In the majority of cases, subscribing to essential, everyday contracts requires you to have your new address at the ready. If that is already the case then great, you already know where you are going and can start thinking about which subscriptions you need to sign up for in order to make your transition run as smoothly as possible: this will involve (amongst other things) contracting an energy provider, a telephone/internet operator, possibly a home insurance company and opening a bank account.

Depending on the contracts and requirements, these processes can become rather time-consuming. Keep in mind that it can take around one or two weeks before all your accounts are up and running.  Price comparison websites, or specialised companies offering free customer services are also there to point you in the right direction.

ENERGY

Since the energy market opened up to competition in 2007, several suppliers are now able to make offers which vary in terms of tariffs and conditions (peak and off-peak times, etc).

Opening and account: You will be asked to provide your address, a bank statement and the name of the previous tenant. The account may be opened before the actual activation, which will require a meter-reading.

 

Waiting period: You can expect an average waiting period of one week to open your account with one several energy providers in France.

Day 1: The day of the move-in, there are two scenarios:

  • If the gas/electricity has not been cut off in your new accommodation: Note down the figures on your meter and call your energy provider to update them. These figures will be taken into account on your next bill.
  • If the gas/electricity has been cut off on the day of your arrival: If you agreed on a service date with your energy provider, no energy should be consumed before this date. Nevertheless, you are able to request a sooner starting date by simply notifying your provider by telephone.

BE CAREFUL: If you were unable to set up your new contract before arriving to your new accommodation, it is urgent to do so as the current may be cut off without any warning.

TELECOMS

To choose your future operator(s), start by identifying your requirements: if you wish to have an internet modem, a television connection, a mobile phone, for which countries should you select an unlimited option, etc.? The following steps will be just as useful:

 

For the internet, carry out an eligibility test of your telephone line thanks to the address of your new accommodation: Eligibility test of your telephone line

Compare prices: Keep a close eye on the included services and note the activation and/or termination fees before signing up.

Waiting period: The subscription to your telecom contracts can take up to 2 weeks, from the request to the activation and the delivery of the devices (sim cards, telephone, modem, etc.)

INSURANCE (MAINLY HOME INSURANCE)

These days, insurance companies are offering more and more competitive home insurance deals. It is crucial to compare them against each other and evaluate them according to your requirements (liability, home and car insurance, etc.). For your home insurance:

  • If you are a tenant, insuring your accommodation to a minimal level is compulsory. The ‘Tenant Risks Guarantee’ essentially covers damage in case of fire, water damage and explosions. On the other hand,
  • If you are a homeowner, there is no obligation to subscribe to an insurance, however it is strongly recommended.

OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT

Opening a current bank account can be done at a distance (for online banks) or by appointment. You will be asked to provide your ID card or passport as well as a proof of residence and to sign your account agreement.

You should compare the tariffs for banking establishments in advance, paying special attention to the quality of the service and banking fees. Different online comparison sites are specialised in analysing banking fees. As a general rule, the new 100% online banks offer tariffs which are a lot lower than agency networks.

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