currencies Direct Limited is a leading payment technology solutions company and it was one of Europe's first independent foreign exchange specialists in 1996 to recognise the need in the market for an expert secondary Foreign Exchange provider to traditional banks. Its innovative approach is based on dealing directly with the currency markets and matching buyers with sellers thus eliminating intermediaries and giving it a competitive edge in pricing foreign exchange. Twelve years on Currencies Direct is now one of Europe's largest foreign exchange specialist with a head office and operations across 5 continents, with 2,000 strong franchise network of business partners and is part of the Azibo Group.

 Trust a Specialist to Get it Right on Overseas Transfers 

Many of us send money abroad for various reasons. Anything from emigrating; purchasing a holiday home; paying a mortgage or covering monthly business costs, we do this through the obvious vehicle - our bank. The disappointing factor with this choice is we lose money every time we do this, either through bank charges such as transfer fees or through poor foreign exchange rates. Naturally we all trust our bank to handle financial matters, but we don’t consider other options for transferring funds abroad, most probably because we aren’t aware of the benefits of using a specialist foreign exchange provider.

For those who are aware of the charges from the bank and negotiate a better deal; need to consider that banks are often prepared to waive their fee or charges because they can make a substantial profit on offering a poor foreign exchange rate. So however you look at it the banks make money and you lose money on international transfers, the larger the transfer, the more you have to lose. 

Every year at Currencies Direct we see new clients joining us; it never ceases to astonish us how much money our clients lose through banks and how much they saved through our services especially on large transfers* or small regular overseas payments. We charge no fees for transfers over £5000 and regular transfers are also fee-free. 

You will wonder how businesses like our own make money if you are saving so much? This is simple, we buy £2bn worth of foreign exchange each year so we are able to purchase our currency at wholesale rates. We pass on most of these savings to you, retaining a small margin for ourselves. We guarantee to always beat the banks on exchange rates. 

Transferring your funds overseas is very straightforward with Currencies Direct. We process 220 000 payments a year so we have the expertise to make payments swiftly and painlessly. As soon as we receive your funds, we send out the payment immediately to the bank account details you have provided. We send payments to bank accounts in 50 countries and trade in 45 different currencies giving you a wide choice of where you can make transfers. 

Working as a specialist broker gives us the advantage of finding the best rates for you and offering you a more personal service, we have numerous solutions that can be tailored to meet your needs. Once you have registered for our service you will receive a personal dealer who will handle your foreign exchange payments, their  job is to ensure you receive the best rates as well as giving you the option of buying the rate now or when it meets a target set by you and the dealer. The dealer will discuss with you the best option for your needs. You can make international transfers by speaking to your dealer and agreeing a contract or you can use our online system iPayFX.  

Currencies Direct offer a wide range of services to assist you with your international payments. The bottom line is – your best interests are our focus. 

Written by Karl Sieha,  Currencies Direct 

*Currencies Direct can typically save clients up to three per cent of the overall amount of money being transferred compared to mainstream banks. And, unlike most other exchanges, it does not charge a commission and waives its transaction fee on deals above £5,000.

Wills, Buying & Selling, Buisiness Fairs & Seminars, Buisiness Registration, French Administrative Help, Certified & Sworn Translations


Furley Page Solicitors
39 St Margaret's Street

Sarah Bogard: 0044 (0) 1227 763 939

Florence Richards: 0044 (0) 1227 763 939

Anna Berry :0044 (0) 1227 763 939



 The Basics of Buying French Property

  • The process of buying French property is quite different to buying a property in the UK.
  • Having a survey done is not obligatory, but recommended because the French property is “vendue en l’état” (sold as seen) which means that you take the property with any hidden defects which you could have discovered by searches or inspections.
  • The price, sale of any chattels (furniture etc) and conditions of the contract are agreed with the seller.
  • The seller produces a set of reports for you known as the “Dossier Diagnostique Technique”.
The obligatory reports, depending on age and location of property, include those on the presence of asbestos, termites, lead in the paintwork, and risks in the local area (such as flooding or landslides). For co-ownership properties (“copropriété”) will also be included a report confirming the size of the property to be sold if it is more than 8 square metres. Note that reports have only a certain length of validity (e.g. termites report is only valid for 6 months) so check the dates of the reports carefully.  You can also make your own enquiries at the “Mairie” (town hall) to find out if an area is susceptible to termites or environmental risks etc.
  • The process quickly moves to the signing of the first contract (“compromis de vente”) at which point a deposit (usually 5-10% of purchase price) is paid. This is a binding contract.
The “compromis de vente” is either drawn up by the estate agent in charge of the sale, or the notaire is instructed to draft it. This document contains a lot of information about the property and the surrounding area. It includes conditions precedent (“conditions suspensives”), which must be fulfilled in order for completion to take place. There are standard conditions that are included (such as the condition that the title deeds do not show any charges registered on the property other than those that will be paid from the sale proceeds) but sometimes it is advisable to include others. For example, if you want to develop the land you could request a condition that planning permission (or preliminary permission) is granted before you can complete to ensure you can do what you intend with the property.
  • If you are a “non-professional” purchasing a residential property or land for residential construction, you benefit from a 7 day cooling off period after having signed the “compromis de vente”. If you decide that you no longer wish to purchase the property, you can serve notice on the seller. There is a very short time limit and if you have any concerns about the property you should ideally resolve them before signing the contract.
  • You should investigate mortgage options at an early stage. If you decide to apply for a mortgage, it will be a condition of the sale that you obtain a mortgage offer, but you must comply with strict time frames for your application in order to benefit from this condition.
  • It usually takes about 2 to 3 months between signature of the “compromis de vente” and the completion deed (“acte de vente”). During this time, the notaire carries out his searches and you get your mortgage arranged. The notaire will then confirm the date of completion.
Please note that the notaire represents both the seller and the buyer and he acts impartially. You are free to appoint your own notaire, at no additional cost as the notaires have to share the fees between them. The notaire’s fees are calculated on a set scale (not freely negotiated with you) based on the value of the property. The notaire’s fees are usually paid by the buyer. The notaire will hold the purchase funds in an account pending completion. You must ensure that the funds are paid to a designated account, and it is preferable to pay to the notaire rather than the estate agent. It is recommended that you get legal advice on how best to structure your legal ownership of the property, taking into account various inheritance rules on death and inheritance tax.
  • You can give power to attorney to someone to sign on your behalf, but it is recommended that you make a last inspection of the property before completion of the transaction takes place. It is also possible that there may be last minute amendments to the ”acte de vente”.
  • On completion day, the final balance of the purchase price is paid, you are given the keys to the property and an “attestation de vente”. Registration of ownership can take up to 6 months to complete.
  • You must organise insurance from the date of completion, and sort out reading meters and getting service contracts with utility providers.
For further information please contact Sarah Bogard.




Your French Matters

17 rte. du Grallet


Telephone: 06 79 14 21 03

Help and Advice for all your Professional and Personal Administrative Matters

I have lived with my family in France for eight years.  We began our adventure in the Charente area of France but relocated to the Charente Maritime and the coast in 2006.  In the UK, I was a primary school teacher and upon moving to France studied and gained a diploma with honours to Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).
As well as giving English lessons to French individuals, I had my own retail enterprise and have spent 4 years in a chartered Accountancy firm as head of the foreign section, completing over 200 income tax declarations annually and dealing with all administrative issues encountered by the UK expatriate in France.

Local Taxes:  I have studied local tax impositions and verification of the French Tax Foncière and Tax d’Habitation in order to check that the tax impositions  are based on realistic information and requesting recalculation when appropriate.

Business Setup:  I give help and advice on grants and financial help available for business set up and personal situations with the CAF (social security and family allowance organisation in France).
I help people to understand, register and run their business under the micro regime and auto entrepreneur regime and help deal with the social organisations such as RSI and URSSAF.

Sworn Translations:  I am a sworn translator via the TRIBUNAL DE GRANDE INSTANCE de SAINTES and have recently been awarded accreditation to complete and certify Capital gains declarations.

Tax Reimbursement:  I also deal with obtaining reimbursement of tax paid twice for clients that relocate to France from the UK or other European countries and dealing with pension forecasts and other administrative issues involving the relocation from one country to another.

Works Undertaken:  Annual French Income Tax returns (residents and non residents),  Completion of UK administrative forms (P85, R105, France Individual etc),  Help understanding Social charges and Social Contributions,  Business registration and advice under the Micro regime or the Auto entrepreneur scheme,  Issues surrounding local taxes such as Taxe Foncière & Taxe d'Habitation,  Help with planning permissions,  Certified and Sworn Translations (registration via the Tribunal in Saintes) 


La Basse Rivière,
22630 - EVRAN,

Rachel Gallard

Telephone: (0033) 2 96 27 43 16
Mobile: (0033) 6 26 10 99 08


No matter how many books one reads or how much advice one seeks from others who have made the move to France sadly there are always pitfalls.

My customers save a great deal of time and stress by using my service, that's what they tell me, and I can see the relief on their faces. I am Rachel Gallard, a French National and I am tri-lingual; I also speak German fluently. Having lived and worked in the Channel Islands for many years I can understand the frustrations felt by my UK clients trying to deal with another culture, in particular - the French way.

The French approach to business and service can be hard to comprehend even for the French, so I have developed an accurate and up-to-date knowledge of the system, I spend my time ensuring the answers are in place before the questions arise.

Anglo‑French Communication is registered with the French authorities and as such is legally required to meet their standards in providing a legitimate and accurate service to customers.

Through Anglo‑French Communication my clients have easy access to other professionals who I trust and work with, here in Brittany. Even if your problem is utterly unique, you have our combined experience to draw on for a fast and effective solution to any headache.

The stories are true, every branch of the French civil service adores red tape and paperwork, let us handle the administration while you enjoy your new life in France!

We provide high quality services to individuals and all types of businesses paying close attention to the needs of each client. 

Up to date info, & Top-Tips on where to buy, when to buy and what not to do. is a leading web portal for property in France.
We specialise in advertising real estate Properties for Sale and properties for rentacross France.
Our properties are advertised by both estate agents and private vendors located throughout France.
Search over 10,000 French properties of all styles and prices.
They include traditional and modern French homes, country and town properties, farms, lakes, chateaux, ski properties, coastal properties, building plots and investment property.
We also provide free Property Information about France Real Estate, Real Living, Real France
We also offer a number of other France related services, including a highly popular Newsletter, keeping you up-to-date with life and events in France, a series of comprehensive Guides to buying property & living in France, French property discussion Forums and a French Services directory. You can also sign up to the Property Spy, service to receive e-mail updates of the latest properties for sale in France, individually tailored to your personal French property search requirements! 



96 Place de la Libération



AGENCE LE BONHEUR is an estate agency registered in France under the "Carte Professionnelle No 0138". We have been selling French property since 1995 to a local and international client base. Our team is passionate about the area and knowledgeable about most aspects of property in France.
We are fortunate to be based on the borders of the Béarn, Gers, Landes and Hautes Pyrenees allowing us to comfortably cover this magnificent region of South West France.
Buying a French property does not need to a complicated procedure and our team is here to listen attentively to your project. All members of our "équipe" are multi-lingual and most have also lived in a foreign country.
This is key to our success because this experience helps in our goal to skilfully interpret and understand the needs of an international client base.
We start by helping you identify suitable properties to visit and will accompany you through the negotiation and legal procedures, assist with mortgage applications and the transfer of utilities. Follow the links above for a wealth of information about the area and the buying process. Search for your French home using the formula on our website.
We look forward to seeing you comfortably settled into your new French home.



We advertise high quality long term let properties throughout France. Our rental properties cover all the popular rental locations in France such as the Languedoc, Provence, Midi-Pyrenees, Dordogne, the Loire Valley and Cote d'Azur. We offer a streamlined reservation process and we visit all of the properties that we advertise, for your peace of mind. If you are looking for a long term rental in France between 3 to 12 months, we are happy to help you find the perfect place.

Iain Laverock
26 Rue du Foyer
34120 - Nezignan L'Eveque
+33 4 67 76 29 55
+33 6 95 00 28 44